Scrapy vs Puppeteer: Which One to Choose?

August 22, 2023 · 5 min read

Scrapy vs. Puppeteer: They're are two popular solutions often considered for web scraping, but which should you choose? We'll delve into the features and capabilities of these tools to help you make an informed decision. You might want to jump right into it a specific point:

Scrapy vs. Puppeteer: Which Is Best?

To determine the winner of Scrapy vs. Puppeteer, you must match project needs to use cases.

Scrapy is a feature-rich open-source Python web scraping library. It shines in handling large-scale web scraping tasks due to its asynchronous requests capabilities. Scrapy also offers many features to help reduce the risk of getting detected. However, some basic functionalities require external integrations. For example, you must employ web engines like Splash or Puppeteer to render JavaScript content.

Meanwhile, Puppeteer is a NodeJS library that supports making HTTP requests. And handling responses, it's well suited for scraping tasks that require website interactions and JavaScript rendering. This is due to its headless browser functionality, making it easy to imitate an actual browser. However, Puppeteer can be slower and less scalable.

In brief, Scrapy might be the best option for a large-scale project, and Puppeteer might be the go-to choice when JavaScript rendering and browser interactions are a solid requirement.

Overview: Scrapy vs. Puppeteer

Here's a summary table comparing the key features of Scrapy vs. Puppeteer:

Consideration Scrapy Puppeteer
Language Python JavaScript and Python (with Pyppeteer)
Ease of use Straightforward and beginner-friendly experience More complex environment and requires more setup
HTTP Requests Yes Yes
JavaScript support Requires integrations with tools like Splash or Puppeteer to render JavaScript Built-in JavaScript rendering
Browser None Headless Chrome
Avoid getting blocked Some built-in features and integrations, such as for the User Agent and proxies Puppeteer Stealth plugin, header changes, and proxy integration
Speed Fast Can be slow, especially in large-scale scraping
Memory Memory-efficient Consumes more memory than Scrapy

Keep reading to learn more.

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Similarities between Scrapy and Puppeteer

Both Scrapy and Puppeteer are powerful web scraping tools that enable you to scrape and extract data from websites. Despite having different architectural designs, they also share some common functionalities. For example, both frameworks let you make HTTP requests, manipulate HTTP headers, handle responses, and retrieve data from response content.

Both tools can navigate through websites, locate and extract specific data. Furthermore, they support external integrations, like proxies and CAPTCHA solvers. Additionally, they support asynchronous processing, which drives large-scale web scraping by enabling you to process multiple requests concurrently.

These similarities often lead web scraping developers to wonder which tool is better suited for their project. However, the differences become apparent when you consider specific factors, which we'll explore next.

Main Differences: Scrapy vs. Puppeteer

Besides the obvious difference that Puppeteer doesn't have official support for Python, Scrapy vs. Puppeteer differ significantly in their architecture, dependency requirement, memory use, and speed.


Scrapy is built on an asynchronous and event-driven architecture, which is responsible for its ability to handle multiple requests and responses concurrently. Also, it follows a pipeline-based structure where responses pass through a series of stages, each performing different tasks to enhance the data scraping process. This allows you to define multiple processing stages to handle the scraped data.

On the other hand, Puppeteer uses a browser-based approach where its high-level API controls headless Chrome to directly render web pages like an actual browser. That allows you to manipulate the DOM, and interact with web pages programmatically, simulating user actions like clicking buttons, etc. 

Dependency Requirement

Scrapy comes with everything you need to perform basic scraping tasks. You get to make requests, parse, and store the downloaded data. Although, you may require middleware and additional tools to add functionalities like JavaScript rendering and proxies. 

To use Puppeteer, you must have Chrome or Chromium installed on your machine. This consumes more system resources and may impact performance. Although the same can be said for Scrapy when it integrates with web engines to render JavaScript. 

Memory usage

Puppeteer launches a browser instance in the background, making it resource-intensive compared to Scrapy. This may impact system performance, especially in large-scale scraping with multiple Puppeteer instances running in parallel. 

Scrapy operates in the command line, using fewer resources and requiring less memory. This supports large-scale scraping and allows you to scrape using machines with low RAM capabilities. However, employing middleware and external integrations like Splash to render JavaScript can also consume resources.


Scrapy's lightweight structure and support for asynchronous web scraping make it faster, especially for large-scale projects. However, the use of middleware and external integrations can slow it down. On the other hand, Puppeteer's browser-based approach may introduce some overhead due to rendering web pages within the headless browser.

Scrapy Review

What Is Scrapy?

Scrapy is an open-source Python web scraping framework with tools and functionalities to drive efficient web scraping. Its relative ease of use, extensive documentation, and active community support make it a popular web scraping solution.  

For a deeper dive into Scrapy, its features, and tips to avoid getting blocked, take a look at our Scrapy Python tutorial.

Advantages of Scrapy

Scrapy vs. Puppeteer offers the following advantages:

  • Asynchronous and concurrent processing for large-scale web scraping.
  • Automatic retries.
  • Built-in support for following redirects.
  • Extensive documentation and a strong community for support.
  • Supports proxy integrations. Check out our guide on Scrapy proxy middleware.

Disadvantages of Scrapy

Scrapy has the following disadvantages:

  • No JavaScript rendering capabilities without additional tools like Scrapy Splash or Puppeteer
  • May require middleware to implement techniques like CAPTCHA solving, proxy rotation, user agent rotation, etc.
  • Can be detected by anti-bot systems. However, Scrapy offers some features and supports integrations that can help with this.

Puppeteer Review

What Is Puppeteer?

Puppeteer is a NodeJS library that offers a high-level API for browser automation and web scraping. It uses headless Chrome or Chromium to make HTTP requests and render web pages like an actual browser, which enables you to automate browser actions and extract the necessary data.

Pyppeteer serves as the unofficial Python port of Puppeteer, making a similar high-level API available to Python developers. 

To explore the full capabilities of Puppeteer, check out our guide on Puppeteer web scraping.

Advantages of Puppeteer

Puppeteer offers the following benefits:

  • Direct interaction with headless Chrome for browser automation.
  • Excellent support for handling dynamic content.
  • DOM manipulation and page interactions.
  • High-level API that simplifies browser automation tasks.
  • Can integrate proxies. Read our guide on Puppeteer proxy integrations.

Disadvantages of Puppeteer

Some disadvantages of Puppeteer vs. Scrapy include:

  • Higher memory use due to its headless browser nature.
  • Slower execution speed compared to some other web scraping libraries.
  • May be detected and blocked by anti-scraping mechanisms, yet you can mitigate that by implementing the Puppeteer Stealth plugin.

The Challenge of Getting Blocked

You can integrate proxies to mitigate the problem of getting blocked in both tools. A web scraping proxy enables you to make requests through different IP addresses, making it harder for some websites to detect your scraper. Another technique is to customize and randomize your User-Agent header.

Unfortunately, you'll easily get blocked by either Scrapy or Puppeteer during web scraping because they're easy to spot.

The good news is you can make your requests via a web scraping API like ZenRows and let it deal with all anti-bot challenges with premium proxies, header rotation, fingerprinting bypass, and much more. Also, it renders JavaScript. You can use it as a full replacement for Scrapy and Puppeteer.

Alternatively, you can fully integrate ZenRows in Scrapy with middleware. When it comes to Puppeteer, the option is to go all-in with ZenRows. Otherwise, you can only use its rotating premium proxies.

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The choice between Puppeteer vs. Scrapy depends on use cases and project requirements. Scrapy's lightweight nature and asynchronous capabilities make it the better option for large-scale scraping, while Puppeteer's browser-based approach gives you native features to handle anti-bot measures and JavaScript challenges.

Both libraries are powerful tools for extracting data from target websites but, to be noted, Scrapy can also integrate a web browser engine, like Puppeteer or Splash.

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