Instant PHP Web Scraping Book Now Available!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or contacted me privately, it’s likely you know this day has been approaching and, Instant PHP Web Scraping was published on 26th July and is now available to buy!

For those that don’t already know, the content of the book is essentially where I had originally intended to head with the Web Scraping With PHP & CURL series I started. Aimed at novice PHP programmers who are new to web scraping, it will guide readers through the basics and provide a tool set to complete a number of web scraping tasks and give a firm basis for further learning on the subject.

NOTE: This book is intended to serve as a brief introduction to web scraping with PHP. I was under strict instruction and constraints by the publisher. The target audience of this book is the absolute beginner. If you have experience working with PHP, cURL, MySQL, etc… this book is not for you.

The book is available as an ebook from Packt Publishing or as a paperback from Amazon. In addition to the recipes contained in the book, there are also a number of bonus recipes which will be available online for anybody who has purchased the book, providing even more coverage of the subject matter. I will also be setting up an online forum here, where anybody who has read the book can post questions or ask for help from me personally.

Win A Free Copy!

Packt Publishing have 3 free copies of Instant PHP Web Scraping in ebook format which you can win. I will be putting a competition together in the coming days, so stay tuned to find out how to enter and be in with a chance to win!

Own A Website And Want A Free Copy?

If you own a website or blog and would like to review this book, please send me your details via my contact form and I will respond asap with full details.

Book Overview

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at those new to web scraping, with little or no previous programming experience. Basic knowledge of HTML and the Web is useful, but not necessary.

What you will learn from this book

  • Scrape and parse data from web pages using a number of different techniques
  • Create custom scraping functions
  • Download and save images and documents
  • Retrieve and scrape data from emails
  • Save scraped data into a MySQL database
  • Submit login and file upload forms
  • Use regular expressions for pattern matching
  • Process and validate scraped data
  • Crawl and scrape multiple pages of a website

In Detail

With the proliferation of the web, there has never been a larger body of data freely available for common use. Harvesting and processing this data can be a time consuming task if done manually. However, web scraping can provide the tools and framework to accomplish this with the click of a button. It’s no wonder, then, that web scraping is a desirable weapon in any programmer’s arsenal.

Instant Web Scraping With PHP How-to uses practical examples and step-by-step instructions to guide you through the basic techniques required for web scraping with PHP. This will provide the knowledge and foundation upon which to build web scraping applications for a wide variety of situations such as data monitoring, research, data integration relevant to today’s online data-driven economy.

On setting up a suitable PHP development environment, you will quickly move to building web scraping applications. Beginning with a simple task of retrieving a single web page, you will then gradually build on this by learning various techniques for identifying specific data, crawling through numerous web pages to retrieve large volumes of data, and processing then saving it for future use. You will learn how to submit login forms for accessing password protected areas, along with downloading images, documents, and emails. Learning to schedule the execution of scrapers achieves the goal of complete automation, and the final introduction of basic object-oriented programming (OOP) in the development of a scraping class provides the template for future projects.

Armed with the skills learned in the book, you will be set to embark on a wide variety of web scraping projects.


Filled with practical, step-by-step instructions and clear explanations for the most important and useful tasks. Short, concise recipes to learn a variety of useful web scraping techniques using PHP.

Table of contents

  • Preparing your development environment (Simple)
  • Making a simple cURL request (Simple)
  • Scraping elements using XPath (Simple)
  • The custom scraping function (Simple)
  • Scraping and saving images (Simple)
  • Submitting a form using cURL (Intermediate)
  • Traversing multiple pages (Intermediate)
  • Saving scraped data to a database (Intermediate)
  • Scheduling scrapes (Simple)
  • Building a reusable scraping class (Advanced)
  • + online bonus content covering a number of other topics!


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