Scraping In The Name Of!

An Overview Of Scraping In The Name Of!

We were able to accomplish a task – checking weather conditions and forecast for two locations – that previously required loading 4 web pages of content, images, and advertisements in just one page by using web scraping techniques, PHP, HTML, and CSS. This same process could be applied to any website to retrieve any amount of data. In fact, we used these techniques to create pop-up notifications detailing our Kickstarter efforts last month. It is a pretty simple technique that is highly useful and can be applied to any website that is visible via a browser. Overall, we accomplished our goals and came up with a pretty nice looking display.

What To Do Now

You should now have all the tools you need to perform web scraping on any number of websites. Or you could even improve this weather project in several ways, such as adding the 5-day forecast to your display, or modifying the display to fit perfectly on your mobile device. You could also cache your scraped data to allow your page to be loaded more quickly, especially since's data is only updated every so often. Don't be afraid to try new things. The more things you try, the more you will learn!


The main goal of this article was to explain how to use web scraping techniques to gather data from the web and display it in a meaningful way. We were able to accomplish this goal by using data from to create a meaningful weather conditions page personalized to our needs. It only took a few hours to create and will save a great deal of loading time (especially on mobile devices) over the course of a year. In fact, if you checked the weather only once per day and each page took 10 seconds to load, you would have saved yourself 4 hours over the course of a year. Once again, we see that taking the time to learn how to write software can pay off in really big ways!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or visit the Forums. We check for comments regularly and love getting feedback.