Get Web Page in Python

Get Web Page in Python

  1. Use the urllib Package to Get a Web Page in Python
  2. Use the requests Package to Get a Webpage in Python

In Python, we can create connections and read data from the web. We can download files over the web and read whole web pages.

This tutorial shows how to get a webpage in Python.

Use the urllib Package to Get a Web Page in Python

This package is used to fetch web pages and handle URL-related operations in Python. We can use the urllib.request.urlopen() function to retrieve a webpage using its URL.

The urllib.request module opens the given URL and returns an object. This object has different attributes like header, status, and more. We can read the webpage using the read() function with this object. It will return the full content of the web page.

See the following example.

import urllib.request
page = urllib.request.urlopen('http://www.python.org')
print(page.read())

In recent times, newer versions of the urllib package have emerged. First, we have the urllib2 package, built as an experimental version of urllib with newer and improved features. It can also accept Requests object from the requests package. The urlencode() is missing from the urllib2 package.

The urllib3 package was also introduced and is a third-party package, unlike the previous two versions. The requests package discussed below uses functionalities from this package internally.

Use the requests Package to Get a Webpage in Python

The requests library is simple to use and provides a lot of HTTP-related functionalities. We can use the requests.get() function to retrieve a webpage and return a Response object.

This object also possesses several attributes like status_code, content, and more. We can use the content attribute to return the given web page’s content.

For example,

import requests
response = requests.get('http://www.python.org')
print (response.status_code)
print (response.content)

The requests library aims to provide simple to use API and has a more convenient way to handle errors. Also, it automatically decodes the response retrieved into Unicode.

Author: Manav Narula
Manav Narula avatar Manav Narula avatar

Manav is a IT Professional who has a lot of experience as a core developer in many live projects. He is an avid learner who enjoys learning new things and sharing his findings whenever possible.

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