6. The In-house vs outsourced question for web scraping at scale

When deciding between in-house, outsourced or hybrid web scraping operations, you need to ask if web data extraction is at the core of your business. The general consensus is that you should build in-house operations if web scraping is a core part of your business. However, it can be more nuanced than that, so let’s take a look at the three options.


There’s a significant cost impact to scaling web scraping in-house whether you’re starting from scratch or have an existing team. You’ll need initial and ongoing investments in your:

  • development team, 

  • infrastructure, 

  • quality assurance testing and monitoring, 

  • third-party tooling, and

  • legal and compliance teams. 

But, you get complete control over your web scraping stack and its operations.

Web scraping is a growing, but small specialized discipline in software development. Developers with expertise are hard to recruit and keep. The web keeps changing and so your team needs to keep up with new technologies.

At scale, every web scraping effort needs to purchase and manage third-party tools. This could be proxy services, cloud hosting, storage solutions, development environments and version control, or data cleaning and transformation tools.

It’s imperative that your in-house team have legal oversight by in-house lawyers with a specialization in web scraping to ensure your business is operating legally and ethically. And like developers, these lawyers are specialized and are hard to recruit and keep.

Tip 5: Use web scraping APIs like Zyte API to reduce your dependency on third-party tooling

Web scraping APIs are a new development in web scraping that condenses a web scraping tech stack into one API. They reduce development time and maintenance on scraping projects. Zyte API is an end-to-end AI-powered web scraping tool for crawling, unblocking and extracting data in minutes. Zyte API automates huge amounts of the work that goes into finding configs that solve opaque bans, monitor success rates, and adapt to any changes. It also contains all the tools you’d need like automated proxy rotation, headless browsers and rendering, and residential proxies. And with Zyte API’s AI scraping ability, it enables developers to build and launch spiders, unblock websites and extract data from a single UI three times faster than legacy scraping vendors and proxy APIs.

Recommended web data extraction methods according to project limitations

Fully outsourced

If web data extraction isn’t at the core of your business, you’ll need to partner with experts to handle all extraction aspects of a business case. With a strong partner, there’s no burden of carrying the scaling costs and administration of an in-house team. You should still have your own legal representation that understands the law. Remember the third-party’s lawyer isn’t your lawyer.  

The fully outsourced option is a good alternative to building an in-house team from scratch, so the opportunity costs related to increased resource investment, operational costs and compliancecan be managed more effectively. You’ll get more predictable pricing with a third-party making your cost estimates more reliable. 


You have existing teams and a web scraping tech stack in-house, but can outsource some of the infrastructure or data collection to a 3rd party. Handing off some of the heavy lifting to a dedicated and specialized vendor team can extend your capacity and bridge gaps in data collection. 

Hybrid is a good alternative to building an existing in-house team. The opportunity costs related to increased resource investment, operational costs and legal/compliance can be managed more effectively. It also allows you to ramp up the web scraping project faster as the third-party will be ready to begin executing the project as soon as the paperwork is signed.

Tip 6: Use Zyte Data professional services to compliment your existing team or handle all web scraping efforts

Do you just want the data and not the hassle of managing web scraping in-house? Zyte Data is an expert web data extraction team in your pocket. Our white glove service extracts any web data your business needs, regardless of project size and complexity. This includes a dedicated team and round-the-clock support.

Continue to the next chapter 7. Questions to ask when scaling web scraping