With great power comes great responsibility. Respect the digital property of others.


Usually, websites are visited with the help of web browers. However, also computer programs can do the same. This is useful for data aggregation. One example where this is being used is for indexing websites in search engines.


The following Python libraries need to be installed to be able to execute the code described below.

pip3 install beautifulsoup4
pip3 install requests

Accessing websites

The Python library Requests makes it relatively easy to open websites with Python, like the user would normally do with the browser.

>>> import requests

>>> # Execute a HTTP GET request for the homepage of the Kirpal Sagar Academy
>>> response = requests.get('http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/')

>>> # Every HTTP response has a status code indicating success or failure (1)
>>> response.status_code

>>> # Response headers give hints how to interpret the data in the response body
>>> response.headers['Content-Type']
'text/html; charset=UTF-8'

>>> # Like this we can get access on the acutal source code of the website
>>> response.text

Parsing HTML

The Python library BeautifulSoup makes is relatively easy to read in and decompose HTML documents.

>>> from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

>>> # Create object which provides access on the HTML elements
>>> soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')

>>> # Get access on the text in the "title" element of the website
>>> soup.title.text
'Kirpal Sagar Academy'

>>> # Get access on all anchor elements of the website
>>> soup.find_all('a')

>>> # Get access on the value of the "href" attribute of the fourth element
>>> # in the list of all anchors elements of the website
>>> soup.find_all('a')[3]['href']

CSS selectors

CSS selectors are primarily used to instruct the web browsers for each and every HTML how the could display it, e.g. that all links in the navigation section should be displayed with a blue background color and with font size 12. However, they can also be used to locate elements from which we want to extract data.

>>> soup.select('div.marketing span')[0].text (1)
'Registration & Admission Open'
1 Get access on the text of the first element which will be addressed with a CSS selector for the "span" elements nested within "div" elements with the "class" attribute "marketing".

Complete example

So, now let us have a look at a script which makes use of the puzzle pieces described above. It will open the event overview page of the Kirpal Sagar Academy website and extract a summary of all the events listed there.

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
import json

EVENT_DETAILS_PAGE = 'http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4020000000.html'

response = requests.get(EVENT_DETAILS_PAGE)
soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')
raw_events = soup.select('.main-event-div')

events = [] (1)

for raw_event in raw_events:
    ancestor_link = raw_event.parent.parent (2)
    event = {
        "link": 'http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/' + ancestor_link['href'],
        "date": raw_event.select('.img-col span')[0].text,
        "title": raw_event.select('.events-name')[0].text

print(json.dumps(events, indent=2)) (3)
1 Here we collect the event details for later formatting and printing to the output device
2 Another feature of BeautifulSoup is that it provides access on the parent of a HTML element, i.e. the element in which it is contained. And also the parent element of the parent element.
3 JSON is a common format in which one program passes data over to another

This script can be called as any other Python script.

python3 parse_ksa_events.py

With the data extracted from the website we could now create a new website which displays a tables with links to past events in the Kirpal Sagar Academy.

    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000003142.html",
    "date": "17-11-2019",
    "title": "Annual Day Celebrations 2019"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000003021.html",
    "date": "25-10-2019",
    "title": "Annual Sports Meet"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000003004.html",
    "date": "21-09-2019",
    "title": "Cross country race"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000002997.html",
    "date": "02-10-2019",
    "title": "Gandhi Jayanti"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000002990.html",
    "date": "05-09-2019",
    "title": "Teachers\u2019 Day Celebrations"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000002975.html",
    "date": "18-05-2019",
    "title": "nvestiture Ceremony"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000002967.html",
    "date": "18-05-2019",
    "title": "The Ballet is stronger than the Bullet"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000002772.html",
    "date": "22-04-2019",
    "title": "The Earth Day 2019 Celebrations"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000001199.html",
    "date": "22/04/2018",
    "title": "Report on Earth Day Celebrations @ Kirpal Sagar Academy"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000001062.html",
    "date": "05/08/2017",
    "title": "Elocution Hindi"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/40500000001041.html",
    "date": "01/08/2017",
    "title": "English Elocution VI \u2013 VIII"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000848.html",
    "date": "06/05/2017",
    "title": "Inter- House Throw ball Tournament"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000779.html",
    "date": "23/11/2016",
    "title": "The Annual Athletic Meet"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000738.html",
    "date": "19/08/2016",
    "title": "\u2018ARPAN\u2019 -  HOUSE SHOW, 2016"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000706.html",
    "date": "27/07/2016",
    "title": "Eco Club"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000667.html",
    "date": "16/05/2016",
    "title": "Investiture Ceremony"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000624.html",
    "date": "22/04/2016",
    "title": "Inter House Competition 2016-17"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000623.html",
    "date": "22/04/2016",
    "title": "World Earth Day Celebration"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000475.html",
    "date": "May 26, 2015",
    "title": "FRESHERS' NIGHT 2015"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000474.html",
    "date": "Aug 15, 2015",
    "title": "Independence Day Celebration 2015"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000472.html",
    "date": "Aug 24, 2015",
    "title": "Story Telling Nursery-Grade-II"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000471.html",
    "date": "Aug 24, 2015",
    "title": "Poetry Recitation (Hindi and English)"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000400.html",
    "date": "Oct 22, 2015",
    "title": "Dussehra Celebrations"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000117.html",
    "date": "Oct 1, 2015",
    "title": "Tour & Travel"
    "link": "http://kirpalsagaracademy.com/4050000000118.html",
    "date": "Sep 5, 2015",
    "title": "Teachers Day Celebration"