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What is a Cloud Crawler & Why You Might Need One

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard the term "cloud crawler" and you’re wondering whether you need one. Lucky for you, that’s exactly what we’re going to cover here.

What is a cloud crawler?

A cloud-based web crawler, or "cloud crawler" for short, is a tool that crawls websites, but instead of running on a local computer, it operates on cloud servers. This offers several advantages like:

Scalability

Cloud crawlers can handle much larger and more complex crawling tasks than desktop crawlers.

Collaboration

Multiple people can access and view the same crawl data from different locations.

Efficiency

It frees up local computer resources for other tasks.

Desktop vs cloud crawlers: a question of scale

Search engine optimization professionals, such as your good selves, use SEO crawlers to understand what search engines are "seeing" via their own crawl bots. And depending on where you are in your journey as an SEO, you might be perfectly suited to a desktop crawler. 

Sitebulb’s desktop crawler is the preferred website audit tool of thousands of SEOs and has won multiple awards!

500,000 Urls
22 hours remaining
Yawn!

However, even the greatest desktop crawler is no match for the cloud when it comes to crawling at scale. It takes time to crawl each URL – Sitebulb’s default is 5 URLs per second – so if you have to crawl a website with half a million URLs, that’s 100,000 seconds or 27.78 hours.

It’s not simply a case of removing crawl speed limits...

The server must be able to handle the throughput as well. That’s why crawling at breakneck speeds generally leads to inaccurate or incomplete data. Find out more: How to Crawl Responsibly.

In a nutshell, the larger and more complex the website(s) you need to crawl, the higher the chance you’re going to need a cloud crawler.

Sitebulb Desktop Pro

Crawl up to 500,000 URLs per audit

Sitebulb Cloud

Crawl up to 10 Million URLs per audit

Sitebulb Desktop vs Sitebulb Cloud

Sitebulb Desktop

Find and fix technical issues with easy visuals, in-depth insights, and prioritized recommendations across 300+ SEO issues.

  • Crawl up to 500,000 URLs per audit.
  • Customized PDF reports your clients and stakeholders will love.
  • Intuitive data visualizations.
  • No extra cost for JavaScript crawling.
  • Free trial. Cancel anytime.
Explore Sitebulb

Sitebulb Cloud

Sitebulb Cloud gives you all the capability of Desktop, accessible via your web browser. Crawl at scale without the limitations of your machine.

  • Everything in Sitebulb Desktop.
  • Up to 10m URLs per audit.
  • Real-time team collaboration across the same crawl data.
  • No project limits.
  • Native desktop integration.
Explore Sitebulb Cloud

5 signs you need to upgrade from desktop to a cloud crawler

You need to crawl at scale without limits

Sitebulb Cloud is the only cloud crawler on the market that lets you add as many websites and projects as you need, and crawl multiple websites concurrently. This means that if you’re an avid multitasker and often find yourself juggling multiple clients, there’s no need to choose between them.

If you need to change your crawl settings and reaudit a website, many other crawlers would make you use valuable crawl credits to do so. It’s also common for some tools to charge you double credits to use JavaScript rendering. We don’t do either of these things.

1

You want greater SEO team collaboration

Hoping to grow your team, or already managing a sizable workforce? There’s room for your entire SEO team in Sitebulb Cloud. Accessing the same data at the same time is invaluable when collaborating on big projects – it reduces the risks of:

  • Losing client data when switching accounts
  • Loss of access to information when members of your team are on annual/sick leave
  • Mistakes made through miscommunication

Your server will be the central location for all of your audits, and the base of operations for your entire team to work from. This also enhances the level of support you’re able to provide to your employees and colleagues as they work.

2

You need a cost-effective cloud crawler

If you’ve been thinking about a cloud crawler but have been put off by the enormous price tag that comes with traditional cloud crawlers, Sitebulb Cloud is the good news you’ve been waiting for. 

Sitebulb Cloud pricing is fair and transparent. We’re cheaper than all the other cloud crawlers on the market (for some we’re literally half the price), and yet we still don’t feel the need to charge extra for specialist features such as JavaScript rendering. We just don’t think that’s cricket.

There’s no need for you to allocate substantial investment in team members’ machines or on-site servers. Plus, our subscription model means that our operational costs are easy to predict and monitor. So as Gandalf said to Bilbo Baggins: "I am NOT trying to rob you! I'm trying to help you."

3

You want seamless integration

What use is curating the perfect tools for your SEO utility belt if they don’t play well together? If you’re switching to Sitebulb Cloud, we don’t want to cause any additional disruption to your working style, which is why we make it easy for you to use us in tandem with other programmes.

Sitebulb automatically exports all data to Google Sheets once your audit is complete. Also, for top-level overviews and comprehensive monitoring, you can fully customize your automated dashboards in Looker Studio.

If you’re switching from Sitebulb Desktop to Sitebulb Cloud, you’re already halfway there, as your cloud server is accessed through our desktop product. This also means that you have access to both a desktop and cloud crawler, to suit every kind of audit.

4

You need to automate recurring audits

Through Sitebulb Cloud, you can set recurring audits to run constantly in the background. One of the best things about working via the cloud is that there’s no need to rely on a local machine being constantly on and running to get these audits done.

Not only does this eliminate the risk of something interfering with your desktop and ruining your work, but it’s also more energy efficient, and allows for more flexibility in your team’s working day. Go ahead, switch off your computer – your audit will be waiting for you when you return.

5

Read a Sitebulb Cloud success story

“The most impactful change that Sitebulb Cloud provided was the ability for everyone to work from the same crawl data. In addition to this, the speed at which crawls are completed, combined with the ability to schedule crawls at regular intervals, has allowed us to be more productive AND establish a more consistent process internally.”

Book a free demo of Sitebulb Cloud

FAQs

How much is Sitebulb Cloud?

Plans start from $245 per month (paid annually or monthly). There’s more information on our Cloud pricing page.

Can I talk to someone about specific features I need from my cloud crawler?

Yes, if you’re interested in Sitebulb Cloud but want to ask about specific features, book a free demo with Co-founder and CEO, Patrick.

If I upgrade to Sitebulb Cloud, can I downgrade back to Desktop at a later date?

Yes, it’s easy to downgrade from Cloud to Desktop. Just get in touch with [email protected] if you want to downgrade. Got more questions, visit our frequently asked questions page.