What are the server response codes I should be aware of when scraping Nordstrom?

When scraping a website like Nordstrom, it's essential to handle server response codes appropriately. These codes are part of the HTTP protocol and indicate the status of your request to the server. Below are some common HTTP response status codes that you might encounter when web scraping, along with their meanings:

Informational Responses (1xx)

  • 100 Continue: The initial part of a request has been received, and the client should continue with the request.

Successful Responses (2xx)

  • 200 OK: The request has succeeded. This is the standard response for successful HTTP requests and the one you want to see when scraping.
  • 201 Created: The request has been fulfilled, leading to the creation of a new resource.

Redirection Messages (3xx)

  • 301 Moved Permanently: The URL of the requested resource has been changed permanently. The new URL is given in the response.
  • 302 Found: This response code means that the URI of requested resource has been temporarily changed.
  • 304 Not Modified: This is used for caching purposes. It tells the client that the response has not been modified, so the client can continue to use the same cached version of the response.

Client Error Responses (4xx)

  • 400 Bad Request: The server cannot or will not process the request due to something that is perceived to be a client error.
  • 401 Unauthorized: Authentication is required, and it has failed or has not been provided.
  • 403 Forbidden: The server understood the request but refuses to authorize it. This could be due to rate limiting or other server rules.
  • 404 Not Found: The server can't find the requested resource. In the context of scraping, this might mean that the URL is incorrect or the page has been removed.
  • 429 Too Many Requests: You've sent too many requests in a given amount of time. This is a common response when you've hit a rate limit.

Server Error Responses (5xx)

  • 500 Internal Server Error: A generic error message, given when no more specific message is suitable.
  • 502 Bad Gateway: The server was acting as a gateway or proxy and received an invalid response from the upstream server.
  • 503 Service Unavailable: The server is not ready to handle the request. This could be due to the server being down for maintenance or overloaded. This might be temporary, so it's often a good idea to implement a retry mechanism.
  • 504 Gateway Timeout: The server was acting as a gateway or proxy and did not receive a timely response from the upstream server.

When you're scraping Nordstrom or any other site, you should write your code to handle these responses gracefully. For example, in Python using the requests library, you can handle different responses like this:

import requests
from time import sleep

def scrape_nordstrom(url):
        response = requests.get(url)

        if response.status_code == 200:
            # Success! Handle the page content
        elif response.status_code == 404:
            # Page not found
            print("Page not found.")
        elif response.status_code == 429:
            # Too many requests - implement a retry mechanism
            sleep(60)  # Sleep for a minute before retrying
            return scrape_nordstrom(url)
        elif response.status_code >= 500:
            # Server error - consider implementing a retry mechanism
            print("Server error. Try again later.")
            # Other codes (3xx, 4xx)
            print(f"Request returned an unhandled status: {response.status_code}")

    except requests.exceptions.RequestException as e:
        # Handle exceptions like network issues
        print(f"An error occurred: {e}")

# Example usage

Remember, when scraping websites, you must comply with their robots.txt file and terms of service. Additionally, it's important to scrape responsibly by not overloading the website's servers, which could disrupt its normal operation. Always respect rate limits and consider implementing delays between your requests.

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