An extremely fast web scraper that parses megabytes of HTML in a blink of an eye. No dependencies. PHP5+

3.1.1 2024-07-03 07:38 UTC


An extremely fast and efficient web scraper that can parse megabytes of invalid HTML in a blink of an eye.

You can use the familiar jQuery/CSS selector syntax to easily find the data you need.

In my unit tests, I demand it be at least 10 times faster than Symfony's DOMCrawler on a 3Mb HTML document. In reality, according to my humble tests, it is two-three orders of magnitude faster than DOMCrawler in some cases, especially when selecting thousands of elements, and on average uses x2 less RAM.

See tests/README.md.

API Documentation

💡 Features

  • Very fast parsing and lookup
  • Parses broken HTML
  • jQuery-like style of DOM traversal
  • Low memory usage
  • Can handle big HTML documents (I have tested up to 20Mb, but the limit is the amount of RAM you have)
  • Doesn't require cURL to be installed and automatically handles redirects (see hQuery::fromUrl())
  • Caches response for multiple processing tasks
  • PSR-7 friendly (see hQuery::fromHTML($message))
  • PHP 5.3+
  • No dependencies

🛠 Install

Just add this folder to your project and include_once 'hquery.php'; and you are ready to hQuery.

Alternatively composer require duzun/hquery

or using npm install hquery.php, require_once 'node_modules/hquery.php/hquery.php';.

⚙ Usage

Basic setup:

// Optionally use namespaces
use duzun\hQuery;

// Either use composer, or include this file:
include_once '/path/to/libs/hquery.php';

// Set the cache path - must be a writable folder
// If not set, hQuery::fromURL() would make a new request on each call
hQuery::$cache_path = "/path/to/cache";

// Time to keep request data in cache, seconds
// A value of 0 disables cache
hQuery::$cache_expires = 3600; // default one hour

I would recommend using php-http/cache-plugin with a PSR-7 client for better flexibility.

Load HTML from a file

hQuery::fromFile( string $filename, boolean $use_include_path = false, resource $context = NULL )
// Local
$doc = hQuery::fromFile('/path/to/filesystem/doc.html');

// Remote
$doc = hQuery::fromFile('https://example.com/', false, $context);

Where $context is created with stream_context_create().

For an example of using $context to make a HTTP request with proxy see #26.

Load HTML from a string

hQuery::fromHTML( string $html, string $url = NULL )
$doc = hQuery::fromHTML('<html><head><title>Sample HTML Doc</title><body>Contents...</body></html>');

// Set base_url, in case the document is loaded from local source.
// Note: The base_url property is used to retrieve absolute URLs from relative ones.
$doc->base_url = 'http://desired-host.net/path';

Load a remote HTML document

hQuery::fromUrl( string $url, array $headers = NULL, array|string $body = NULL, array $options = NULL )
use duzun\hQuery;

// GET the document
$doc = hQuery::fromUrl('http://example.com/someDoc.html', ['Accept' => 'text/html,application/xhtml+xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8']);

var_dump($doc->headers); // See response headers
var_dump(hQuery::$last_http_result); // See response details of last request

// with POST
$doc = hQuery::fromUrl(
    'http://example.com/someDoc.html', // url
    ['Accept' => 'text/html,application/xhtml+xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8'], // headers
    ['username' => 'Me', 'fullname' => 'Just Me'], // request body - could be a string as well
    ['method' => 'POST', 'timeout' => 7, 'redirect' => 7, 'decode' => 'gzip'] // options

For building advanced requests (POST, parameters etc) see hQuery::http_wr(), though I recommend using a specialized (PSR-7?) library for making requests and hQuery::fromHTML($html, $url=NULL) for processing results. See Guzzle for eg.

PSR-7 example:

composer require php-http/message php-http/discovery php-http/curl-client

If you don't have cURL PHP extension, just replace php-http/curl-client with php-http/socket-client in the above command.

use duzun\hQuery;

use Http\Discovery\HttpClientDiscovery;
use Http\Discovery\MessageFactoryDiscovery;

$client = HttpClientDiscovery::find();
$messageFactory = MessageFactoryDiscovery::find();

$request = $messageFactory->createRequest(
  ['Accept' => 'text/html,application/xhtml+xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8']

$response = $client->sendRequest($request);

$doc = hQuery::fromHTML($response, $request->getUri());

Another option is to use stream_context_create() to create a $context, then call hQuery::fromFile($url, false, $context).

Processing the results

hQuery::find( string $sel, array|string $attr = NULL, hQuery\Node $ctx = NULL )
// Find all banners (images inside anchors)
$banners = $doc->find('a[href] > img[src]:parent');

// Extract links and images
$links  = array();
$images = array();
$titles = array();

// If the result of find() is not empty
// $banners is a collection of elements (hQuery\Element)
if ( $banners ) {

    // Iterate over the result
    foreach($banners as $pos => $a) {
        $links[$pos] = $a->attr('href'); // get absolute URL from href property
        $titles[$pos] = trim($a->text()); // strip all HTML tags and leave just text

        // Filter the result
        if ( !$a->hasClass('logo') ) {
            // $a->style property is the parsed $a->attr('style')
            if ( strtolower($a->style['position']) == 'fixed' ) continue;

            $img = $a->find('img')[0]; // ArrayAccess
            if ( $img ) $images[$pos] = $img->src; // short for $img->attr('src')

    // If at least one element has the class .home
    if ( $banners->hasClass('home') ) {
        echo 'There is .home button!', PHP_EOL;

        // ArrayAccess for elements and properties.
        if ( $banners[0]['href'] == '/' ) {
            echo 'And it is the first one!';

// Read charset of the original document (internally it is converted to UTF-8)
$charset = $doc->charset;

// Get the size of the document ( strlen($html) )
$size = $doc->size;

Note: In case the charset meta attribute has a wrong value or the internal conversion fails for any other reason, hQuery would ignore the error and continue processing with the original HTML, but would register an error message on $doc->html_errors['convert_encoding'].

🖧 Live Demo

On DUzun.Me

A lot of people ask for sources of my Live Demo page. Here we go:


🏃 Run the playground

You can easily run any of the examples/ on your local machine. All you need is PHP installed in your system. After you clone the repo with git clone https://github.com/duzun/hQuery.php.git, you have several options to start a web-server.

Option 1:
cd hQuery.php/examples
php -S localhost:8000

# open browser http://localhost:8000/
Option 2 (browser-sync):

This option starts a live-reload server and is good for playing with the code.

npm install

# open browser http://localhost:8080/
Option 3 (VSCode):

If you are using VSCode, simply open the project and run debugger (F5).


  • Unit tests everything
  • Document everything
  • Cookie support (implemented in mem for redirects)
  • Improve selectors to be able to select by attributes
  • Add more selectors
  • Use HTTPlug internally

💖 Support my projects

I love Open Source. Whenever possible I share cool things with the world (check out NPM and GitHub).

If you like what I'm doing and this project helps you reduce time to develop, please consider to:

  • ★ Star and Share the projects you like (and use)
  • ☕ Give me a cup of coffee - PayPal.me/duzuns (contact at duzun.me)
  • ₿ Send me some Bitcoin at this addres: bitcoin:3MVaNQocuyRUzUNsTbmzQC8rPUQMC9qafa (or using the QR below) bitcoin:3MVaNQocuyRUzUNsTbmzQC8rPUQMC9qafa