Troubleshooting Python Requests Get When Webpage Isn't Loading

Feb 3, 2024 ยท 2 min read

When using Python's Requests library to load a webpage, you may occasionally run into issues where the GET request seems to go through fine but the actual webpage content isn't loading. Here are some things you can try to troubleshoot.

First, double check that the URL you are requesting is correct. It's easy to have a typo or be requesting the wrong page.

import requests

url = 'http://exampe.com/page-to-load' 
response = requests.get(url)

Next, check the status code in the response to see if you are getting a valid response:

print(response.status_code)

A status of 200 means OK, 404 means not found, etc. If you get 200 but no content, there may be a redirect or JavaScript rendering issue.

Try accessing the raw response text to see if any content loaded at all:

print(response.text) 

No content could mean the page requires JavaScript to render fully. Some sites detect programmatic vs browser requests, so you may need to add headers:

headers = {'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0'}
response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)

Still no luck? Try printing and checking the response headers. You may see clues there, like directives to check cookies/login status.

In summary, main things to try when Requests GET doesn't pull page content:

  • Check URL, status codes
  • Print raw response content
  • Add browser-like request headers
  • Inspect other response metadata for clues
  • Getting page scrapers working can require some trial and error. Add some prints and test a simple page first. Check for any non-200 status, error texts, or headers implying missing authentication.

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