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Best Free Services to Capture Website Screens

No, I am not talking about capturing screenshot of your desktop using Print Screen or other screen capture softwares. I wanted to implement requirement where I had to capture screenshots of the input website. Now this is a tricky job. If you do not have dedicated server machines and permissions on your shared hosting server, it becomes slightly difficult.

Websnapr


Provides almost similar service. The free service includes 100,000 impressions per month. Branding in the snapshot is there in free service. Two formats are available: Micro (90×70), Small (202×152). Other premium service includes extra features such as different sizes of thumbnails.

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Thumbalizr


Overall this service is nice. The image is can be used by calling a URL. Different sizes thumbnails can be generated. Free sign up functionality is available by which you can sign up and create your own API key. This API can be further used to generate website screenshots. The only problem that I think with this is that it attach its name with screenshot image. Membership plans are available with some extra features, but I think other free services are giving similar services.

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Thumbnailspro


This website also gives similar service and for free service it asks for a link to its site. Paid service has few extra features such as full website screen shots. Overall this is a descent service. I still believe in writing my own thumbnail generator script that I can use/customize according to my use. Does any one have idea from where to start to make a website screnshot capture in Linux machine?

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Thumbizy


Four formats are available: Very small(width:100px), Small (width:180px), Medium (width:250px) and Big (width:360px). Also you can choose Visible page or Full page screen. And some effets like: Round Corners screnshoot, Reflect Effect and Shadow Effect. Nice and very quick service.

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Thumbshots


Doesn’t find any problem with this service. This is a German website that provide the basic functionality properly for free. Only thing that they want is a backlink from your website to their. Also, the thumbnail size is fixed and you cannot modify it.

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ShrinktheWeb


This is a good service that provides clean screenshots of urls. Also you can generate screenshots in 6 sizes 75×56 90×68 90×75 120×90 200×150 320×200. The main advantage in this service is that it provides lots of plugins for wordpress, drupal etc that can be included in your system easily. Rest all is same.

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PHP Code

One of the code that I got somewhere was to use COM object to instantiate Internet Explorer and then capture the screen using some Win APIs. This technique is not only platform dependent but also slow. I wanted to implement this in Linux server so this technique will not work.

HWND;
$browser->Visible = true;
$browser->Navigate("http://www.google.org");

/* Still working? */
while ($browser->Busy) {
com_message_pump(4000);
}
$im = imagegrabwindow($handle, 0);
$browser->Quit();
imagepng($im, "iesnap.png");

?>

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