Capture Website Screenshot with screenshot capture utilities

website-screenshotNo, 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. I tried searching on internet for APIs in PHP to capture a website’s screenshot but what I got was not that impressive. 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.
<?php $browser = new COM("InternetExplorer.Application"); $handle = $browser->HWND; $browser->Visible = true; $browser->Navigate(""); /* Still working? */ while ($browser->Busy) { com_message_pump(4000); } $im = imagegrabwindow($handle, 0); $browser->Quit(); imagepng($im, "iesnap.png"); ?>
Code language: PHP (php)
But what I was looking for was a simple solution that I can implement in my shared hosting machine and integrate it with my website. And what I ended up is using some free services to capture website screens. Following are few of the services that I tried.

thumbalizr-logoOverall 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.

websnapr-logoProvides 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.

thumbshots-logoI 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.

shrinkthewebThis 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.

thumbnailspro-logoThis 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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  1. deerawan says:

    hi, Im also looking for this script. Hope I can find one to capture website screenshot.

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Derawan,

    I had made some software near to your requirement.

    Let me know if you are interested. I have already made something similar.

    Where you need to specified single or you can get url from database and it will automatically make a snapshot of the website.


  3. Malcan says:

    Hi, I am also looking for a script I use shrink the web at the moment on 3 sites and it frequently uses up the daily limit something like 130 a day but over 3 sites so looking for a script that can be used on a directory or member site when the members join they enter their url and an image is generated from this! Would your script be able to do something like that!



  4. Malica says:

    One site worth adding into website screenshot capture utility is It has many nice features which makes it ideal for many users.

  5. So has anyone found a script they can use on their server to generate website thumbnails? I don’t want to use a service because of the limitations.

  6. Jay says:

    How Create Image particular div(in all Data) tag in php

    • Pillu-Rockkers says:

      Hello Jay i am looking for how to take screenshot of perticular control present on that page…
      Did you done with it? if yes then please share the logic of that with me on [email protected].
      Thanks in Advance..

  7. Eric Grodt says:

    You can also try for full screen captures including an API.

  8. Pillu-Rockkers says:

    Please share if you know how to take screenshot of perticular control i.e. (DIV) present on that page…

  9. Dominic Skinner says:

    You should try they have a great API, with a callback functionality so that you get the screenshot as soon as it is ready rather than polling the service for it as is done with thumbilizer.

    Try it here

  10. Hey, i want to external url screenshot on linux system but i dont work anytime. If you an any idea, please help me.

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