I have got essential for showing pictures of arbitrary websites. I have to have the ability to show small pictures (120px by 90px), and bigger pictures close to 480px wide. I'll have to specify the queue and invalid placeholder images and ideally possess a pingback once the queued images are processed in order to respond properly. I'd also require a simple API I'm able to use either directly baked into my HTML, or from the simple web request to queue the pictures.

I have been searching at various services varying from low-fi services, to massive ones - here's some good examples:

world wide web.bitpixels.com

Uses Google AppEngine, appears just like a prototype or perhaps a toy. Free!

world wide web.websnapr.com

Attempted by using this, made a forex account and asked for a thumbnail. Anxiously waited a couple of minutes and rejuvenated a few occasions, and wound up getting the account banned. Free is tricky yes, but when I can not give it a try effectively I am disinclined to pay for.

world wide web.shrinktheweb.com

Free account appears to be really quick. Plenty of documentation on the website, as well as covers local caching from the images for your own server (documentation mostly in PHP). Quality of pictures look great, there seem to be sufficient choices for setting thumbnail placeholder images and parameters for changing the way the thumbnailing is performed. Will also support large 'screenshots' of Web addresses - very helpful for me personally. Discovered the Professional prices is definitely an à la carte menu, permitting me to choose only the features I would like and the monthly cost low. Excellent stuff, have made the decision to make use of this particular service.

world wide web.thumbalizr.com

Good coverage of thumbnail dimensions and control options - even permitting specs for browser width when thumbnailing. No ping-back, however i can do without that. Supports local caching of images with PHP API, would rather .Internet, but could port it if required. Appears like a reasonably professional service but appears fairly costly for the amount of pictures you're able to generate.

apologies for insufficient proper connecting - junk e-mail protection!

I am not entirely convinced by them, and also, since this is a long-term service I would like some stability and support. I am willing to cover the service, but I'd want something which satisfies most if not completely of my needs for your.

I ought to also point out that we are located on Home windows under IIS, so local solutions including Xvfb and so on sadly can not be employed for this project.

So my real question is: what services would you use? How they have panned out, are you currently pleased with them?

I have been searching for this type of service a while ago but tend to not look for a perfect one. Ultimately I have settled with http://snapcasa.com/

Pros:

  • supports expensive
  • liberated to as much as 300k request monthly (100k not watermarked)
  • 4 dimensions of thumbs in free version
  • returns a placeholder for natural request (could be customised in compensated version)

Cons:

  • can serve thumbs to registered IP only, not per API key basis (should you distribute your application to clients, you'll have to register their IP in your account too)
  • some websites appears to not work (got 'snapshoot queued' image for days)
  • thumbs are somewhat compressed an excessive amount of

It serves my purpose for the time being consider I coulnd't look for a perfect one, I made the decision to implement such functionality directly during my application at later stage, check these links:

http://blog.whirix.com/2007/05/screenshots-of-web-pages.html

http://khtml2png.sourceforge.internet/

Best of luck