How to Capture Real Time Website Screenshots the Easy Way

Amos WongWebmasters, in a bid to further enhance the asthetics of their sites (particularly those involving directories), have mostly relied on Alexa’s site thumbnails. For newer sites that do not make it into Alexa’s thumbnails, a “Not Available” image placeholder is displayed.

For this purpose, I use a tool called WebShots by Velocity, that is capable of capturing a screenshot of sites in 3 different resolutions; 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 and 1152 x 864. Inset, you see a thumbnail of which I captured using this tool. Besides the resolution options, you can also determine the image quality and scale percentage that you desire. The best part is that the website screenshot is real time unlike Alexa’s.

MSN Screenshot

The image above is an example of what I captured when I used WebShots on (800×600, 60% quality and 50% scale percentage). Have a go at WebShots and I hope this tool will prove useful to you.

[tags]screenshot, thumbnails, website thumbnails, webshots, velocity, screen capture[/tags]

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  1. Derrick Pallas said,

    August 23, 2006 @ 11:24 am

    DISCLAIMER: I work for Alexa, a wholly owned subsidiary, but am not speaking on behalf of my company.

    I think the real benefit of something like the Alexa Site Thumbnail Service is that if you do thumbnails yourself, you have to hit a bunch of sites at the same time, process the results, etc. That can make things slow for the user, unless you push the processing to client side. Either way, if a lot of people do this it can really eat into the bandwidth of the webmasters being thumbnailed, especially for popular sites: it’s wasteful. AST is collobrative caching of thumbnails; and when you ask for one that is not there, the service automatically attempts to generate it that day.

  2. amos said,

    August 25, 2006 @ 11:12 pm

    Hi Derrick,
    Thanks for the insight on how Alexa auto generates thumbnails.
    If I may please take this opportunity; I would like to suggest to Alexa to update their site thumbnails more frequently.
    Look at my site’s thumbnail, it’s very very old. hehehe 😀

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