Taking a little look at the Web

I had looked around the Web a couple of weeks ago to find a tool that can generate thumbnails on the fly. I needed something for SearchMann, a website that’s aimed at being a search directly for websites in the Isle of Man. Anyway, one of the features I wanted to build in was the ability of the website to show a thumbnail of the site it was referring to. Was a bit frustrating at the time, as I couldn’t come up with something decent.

Today I came across Shrink The Web, a website that offers one distinct service: the ability to generate screenshots of a website; all the service needs is a URL. And the amazing thing, the service it totally free. This means you can use it as many times as you want for as many websites as you want, without paying a cent. That’s pretty good value, don’t you think?

The great thing about thumbnails is that they add instant appeal to your website. A picture is much more likely to get clicked on that a hyperlink and that splash of colour really adds that little bit of something to any web page. Next time you’re posting about a website, give Shrink The Web a try. I think it’s a great site and will definitely use it in the future.


  1. Probably not what you’re looking for right now, but a really good thumbnail tool is AutoImageSize (Google it – whoops using the verb there). Because it is written in C++ it is FAST. We use it for our product images and thumb generation is entirely dynamic from our back office. But you wouldn’t know.

  2. @Nathan: Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, as I’m using shared hosting, I don’t really have the option of running any background code; which is why I was looking for a hosted service.

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