In this post, I’m going to introduce a PHP package I recently released for generating screenshots of web pages. It’s pretty straightforward to get up-and-running, as I’ll demonstrate.
Why Generate Screenshots?
There are a number of reasons you may wish to generate screenshots. My motivation behind the package originally was to build a simple “directory” of websites, using screenshots to illustrate the sites.
Screenshots are also useful in testing; you could even run a script to periodically generate a screenshot of one of the sites you maintain in order to check that everything is rendering okay.
What are the Options?
Before I introduce the package, it’s worth mentioning that there are a number of third-party services which make it even easier to generats screenshots such as Browshot, URL2PNG, Shrink the Web and Urlbox — but it’s worth noting that these are all paid services. If you’d rather do it yourself, or do it on-the-cheap, you might like to try out my package.