Website screenshots changed on my directory

Until now I have relied on 3. party to deliver my screenshots of the websites I have in my directories.
I started out using Thumbshots.org, but they only had screenshots of Dmoz registered pages, so I changed it to Alexa that offered a free service until last year.
I noticed a lot of other used girafa.com and I went on that wagon to, but suddenly the screenshots didn't work anymore. (read: last week)

Soo, now I have decided not to rely on any 3. party to deliver my screenshots / thumbnails anymore. Simple too much work and not stable enough for me and my needs.

I have started out on my regional directory Danske Links and added a local hosted screenshot to every listing in 300*300px and 100*100px (That's 5000 screenshots)

I have automated the process as much as I can, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The thumbnails/screenshots will give the users a better idea what site they are about to go to, before they actually get there.

Next up is my other directories, starting with Global Weblinks and then I will incorporate on all the others as I get the time to make the appropriate code changes.

Commentary

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  1. 1. December 7th, 2007

    Your site Danskelinks thumbs look really great. Nice work!

  2. 2. December 7th, 2007

    Thanks Mikael. Glad you like the update. Found some small bugs though, but will correct it soonish.

  3. 3. December 8th, 2007

    I had to make the switch to Thumbshots. I wasn’t sure how to automate the process like you describe. Able to share your method? I would like to know how you did 5000 screenshots. I like the idea of giving your visitors a better idea of what they are looking at. Nice work.

  4. 4. December 8th, 2007

    Wow, I am impressed with your projects. I am thinking about starting work on a web directory and it’s nice to know someone else is having such success.

  5. 5. December 8th, 2007

    >>adam: It’s hard for me to get into the specifics on how I did this as it requires you can install .dll files on your server to automate this fully.
    But I can recommend http://www.websitescreenshots.com/ if you are looking for a way to manually make many screenshots. They even got a freeware version you can use if you don’t need it to run on a server.

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