WordThumb can now take screenshots of websites for you

UPDATE: WordThumb has now been merged into TimThumb and has become TimThumb 2.0. Please head over to the TimThumb site now for updates and to get the code.

Just for fun I added the ability to take screenshots of any website to WordThumb. You can even apply all the image manipulation and filters that it supports for regular images to a website screenshot.

The latest update also lets you block “hotlinking” where other websites display an image loaded from your server. That is mainly to prevent other sites using your WordThumb to generate thumbnails of websites.

Be warned, to use this you’re going to need root access to your own server. You’re also going to have to install a few basic tools, but I’ve included detailed installation instructions in the source where the configuration options are. I’ve also only tested this on Ubuntu Linux.

If you don’t have root on your machine or don’t want the feature, WordThumb is still fully backwards compatible with timthumb.php and the webshots feature is off by default. But if you like to experiment give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

The first screenshot takes a few seconds to load and then it’s cached for 24 hours (the default cache setting).

I have it running on this server, so here are a few screenshots of my favorite sites created and updated using WordThumb. You can click on one of these images and play with the URL and image width/height in the location bar to load different sites. My server is at about 80% load right now, so it will probably run faster on a less busy machine.