3 Alternatives To Browsershots For Website Screenshots

28. April 2014 16:00 by Daniel Herken

 

Let's face it: our beloved website screenshot service BrowserShots is getting slower and slower every day. Sure you can get website screenshots for nearly every browser including things like Dillo 2.1 and Aurora 0.11 (have you ever heard of that?) but lately it takes an awful long time for some screenshots to get generated (especially Internet Explorer). So this week I want to show you 3 alternatives which may better serve your need for website screenshots. Let's see what we've got!

BrowserStack

You may already have heard about BrowserStack as they offer a wide array of services regarding the testing of websites. And of course Screenshots is one of them! It's plain simple to use, you can go to www.browserstack.com/screenshots type in the URL, select some browsers and presto after about 3 minutes you can see how your website renders in many different browsers and on mobile devices.

 

All Screenshots are full-page screenshots and can be viewed online or downloaded for later use (or to create a report for your client if necessary). I was able to test all my websites for free but for some browsers and use cases (testing of locally hosted sites) you need to switch to a paid plan which start at $35 / month. BrowserStack is a great service for quick screenshot testing! (tweet this)

URL2Picture

Our next service is called URL2Picture and it offers website screenshots (no kidding) in all major desktop browsers. This works quite fast and I was able to get 9 screenshots in under a minute including all Internet Explorers. 

 

 

Again all screenshots are full-page screenshots and can be viewed directly in the browser. Apparently there are no mobile devices available for taking screenshots. You can use the service free of charge for 7 days and after this you can switch to a paid plan for $19 / month which includes 2000 screenshots. Hopefully I'll never ever need more than that! 

Another nice thing about URL2Picture is that they provide you with an API to generate the screenshots automatically. (tweet this) This means you can do something like 

http://www.url2picture.com/Picture/Png?apikey=YOUR_API_KEY_HERE&url=http://www.example.de&browser=CHROME&token=THE_GENERATED_TOKEN

and get back the screenshot in a comfortable way. A lot of nice uses in build scripts or automated reporting come to mind.

Full disclosure: This service is build with our BrowseEmAll API!

Testsize

The third service is called Testsize and it does a little more than simply taking screenshots of your website. For me the test finished in under 2 minutes and gives me website screenshots and various other metrics which can help me improve my website. 

 

Again all screenshots are full-page and can be viewed directly in the browser. For most of the screenshots you'll need to switch to a paid plan which starts at $9 / month. With Testsize mobile device screenshots are included and the SEO and performance tips are a nice plus. (tweet this)

Summary

You see that there are a quite capable services out there to help you out with cross browser testing. Non of the above is really on the expensive side and every service offers unique features which may serve your needs. 

  • You would like to access live browsers to debug issues right way? Head over to BrowserStack!
  • Need to automate for monthly reporting or to prove cross-browser compatibility to your clients? URL2Picture is the way to go!
  • Want to get additional tips to improve your site? Testsize has you covered!
What is your favorite cross-browser testing method? Let's discuss in the comments below!

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