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24tips: website thumbnails

9 Dec: If you’re building a web app or site listing a series of URLs and you want to jazz up the listing a bit, you could do worse than add some little thumbnails of the site in question.

I’ve used Open Thumbshots to power website previews over at Digitalgovuk, a listing of government social media case studies, which makes it as easy to include a thumbnail as adding:

http://open.thumbshots.org/image.aspx?url=http://www.direct.gov.uk

to an image source URL (and adding a text link attribution somewhere on your site). You get:

Directgov thumbnail

If you want a more fancy service and can pay a small monthly fee, there’s more choice, from the premium Thumbshots.com service, to tools like Shrink The Web. Generally, you pay for larger thumbnails, more customisation, and the rights to use thumbnails on multiple sites.

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