Automagically Generate Screenshots of URLs on Your WordPress Blog

If you’ve ever illustrated a post or page with a screenshot, then you know how time-consuming it can be to take the screenshot, edit it to a reasonable size, and then upload the image to blog. Do yourself a favor and make use of a plugin that will get the screenshot live without you having to do anything more than input the URL. Below is an example usage in a post. The output automatically links the screenshots to the websites:

Many thanks to the folks over at Binary Moon who wrote the BM Shots plugin in order to serve their wpvote.com site. This is an incredibly useful (and free) tool for anyone using a WordPress or WPMU blog. It’s not available in the WordPress repository, so you’ll need to download it from the plugin developer’s site.

BM Shots makes use of the WordPress API to resize images that are called through either shortcodes or functions added to your theme. Some images take longer than others to load because of the site they’re coming from, but they’ll usually show up upon page refresh. There are two ways to put the plugin into action after downloading and installing it:

Shortcode:

This is the easiest way to use the plugin and it allows you to make the screenshot any size you like:

{code type=html}[browsershot url=”http://link-to-website” width=”foo-value”]{/code}

PHP Function:

Add to your theme’s functions.php file:
{code type=php}bm_mshot ($url, $width = 250);{/code}

Then add the template tag wherever you want it:
{code type=php}{/code}

Use it. Love it. Save time. :)