Hey, you. Yes, you. Can we quickly interrupt you from trying to write custom code to take website screenshots? A far better option is to use a screenshot API that can help you simplify this task and free up your time to concentrate on more important things, boosting your productivity as a dev.
The problem is, when you Google best screenshot API, you’ll likely find a ton of options you can consider. So, where do you start?
Luckily, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll look at 6 of the best screenshot APIs for developers.
Before we look at the best screenshot APIs out there, let’s first consider when you’ll use a screenshot API.
Typically, any time when you need to take programmatic screenshots, whether it’s in bulk, at specified times, or of many websites, you’ll use a screenshot API.
So, you’ll likely use one of these tools when you need to do:
The next thing we should consider is how you should go about picking the right screenshot API for your business. Here, there are three main aspects you’ll need to take into account:
You’ve now seen when you’ll typically use a screenshot API. You’ve also learned how you can pick the right tool for your business. It’s time to hop off the fence and pick the right API!
Our tool, ScreenshotAPI, lets you take programmatic screenshots of any website quickly and easily.
In fact, you can go from signing up to taking screenshots for almost any purpose in as little as 60 seconds. It doesn’t stop there, though.
With the tool, you can take screenshots in a variety of formats and sizes, and the platform can support upwards of 1 million screenshots a month easily. You can customize your output, from capturing parallax scrolling to getting rid of annoying ads popping up in your screenshots.
ScreenshotAPI fully supports taking screenshots in different programming languages:
… so you can rest easy, knowing the API is going to play nice with your other processes.
Another major advantage is that you can get started for free. This, ultimately, means that ScreenshotAPI is worth a look, no matter your requirements. And if you need screenshot-taking power, paid plans start from $9/mo for 1000 screenshots.
Like ScreenshotAPI, URLBox makes it easy to take website screenshots automatically. To do this, you can use a variety of programming languages, and you have full control over the format, size, and quality of the images.
Keep in mind, though, that while the tool has an extensive feature set, it does start from $995/mo, and URLBox doesn’t offer a free plan. It does, however, offer a free trial.
API Flash is based on AWS Lambda and Google Chrome. This means it provides a tool that’s not only scalable but also extremely reliable.
Like many of the other APIs mentioned here, API Flash gives you control over the size and quality of the screenshots you take, and you can apply custom CSS to override a website’s default style. However, this is only available in the more expensive pricing plans.
URL2PNG provides a screenshots-as-a-service platform that you can use to automatically take screenshots in a variety of formats and sizes.
You can also implement delays to ensure pages are fully loaded and use custom CSS on any page.
I found the URL2PNG documentation to be clear and concise.
URL2PNG is also reasonably priced and offers three pricing plans for a variety of budgets. Remember, though, the platform doesn’t offer a free version.
Screenshotlayer provides a fast and scalable API that you can use in a variety of applications to generate screenshots.
It provides several advanced options, including everything from setting the resolution of the screenshots to implementing delays and injecting your own CSS into the snapshot. You can even upload your screenshots directly to an AWS S3 bucket.
Pricing starts at $19.99, and the platform also offers a free plan with 100 API requests per month.
If you’d like a variety of options when capturing screenshots, AbstractAPI is definitely worth a look.
It features advanced capabilities that allow you to capture everything on the page, choose your required file format, and set the specific size and resolution of the screenshot you’d like.
As such, with its customization options, you can use the tool for several use cases. Like some of the other APIs on this list, AbstractAPI also offers a free plan that gives you 100 API requests a month.
Snagit is a powerful screenshot tool that allows you to take screenshots of still images and frames from videos. It’s arguably one of the most popular screenshot tools available today. And it’s easy to see why when you consider some of the features it offers.
Unlike URL2PNG and ScreenshotAPI, which allow you to take screenshots programmatically, Fireshot comes in the form of a browser extension available for browsers like Firefox and Chrome. Unfortunately, there's no API.
Like Fireshot, 1Click Screenshot is available as a browser extension, but only on Google Chrome. So, this might not be the best option for you if you use any other browsers.
ScreenshotOne is a great API powered by the Google Cloud Platform, with a freemium plan.
despite the information above, we’ve also compiled a list of frequently asked questions our developer clients often have.
Screenshots APIs are for anyone who wants to take screenshots programmatically, whether it’s developers who’d like to incorporate this functionality into their applications or website developers who’d like to monitor user behavior.
The best screenshot API will be the one that meets your needs and requirements within your budget. The list above is a great starting point, and might we recommend our own tool - ScreenshotAPI?
There are several reasons. For one, when you’d like to implement screenshot functionality into your app, you might meet your customers’ needs better. Likewise, if you use it to monitor websites or competitors, you can make your business more efficient, sell more products, and generate more revenue.
At the end of the day, if you automate everything IT-related that doesn’t require your attention, you’ll finally get more time to focus on the things you excel at.