What Are ThumbShots?
Thumbshots are screen shot previews of web sites which allow your web site visitors to preview a link before clicking on it.
Who Uses Thumbshots?
Thumbshots can be used by any web site which links to another website in order to enhance the surfer experience. For example, if you operate a directory, you can add a Thumbshot beside each listing.
Thumbshots can also be used by software developers who write scripts and software applications which generate template driven web site management and creation solutions. This really has nothing to do with the software application itself, but because the Thumbshot code can be inserted into the master HTML template, it can be a good selling point for the developer.
To see an example of how Thumbshots can be used, visit http://www.thumbshots.org/portfolio.pxf. The web page is an A-Z type of directory which displays Thumbshot listings of sites that use Thumbshots.
How to Display Thumbshots
To display Thumbshots at your web site, you will first need to register for Free at http://www.thumbshots.org/freethumbshots.pxf, then add the following line of code inside an image tag:
img src="http://open.thumbshots.org/image.pxf?url=[ADD URL HERE]" width="120" height="90"
This method will allow you to display Thumbshots easily without ever creating any of the images or ever uploading them to your server. All images are served by thumbshots.org.
The license agreement at thumbshots.org states that if you use their thumbshots, you should do the right thing and give credit back to their site. Details here: http://www.thumbshots.org/attribution.pxf
Thumbshots served by thumbshots.org will only display previews of web sites that are listed in the http://www.dmoz.org directory. This might cause your visitors to perceive incorrectly that a site without a preview image is less important than a site with a preview.
For example, I view traffic exchange sites as less important than content sites. Yet, my single page traffic exchange project gets listed at DMOZ while my content site riddled with articles does not.
More info about the Alexa code plus links to another Thumbshot service at this blog: http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2004_06_03_index.html. Scroll down to the heading "Alexa Thumbnails".
Copyright 2004 Ed Zivkovic
The author, Ed Zivkovic owns his own website which contains articles with all sorts of tips for work at home webmasters. Here is the site: http://www.ezau.com