Common Website Thumbnail Uses

Below you will find several examples of popular uses of thumbnails. We've even highlighted a few, unique or creative uses as well. The possibilities are endless and these website previews really bring a site to life by making links more visual and graphical (i.e. not a standard banner that gets ignored).


Directory ExampleSearch Example


*We offer a mouseover link preview bubble plugin, but it is not on by default. Our thumbnails are embedded, allowing for your creativity.


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1. What are website previews good for and why should I use them?

Research and studies of user behavior show that the use of site thumbnails improve searches, increases repeat visits, and increases click through rates. It is a proven fact that users are more likely to click on search results that display thumbnail images.


Like they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words"

Case in point:

Did the example images (shown above) help convey the idea? Imagine if we didn't show you any examples or samples. What if we simply TOLD you what they were? Would you understand immediately without any effort? That's how your website visitors feel. If you help them understand where you want them to click to, they are more likely to do it. Many people don't bother to read much at all and those potential buyers are lost without vivid imagery!

The result:

  • Increased revenues from search and directory pages.
  • Increased conversions and revenue on affiliate sales.
  • An enhanced user experience.
  • Increase in repeat traffic and visitors

Discover how STW Previews Enhance the Web Surfing Experience: Learn about Website Thumbshots


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2. How does it work?

ShrinkTheWeb's Thumbnail Service is quick and easy to implement and we do all the hard work.

In the past, showing a snapshot of a website required you to:

  • Open a browser and visit the website
  • Press [PrtScrn] to capture the page snapshot to a file
  • Open the file in a graphics program such as Photoshop (several hundred dollars)
  • Crop the file to the correct dimensions and re-size to your liking
  • Upload the file to your server and
  • Link the image in your page(s)

Now, you could just sign up for our service (free for 99% of users!) and:

  • Copy/paste a single line of code into your web page(s)

Which do you prefer? ;)

Now, imagine if you have a directory and want to show hundreds or thousands of site previews! There's no way you could easily do it yourself and keep it up to date. Now, we'll do the hard work for you and deliver beautiful images for your visitors.

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3. How much does it cost?

The ShrinkTheWeb Thumbnail Service is free for a majority (99%) of webmasters and designers to use. We find that a good many designers prefer to upgrade to PRO to enhance their designs even more with full-length thumbnails, custom sizes, specific page captures, et cetera.

However, the typical webmaster with no special requirements can use our service without ever needing to upgrade. This is because the average webmaster is not a "company" and our goal is to make it free in that case. Our ultra-high allowances (250,000 requests per month) are designed only for corporations and power users who are earning enough off of their use of our thumbnails to justify paying to use our bandwidth, servers, and proprietary technology --all of which are quite expensive for us to maintain.


Here is an example of a website actively using STW Thumbnails: Web Design Portfolio Page

Web Designers (Ex: Imagion Portfolio) -

Really show off your web design skills by showing a screenshot of live projects or even upcoming projects (i.e. - PRO feature*)


Warning: Most providers that "say" they are free are just waiting to pull the "bait-and-switch." We know from experience. However, our members know that since we first offered our very high limit free service, we aimed to keep that service at no cost to 95% of users. Only those who really need very high usage or dedicated services will ever have to pay.

Remember: Don't waste time elsewhere. Free isn't Free when it costs you valuable time!


Check out some of the uses of our custom PRO features


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