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How to capture a screenshot of a website with a URL using PHP

Last updated on January 30, 2021

In this post, we gonna write a simple PHP script to grab the given website URL screenshot. So let’s create an HTML form to collect URLs from the user.


<form action="screenCaptureFromURL.php" method="post">
<p>Website URL: <input name="url" type="text" value=""></p>
<input name="submit" type="submit" value="Capture screen"></form>

We have just created a simple form with one field called URL and submit button. Submit button is to send the request to the server. The form action is pointed to screenCaptureFromURL.php, so let’s create screenCaptureFromURL.php file.

PHP script to generate a screenshot for a given URL

We gonna use google APIs to grab the website screenshot and the code is commented pretty well, just through the comments for better understanding.

    //website url
    $siteURL = $_POST['url'];

    if(filter_var($siteURL, FILTER_VALIDATE_URL)){
        //call Google PageSpeed Insights API
        $googlePagespeedData = file_get_contents("$siteURL&screenshot=true");

        //decode json data
        $googlePagespeedData = json_decode($googlePagespeedData, true);

        //screenshot data
        $screenshot = $googlePagespeedData['screenshot']['data'];
        $screenshot = str_replace(array('_','-'),array('/','+'),$screenshot);

        //display screenshot image
        echo "<img src=\"data:image/jpeg;base64,".$screenshot."\" /-->";
        echo "Please enter a valid URL.";
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