Whether you're running a small website or a large web application, taking screenshots of certain pages is usually a common task that is required to track, report, and monitor all sorts of things. When running into this need it's clear that automated website screenshots are the way to go. Automating the process of taking website screenshots allows you to create multiple workflows that are not possible with manual screenshots.
In this guide, we explain how to create a self-serve workflow that takes automated website screenshots using our Zapier integration. With this workflow, you would be able to monitor specific websites by taking screenshots at certain preset times or using any available Zapier trigger to fire the screenshot process.
The best part of this workflow is that GetScreenshot has a built-in feature that sends the resulting screenshot to feature so you don't have to pay for Zapier multi-zaps to obtain the resulting image. Our integration is the only available Zapier integration that is capable of taking Automated Website Screenshots (try to find another one! you won't find it).
Guide To Take Automated Website Screenshots With Zapier
To start taking automated website screenshots you will need three things:
- GetScreenshot API Key: Once you have subscribed to GetScreenshot you will receive your unique API key which will authenticate all the requests that you do against the GetScreenshot API. You will need this API key when setting up your Zapier integration. GetScreenshot costs $5 a month. We are the cheapest and most reliable screenshot provider in the market. We believe that $5 is an adequate price to automate website screenshots, but we understand that sometimes even $5 could be a steep price for some people. If you're a non-profit or student please reach out so we can figure out your particular situation.
- Zapier Account: Zapier accounts are free and you get 100/tasks a month for free. For many people, this is enough but you can always upgrade to get more tasks.
- A rough idea for a Zap: Although this is not required, having a rough idea of what you want to accomplish with GetScreenshot + Zapier will help you to understand the full integration and how can you achieve powerful automated screenshot workflows. Many people start with a spreadsheet integration. For example: When a URL is added to X column take a screenshot of that URL.
Step 1: Login into Zapier
Before doing anything login into your Zapier account and get familiar with the interface. At this point, it would be a good idea to know what type of automated website screenshots workflow you're trying to achieve.
Time-based workflows are rather straightforward but taking screenshots in reaction to other events can take a little bit of understanding and reading of how other Zapier integrations work.
Step 2: Add Your GetScreenshot Account
You can add your GetScreenshot account in a couple of ways. The first option is by going to the My Apps sections and connecting your credentials from there.
The second option is to start building a Zap and connect it when you're in the step of configuring the GetScreenshot action.
In this section, we will describe how to connect your GetScreenshot with the first option.
1) Visit the My Apps page in your Zapier dashboard. You can get to this page by clicking the following link: https://zapier.com/app/connections or by looking at the "My Apps" option in the left sidebar menu.
2) Once you're on this page you will see a dropdown at the top that reads "Connect a new account..."
3) Click on this dropdown and type
GetScreenshot. You should see a result with our integration like the one shown below:
4) Click on the dropdown option or hit enter. After doing this a pop-up will be launched. The pop-up should look like the following:
5) After creating your GetScreenshot account, you will get your API Key in your email inbox. It will look something like this:
1YxESjB12Ra1JC8BrBw026kBgg12DaOv10OYRTxw, simply copy that value and paste it on the pop-up text field and click on "Yes, Continue".
6) Your GetScreenshot account is now connected.
How to Create a Zap That Uses GetScreenshot
Now that you have successfully registered your GetScreenshot account you're ready to configure a Zap configured for automated website screenshots.
To create your first Zap with GetScreenshot follow these steps:
Step 1: Set up a Trigger
GetScreenshot is an "Action" integration. Not a "Trigger" integration. This means that your Zap has to start with another integration that generates an event that will send a signal to the GetScreenshot integration to take a screenshot.
If you're familiar with Zapier, you might already know that trigger integrations can pass data to the action integrations. However, this is not always necessary as you can define static options when creating the action.
Have this in mind when setting up your triggers as not all the triggers will be able to pass a URL to GetScreenshot. For example, if you want to take a screenshot of a website every 3 hours, you can achieve this with a simple schedule trigger and GetScreenshot.
We will continue this guide with that particular example. To achieve this, you need to first set up the Schedule trigger.
Setting up a Schedule trigger would look more or less like this:
Select the Trigger Event (Time Basis of Trigger)
Configure Extra Options like Weekend Boolean and Time of Day
Step 2: Setup GetScreenshot Action
1) Now that you have a trigger setup, it's time to set up your GetScreenshot action. To achieve this start by selecting or searching for the GetScreenshot integration:
2) Once GetScreenshot is selected you will need to select the specific action you want our integration to perform. In our current version we support two options:
- Take a Website Screenshot. This action takes a custom screenshot of a live website and makes it available to Zapier so it can get passed to the following action. Please be mindful that this action requires 3 Steps Zaps to work. Otherwise, the screenshot will be simply lost since we don't any information on what to do with the screenshot. This is where the third action comes in.
You need a Starter plan to create Zaps with 3 or more steps.
- Take Website Screenshot and Send It via Email: Takes a custom screenshot of a live website and sends it to an email address of your choice. e.g: email@example.com. This is an excellent option for those who don't want to use a third step in their Zaps and want to rely on a canonical catch-all solution like email. GetScreenshot doesn't charge extra for this, so you can safely rely on this option to get the screenshots you need.
In this particular case, we are going to go with the latter option and hit continue.
3) Once you have done that, Zapier will prompt you to select a GetScreenshot account. In this step simply select the GetScreenshot account we created before:
If you haven't registered your account with the provided API Key or want to register a new API key, you can always do it at this step by clicking on "+ Add a New Account".
4) Finally, Zapier will prompt you to configure the data required by GetScreenshot to perform the action. In this case, the data is:
- The URL of the website you want to screenshot. If your trigger is passing data you will be able to set up this dynamically from the data retrieved by the trigger.
- The email address to which you want the screenshot to be sent.
- Whether you want a Full Page Capture or a default 1280x800 viewport screenshot.
Your Zap is now complete. You can test to make sure it works as intended. You just set up a complete end-to-end screenshot automation workflow. You can repeat this setup for other automated website screenshot workflows.
5) If you have trouble enabling or configuring our Zapier integration or you have ideas for automated website screenshots workflows that you're not sure how to configure, please don't hesitate to send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org