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Module Monday: Pagepeeker

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Whether you're building a Delicious-style link archive or a personal portfolio site, Drupal's Link Field is a great solution for storing user-entered URLs as part of a node. If you want to display something more visual than a URL, however, things get tricky. Third-party thumbnail generation services can create screenshots of URLs, but most rely on clunky client-side scripts to layer the thumbnails on top of your design. The Pagepeeker module offers a slick alternative: it leverages an up-and-coming thumbnail service to generate site screenshots without any Javascript code.

Screenshot of PagePeeker setup

Setting up the module is simple: create a Link field, then select the PagePeeker display formatter. You can choose from several thumbnail sizes, or pull in the 16x16 Favicon for the linked URL. If you're working with links that aren't stored in FieldAPI fields, the module also provides a helpful theme function. Just toss a URL at it, specify the size of thumbnail you want, and it will output a linked image tag.

Screenshot of PagePeeker in action

If you're looking to set up a link-heavy site, and need an easy way to generate thumbnails without taking screenshots manually, Pagepeeker is a great tool. Its long-term health will depend on the health of Pagepeeker.com -- the third-party service it uses to generate the thumbnails. Other services like Websnapr have had similarly flexibly systems in the past, but now force users to choose between client-side script solutions or premium plans. For the time being, Pagepeeker.com is working great and this module is the slickest, easiest way to get it working on your Drupal site.

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About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web