- The Good
- Numerous templates to choose from
- Layout editor is easy to use
- Excellent print and materials quality
- Large library of clip art and themes
- The Bad
- Layout feature doesn’t include a shuffle button
Shutterfly has a tremendous catalog of templates, clip art and themes that you can use to make your photo book look personal and professional. You also get a sturdy book with excellent print quality. The only disadvantage is that Shutterfly won’t lay out pictures for you automatically. You have to take time to place them manually in the digital version of the book. You can, however, pay one of Shutterfly’s designers to make the book for you.
- The Good
- Various themes, layouts and colors available
- Single-print and collage photo books available
- The Bad
- Limited options to personalize photo books
Vistaprint has the ability to make basic photo books with over 80 design options. You can choose to place a single image on each page or make a collage book with six photos per page. When compared to some of its competitors, though, Vistaprint doesn’t offer many opportunities to personalize your photo books. For instance, you can’t choose leather or crushed silk covers.
- Starting at $29.99
Shutterfly photo books start at $29.99. The price will go up as you add to your project, though. For instance, you can choose a leather cover to replace the paper version included in the base price.
- Starting at $10
Vistaprint has a low price that will make its photo books attractive to some buyers. A 5.5×7.5 book with up to 20 pages only costs $10. You pay 50 cents more for each additional page. The more photo books you buy, though, the less you spend on each one. For instance, you can save $3 by purchasing five books at once. Bulk sales come with even bigger discounts.
- Book Creation
- Easy layout options
- Up to 1,000 pictures
- Multiple sizes
- Free, unlimited photo storage
Shutterfly makes it easy for beginners to start creating their photo books. The design software shows you exactly where to place your images. You can also resize images and use filters to match a desired aesthetic.
- Book Creation
- Simple book creation tool
- Free online photo storage
- Ability to add images from social media sites
- Graphic design services available
Vistaprint has a very simple book creation tool that shouldn’t intimidate first-time users. You start by browsing the company’s catalog of designs and choosing one that appeals to you. Then, you upload your pictures to the website. Once you submit your pictures, you can layout the images and add text. You can also have a graphic designer do the job for just $5.
- Book Options
- Sizes from 8x8 to 11x14
- Numerous cover options
Shutterfly makes photo books in 8×8, 8×11, 10×10, 12×12 and 11×14 sizes. You also get to choose from numerous book cover options, including die-cut covers, premium leather covers and premium crushed silk covers. All of these factors make it possible for you to create a photo book that looks just how you want it.
- Book Options
- Hard or soft cover
- Spiral binding available
Vistaprint makes two types of photo books. You can get a 5.5×7.5 book with one picture per page or a 5.5×7.5 book with up to six images per page. The company has a few cover options, but choosing them will add to your book’s price. You can have your book spiral bound so that it lays flat.
- A- rating
Shutterfly makes high-quality photo books, but some companies offer slightly better printing.
- B rating
Vistaprint offers a durable, reliable product. Compared to other companies, though, Vistaprint merits a B rating. A B rating certainly isn’t bad. It just isn’t the best.
- Phone, email and live chat
Shutterfly offers three customer support options. You can contact the company via live chat, email or phone.
- Phone, email and live chat
You can contact Vistaprint’s customer service reps via email, live chat or phone. The customer service center is open from 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Shutterfly: User Reviews
Vistaprint: User Reviews
Shutterfly got started in 1999, so it had plenty of time to create great products before many other companies even formed. The photo book has been the company’s flagship product for several years. Many people choose to make photo books with Shutterfly because they are familiar with the company. They know that the business does good work, so they feel comfortable using it to make personal photo books.
Storing images on a hard drive, CD or DVD might seem like a convenient option, but many people miss the opportunity to hold photos in their hands. The digital revolution will never change that. With Shutterfly, people can create photo books that memorialize important events, such as weddings and graduation days.
Today, many companies offer services that are similar to Shutterfly’s. Browse their options before you determine which company can make the best photo book at the right price for you.
How Does Shutterfly Photo Books Work?
Shutterfly gives you three ways to make a photo book. The Make My Book service takes all of the work off of your hands. Once you upload the pictures that you want included in your book, a professional designer will create a layout that brings the images to life. It takes about three days for the designer to make your book. It’s free to get started, though, if you want to check out the service before paying any money. You only have to pay when you decide to order a book.
The Custom Path option lets you create your own photo book from scratch. Shutterfly gives you access to all of its backgrounds, layouts and other embellishments that you might want to include. You also get to add text to any or all of the pages.
Custom Path is a good option for people who want to take control over their photo book projects. If you have some graphic design experience, then you may find that Custom Path gives you something fun to do over the weekend. Even if you don’t have any experience with graphic design, Shutterfly’s online software makes it relatively easy for you to add the pictures, texts and decorations that you want.
The Simple Path is your easiest way to make a photo book without paying a professional designer to do the work for you. Simple Path gives you 40 styles with preset layouts and backgrounds. Once you choose the style that you want, you simply add your pictures (up to 30 per page). Simple Path can arrange pictures for you, but it does so randomly. If you let Simple Path arrange your photos, you will probably want to go back to rearrange or replace some of them.
After creating the inside of your book, you choose additional features that will make it a unique item. Many of the additional features cost extra money, so pay attention to your total price as you customize your project. Then, Shutterfly can get to work making your book. Within a week or so (depending on the delivery method you choose), your new book will arrive.
What Makes Shutterfly Photo Books Stand Out?
Shutterfly Photo Books stand out by offering such a wide variety of printing and packaging options. Many companies only let you choose between two or three types of paper for your covers and pages. Shutterfly has a large catalog that you can use to personalize your photo books.
It’s also important to note that Shutterfly has a lot of experience in this area. The publishing company has been printing photo books since 1999. Over the years, Shutterfly has learned effective ways to print high-quality books without charging high prices. That helps make it one of the most popular photo book publishers on the internet.
Common Reviews of Shutterfly Photo Books
Practically everyone who uses Shutterfly to make photo books seems to love the service. Reviewers point to the high quality of the photos, binding, covers and pages as proof that Shutterfly does a better job than most printers. A lot of people also like that the company has so many options to add to their books. This doesn’t just include upgraded jackets and paper. It also includes clip art and themes that can turn drab books into fun objects that you’ll want to leave on the living room table for guests to browse.
Of course, you can always find some negative reviews. Even the best companies make mistakes. A handful of unhappy customers complain that they did not receive their photo books by the expected dates. A late delivery could matter a lot to someone who plans to give photo books away as presents. If the package doesn’t arrive by the right time, then you won’t have gifts for your special event. Shutterfly and other companies need to realize that delivery times make a difference to their customers.
Other than missing some delivery deadlines, Shutterfly gets stellar reviews from everyone who uses the company’s photo book services.
Is Shutterfly Photo Books for Me?
In most cases, Shutterfly is a good choice for people who want to print personal photo books. The company has affordable prices and excellent books, so practically anyone will enjoy using their services.
If you’re a professional, however, you may want to look for a photo book publisher that offers additional services. That’s especially true for professionals and experienced amateurs who plan to sell their photo books to consumers. There are other companies that will print professional photo books and help you sell them online through a variety of websites. A casual consumer wouldn’t want to use these companies. Someone with professional or commercial aspirations, however, should choose one of those companies over Shutterfly.
For the most part, though, Shutterfly is one of the best photo book publishers that you can choose. Of course, you should always compare prices and options from several companies before you decide to use Shutterfly. Most people, however, quickly discover that Shutterfly offers some of the best deals on the types of photo book services that they want.
Vistaprint has been around since the late 1990s, so it has had plenty of time to develop its photo book service. Instead of expanding this service, Vistaprint has decided to stick to the basics. This approach means that practically anyone can design an attractive book using Vistaprint. Unfortunately, it also means that you have limited options when creating your book. Don’t expect to find a lot of extras. Instead, you’ll get a straightforward photo book with high-quality prints and a sturdy build.
How Does Vistaprint Photo Books Work?
Vistaprint makes it very easy to create photo books. Once you navigate to the site, you choose a layout that appeals to you. You then upload images that you want to add to your book. You can also get images from your Facebook timeline. You can choose to place one image on each page, or you choose the collage option that lets you place up to six images on each page.
Vistaprint has a very simple layout feature. Even newcomers should find it relatively easy to use. If you don’t want to spend time putting your book together, though, you can pay $5 to have someone at Vistaprint do the work for you.
Once you complete your book, Vistaprint makes your copies and sends them to you via the mail or another courier service.
What Makes Vistaprint Photo Books Stand Out?
Many people like Vistaprint because it charges low prices for its photo books. You can buy a basic, 20-page book for just $10 plus shipping and handling. You won’t find many companies that offer deals like that.
The prices do go up a bit depending on what you want to add to your basic photo book. Even with extras, you still get a good price. Vistaprint only charges 50 cents for each extra page that you want to add to your book. You could barely print a photo on a home printer without spending 50 cents. Vistaprint keeps the price low without sacrificing the quality of its books. It’s rare to find such a good deal these days.
Common Reviews of Vistaprint Photo Books
Consumers have a lot of mixed emotions about photo books from Vistaprint. Many people praise the company for keeping its costs so low. Some people also point out that Vistaprint works well for them because they feel intimidated by design software with too many options. Vistaprint makes graphic design as easy as possible, so you can understand why those people prefer using Vistaprint.
Happy customers say that Vistaprint has friendly customer service representatives who want to solve problems. It helps that Vistaprint gives you three ways to contact customer service. It’s also nice that the company has a customer service center that stays open seven days a week. As long as you call during the right hours, you should get to speak to someone within a few minutes. No one complains of lengthy wait times.
On the other side, you have consumers who complain that Vistaprint keeps things too simple. The online software won’t let them develop creative designs that use different camera angles, image filters and a variety of materials. Instead, you get a plain book with pictures in it. While some people love this aspect, others hate it. They want to find an option that will let them get more creative. In fact, many customers say that they would rather pay higher prices if it meant getting more options.
Unfortunately, you may have to accept that Vistaprint’s low prices force the company to offer limited services and products. The publisher could give you more options, but it would have to charge more money. While some people say that they wouldn’t mind paying more, the company clearly wants to target budget-conscious consumers who like taking advantage of good deals.
Some people complain that Vistaprint often misses delivery dates. This may not matter much to you if you just want to have a book that preserves some of your favorite photographs. It will matter a lot more if you plan to give the photo books away as gifts. If you have a deadline to meet, then you should make sure that you give Vistaprint plenty of time to make your book and put it in the mail. Also, you should choose a shipping option that matches your expectations. Some people get upset when they choose the cheapest shipping option but don’t get their packages within a few days.
Are Vistaprint Photo Books for Me?
Vistaprint photo books aren’t for everyone. If you want a highly creative, professional-looking book, then you may want to try a different company. Extremely creative people who find joy in unique items probably won’t love the photo books that Vistaprint makes. Luckily, there are plenty of publishers that are willing to let you do just about anything for enough money.
On the other hand, Vistaprint is an excellent option for people who want basic photo books that don’t cost much money. You’ll have a hard time finding a better deal than the one Vistaprint gives you. If you don’t care about fancy upgrades, then you should check out Vistaprint’s photo book site to see if it’s the right option for you.
Vistaprint has found a niche audience of consumers who want to save money without sacrificing quality. Think of it as going to a nice restaurant with affordable prices instead of going to a gourmet restaurant with outrageous prices. You’ll still get a good product, you just won’t pay as much for a unique experience.