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      September 29, 2020

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Shutterfly vs Vista Print

Best Photo Books

To help you find the Best Photo Books, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Shutterfly and Vista Print.

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Where is the best place to create and buy photo books? Photo books are a great way to compile memories in a more tangible way than storing all your pictures online or in boxes. They make for great anniversary gifts, birthday presents, or even just yearly projects to keep on your coffee table for easy browsing.

It is also not uncommon for photo books to be made with wedding photos and/or engagement photos for guests to sign at wedding receptions. Needless to say, photo books are something most of us will be making at some point in our lifetime.

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Best Reviews

2020

Photo Book Reviews

4.5 stars
Shutterfly

SHUTTERFLY

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Cost:

Starting from $15.98

Shutterfly might be one of the most well-known photo printing companies. They have been around since 1999, providing custom photo services to customers. Like many of their competitors, in addition to their photo books, Shutterfly sells cards and stationery, prints, gifts, calendars, wall art, decor, and wedding products. All of their inventory can be customized with photos.

Professional design, or do-it-yourself

There are three options that you can take advantage of when making your photo book at Shutterfly. One is more unique than any others we have seen. Customers can upload their photos and special instructions for Shutterfly's designers to make the book for them. Within 3 business days, the photo book will be ready for viewing and the customer gets to decide if they want to add any finishing touches or make changes and then buy the book. The design fee at the time of this review was $0, but is usually $10.

The other two options for photo book creation are make-it-yourself options. The custom path design allows for each page to be personalized down to the last detail. Text and photos can be added anywhere in the book and customers can choose from different backgrounds, layouts, and embellishments. For a more simple, fast photo book, the simple path design automatically arranges uploaded photos for you. Captions can be added if desired.

Best Photo Books

6 different photobook sizes

Photo books at Shutterfly come in six different sizes from 7"x9" to 12"x12". Once your size is selected, you can choose from the many beautiful photo book themes. They cover just about all the celebrations, activities, and special events you might be creating a photo book for. The design functions at Shutterfly are easy to use and allow for a lot of creative freedom. The amount of layout choices for each page ensures that no two books made on this website will be the same. You can truly create a photo book here that fits your own unique style.

Competitive pricing

The end price will be determined on the size, theme, book type, and page options. Adding pages to the standard amount that comes with the book is another $1.00+. To give a general idea of pricing, if you choose the 8"x11" size with the 20 standard included pages, your photo book will cost around $22. Shutterfly has really affordable options for customers and free shipping is offered for orders of $49 or more.

Satisfied customers

Shutterfly has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Even more telling is the number of satisfied customers that use Shutterfly for their photo projects. Great things are said about their customer service and their willingness to make their shoppers happy if any issues arise. We highly recommend using Shutterfly for your photo books and other photo projects.

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4 stars
Vista Print

VISTA PRINT

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Cost:

Starting from $10

Vistaprint is unique in their purpose. Rather than just selling to individuals for their own custom photo creations, they were founded to help small business owners create custom marketing products. They are best known for their business cards that they have been printing since 1995. They work to have designs for everyone and every occasion.

Variety of photobook options

There are three routes you, as a customer, can go when creating a photo book with Vistaprint. Like other photo book creation sites, they have hardcover options that come in seven sizes and layouts. They can either have a linen or photo cover. The other two options are simpler and more inexpensive. They are spiral-bound, laminated photo books that either display one photo per page with text or six photos per page with some captions. The last two options are both small books that would be best if you are making a book for children.

Cost varies

For the hardbound photo books at Vistaprint, the cost ranges from $13 to $50, depending on the chosen size of book. Each book contains 24 pages with the option to add more double-sided pages for $0.75 to $1.50 each. The maximum number of pages that can be added to any photo book is 120. The cost for photo books is a starting price because the type of photo paper (glossy or matte) and cover chosen may cost extra.

Best Photo Books

Easy to design, but no pre-made themes

For customizing your photo book, you can either download an editor to your computer, or use their online version. To save your work along the way with the online version, you'll need to make an account with Vistaprint. Once you get designing, you'll find that their tools are very similar to most other photo book design websites and it is really easy to use. The biggest downside to using Vistaprint is that there are no pre-made themes for their hardcover books. Anything you create will be from scratch, which often takes a lot longer and may be overwhelming to anyone who has never made a photo book before.

People like their photobooks

People seem to like the photobooks they create with Vistaprint. We did find that there were mixed customer reviews for Vistaprint, the company. At first this was concerning, but it seems that some people have had delivery issues with their prints. Any negative feedback does not seem related to their photo books. Customer service receives high praises overall from people who have had concerns with their orders.

The Better Business Bureau gives Vistaprint an A+ rating. The main reason Vistaprint has not earned our highest rating is due to the fact that they do not have themes for customers to choose or gather ideas from when creating their books. If you don't want to create your photo book from scratch, we recommend one of our higher-ranked photo book companies instead.

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Continued from above

It used to be that in order to make a photo book, you would print hundreds of photos, purchase binders, stickers, fancy paper, and buy the tools to cut out fun edges for borders. Then it might take hours to glue pages together and hand write a description for each page. This scrapbooking method, although fun for some, was extremely time consuming and resulted in thick books that take up a lot of space. With online photo books, customers can quickly upload their photos and arrange everything in an appealing and functional way.

The other great thing about online photo books is they are easily customizable and can be made to suit many people's styles. They can be as simple as a photo dump of just pictures, or made to look like a scrapbook page with fancy borders, stickers, and text. If you are making a photo book of your beach vacation, some websites let you pick photo book themes so that you can add seashell stickers, "sandy" looking pages, and palm tree frames to the pictures. Whatever the theme, you can get really creative when making your photo book.

When searching for photo books, consider the following things to ensure you get the best deal and online shopping experience:

  • Cost. How does the cost of the photo book line up against competitors? Are you paying per page? Or for the entire book regardless of size? Make sure to check on this before starting the creation process.
  • Customization. Some photo book sites let you choose from a variety of sizes to fit your needs. Also consider if you want a softcover vs. hardcover book. Are there plenty of fonts, colors, borders, stickers, and photo arrangement options?
  • Functionality. You want to make sure that it is easy to use all the features necessary to create your photo book. If the website makes it confusing to jump around and use all the tools to create your book, it will take a long time and likely result in frustration. Find a sleek website that makes photo book creation both fun and easy.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best photo books available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best website to create a memorable photo book that you are happy with.

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