SmugMug vs. Shutterfly: Which is Better?

SmugMug vs. Shutterfly: Which is Better?

Choosing a photo hosting platform can be difficult. Do you go with the industry giant, Shutterfly? Or do you choose SmugMug, which is quickly gaining popularity among photographers? In this article, we will compare and contrast SmugMug and Shutterfly to help you decide which platform is the best for you. We will cover everything from pricing to features to customer service, so that you can make an informed decision about which platform is right for your business.

What is SmugMug

SmugMug is an online photo sharing, printing, and storage service designed for both professional and hobbyist photographers.

It has been around since 2002 and offers a wide variety of features including customizable photo galleries, e-commerce capabilities, analytics tools, and more. With SmugMug you can easily upload photos from your computer or mobile device to create beautiful albums which can be shared with friends and family or sold as prints or digital products. You can also store large amounts of data in the cloud for convenient backup and retrieval. Overall, SmugMug provides a comprehensive solution for those wishing to showcase their work online. With its easy-to-use interface, powerful tools, secure hosting environment, reliable support team, and competitive pricing, SmugMug is an excellent choice for photographers looking to showcase and monetize their work.

In addition to its core features, SmugMug also offers several add-on services that make it even easier to manage and distribute your photos. These include HTML/CSS customization options, custom domain names, RSS feeds, Lightroom integration, and more. You can also take advantage of SmugMug’s social media tools to share albums on Facebook and Twitter or embed galleries on other websites through the simple code provided by the service.

Lastly, you can use SmugMug’s print ordering feature which allows you to directly order prints from professional printing labs with a few clicks of the mouse. All in all, SmugMug is an extremely useful and intuitive platform for photographers of all levels.

Overall, SmugMug is perfect for any photographer who wants a powerful yet user-friendly solution for managing, sharing, and even selling their work online. With its comprehensive feature set and customizable design options, it’s no wonder that so many photographers have embraced the service as their go-to photo portfolio provider. [1], [2], [3]

What is SmugMug

What is Shutterfly

Shutterfly is a leading online photo service and digital photography retailer that enables customers to personalize their memories with prints, wall art, cards and gifts.

At Shutterfly, users can create custom products such as photo books, calendars, mugs and more. With Shutterfly’s intuitive software tools and easy-to-use website design platform, customers can quickly and easily upload photos from their phones or computers, customize them with a variety of text fonts, colors and sizes and order their personalized product. Additionally, they offer an array of exclusive discounts throughout the year on everything from prints to greeting cards.

Shutterfly also allows customers to share photos via email or directly link images to Facebook or other social networking websites. With their mobile app, users can upload photos directly from their phone and have them shipped to their homes. In addition to digital products, Shutterfly also offers an array of physical products like photo albums and picture frames.

Shutterfly is committed to providing customers with the highest quality prints available and a simple and easy-to-use digital platform that allows them to capture memories in beautiful ways. Their commitment to innovation continues with new product launches such as canvas wall art prints, personalized cards and stationary, metal prints and more. From customizing your favorite images into wall art or creating one-of-a-kind photo books for special occasions to printing amazing prints for framing or scrapbooking, Shutterfly has everything you need to create beautiful memories. [1], [2], [4]

What is Shutterfly

Comparison of SmugMug and Shutterfly

Now that we have a better understanding of what SmugMug and Shutterfly both offer, let’s take a look at how they compare. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of each, which one is better for you as a photographer, and how to decide between them.


Features are a crucial part of any photo sharing platform. They are what make the platform usable, attractive, and engaging. Features such as filters, advanced editing tools, social media integration and more can play an important role in attracting users to a platform and encouraging them to stay active.Filters are one of the most popular features on any photo sharing platform. They help users quickly edit their photos with unique looks that can be used for a variety of purposes. This includes things like changing the color scheme or mood of a photo or adding interesting effects like vignettes or blur backgrounds. Many platforms also allow users to create and save their own custom filters for later use.

Feature wise, SmugMug and Shutterfly both offer a variety of useful features for photographers. SmugMug provides users with basic editing tools like cropping, exposure and sharpness adjustments, filters and frames. It also offers more advanced options such as custom watermarks, batch processing, password-protected galleries, and geo tagging. Shutterfly on the other hand focuses more on creating unique product designs with its range of products including photo books, cards, wall art and stationery. They also have an intuitive online editor that makes it easy to quickly design products like calendars or mugs.


When it comes to price, there is one important consideration for a photo sharing platform. That is how much the platform will charge users for its services and products. The second is how competitive the pricing will be compared to other platforms in the market.

The cost of using a photo sharing platform can vary greatly depending on what features and services are offered. Some platforms may offer more editing tools and storage options than others, so it’s important to consider all available options when deciding which platform is best for you. Additionally, since some platforms offer different levels of subscription fees, it’s important to compare prices across multiple providers before committing to one service or product.
Competitiveness of pricing plays an important role in any platform’s success. If there are multiple providers in the market with similar features, users will likely consider the cost of using each service when making their decision. By keeping pricing competitive, a photo sharing platform can ensure that its services remain attractive to potential customers and that it remains profitable.

When it comes to SmugMug and Shutterfly, both platforms offer competitive pricing. SmugMug has plans ranging from $13 per month to $45 per month and offers unlimited storage on either plan. Meanwhile, Shutterfly offers a variety of different photo products for both digital and physical printing with prices dependent on the product being purchased. While both platforms are relatively affordable, Shutterfly may be slightly more expensive than SmugMug due to its additional features such as wall art and personalized cards.

Comparison of SmugMug and Shutterfly

Supported file types

Photo Sharing platforms are a powerful way to share photos with friends and family, as well as with the world. With the rapid growth of digital photography, having access to an easy-to-use photo sharing platform that supports a wide range of file types is becoming increasingly important.

Supported file types provide users with the flexibility to use different cameras and lenses for their photography, while still being able to share it across multiple platforms. For example, some cameras may produce raw images that require post-processing before they can be shared; however, if a photo sharing platform supports these files, then users don’t have to go through extra steps before sharing their creations. This makes creating content easier and more enjoyable for all users, regardless of their camera or lens.

SmugMug and Shutterfly both support a wide range of file types. SmugMug supports JPEG, TIFF, PDF, PNG and RAW files from almost all digital cameras, while Shutterfly supports the same file types plus BMP and GIF formats. Both platforms also support video uploads in MP4 format so users can easily share movies as well as photos on their platforms.

One thing you need to keep in mind with SmugMug, is that RAW files are only supported on the most expensive plan, so if you plan on using RAW files then make sure to choose the right subscription for your needs. With Shutterfly, all plans support RAW files so there’s no need to worry about that.

Cross platform support

Cross-platform is an important factor to consider when creating a photo sharing platform.

By allowing users to access the platform across multiple devices and operating systems, it increases user engagement and accessibility.

This also helps to simplify the sharing process for users who may be accessing from different environments.

For example, if a user wants to share photos with their friends, they should be able to do so regardless of whether or not their friends are using the same device or operating system. With a cross-platform photo sharing platform, this becomes possible due to the ability for users to access the same content from any device or operating system. Similarly, if a user owns more than one device (e.g., a tablet and smartphone), they should be able to access the same content from both devices.

Customer support

When considering which platform is better for photographers, customer support should not be overlooked. After all, having reliable and knowledgeable customer service representatives can make your experience with a photo sharing platform much more pleasant.

SmugMug and Shutterfly both offer customer support for photographers. SmugMug offers 24/7 technical support via email, while Shutterfly has a help center with online tutorials and FAQs to assist customers when necessary. In addition to their customer service offerings, both platforms also have active user forums where users can ask questions or provide helpful tips to other community members.

SmugMug doesn’t offer phone support, but they do have a live chat feature that can help users get answers to their questions quickly. On the other hand, Shutterfly does offer phone customer service for those who need additional assistance with their accounts.

Overall, both SmugMug and Shutterfly provide helpful customer support options for photographers. However, if you’re looking for more direct contact with customer service representatives then Shutterfly may be the better option due to its availability of phone support. [1], [2]

Comparison of SmugMug and Shutterfly

SmugMug Advantages

Now that we’ve discussed the similarities and differences between SmugMug and Shutterfly, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using SmugMug.

Tons of customization options

One of the great things about SmugMug is that it offers users a lot of customization options. The platform allows you to choose from a variety of templates, colors, and themes when designing your photo gallery. Additionally, you can also customize the navigation bar, add labels to help organize your photos, and even adjust the size of images in your galleries.

The customization options don’t stop there either; SmugMug also has advanced features such as watermarking, password protection for individual albums, and bulk downloads. This makes it easy to create a unique look for your photo sharing platform that stands out from the rest.

Solid SEO

Another great advantage of using SmugMug is its solid search engine optimization (SEO). The platform automatically optimizes each image you upload with meta tags, file names, and other relevant data. This helps ensure that your photos are easily found by search engines like Google, which can help to increase your visibility and improve traffic to your website or blog. Additionally, SmugMug also has a few built-in tools for promoting your content on social media as well as generating HTML codes for embedding images in websites and blogs.

Privacy options

At SmugMug, you can protect your folders with passwords and even make them completely private, so that only those with the password can view the images. This is great for photographers who want to share their work on SmugMug but still keep some of it private. Additionally, you can also choose whether or not to allow other users to download your photos and customize watermark settings as well. All these options provide great control over how others interact with your photos, giving more protection over your images than what is available on Shutterfly.

Good branding options

Finally, SmugMug also offers some good branding options for photographers. You can easily customize the look and feel of your galleries by adding a logo, creating custom URLs, and even setting up multiple storefronts. This helps to ensure that your photos are branded in an attractive way that reflects you or your business. Additionally, SmugMug also allows users to quickly create photo books, calendars, and other printed merchandise with their images so they can be sold directly from the platform.

Despite the perks that come with SmugMug, there are still some drawbacks when it comes to the platform.

Lacks an integrated blog system

One of the main drawbacks of using SmugMug is that it doesn’t have an integrated blog system. This means that if you want to keep your followers updated with news and photo updates, you’ll need to use a third-party platform such as WordPress or Blogger. Additionally, this also means extra costs for hosting and domain fees which can be difficult for photographers working on limited budgets. [1], [2]

SmugMug Advantages

Shutterfly Advantages & Disadvantages

Now that we’ve discussed some of the advantages of using SmugMug, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of Shutterfly.

User-friendly interface

Shutterfly has a very user-friendly interface that makes it easy to quickly upload photos and organize them into albums. The platform has a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to move images around and rearrange them in the order you want. Additionally, the platform also allows users to edit their photos directly within the platform without having to use any additional software.

And…that’s basically the only advantage of using Shutterfly. The platform lacks many of the features and customization options available on SmugMug, making it a less attractive option for photographers who want more control over their photos. And it has some glaring disadvantages as well.

Hard to download photos

While Shutterfly allows for sharing photos with friends and family, downloading them can be a bit of a challenge. The platform does not offer bulk downloads or the option to download an entire album at once. Instead, users have to manually select each photo they want to download one-by-one, making it tedious and time-consuming.

No Lightroom integration

Another disadvantage of using Shutterfly is the lack of Lightroom integration. While SmugMug allows users to upload and sync their photos from Adobe Lightroom directly to their platform, there is no such option on Shutterfly. This means photographers have to manually upload their photos from Lightroom to Shutterfly, making it an inconvenient process. [1], [2]

Shutterfly Advantages & Disadvantages


What company is better than Shutterfly?

When it comes to choosing between Shutterfly and SmugMug, the answer is not always clear. Both services offer a variety of features for photographers, but each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your individual needs as a photographer.

For example, if you’re looking for more control over how photos are organized and displayed online, SmugMug offers more extensive customization options than Shutterfly does. It also allows users to add detailed metadata to their images, which can make it easier to find them later. Additionally, SmugMug provides an integrated e-commerce system that makes selling photos simple and straightforward.

Conversely, Shutterfly is the better choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use platform with fewer customization options. It also provides a free online storage service with unlimited storage space, which can be useful for photographers who are just getting started. Additionally, its powerful editing tools make it simple to edit images quickly and add fun effects that will make your photos stand out.

Overall, there is no clear winner when comparing SmugMug and Shutterfly – both offer great features that can benefit photographers of different skill levels. When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider what features each one offers in order to ensure you select the best platform for your needs.

Do professional photographers use SmugMug?

Yes, professional photographers use SmugMug for their photo storage, hosting and website building needs. The platform offers a variety of features designed specifically for photographers. Photographers can quickly upload and store photos in full resolution without worrying about space limits, thanks to the unlimited uploads option available on all plans. They also have access to advanced editing tools such as red-eye reduction, cropping, enhancing colors, and more. Additionally, they can create beautiful portfolio websites with customizable themes and templates that are easy to set up and manage. Plus they get access to marketing tools like coupon codes and discounts that help promote their work online. All these features make SmugMug an ideal choice for professional photographers looking for reliable digital asset management options.

Are Shutterfly pictures good quality?

Yes, Shutterfly prints photos with excellent detail and color accuracy. The print quality is consistently high for all types of media – from standard paper to luxurious metallic prints. Shutterfly also offers a wide range of sizes for prints that can be ordered in packs or individually.

What are the disadvantages of Shutterfly?

Shutterfly is an easy-to-use platform for creating photo prints, albums and cards as well as organizing digital pictures.

However, there are some disadvantages to using Shutterfly that photographers should consider before selecting it as their online photo management tool.

One of the main drawbacks of Shutterfly is its high price for larger print sizes. Professional photographers looking to create high-quality prints often find that other options provide better value for their money. Furthermore, Shutterfly’s file format options are limited compared to some of its competitors, making it difficult to produce large-size prints or special products such as canvas wraps and metal prints.

Additionally, the online platform does not offer a lot of customization when creating photo albums or other products. It also does not come with any powerful editing tools like Photoshop or Lightroom, meaning you will need to use another program if you want to make complicated photo edits before printing. Finally, Shutterfly’s storage space is quite limited compared to some of its competitors which can be an issue if you have a large library of photos.

Shipping is also quite expensive and can take a long time for orders to arrive, making it an inconvenient option for those in need of quick delivery. All in all, Shutterfly may be suitable for amateur photographers or for ordering simple prints but is not recommended for professional use due to its lack of customization options and higher prices.

Useful Video: How to build a website with Smugmug – Smugmug Tutorial


SmugMug and Shutterfly both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to think carefully when deciding which one is best for your needs. SmugMug offers a more comprehensive feature set than Shutterfly, with all-inclusive storage, better performance, and more control over your photos. However, it also comes with a higher price tag and the need to use an external editor.

Ultimately, which platform you choose should be based on what types of features are most important to you. If you’re looking for simple photo sharing without extra cost, Shutterfly may be the way to go. If you want more control and better performance, then SmugMug is the choice for you. Whichever platform you choose, both services provide excellent tools to help photographers showcase their work. With all that in mind, we hope this guide has helped you make an informed decision about which service is better for your needs!