Online printing services make it easy for anyone to order any type of printed product, from personal wallet pictures and canvas wall art to business cards and wedding invitations, all from the convenience of their phone or laptop.
Aside from convenience, online printing services can turn anyone into a professional artist. Almost all providers offer premade templates with artistic combinations of text, images, and layout. Additionally, most offer users the option to work with professional designers to create a polished finished product.
We looked at over two dozen online printing services and chose the best ones based on ease of use, quality, price, specialty, and more. Here are our top seven picks.
The 7 Best Online Printing Services of 2021
Vistaprint: Best Overall
We chose Vistaprint as the best overall because its streamlined process makes it easy for customers to design and print any just about product with a professional look and at affordable prices.
Wide range of products
Free sample kits
Limited free shipping options
Orders take at least three days to ship
Launched in 1995, Vistaprint was the first business to widely offer customers desktop publishing online. It’s able to offer low prices and fast turnaround due to an efficient and largely automated bulk printing process.
While Vistaprint is mainly known as a place to get business cards, the company has branched into just about every type of product imaginable, including brochures, postcards, flyers, mugs, coasters, magnets, posters, signs, banners, clothing, and even websites. Vistaprint’s huge selection of products, affordable prices, and easy design tools are why we choose it as the best overall.
Vistaprint has made its mark in the online printing space by keeping its products easy-to-design and affordable. A batch of 500 business cards printed on standard 14pt cardstock costs $20, and 250 tri-fold brochures on standard glossy paper cost $165.74. Although Vistaprint doesn’t offer free shipping by default, it’s constantly offering promotions that often include free shipping. The fastest shipping time available is three days.
Vistaprint lets customers start with premade templates and walks them through selecting or uploading artwork, then choosing the sizes, materials, and any special add-ons or finishes. Customers can also work with a designer for an additional charge and order free product samples for most printed products.
GotPrint: Most Affordable
We chose GotPrint as the most affordable since it offers promotional print materials for less money than Vistaprint, along with a money-back satisfaction guarantee for first-time customers.
Next-day shipping available
Smaller product selection
Slower turnaround time
GotPrint is a family-run online printing business founded in 2001 to provide fast and affordable print promotional materials for businesses.
GotPrint’s prices are some of the lowest in the industry, which is why we chose it as the most affordable service that still provides quality. Customers can get 500 business cards on 14pt cardstock for $15.89 compared to Vistaprint’s price of $20. GotPrint lets customers design from a pre-existing template, upload their own designs, or work with a professional designer for an additional charge.
In addition to business cards, GotPrint offers printing for marketing materials like stationery, brochures, flyers, signs, and more as well as gifts and apparel like mugs, mousepads, hats, and t-shirts. Like many other providers, the company also offers free product sample kits.
Although GotPrint’s production times are a bit on the slow side, customers have the option to pay extra for a two-day rush. Most orders ship within two to four days, but the company doesn’t offer overnight shipping.
MOO: Best for Business Cards
We chose MOO as the best for business cards because, while it’s a bit more expensive than Vistaprint, it offers business cards with a more professional look and feel plus an overnight delivery option for businesses that need a quick turnaround.
More professional look and feel
Next-day delivery on some products
No free shipping
According to its website, MOO was created in 2006 to “make great design available to all by combining professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web.” Where Vistaprint focuses on low cost with its batch printing process, MOO focuses on quality. As a result, its prices are higher, but the quality of business cards is a cut above the rest of the field. Customers can order 550 business cards from Vistaprint for $20 but only 50 from MOO for the same price.
Customers get what they pay for, however. Where Vistaprint’s cards have a lighter, cheaper feel with 14pt cardstock, MOO uses a premium 16pt cardstock with a choice of a matte or glossy finish for no extra cost. This higher quality makes its products stand out from the competitors, which is why we chose MOO as the best for business cards.
Besides business cards, MOO also offers a selection of marketing and promotional materials, including flyers, stationery, stickers, invitations, notebooks, and more. Customers can design their product online, upload selected images or an entire design, or work with a designer for an additional fee.
Like Vistaprint, MOO also offers free sample packs of business cards and stationery. The fastest shipping is two days though the company also offers overnight shipping for business cards or postcards ordered before noon EST.
Snapfish: Best for Photo Printing
We chose Snapfish as the best for photo printing because it makes it easy to upload photos and offers a huge selection of high-quality photos and photo gifts at affordable prices.
Easy photo import options
Huge selection of photo products
Same-day pickup in selected stores
A bit pricey for the quality
Poorer print quality on smaller photos
Snapfish was founded in 1999 as one of the first online photo sharing and printing services before digital photography took off.
In addition to small and large photo prints, Snapfish offers a wide variety of cards, calendars, and photo gifts, including mugs, pillows, magnets, puzzles, phone cases, apparel, and more. Customers can also order canvas, glass, and metal prints as home decor. Prices are reasonable, too, with a standard 4x6 costing just $0.09 and holiday cards starting at $1.00 each.
Snapfish makes it easy to upload photos through Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Flickr, or directly from a computer. An intuitive web interface lets users make simple color and brightness adjustments and offers a limited set of filters. All photos are printed on high-quality Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper for bright, clear, and colorful results. The combination of quality prints and easy design tools is why we chose Snapfish as the best for photos.
Shipping times for Snapfish’s photo products range from four to eight days depending on how much a customer wants to spend. Photo, card, and calendar orders can also be picked up at local CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart stores.
CanvasPop: Best for Canvas Prints
We chose CanvasPop as the best for canvas prints because of its high print quality, handcrafted products, and personal quality reviews of finished products.
Great photo quality
Hand-crafted canvas prints
Review process slows delivery
CanvasPop was created in 2009 to offer customers high-quality canvas and framed prints with personalized attention and customer service.
While other companies offer a variety of photo print products, CanvasPop focuses on canvas prints, framed prints, photo collages, and triptychs. This allows the company to create a smaller range of quality products and create a faster ordering experience. From photo upload to choosing a product takes an average of just two minutes. After ordering, customers are assigned a personal designer who offers suggestions and does all of the color, brightness, and photo adjustments for them.
CanvasPop doesn’t cut corners on their materials and printing process. An 8x10 stretched canvas print costs $71, which is more than Snapfish, where the same product goes for $44.99. CanvasPop’s commitment to quality and hand craftsmanship is why we chose it as the best for canvas prints
Although CanvasPop’s ordering process is fast, customers can expect a delay of one to three days, as each canvas print is reviewed by a real person. The company also frequently offers specials that can lower the overall price of an order by as much as 50%.
Minted: Best for Weddings
We chose Minted as the best for weddings because it offers unique wedding invitations that look and feel custom-made at a reasonable price.
Unique artist designs
Matching sets available
Websites and evites available
Minimally customizable templates
Limited personalization options
Minted was founded in 2007 as a crowdsourcing platform for independent artists to share their stationery designs. Today the company offers designs for stationery, art, gifts, and home decor from graphic artists in all 50 states as well as 100 countries.
Customers start by choosing from a selection of designs created by Minted’s community of independent artists. Most designs can be customized to a certain extent, and customers can request a personalized sample invite with their photo and wedding details before ordering. Minted also provides custom wedding designs with a dedicated designer starting at $100.
Minted offers a wide range of designs and styles, including foil press, letterpress, floral, and watercolor with matching save-the-date and thank-you cards as well as day-of paper goods, seating charts, and welcome posters. Pricing is around $2 per invitation for standard invites and up to $10 for invites with letterpress or metallic foil details.
In addition to printed invitations and cards, Minted also offers matching wedding electronic invites and websites with a personalized look and feel and the option to customize the URL, display photo galleries, and more. Its range of professional designs and customization options makes Minted our top choice for weddings.
Zazzle: Best for Custom Licensed Merchandise
We chose Zazzle as the best for licensed merchandise because it partners with major TV, movie, and pop culture brands so anyone can customize a gift or other printed item with their favorite character on it.
Wide selection of templates
Easy personalization options
Created in 2005, Zazzle has quickly established its niche in the online printing marketplace by focusing on custom gifts and apparel. What’s more, by partnering with officially licensed brands, it lets customers use their favorite characters in their designs.
Due to the wide range of products Zazzle offers, it’s hard to compare its pricing with the other services we reviewed. Taking a look at business cards, for instance, Zazzle offers a 100-pack of 16-pt. business cards for between $20 and $30, making it more expensive than Vistaprint but cheaper than MOO.
Instead of starting with a specific template, Zazzle lets users start with their design and then modify it to fit on different products. They can also invite friends to comment on and rate their designs or turn it over to a professional designer for an additional fee.
Zazzle’s partnership with major media brands is why we chose it as the best for custom licensed merchandise. Parents can print pillows or backpacks for their kids with their favorite characters from Sesame Street, Pixar, or Disney, while adults in touch with their inner child can have fun with creating products from the Star Wars universe.
What Are Online Printing Services?
Twenty years ago, online printing services changed the world by making it easy to upload photos or design business cards online and have them custom-printed and mailed right to a home or office. Today, customers can design pillows, mugs, and wall art of their favorite photos; print trade show banners, brochures, and menus; and order custom holiday cards and wedding invitations.
What’s more, due to the batch order processing and printing technology most online printing services use, these products are much more affordable than they once were when the only option was to order directly from walk-in print shops or vanity gift manufacturers.
How Does Online Printing Work?
Most online printing services make it easy for complete beginners to design and order just about any print product. Professionals needing business cards, for instance, can start with predesigned templates and customize them by uploading a logo or even an entire premade design to the website.
From there, users can preview the final design and adjust as needed and select the size, paper, type of finish, and any other special effects. Most services let the customer preview the final design online and some will even ship a free sample before completing the order.
Every service can walk users through the process of uploading images that will print well and also offer professional design assistance and support as needed. Users can upload images from their phones, computers, or even social media accounts and have them print out in crisp, rich colors.
How Long Does Online Printing Take?
Due to the largely automated process and batch printing most online printers employ, customers can expect to get their designs printed and shipped within just a few days for simple products like photo prints and business cards, or up to two weeks for more complex items like large canvas prints and uniquely shaped business cards and invitations.
What Are the Expected Costs of Online Printing Services?
The cost of online printing can vary widely by product and company and are often based on quality. Vistaprint charges just $20 for 500 standard business cards, while MOO charges the same price for just 50 cards.
Most services try to stay cheaper than brick-and-mortar printers since they have to add shipping costs into every order. Snapfish, for instance, charges just $0.09 for one 4x6 photo compared to Walmart which charges $0.25.
Shipping prices also vary widely by provider. Vistaprint, for instance, charges $8.99 for four- to six-day shipping on orders between $15.01 and $35.00, while MOO charges $15.75 for six-day shipping on orders up to $19.99. While none of the services we reviewed offers free shipping as a standard, most run regular specials and deals that include free shipping.
How We Chose the Best Online Printing Services
We looked at over two dozen online printing services for this review. We first looked at providers that offered the widest range of services, best quality, and best price for quality overall. Next, we looked at the top services in each category and chose the best based on ease of use, the range and quality of their products, and the overall price.
In the end, we found that most top online printers balance price and quality pretty well with a few offering higher-quality print products understandably for higher prices. Most worked hard to make designing and ordering products easy for non-designers and many offered some sort of expedited shipping to help fulfill last-minute orders.