Best Digital Photo Printing Services of 2018

Rebecca Spear ·
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

This year alone, we spent over 80 hours evaluating the ordering processes and final products of 10 online photo printing companies. We ordered four matte prints and four glossy prints from each service, and to make testing impartial, we hid the company names on each print and asked testers to score the color accuracy and print clarity of each. Our pick for the best service is Walgreens Photo because it offered the most features while also providing excellent print quality. The site's interface is easy to navigate and provides several print sizes and photo gift choices.  

Best Overall

Walgreens Photo

Walgreens Photo's prints are of excellent quality, and you can get your photos by mail or same-day in-store pickup. The service offers several print sizes and photo gifts.
Best Value

York Photo

York Photo has the best photo quality of any of the services we tested. This service is also economically priced, so you get more for your money.
Quality Pickup

Shutterfly

Shutterfly offers overnight delivery and international shipping, and you can even pick up prints at your local Target. Photos from this service are beautiful and print color is accurate.

Our Test Results

Product
Price
Overall Rating
9.8
9.4
9.3
9.3
9.1
8.8
8.2
8.1
Print Quality
9.3
9.5
10
8.5
8.5
8.3
9.5
9
Site Features
10
10
9.5
9.5
9.5
9
7.5
7.5
Photo Gifts
10
9
10
10
10
10
10
8
Support & Shipping
10
7.5
5
10
7.5
7.8
2.5
7
Video Tutorials
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Live Chat
N/A
N/A
N/A
Overnight Delivery
N/A
N/A
FAQs
Two-Day Delivery
N/A
Telephone & Email
In-Store Pick-Up
N/A
Simple Editing Tools
Ease of Use
100%
100%
95%
100%
100%
100%
85%
85%
Online Photo Sharing
N/A
N/A
Film Printing
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Import Photos From Social Media
Mobile App
N/A
Print Color
A-
A+
A+
B+
C
C+
A
B+
Glossy Quality
B+
A-
A+
B-
A
B-
A-
A+
Print Clarity
A-
B-
A+
B+
B+
B-
A+
A+
Matte/Lustre Quality
A+
A+
A+
C
B-
B-
C+
C-
Greeting Cards
Photo Blankets
N/A
Canvas Prints
$39.99
$89.99
$49.99
$59.99
$29.99
$29.96
$75.00
$59.99
Clothing & Accessories
Holiday Ornaments
Collage Poster
$11.99
$7.99
$8.99
$3.49
$9.99
$6.86
$9.00
$4.99
5 x 7
$2.49
$0.99
$0.79
$0.69
$2.29
$0.58
$0.71
$0.99
Photo Book
$29.99
$39.99
$32.99
$34.99
$29.99
$24.00
$70.00
$24.99
8 x 10
$3.99
$3.99
$2.99
$2.99
$3.99
$2.84
$2.79
$4.99
4 x 6
$0.12
$0.15
$0.09
$0.09
$0.29
$0.09
$0.14
$0.27
11 x 14
$10.99
$7.99
$7.99
$7.99
$9.99
$5.86
$9.00
$4.99
Calendar
$19.99
$24.99
$19.99
$19.99
$19.99
$17.47
$34.99
$19.99
Best Overall

Walgreens Photo

Walgreens Photo is a great place to go for prints and photo books, as well as photo gifts like blankets and accessories. The photos are decently priced and come in a variety of sizes.
Our testers found the clarity and color accuracy of these prints to be very good, particularly in the matte finish. This is also a great service if you need your prints in a hurry. The site is easy to order from and offers a corresponding mobile app to make the process more convenient. You can create and store an unlimited number of photos on your account. You can even share your albums with friends and family members. This site also lets you pull photos directly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts. The photo editor allows you to make simple adjustments to your photos, such as for brightness and contrast, before ordering prints. Walgreens offers a variety of delivery options, from standard to overnight shipping. You can even order internationally with this service. If you are in a hurry, photo books, prints and a few select photo gifts can be ordered for same-day, in-store pickup. Check with your local Walgreens for the specific products they can print.
Pros
  • Excellent photo quality.
  • The site is easy to use.
  • The Walgreens Photo App makes adding photos and ordering photos easy.
Cons
  • You must check with individual stores for the specific photo gifts they offer.
  • Medium-sized prints are relatively expensive.
  • The glossy prints don't print as accurately as the matte.
Best Value

York Photo

This company is inexpensive, especially considering that it provides the best print quality of any photo service we tested. The matte and glossy photos we received were sharp and accurately represented the colors.
Typically, matte photos have less vivid color than glossy photos, but these prints were nearly the same in color reproduction. This service also provides many features and photo gifts to choose from, including photo blankets, mugs, ornaments and calendars. The York Photo mobile app allows you to upload images to your account and order prints from your phone. You can save as many photos as you want on your York account, so it can double as a photo storage site. You can pull photos directly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts and add them to your York Photo albums. Basic editing tools are avaliable, but they do not include red-eye removal, which means that must be done before uploading images to this service. York offers two-day or overnight shipping. Most photo gifts require a specified number of days for processing. This site doesn't offer live chat, but you can contact a customer representative via email or phone. Our questions were answered quickly and thoroughly.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Best clarity and color accuracy
  • Offers a large selection of photo gifts
Cons
  • The website isn't as easy to use as some other services
  • Editing tools don't allow red-eye removal
  • No live chat assistance
Quality Pickup

Shutterfly

Shutterfly’s photo prints had amazing color accuracy, but they were a bit blurry compared with some other services.
This service offers many print sizes and photo gifts. Price-wise, this isn't the most expensive we have seen, but some of the products are priced higher than average. The site is incredibly easy to use and offers tutorials if you want to design something new. Shutterfly's app allows you to upload and order your favorite images on the go. It also lets you pull photos from a variety of sites, including your Facebook, Instagram, Google Photo, Flickr and Smugmug accounts. You can even create a Share Site to collect images from family and friends for your projects. The simple editor allows basic edits to your images before ordering. Photo gifts, including tote bags, plates, phone cases and even Christmas stockings, are available. What's more, this service not only delivers, but also allows you to pick up images from your local Target, which can be a lifesaver when you're short on time.
Pros
  • Good print quality
  • The site is user-friendly
  • Numerous photo gifts are available
Cons
  • No clothing photo gifts
  • No overnight delivery
  • Some options are relatively expensive

Why Trust Us

We have been reviewing digital photo printing services for the last 12 years. For this latest review, we ordered eight prints from 10 companies, a total of 80 prints.

Our testers spent an hour evaluating each company's prints against the digital images we provided. They looked for color accuracy as well as the clarity of each print, comparing them with the original image and other companies' prints.

Since our testers have backgrounds in photography and graphic design, we wanted to make sure they didn't feel partial to specific printing services. We concealed the names of the printing services and didn't disclose company names until scoring was complete.

We not only looked at print quality, but also the ease of using each service’s interface, the variety of photo gifts offered, the convenience of delivery or pickup, and customer service in general.

How We Tested

We carefully evaluated each company's print quality, user interfaces and photo gifts. Services that offered a large variety of print sizes and photo gifts scored better. Although we didn't score services based on their pricing, we did take note when a company was on the pricey side.

Since fast service is important, we paid particular attention to delivery and pickup options. Services providing overnight and two-day shipping scored higher than companies without those options. Companies providing in-store and same-day pickup were also scored higher.

To ensure the companies are user-friendly, we evaluated the help features of each service. Services offering tutorials and options for contacting customer-service representatives scored better.

We also contacted each company to determine how they responded to our questions. Companies that answered our questions in a fast, friendly and thorough manner scored better. Any company offering a mobile app was also scored higher, since an app adds to user convenience.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Photo Printing Service 

Most photo printing services double as an unlimited photo storage site. Since so many of your photos are on social media sites, it is smart to work with a photo printing service that can pull images directly from your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts. Plus, services that can pull photos from these platforms typically also make it easy to share your stored photos and albums on social media sites.

If you are constantly taking pictures and ordering prints, you might want to download a photo service app. Most apps allow you to order prints, but only some allow you to order photo gifts. If you think you'll be using the app regularly, you should find one that allows you to do everything you want.

Typically, every photo service will offer some form of editing capability. Some of the best ones include red-eye removal, cropping and the ability to adjust brightness and contrast. If you do crop an image, make sure the image is still high enough resolution that it will print well.

A photo’s print quality is tied to the printer that produces it. Most photo services have multiple printing locations around the U.S., which means the printing quality can vary. Find a service that works for you and offers the print sizes and gifts that you want.

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