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Online Digital Photo Developing

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Cheapest Online Photo Developing

Developing your digital photos online is convenient because you don't have to leave your home or office to put your photos on paper. You upload your images and receive photo-quality pictures in the mail.

If you are not sure what I mean by "developing", and how that may be different from "printing" your own photos at home, please see my Should You Print or Develop article.

A word of advice: Digital photo files can be large. If you connect to the Internet over a slow connection, such as a 56K dial-up or wireless, your uploads will be very slow and frustrating. Unless you have the patience of Job and are uploading just a few pictures, I suggest you find a friend with a fast Internet connection. Uploading your images over a DSL or cable connection will provide the best experience.

I have recently reviewed a number of online developing services and distilled them down to three choices that should meet the needs of most new and amateur photographers. All of the recommended services offer these basic features:

  • Digital photo developing (which they may call "printing")
  • Free web photo albums so you can share online (see Sharing Photos with Free Web Albums)
  • Basic image editing tools such as red-eye removal and cropping
  • Friends and family can order prints from your shared web album

In the table below, I have listed my recommendations for the ideal service based on your primary goal. Clicking on the links will take you to their web sites, where you can sign up for your free account and start uploading photos.

Goal Recommended Service
Lowest Cost Snapfish.com

Offering 20 free prints with your first order.

Why I recommend it:

  • Inexpensive developing: 4x6" for $0.12 each
  • Pre-paid plans lower developing cost of 4x6" photos to $0.10 each
  • Large assortment of personalized photo gift s

Snapfish is not always the cheapest among all online developers, however, it is the most inexpensive well-established developer that I use and trust. For the absolute lowest print prices, see Cheapest Online Photo Developing.

Quality Prints Kodak EasyShare Gallery

Offering 10 free prints with your first order.

Why I recommend it:

  • Consistently develops the best looking photos
  • Unique feature: Send photo to supported mobile phones as wallpaper
  • Inexpensive developing: 4x6" for $0.15 each
Web Album PhotoWorks.com

Offering 25 free prints with your first order.

Why I recommend it:

  • Easy to use web album features
  • Friends not required to log in or create an account to view your album
  • Attractive invitation emailed to friends, asking them to view your ablum
  • Inexpensive developing: 4x6" for $0.15 each