The Good Friendly interface; fast navigation; delivers prints with captions; strong customer support.
The Bad Conducts most editing online, which is slower than offline editing; doesn't let guests view pictures at high resolutions; contains mildly annoying pop-up ads.
The Bottom Line Digital photographers who want a free photo manager with a winsome interface may prefer Shutterfly. However, Ofoto costs the same price and delivers better-looking prints.
Perhaps because it sounds like butterfly, the name Shutterfly brings to mind a cheerful, hassle-free experience. And that's precisely what you'll find with this veteran online photo service. Like Ofoto and Snapfish, Shutterfly allows you to store and edit photos, share them with friends and family, and order lab-quality prints. True, the Shutterfly site generates at least one pop-up advertisement per visit, doesn't let guests view your images at high resolutions, and its print quality can't hold a candle to Ofoto's. Yet thanks to its bright interface and extensive help files, Shutterfly seems friendlier than its competitors. Not planning to print? Need an easy online album? Try Shutterfly. Perhaps because it sounds like butterfly, the name Shutterfly brings to mind a cheerful, hassle-free experience. And that's precisely what you'll find with this veteran online photo service. Like Ofoto and Snapfish, Shutterfly allows you to store and edit photos, share them with friends and family, and order lab-quality prints. True, the Shutterfly site generates at least one pop-up advertisement per visit, doesn't let guests view your images at high resolutions, and its print quality can't hold a candle to Ofoto's. Yet thanks to its bright interface and extensive help files, Shutterfly seems friendlier than its competitors. Not planning to print? Need an easy online album? Try Shutterfly.
Working with Shutterfly is a breeze. Online registration takes just a couple of minutes and requires only your name and e-mail address. From its sign-in screen to your own personal album pages, the site's interface is simple and intuitive. Pages load quickly, even when hampered by one of the company's frequent pop-up ads. Your photo page displays either a single image and caption or a thumbnail album in the center of the screen. Editing commands and photo information are on the right and left, and a large button bar is across the top of the screen.
You can upload digital shots in one of three ways. Two of these techniques allow you to scan your computer for 10 files or less and upload them. The third method incorporates Shutterfly's SmartUpload utility, a nifty little download that installs on your hard drive and transfers files via a convenient upload wizard. Don't worry about uploading too many photos. Shutterfly provides limitless storage space. SmartUpload also supports simple editing functions such as rotating and cropping. However, you must access the site to perform more detailed enhancements such as contrast and saturation adjustments or to add one of Shutterfly's many impressive borders. Unfortunately, this online editing takes longer than the offline changes that Ofoto and Club Photo allow.
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Shutterfly captures $3 million
Online photo site Shutterfly has landed a $3 million investment from Silicon Valley Bank. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company said it plans to raise a closing round of funding by early next year that will push it toward profitability. Shutterfly launched with fanfare in late 1999 with the backing of Netscape Communications co-founder Jim Clark. In March, it received another $10 million from Clark and Mohr Davidow Ventures. But the company also lost its chief executive that month and reduced its staff from 120 to 90 employees in its efforts to restructure the company and cut costs. In April, the company named Andy Wood, formerly CEO of Sevant, to head Shutterfly.