Whether you’re printing photos to hang on your wall or putting together a family scrapbook, there is no shortage of websites and services out there that will help you turn your digital pictures into real-world prints.
Shutterfly and Mixtiles are two of the most popular options. Both platforms allow you to upload your photos, choose the size of prints you want, and have them delivered to your door within days or weeks.
However, each one has its own pros and cons that you should consider before making your choice.
In this post, I will dive into the similarities and differences between Mixtiles and Shutterfly and help you decide which is better for you.
Mixtiles is an online app that allows you to create custom-framed wall art with photo tiles.
It was founded in 2016 by two artists and friends, Eytan and David, who wanted to help people easily hang their photos on their walls. Since then, the company has shipped thousands of tiles worldwide.
In case you are not familiar with the concept, photo tiles are a simple way to display a collage of your favorite photos on the wall. Instead of prints, posters, or framed pictures, photo tiles snap together like giant 3D puzzle pieces and stick directly to your wall.
The photo tiles of Mixtiles are made of paper that adheres to your wall with no need for any messy glue. You can peel and stick them anywhere in your home.
You just have to upload your photos using their website’s interface, choose the type of tile you want, and place your order. That’s it!
As the official photo manager for hundreds of organizations and businesses, the company offers a wide range of services that help you organize, protect, and share all your pictures.
However, it’s mainly known for its personalized photo printing service. Like Mixtiles, it allows you to print custom pictures on products, but its offering isn’t limited to wall art.
With Shutterfly, you can upload your photos and create calendars, magnets, cards, books, mobile cases, blankets, framed pictures, and more.
You can place orders on Mixtiles without signing up. However, creating an account is a good way to save items for future purchases and track the progress of your shipment.
The process is easy and straightforward. To create an account:
- Navigate to Mixtiles.com
- Click the button in the top left corner of the screen to open a panel with different menu sections.
- You will find a pink “Sign up/Sign in” button at the top of the panel. Click on it.
- Next, enter your email address and hit “Continue”. You can also sign up for an account or log in with Google or Facebook.
- After that, you will need to verify your account via email by entering a code they send you.
- Once you have completed the verification process, simply wait a few seconds until the Mixtile’s ordering page loads. You will then be able to start uploading your photos and customizing your tiles!
Unlike Mixtiles, Shutterfly requires you to register to add items to your cart, personalize them, and place orders.
To create an account:
- Navigate to Shutterfly.com
- Click on “Sign in” in the top right menu, and then choose the “Sign up” link from the dropdown.
- Next, enter your first and last name, email address, and chosen password, and hit “Sign up”. You can also use your Facebook account to register.
- That’s it. You will be able to start customizing products with your photos right away!
The first thing I noticed about Mixtiles is that it has a very sleek and modern-looking interface. This can appeal to many users who are looking for something with a good design aesthetic beyond just functionality.
In addition, the layout of the site is very well thought out and there is a lot of white space on each page, which makes the site easy to navigate.
You can start styling your photos right from the homepage by clicking on the “Let’s Go” button. However, the main way to navigate Mixtiles’ website is through the menu bar that’s located on the left side of the screen.
This menu is very well organized and makes it easy to find what you need. It contains links to all of their services and main features, like tracking your orders, framing your photos, or adding a discount code among others.
You can also select a language other than English. The site supports Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
Shutterfly’s interface isn’t quite as simple as Mixtiles’. Its UI is a bit cluttered with banners and pop-ups.
In fact, when you first log in, you are greeted with a banner advertising some of the company’s deals. There are also a few ad boxes on the left side of the screen, which can be annoying for users who want to browse and shop without interruption.
The main bar at the top of the screen has four tabs: Account, Projects, Photos, and Cart. This makes it easy to find what you’re looking for in a snap.
There is a menu below that allows you to filter Shutterfly’s products by category, which is helpful when looking for specific items. If you scroll down a bit further, you’ll see two rows with three more categories each.
Each of those categories is organized by price, and when you click on one of them, you will be taken to another page where all of those items are listed by type. For example, if you select the “Christmas Ornaments as low as $12.50” option, you will then be able to choose between jewel, metal, ceramic, or glass ornaments among others.
On this page, you will also find a “Shop” button that takes you directly to the store page for each item so you can start customizing it with your own pictures.
Plus, there’s a search bar at the top right of the screen. So if you’re looking for photo tiles, just type it in there and you’ll go right to the product page.
Mixtiles photo tiles are a great way to personalize your space – whether it’s your office, living room, or kitchen. They’re thicker than photo paper, so they don’t bend when you hang them, but at the same time they’re lightweight and easy to store and transport.
The tiles stick onto the wall easily because each one has an adhesive strip on the back, so you can peel them off and rearrange them without a problem if you want to adjust them.
The best thing about them is that they won’t damage your walls or leave behind any residue if you decide to take them down later on.
Each tile is 20×20 cm, and works on most walls, including painted and even textured wallpaper. However, if you have any trouble at all placing the tile on your wall, just contact the Mixtiles team and they’ll find a solution that works for you.
Now, the downside of these tiles is that Mixtiles doesn’t sell them in different colors or finishes. You can only choose black or white.
Plus, its framing options could certainly be better. The site has 8 types of tiles: Classic, Ever, Bold, Clean, Leans, Beach, Mixed, and Edge.
However, while the frames are nice options for displaying your favorite prints, they’re not particularly unique or interesting. They are all pretty similar to one another, so it’s hard to distinguish between them.
Like Mixtiles, Shutterfly’s tiles come with adhesive paper already installed on the top edge of each frame. This makes it super easy to place them on a wall or other surface, and you don’t have to worry about damaging your walls with nails or screws.
In addition, the tiles are made with premium-quality materials that are sure to last for many years, and they offer several different sizes to choose from: 5”x7”, 7”x8, 8″x8″, 8″x10″, 10”x14”, 12″x12″, and 16”x16”.
Shutterfly offers three frame styles: metal tiles, framed tiles, and canvas.
The metal tile is the most popular choice because of its customizable size and the fact that it’s lightweight. It also comes in several colors to make it easy for you to match your decor.
Mixtiles has a super simple and intuitive way to edit your photos. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be taken directly to their ordering page, where you can start uploading your photos and personalizing them for printing.
You can add photos by clicking on the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the screen. A prompt will appear asking if you would like to import photos from your gallery, Facebook, or Instagram.
Whatever you choose, remember that your pictures have to be of at least 500 x 500 pixels if you want them to be printed in high quality. If you try to upload a photo smaller than that, Mixtiles will warn you with a pop-up message.
After that, all you have to do is choose the tile style you want from the eight options you’ll see at the top of the page. When you’ve decided which one you like the most, you can hover over one of the preview images below and click on the crop icon to adjust the final look of your photo.
Once you’re ready, just hit “Checkout”.
Shutterfly’s editing tool is more robust than Mixtiles’, but it’s also more cumbersome and less intuitive.
For example, you have to upload each photo separately. This is a pain because it means that if you want to add an album or collage, you have to go through this process for each individual pic – and that can take you a lot of time!
However, you can upload most major image file formats (JPEG, JPG, PNG, BMP, and HEIC files), and you can add them from your device or from your Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Shutterfly, Art Library, or Lifetouch account.
It also has many options for personalizing each tile. When you’ve added your picture, you’ll see you have three tabs on the left side of the screen: “Options,” “Layout,” and “Backgrounds.”
“Options” is where you’ll have to choose the size and type of your tile. In “Layout”, you’ll find a variety of templates to choose from – square, horizontal or vertical panoramas, collages (of up to 4 pictures), and scrapbook pages.
Next, “Backgrounds” is where you can browse through the library of Shutterfly-created backgrounds and colors.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. If you click on the preview of your photo, you’ll be able to access even more style features, including cropping, rotation, and adding text.
You’ll also be able to choose from a number of different filters (there are five options) and then adjust how much of the filter effect you want to be applied to your tile by sliding the slider on the right side of each filter option.
The checkout process is just as straightforward as the rest of the Mixtiles’ features. Once you’re done customizing your print, you just have to click the pink “Checkout” button at the bottom of the screen.
This will prompt a right-side panel where you’ll have to add your address and payment method. Then, you’ll just have to hit “Place Order” to conclude the transaction.
Shutterfly’s checkout process is also simple – though it requires more steps than Mixtiles’.
Once you’re satisfied with how your print will look, you’ll have to click on the “Add Cart” button at the top right corner of the editing page. You’ll then be asked if you want to either keep adding images or proceed to checkout.
If you choose the latter, you’ll be taken to the Checkout page directly. On the left side, you’ll see a listing of everything you put in your cart with an estimated arrival date.
On the right, there’s a form where you’ll have to enter your shipping address and your payment information. After you fill out everything, it takes you to the review screen which shows all of your items again and lists the price and your order total.
Mixtiles allows you to order the tiles in sets and has a minimum order of three tiles at a total of $58. The price decreases by over $2 for every additional tile you add.
So, for example, if you want to buy 10 tiles, you’ll pay $58 for the first three tiles and $17 each for the remaining seven, totaling $177.
Mixtiles doesn’t have a pricing page yet, but they do explain their costs in the FAQs section of their menu pop-up window.
Shutterfly’s pricing depends on a few factors, one of the most important being the size of your tile. For example:
- Each tile with an 8”x8” size has a base price of $12.99
- Each tile with an 8”x10” size has a base price of $19.99
- Each tile with a 10”x14” size has a base price of $25.99
- Each tile with a 16”x16” size has a base price of $32.99
But these prices also differ depending on the type of tile. When you choose a metal tile, you’ll get an extra $3 added to your total.
Canvas tiles are more expensive: $5 for each one. However, framed tiles have no additional cost – though you can only have them in three sizes: 5”x7”, 8”x8”, and 10”x10”.
These costs do not include shipping, but they do include any personalization you’d like.
Like Mixtiles, Shutterfly doesn’t have a dedicated pricing page. If you want to get the latest pricing, you can check out their photo tiles product page.
Mixtiles offers free, fast worldwide shipping on every single order. Depending on where you’re located, you can expect to receive your order roughly 10 days after ordering.
Like Mixtiles, Shutterfly ships anywhere in the world. But it has some pretty expensive shipping fees.
If you are an international customer and plan to order from Shutterfly frequently, this will affect your order total drastically.
However, the company offers many shipping methods and delivery times. These are:
- Economy: 6 – 10 business days
- Standard: 5 – 7 business days
- Expedited: 4 – 5 business days
- Rush: 3 – 4 business days
- Super Rush: 1 – 2 business days (limited to the US)
Mixtiles has a mobile app available both for Android and iOS devices.
It functions really well. The interface is clean and easy to use, requiring only the same basic information you’ll need to add on the desktop version: the image you want to use, the type of tile, your shipping address, and your preferred payment method.
Shutterfly also offers a native mobile app available both in Google Play Store and Apple Store.
The app is intuitive and easy to navigate, with a clean design and the same basic functions as the desktop version. It’s so user-friendly that you’ll be able to upload photos and customize your products on the go.
Mixtiles doesn’t have many customer support options – you can’t contact them via phone, email, or social media. If you have issues with your account or order, you will have to use the self-help bot or reach out to the customer service team via live chat.
The chat option is available 24/7 though, and the agents are pretty friendly and respond quickly to your concerns.
Like Mixtiles, Shutterfly also offers customer support via live chat with 24/7 availability. However, you can also call them directly at the customer service number and get a faster response to your issue.
Their phone support is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm PST, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm PST.
Mixtiles’ help center is a collection of articles on topics like order and delivery, shipping, print quality, and storage options.
There’s also a search bar at the left-side menu so you can look up a specific topic if you have any trouble finding it in the “Suggested Articles” section.
Shutterfly’s help center is great because it gives you all the information you need to make your experience as smooth and easy as possible.
If you’re looking for something specific, you can type it into the search box and be directed right to it. You can also browse through the articles by clicking on their titles or icons.
- Its tiles are high-quality, easy to rearrange, and don’t damage your walls.
- If you have any problem hanging your tiles, Mixtiles guarantees a refund.
- It offers fast and free shipping to anywhere in the world.
- It has a 24/7 live chat.
- It has a mobile application that’s compatible with Android and iOS devices.
- It has a simple and intuitive user interface.
- Its editing tool is easy to use.
- It doesn’t have many framing options.
- You can’t customize the size or color of your tiles.
- It doesn’t offer phone or email customer support.
- Its Help Center isn’t comprehensive.
- Its tiles are made of high-quality materials and stick easily to most types of walls.
- It ships worldwide and offers several shipping methods.
- It has a 24/7 live chat.
- You can contact their customer support team directly by phone.
- It has a mobile application that’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
- It has an intuitive user interface.
- Its editing tool is easy to use.
- It offers plenty of customization options so you can tailor your frames to your needs.
- It has an extensive Help Center.
- It has expensive shipping fees.
- While its UI is intuitive, it is also slightly cluttered with banners and pop-ups.
|Intuitive User Interface||✔||✔|
|Customization Features||✔ Very limited||✔|
|Responsive Customer Support||✔||✔|
|Help Center||✔ Not extensive||✔|
|Fast Shipping||✔||✔ Expensive fees|
After comparing Mixtiles against Shutterfly, I’ve found that Shutterfly is the better choice for printing photo tiles. The company has been around for a long time and it is easy to use.
The quality of their prints is also pretty good, especially for their metal tiles prints. It’s also easy to order from them and their customer service department is responsive.
Plus, the company has a lot of customization options when it comes to framing your photos as well, which is something that Mixtiles doesn’t offer.
You can not only crop and rotate your pics, but also change the background color of your tiles, add text and filters to your photos, and choose from a variety of different layout options.
In addition, Shutterfly offers a wider range of products and services than Mixtiles, including custom invitations and announcements, calendars, favors and gifts, stationery, and more. So if you ever want to print anything other than photo tiles, this is your best bet.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.