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When comparing SmugMug vs Flickr, it is generally true that SmugMug offers better features and value for money for photo storage, and also benefits from photo printing and gives you the ability to sell your photos online.
Although both SmugMug and Flickr were separate photo services for a long time, for the last few years they have been owned by the same company, after SmugMug bought out Flickr from Yahoo.
It used to be the case that there were far more differences between the two services, but no there is much more similarity, with Flickr essentially being a SmugMug-lite.
This article covers the key differences when deciding on the best site for photo storage, photo printing and selling your photos, between SmugMug or Flickr.
See the differences between the SmugMug Pro plan levels and how Flickr vs Flickr Pro compares.
SmugMug vs Flickr – Key Differences
|Differences between SmugMug and Flickr|| || |
|Photo Storage|| || |
|Supported File Types|| || |
|Printing Your Own Photos|| || |
|Others Printing Your Photos|| || |
|Ease of Setup|| || |
|Customization Options|| || |
|Popularity|| || |
|Free Plan?|| || |
|Overall Cost|| || |
|Ideal Use Case|| || |
Is SmugMug or Flickr Better for Photo Storage?
SmugMug is the better choice overall for photo storage, as it allows you to store more photo file types, including RAW photos, and is slightly cheaper for its unlimited storage plan versus Flickr’s Pro plan.
Flickr has the advantage of offering a free plan that gives you the opportunity to store up to 1000 photos at no cost. This is a massive benefit if you are just looking for simple photo storage, but realistically you can only store your photos as JPGs, which is not good for long term backup.
Flickr also only offers photos to view at specific sizes, while SmugMug gives you greater range in the sizes, including full res, that you display on your site.
If you want unlimited storage, then SmugMug comes out on top, with a slightly cheaper yearly plan ($55 vs Flickr’s $60), and a much better experience for uploading.
You can set the SmugMug app to auto-upload new photos from both your phone and your desktop computer, and then use the app for further editing, although this is not as powerful as Lightroom and Photoshop.
Privacy is also a bigger issue with SmugMug, with it being much easier to control the sizes of photo that you display, even if you keep the full-sized image on their service. With the addition of optional watermarks, your photos are much better protected from theft, unlike on Flickr where the maximum size of image that you upload is always available.
With this automatic upload that integrates with Lightroom, privacy controls letting you password protect individual galleries, no compression on images and unlimited storage of JPGs and RAW files, SmugMug is the best online photo storage service.
Best Choice: SmugMug (with 15% off using this link!)
Flickr vs SmugMug for Printing Photos & eCommerce
If you are wanting to print your own photos and give others the opportunity to buy and print them, then SmugMug is again the best choice.
Although Flickr allows you to print your own photos, you cannot print them from anyone else’s photostream, and this means that you cannot sell your photos through Flickr.
SmugMug galleries let you set up password-protected galleries for friends, family or clients, who can then buy your photos through an easy to setup, professional-looking website, in multiple sizes and materials of photo, with prices set as you decide, with different price lists even possible on a gallery-by-gallery basis.
Customization options are excellent on SmugMug, with the templates making setting up a site very simple, and meaning that your site won’t look like everyone elses – a massive problem with Flickr.
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Overall Comparison of SmugMug vs Flickr
Although Flickr has a free plan for photo storage, that is really the only major plus point of its service. It does offer some degree of community, with liking and sharing of images, but this has lessened over the years as most professional and semi-pro photographers have migrated to other services like 500px, which is now probably the top community-focused photography site.
SmugMug beats out Flickr both in pricing of its cheapest plan, and the overall user interface, which is just much cleaner and easier to use, with included templates meaning that you can create a unique site in just a few minutes.
Remember that if you are only looking for cheap photo storage, then the SmugMug Basic plan will easily cover you, but if you want to also sell your photos, or display them in a more professional way, you will have to go for either their Portfolio or Pro plans. These are more expensive, but you should be able to recoup the costs with your photo sales.
The current plan prices for SmugMug are below, but you can get 15% off these prices, making SmugMug an even better deal, by following this link to start a free 14-day trial: