Software Comparison
Dreamstime vs Depositphotos vs SmugMug

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Listed in : Photography

Dreamstime is a leading marketplace for high-quality photos at an affordable price, it let photographers upload stock photos and video footage and sel... Learn More

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Listed in : Photography

Depositphotos is a royalty-free photography agency that help to connect Contributors with Buyers around the world. The stock of files available is fro... Learn More

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Listed in : Photography

SmugMug offers an online photo sharing service where you can order gifts such as posters, photobooks, and framed prints. You'll have the possibility t... Learn More

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Pricing Starting From

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Dreamstime

Photography

$ 167
For 1 Month / 1 user(s)

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Depositphotos

Photography

$ 69
For 1 Month / 1 user(s)

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SmugMug

Photography

$ 3.34
Single payment / 1 user(s)

Coupons & Deals

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SmugMug

Photography

No Coupons or Deals are available yet for SmugMug.

Available Features

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Dreamstime

Photography

Total downloads 9125 images

Downloads/month 750 images

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Depositphotos

Photography

150 images

All-size (including maximum size)

Standard license

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SmugMug

Photography

Your own customizable website

Responsive design—adapts to mobile, tablets, and monitors

Fully-hosted, unlimited traffic

Ads & spam Zero

Unlimited photo uploads

Gorgeous, full-screen galleries

Max photo file size 50 MB

Max video file size 3 GB

Video quality 1080p

Video clip length 20 min

Embed photos and videos on other websites

Add photos from Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto and more

Robust SEO tools including meta tags and XML sitemaps

24/7/365 real-human support

Make the most of your account with our in-depth help center

Tune in and learn with video tutorials

Live online SmugMug training events

Monthly podcasts on key industry topics

Interactive webinars featuring top photography pros

Community forums for feedback, tips and in-depth support

Create a completely personal homepage

Apply themes to add personal style to pages and galleries

Pick your own fonts and color combinations

21+ modern, premade site designs

Create your own designs, no coding needed

Create your own themes

Easy-to-learn layout tools

Simple drag-and-drop site customization

Easily add slideshows, your logo, and more anywhere on the page

Pick a favorite gallery style (six to choose from)

Optional customization via HTML and CSS

Hire a Certified Customizer for professional design services

Easy organization for your photos and website

Quickly access any page, folder, or gallery on your site

Manage settings on images, galleries, and folders

Bulk image management with drag-and-drop functionality

Drag images into galleries, galleries into folders, and folders into folders, up to five levels deep.

Sort photos by date, caption, and more

Add captions and keywords to photos

Rotate photos, adjust thumbnails, access color effects

Every image backed up with Amazon Web Services

Cloud storage allows access anytime, from anywhere

Copyright is always yours

Retrieve your original photos and gallery backups at any time

Password-protect folders, galleries, pages and your whole site

Unlist folders, galleries and pages

Create private galleries

Make any folder, gallery, or page completely private

Limit display size to keep originals safe

Create anonymous galleries to share with the world

Enable right-click protection on your images

Limit access to your folders, galleries, pages, and site to specific people you choose.

Add custom watermarks to protect images

Share via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress and more

Publish photos to albums on Facebook

Embed slideshows in forums & blogs

Give pages custom, easy-to-remember URLs

Send photos easily via email

Create virtual collections of photos you love

Create Smart Galleries for automated collections

Create private sharegroups

Allow friends & family to upload to your galleries

Enable or disable comments

Moderate comments

Get email notifications for comments

Edit, archive, and share on-the-go with our free mobile apps

Display geotagged photos on interactive maps

Free Trial Availability

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Dreamstime

Photography
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Depositphotos

Photography
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SmugMug

Photography

No Free Trial Available.

Cloudswave Editorial Review

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Dreamstime

Photography

Dreamstime Review by Cloudswave

Every company needs a website. Most should probably have a blog too. In either case, it should go without saying that neither is going to do very well with an online audience if they feature nothing more than a bunch of words. In fact, this is probably impossible to find these days for how poor they’d do when it comes to attract visitors.

The Problem with Finding Images for Your Website

That being said, you may still find some websites that don’t have great images or probably should have a lot more to really make their online presence pop. Whatever the situation, the source for this problem is most likely the same: the owners of the site have found out that buying images is expensive.

Unbeknownst to many, you can’t simply jump on a Google search and use whatever images show up for your needs. This is how you get in serious trouble. Someone could end up suing you for copyright infringement and bringing your business to a halt.

Unfortunately, a lot of people only see two alternatives. First, they can try taking pictures themselves. This is usually impractical, to say the least. Most people lack the photography skills this approach would need and, even if they had them, they wouldn’t have access or the time it would take to capture the photos they want.

The other option is where things get expensive, but the majority of website owners don’t know of an alternative. They eventually decide to buy stock photos from companies that sell them. To be fair, these websites tend to offer a wide range of photos, making it an attractive prospect for people and companies from just about every industry.

It’s the cost that becomes a problem. These services can easily run in the hundreds of dollars a month or even more, depending on the volume of photos you need.

Enter, Dreamstime

Don’t worry, though. There’s good news. Dreamstime has made it possible for everyone to get the photos they need without having to spend a small fortune in the process. We’re talking about truly stunning, high-quality photos too, nothing you’d expect to get at a bargain price or even for free.

In fact, with Dreamstime, you can find a number of really great images for your website or blog and not spend a single penny. Their free images category features the following sections:
  • Abstract
  • Arts and Architecture
  • Animals
  • Illustrations and Clipart
  • Business
  • Industries
  • IT and C
  • Objects
  • Nature
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • People
  • Web Design Graphics

There are thousands upon thousands under these categories that are completely free and can be used whenever you like. Below each picture, you’ll find both the person who made it and its dimensions too.

Paid Images

You’ll find images for sale on this site as well. Like you’d expect, these pictures are usually of a bit higher quality. The same categories are represented though, meaning you’re not losing any options. In fact, there are far more to choose from.

Even though you’re paying for them, you’ll notice that the pictures on Dreamstime are a lot more affordable than those you might find elsewhere. It’s not even close how much you’ll save by getting your website’s pictures here. Those who have been spending large sums will be quite surprised by what you have to choose from when you switch over.

It’s important to remember, too, that a lot of these are royalty-free images. What this means for you is that you only have to purchase them once and then you can use them over and over again. Obviously, with most photography deals, you’d have to continue paying for the right to use the image every time you decided to display it. This isn’t the case where Dreamstime is concerned. While some limitations apply at a certain point, it’s virtually impossible to hit that number (redistribution is the only exception).

For those images that do come with royalties, you’ll be told ahead of time, long before you pay for or try using the picture.

Refund Policy

Another thing that really stands out about Dreamstime is that they actually give refunds for any photo you buy and then change your mind about. This is extremely rare. Most companies worry that you’ll simply go ahead and use the image anyway, so they have very strict rules about all sales being final.

However, a number of Dreamstime users have reported a very pleasant process when they made a mistake with their purchase. Some people simply don’t know if an image will work until they download it and try placing it on their site or in their blog. Other times, it may be a simple mistake of accidentally pressing “download” when you really didn’t mean to. In either case, you don’t have to worry that such a simple error is going to cost you. The team at Dreamstime will simply ask that you delete the image.

Ordering from Dreamstime

Ordering your images is extremely easy, which is another reason to love Dreamstime. If you’ve tried getting your hands on high-quality pictures before, then you probably learned the hard way that this can take weeks and weeks.

With Dreamstime, as long as you’re registered, all you have to do is pretty much point and click. As we mentioned above, there may be another step or two with pictures that come with royalties, but otherwise, that’s about it. Again, the return policy is incredibly easy too, for those who get a bit trigger happy.

You don’t have to register with Dreamstime to grab the free photos, but it’s recommended that you still do so anyway. For one thing, it’s absolutely free to do and, for another, you’ll get a look at the reduced prices you’re privy too by going this route.

Every website needs great images, but not all of us can afford the high prices that these typically demand. On Dreamstime, you’ll find some truly amazing photos at very affordable prices. Many of you could probably outfit your entire website for the rest of your lives and never spend a time because of Dreamstime.  
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Depositphotos

Photography

No Cloudswave Editorial Review available yet.

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SmugMug

Photography

No Cloudswave Editorial Review available yet.

Most Favorable User Review

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Dreamstime

Photography
User review from
10
turboclean
May 27, 2014

I love Dreamstime. It is an awesome place to find royalty free images

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Depositphotos

Photography
User review from
10
Maryna Bondarenko
Oct 29, 2015

 Depositphotos have been online for 6 years already. For now it has a huge photos, vector illustrations and footage collection. From the very beginning, they had tried to attract the best photographers. They even initially paid $0.20 for the first photos just after they were accepted (not sold!). The photographer's income depends on the sale type and on his rank. If the client bought the subscription, the price for the single photo would be less, than if he uses the credits. Despite of the fact that Depositphotos promotes the subscription many clients still use the credits, so you may be often pleasantly surprised by the sold photos' price. Moreover the customer sometimes gets the bonus with the sold photo. In this case even the bonus photo owner gets his income. Usually photographer gets from 44% to 52% from the sold photo, depending on his rank. The minimum withdrawal amount is only $50, so it is possible to make the quick money in short terms. There is detailed statistics where you can see which photos are viewed and sold best. There is also the feedback system for the customers. E.g. every person who bought your photo may leave you a message with the new photo requests. This increases the number of sales in the future. The other advantage of Depositphotos is helpful staff. If you are a photographer with the good portfolio on other stock photo sites, they will do their best to help you with uploading your photos and categorize them. There is the Live chat available. Uploading of images is very convenient. It is not necessarily to enter the category and keywords for each photo, you can use data from previous images. The photo reviewers are not very picky, and the photos are reviewed quite fast.

Pros :

  • The payments are growing over time $50 minimum for withdrawal.
  • Fast review times.

Cons :

  • No audio files.

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SmugMug

Photography
User review from
9
Maryna Bondarenko
Dec 26, 2015

It is possible to find hundreds of services for photo storage. Usually you get some storage for free with them, but not on SmugMug. But why in this case is it chosen by thousands of people around the globe? This service is created by the professionals for the professionals. Here the experienced photographers can create their own portfolios and even sell the photos right from SmugMug. There are more than forty themes are available. They can be changed easily. Besides, it is possible to use the own domain name for the photo gallery site. SmugMug users don't care about the photos size and the quantity of the photos, because all accounts may hold the unlimited number of photos of any size (even 22 megapixels are OK). Besides it is possible to store 1080p HD video up to 10 minutes. The user may create full screen slideshows or see the photos in the web browser, in the Android and iOS apps. Of course you will not see any ads here. It's worth mentioning that many popular programs including Lightroom , Aperture, Iphoto, and Picasa support SmugMug, so export is very easy. All photos that are stored at SmugMug can be easily shared through the most popular social sites. Besides there is an easy option for downloading the photos of any size including the originals. All content on SmugMug is stored safely because the service makes the backup of every photo and video (Amazon Web Services are used here). Advanced privacy settings are available for all. For example it is possible to make the photos visible for the others, but to disable the downloading and viewing of large size ones. The other option for privacy fighting is adding the watermarks. This can be made automatically for the batch of photos at once.

Pros :

  • Unlimited photo uploads (no limits on file size and the number of photos).
  • Great sharing options.

Cons :

  • No free version.

Most Favorable Critic Review

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Dreamstime

Photography
75
Anonymous contribution , Photo Buyer Guide

Monday 25 April 2011

It has to be said that Dreamstime offers its customers two options that are not available anywhere else. The first is availability of RAW-files for photos (not applicable to all files), and the second iscopyright buyout, which means that a particular image or photo will not be sold to any other user except you 

More about Dreamstime
View all the Dreamstime Critic Reviews
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Depositphotos

Photography
100
Anonymous contribution , Buy MicroStock

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Whether you’re a designer looking to buy images for a project or a photographer selling your stock, DepositPhotos make sit all very easy. Low pricing and flexible purchase plans make it easy to buy exactly what you need instead of just what you can afford and generous commission structures give contributors enormous earning potential.

More about Depositphotos
View all the Depositphotos Critic Reviews
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SmugMug

Photography
75
Anonymous contribution , Stuck In Customs

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Look. It’s great. Life is too short not to use the best. If something better was out there, I would definitely switch to it… Even if you are on a another site and already have a lot of momentum, I’d consider making the switch now because SmugMug is a powerhouse and it’s only going to get better.

More about SmugMug
View all the SmugMug Critic Reviews

Most Unfavorable Critic Review

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Dreamstime

Photography
59
Anonymous contribution , TopTenReviews

Wednesday 31 December 1969

Dreamstime is an underrated stock photography service that deserves more exposure than its getting.  The free image feature is something no one else in this category offers, which is reason enough for you to check them out.  They might not have the reputation and hype of their more prestigious competitors, but they're getting there.

More about Dreamstime
View all the Dreamstime Critic Reviews
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Depositphotos

Photography

No critic review available yet for Depositphotos .

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SmugMug

Photography
50
Imogen Moore , Site Builder Report

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Up until a few months ago, SmugMug was heavy on functionality and light on prettiness. Now they’ve overhauled their product and the beautiful themes are a pleasure. Unfortunately the editor is a nightmare – confusing and unintuitive.

More about SmugMug
View all the SmugMug Critic Reviews

Demo Video

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Dreamstime Demo Video

Photography
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Depositphotos Demo Video

Photography
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SmugMug Demo Video

Photography

Screenshots

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Depositphotos

Photography
Screenshot for Depositphotos 4 screenshots available

Typical Customer

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Dreamstime

Photography
  • Business
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Depositphotos

Photography
  • Business
  • Personal Use
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SmugMug

Photography
  • N/A

Supported Devices

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Dreamstime

Photography
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Depositphotos

Photography
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SmugMug

Photography

Supported Languages

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Dreamstime

Photography
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Portuguese
  • Polish
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Depositphotos

Photography
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Chinese
  • Portuguese
  • Polish
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SmugMug

Photography
  • English

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