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Types of web-to-print

Web-to-print is a very generic term. The meaning changes depending on who you talk to. We attempt to categories it here.

Website for printers

It’s the most basic offer you can find. In the nutshell, it’s an informational website about your printing business. It would have information about your business, equipment, capabilities, contact details and so on.

Web-to-print website example Web-to-print website example Web-to-print website example Web-to-print website example

There is no need to pay for something as simple as this because you can get it for FREE. We have detailed D.I.Y. instructions on how to put a really cool website together in a few hours and host it for $5 a month.

File transfer and quoting

File transfer and quoting can be bolted on top of your basic website structure. Customers can send you their files or fill in a form to request a quote. The price for this service has fallen through the floor and you can get free file transfer and free quoting in minutes.

Design it yourself

Anyone who can produce a design already has tools to do it. Most users do not want to design. They prefer to find a design they like and personalize it. This type of web-to-print software is only suitable for low end consumer products. The price for a design-it-yourself solution can be as low as $5. Get one now.

Template based

Template based web-to-print is ideally suited for business printing.

  • Corporate customers have to adhere to their branding.
  • They re-order often enough to justify the investment in making a template.
  • The simpler and quicker the ordering process is the more corporate customers like it.

There are many flavours of template-based web-to-print software, but the essence is the same: choose from a list of templates, type in your text, upload images, press the button and it’s all done for you. The fundamental difference for the business is in the technology used to prepare the templates and the cost per order.

PDF templates

PDF is fixed layout format designed to present the final output. Using PDF as your template is very limiting. Web-to-print systems have all sorts of PDF editing interfaces to make them usable as templates, but nonetheless there are too many limitations. This type of web-to-print is more than enough for simple products with straight text lines like business cards. It gets more difficult with creative designs where the variable elements undergo transformations like gradient fills, transparency, drop shadow, etc. The time it takes to explain what is what in your PDF to the web-to-print system may be more than what you save on taking a few orders.

InDesign and Quark Xpress templates

InDesign and Quark Xpress are the most advanced application used in pre-press and layout work. The cost of deploying their server solutions is very-very-very high. It is affordable to large printers or publishing houses only, but the ROI can still be questionable.

CorelDRAW templates

CorelDRAW is another well-known and respected vector graphic application. Our hosted web-to-print software accepts CorelDRAW files. The great advantage is that all the field names, layout rules and other constraints are right there in the file. You simply upload it and it’s ready to go. The cost of building the templates is brought to the minimum. E.g. you can convert a PDF file into a CorelDRAW template in about a minute.

CorelDRAW templates provide the best value for money with minimal design limitations.