If you're looking for an image editor software for your blog posts and social posts, Fotor may be the only tool that you need. Well, it has 3 tools in one in fact - graphic maker, photo editor, and collage maker. It's free to use and the optional Pro features are useful and 1/2 the price of Canva. They're all easy to use, a finished graphics can be downloaded unlimited times and optimized (compressed to smaller size but good-enough quality) for web posts.
I don't have any professional skills in photography nor designing and find Fotor as a perfect accompaniment for my work. My Fotor review today is mainly focused on graphic-creation from an online marketer's point of view.
Free - $8.99 p/m (Pro) - $19.99 p/m (Pro+)
What Is Fotor?
Fotor is graphic software, available on a web browser as well as apps for Windows, Mac, and smartphones respectively. The web browser version and the desktop apps allow you to edit photos and create artistic design posters, whereas the smartphone app is a pure photo editor.
Both the browser and desktop versions have three separate tools;
- Photo Editor - It has all the features that any standard photo editor has, such as resizing, cropping, enhancing, and adding extra graphics, text, as well as "beauty" face adjustments.
- Collage Maker - Display multiple images of your choice in the sizes, shapes, and layout of your choice.
- Graphic Design Maker - Create cover graphics for blog posts, social posts and profile covers, any others such as PDF documents, printed leaflets, book covers, etc.
Photo Editor is a simple version of Adobe Photoshop so anyone without photography skills can edit any type of image. Whereas Collage Maker and Design Maker are similar to Canva - you can create your own design work either from a template or from scratch and, again, they're easy enough for anyone to handle and create professional-looking graphics.
Fotor is free to use but the free version has limited access to the ready-made templates and clip-art elements. You'll have access to a lot more features when you become a Fotor Pro member, which will cost you from $3.33 per month (web browser), $3.25 per month (desktop app), and $2.46 per month (mobile app) based on the annual plan respectively. Fotor Pro "Plus" option will also be available for heavy users.
Signing Up With Fotor
Well, the Fotor app is free to download and will let you start using it without signing up. Whereas with the web browser version, there's very little you can do unless you're logged in. So I suggest that you sign up free first, and as a free user, you can use your own photos and free stock images that you download from elsewhere, and save your work in-cloud.
Desktop App or Web Browser?
I have tried both the desktop app (for Mac) and the web browser. The dashboards are not identical but almost similar to each other and I find them both equally easy to use - no personal preference. The desktop version (for Mac) takes up just over 210Mb of my harddrive, which is a lot smaller compared to Photoshop (Photoshop Element itself is around 40Mb or so but it only works with Adobe Organizer App which is 2.5Gb).
Perhaps if you're in a slow wifi environment, you'll get your work done quicker using the Fotor app rather than the web version.
Another thing that you may want to note about the desktop app is that while the photo editor can be used offline from start to finish, the design creator cannot be - your own photos must be saved Fotor's in-cloud space first. Likewise, your design work can only be saved in-cloud.
As far as website posting is concerned, I do use a photo editor just to resize, crop, and compress the file size for the web, plus occasionally add a text overlay. Fotor's editor does a perfect job. When downloading (exporting) the finished, you export it as a "Normal JPG" resolution that is preset. If you feel that an image is still fairly large, you can use another site such as TinyPNG to compress it further.
There are all other features that a photo editor usually have to enhance your photos such as;
- Basic adjustments - Color, brightness, shadows & highlights, rotate, crop & resize.
- Add frames - In various styles, simple, borders, shadow, polaroid, classy, etc.
- Effects - Change the tone of the entire photo, e.g. greyscale, retro, oil painted, pixelate, film grain, color splash, etc.
- Beauty - Blemish fix, smoothing, wrinkle remover, weight loss, teeth whitening, eyes (red-eye removal, eye shadow/liner, mascara, etc.)
- Add elements - Hundreds of ready-made clipart to add.
- Add text - There are about 200 Alphabet fonts to choose from, plus some Japanese and Chinese fonts.
If you have a photo-rich blog but you're not a professional photographer then you might find these useful for sure.
Graphic Design Maker
Fotor's design maker allows you to create pretty much any type of graphic cover for your blog site, social posts, ads, and documents. The templates include;
- Social media - Facebook cover, Facebook post, ditto for Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn, Instagram post, Instagram story, YouTube thumbnail, YouTube channel art, Snapchat geofilter, Twitch banner, Soundcloud banner.
- Marketing - Logo, business card, blog title, blog graphic, email header, newsletter, flyer, post, brochure, gift certificate, coupon, ticket, banner ads, and any other social media ads.
- Business documents - Presentation, letterhead, resume, event invitation, invoice, and certificate.
- Any other graphics - including; photo collage, wallpaper, postcard, recipe card, calendar, gift tag, magazine/book/album cover, card for the occasion, mobile wallpaper, etc.
You can either start by picking one of the temples and customize it to make your own design or start from a black canvas with dimensions of your choice.
Fotor vs Canva
Fotor's design maker is often compared with Canva because the format is almost identical to each other. According to Wikipedia, both companies were established in 2012 but from the number of employees, Canva seems to have a lot larger share. I don't know the competition history and that's none of my business, anyway. I can only compare the usability, availability, and pricing of the two design makers.
The first thing I looked at and actually felt a little let down by Fotor is that there are significantly fewer design templates available for a free user, compared to Canva. Both Fotor and Canva display the mixture of free templates and premium-only templates in random order, making it harder for a free user to find the ones they can use. Not too hard with Canva as there seems to be a fair amount of free ones, but with Fotor, there are a lot fewer of them and you can only tell a template is free or Pro when you hover your cursor over each one.
Fewer clipart elements and shapes are available but most of the basic ones (such as square, circle, arrows, and basic icons) are there, which I suppose will be enough for online business purposes.
Canva is equipped with royalty-free stock photos, so it saves you from downloading images from elsewhere and uploading them onto the dashboard. Whereas all Fotor's stock photos are for Pro users only.
While Canva allows you to create video posts and transform a still image poster into a few seconds of animated presentation, Fotor currently only allows you to create still graphics.
Finished images can be exported in various different formats;
- Canva - High-resolution PNG, standard-resolution JPG, standard-resolution PDF, high-resolution PDF, MP4 video, or GIF (plus SVG for Pro user).
- Fotor - Standard-resolution JPG, high-resolution JPG, high-resolution PNG, or standard-resolution PDF (plus high-resolution PDF for Pro user).
Both allow you to create a PDF file with multiple pages, enabling you to create an ebook.
Now the pricing structures are not exactly comparable because they offer different functionalities. While Canva allows you to create videos, Fotor does not, but while Fotor also provides a great photo editing tool, Canva doesn't. Also Fotor's Pro version is only 1/3 of the price of Canva, but Canva's Pro version allows up to 5 users.
- Canva Pro - $12.95 per month or $119.40 if paid yearly - up to 5 people
- Fotor Pro - $8.99 per month or $39.99 if paid yearly
For enterprise users, both offer an even more enhanced version, which is;
- Canva Enterprise - $30 per month per person
- Fotor Pro Plus - $19.99 per month or $89.99 if paid yearly
If you're working for yourself from home online, the price of Fotor's Pro version $3.33 ($39.99 per year) I think is extremely reasonable and it provides more than enough resources for social posts and updating your websites.
Fotor has fewer fonts than Canva, and I cannot find the fonts that I've often been using on Canva, but that's my personal choice. And equally, I feel that Canva has too many fonts that it often takes me ages to choose the right one. So being equipped with fewer fonts doesn't mean bad - sometimes less choice is more! There are still 200 or so fonts available in Fotor, plus several Japanese fonts and quite a lot of Chinese fonts.
Create a Brand Logo
If you are setting up a new website, you need to create a brand logo but you don't want to spend a lot of time or money. Especially if it's a brand new site for your own work-from-home business, there are other things to prioritize and, you'd like to create a simple logo fairly quickly.
One way is to use an online logo maker and pick a ready-made template. But a lot of "instant logo makers" only offer logos with a colored background. The good thing about Fotor is that it enables you to download your graphic with a transparent background (although only available to a Pro user). A logo that you create with Fotor can be placed anywhere regardless of the background (solid color, gradient, or image) and it can also be used as a watermark. Creating a combination of an image & text with a transparent background using graphic software can be tricky, whereas you can produce a logo with crystal-clear edges with Fotor effortlessly.
Multiple Languages Enabled
Talking about Chinese fonts, Fotor is a Chinese company by the way, the whole platform is available in several languages; English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese.
Help and Support
The help page has plenty of knowledgebase articles, listed by category (platform type or features). You can also search for topics by keywords. If you're stuck, email support is also available.
Fotor Pros and Cons
Fotor Review - Conclusion:
I see many online business beginners struggle to (1) find out which graphic software is best to use and (2) learn to use it. You don't have to master the features from top to bottom - software is usually packed full of everything for anyone such as paintbrushes and alternative effects, none of which is needed for you to promote your business online. Fotor is extremely easy to use and is equipped with all the elements to create graphics for your blog site, landing pages, ebooks, email headers and social posts.
Sign up free and see how easily workable it is for you. Any questions and thoughts, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.