It used to be that when you needed a website, you contact website designers. Then Wordpress and other content management services came around, and you no longer have to learn HTML or call on your website administrator to add a page. For mockups, it used to involve Adobe Photoshop and a lot of frustration on your part, or you would have to call a graphic designer to work on it for you. The whole process used to be time-consuming and expensive, which is why mockup generators are a godsend.
Two of the best mockup generators are PlaceIt and SmartMockups. But which one is better?
After trying out both services, PlaceIt is better than SmartMockups for three main reasons:
- It is very flexible and gives you a greater degree of control for your mockups.
- It went beyond just mockups.
- It is more affordable than the competitor.
PlaceIt might be the better option, but is it the perfect mockup generator for you? Read on and find out.
PlaceIt vs. SmartMockups: What You Need to Know
While it’s easy to say that PlaceIt is better than SmartMockups, this doesn’t mean that you should just ignore SmartMockups. Before deciding on PlaceIt, you should first explore its competition.
The service offers a seven-day free trial that allows you to create your own mockups. The company offers more than 3,550 images that you can use. You can also use your own videos and images.
The beauty of using SmartMockups is that they allow you to use your images, or you can choose any one of their more than 3,500 stock images. The images are arranged by categories, including:
- Technology, featuring TVs, smartphones, desktops, laptops, and other devices.
- Print, with mockups of business and greeting cards, branding sets, magazines, brochures, vehicles, billboards, and others.
- Packaging, which gives you ideas on how to design packages and labels for food, beverages, vitamin supplements, and cosmetics, as well as boxes and bags that you can customize.
- Apparel, for those who want customers to see how their designs would look like to sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, tank tops, accessories, and face masks.
- Home and decor, allows you to touch up pillows, mugs, and other decorations and accents you find at home.
- Social media, where you can create mockups of how your business page will show up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others.
The free trial also allows you to customize your mockups all you want. Further, you can download your mockups in the following sizes:
- Low – 600 by 400 pixels
- Medium – 1,280 by 853 pixels
- High – 1,920 by 1,280 pixels
- Super high – 5,000 by 3,333 pixels
SmartMockups is very easy to use. Just choose the template you want to work on, and with a few tweaks, you can create an attractive mockup.
If you do like how SmartMockups work, you can pay for a plan. The company offers three different plans.
The premium plan is an excellent choice for individual users who like to have access to all free and premium mockups. They will also have access to all the new mockups that are released weekly.
Premium users can enjoy URL screenshots, wherein they only have to type a URL for the site to show up on their mockups. They also have unlimited exports and customization capabilities.
Further, you can connect your account to other apps such as Marvel, Canva, or Dropbox. The premium plan costs $14 billable monthly, or $9 per month billed yearly.
Pro users get everything that premium users get plus a few extras. For instance, they get custom mockups where they can use their own photos and images in the mockups that they use. They can also use their own videos.
Pro users also have several features that can make branding a whole lot easier. For example, you can use your company’s logo to watermark your mockups. You can also save your branding’s colors to make it easier to select from the color picker. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing changes to your mockups because of the automatic saving features.
The pro plan costs $24 per month, or $19 per month when billed yearly.
If you are a company that does a lot of mockups, you can sign up for the team account, where up to five employees can use the SmartMockups interface. You get all the features you get in the pro plan, but you will have team-based features such as a team library, priority customer support, and user management features.
With this plan, you get mockups with absolutely no need for third-party image manipulation software such as Photoshop. This plan costs $84 per month, or $69 per month billed yearly.
Advantages of Using SmartMockups
SmartMockups is an excellent way to present your new products, branding, and corporate identity to the world. It’s easy to use and has several features that allow you to create mockups fast, such as the URL screenshot feature, the alignment tools, and others.
The good news is that you can use your own images and just upload it to the site. What’s more, being able to capture a screenshot that the program will automatically fit into the mockup means saving a lot of time capturing and manipulating that screenshot yourself.
It also helps that the monthly fees are affordable. If you have some ideas on how to make things easier for you and other users, you can use the user forums and suggest a feature that you like. You can also ask questions there.
Disadvantages of Using This Mockup Service
One of the things that might turn you off is that it only has around 3,550 mockups that are ready to use, which is quite low. It also only works online and does not allow you to customize the mockups using text.
The Skinny on SmartMockups
SmartMockups allow you to create beautiful markups without spending too much time on it. You don’t even have to be a graphic designer or a Photoshop expert to do this. Everything is easy to use, and you can figure things out with no problems. You get professional looking and realistic mockups.
What’s more, SmartMockups can be used by graphic designers because of the quality of the images it offers. But it is easy to use that even beginners and ordinary users will be able to use it.
- URL screenshot feature
- Easy to use alignment tools
- Responsive developers and open to feedback
- Discounted rates if you commit to a longer contract
- Integration with third-party services
- Only works online
- No text-based customization
- Mockups done during the free trial have watermarks.
PlaceIt: Everything You Need to Know
PlaceIt allows business owners to say goodbye to Adobe Photoshop or graphic designers. PlaceIt helps you by providing mockups that are so photo-realistic that people will think you conceptualized it yourself in a studio with a top-notch photographer at the helm.
But what makes PlaceIt different from other mockup services is that it also offers other stuff such as:
- Design templates
- Animated videos
- Social media graphics
Logos are a big part of your corporate identity, so you must get it right. PlaceIt makes it easy for you to have the right logo. All you need to do is to enter your company name, and the industry you’re in. PlaceIt will make suggest templates for you.
All you need to do is to customize everything: from the logo graphic, font used, and the text you want. Some logos for a fictional bakery as suggested by PlaceIt.
Social Media Graphics
PlaceIt can help you create the best banners, Facebook ads, Facebook covers, posts, Instagram stories, Pinterest templates, Twitch banners, YouTube thumbnails, YouTube banners, and just about anything you need to make your social media accounts pop.
This service allows you to easily make slideshows, intros, Instagram stories, product videos, and more. You can customize everything from product names, images, effects, and even the audio track. You can also feature multiple products or images for each video. Or even splice two videos together.
Easily advertise your events or even get your products moving with easy to do flyers and posters from PlaceIt.
You may not be a graphic designer, nor know a thing about Adobe Photoshop or any other image manipulation software.
Working with PlaceIt, however, you can take a template and modify everything on it, from the colors of the clipart, the lines, the fonts, the color of the text, and even add another graphic or element to the customized product.
Mockups by PlaceIt
But the star of the show is PlaceIt’s mockups. For instance, for t-shirts, you only need to choose the template and then upload your design. Then select the shirt color and other modifications and presto–you have a t-shirt mockup ready for printing.
Pricing and Plans
PlaceIt gives you a chance to get an unlimited subscription for only $14.95 per month or $99.95 per year. If you get the yearly subscription, the monthly rate is reduced to only $8.33 per month.
BONUS: All Free Mockups users get 15% off any plan!
Or you can choose to buy only a single mockup, logo, or other designs. There are different single purchase prices, depending on what you want to buy:
- Mockups: $7
- Videos: $9
- Logo: $39
- Design template: $2
Getting Started with PlaceIt
PlaceIt currently has more than 43,900 templates for you to choose from, and more are added regularly.
Apart from these, PlaceIt also has several free tools that will help you manipulate images without having to open Photoshop or other image editors.
Image Cropper allows you to crop images online. Just upload your photo and then crop and resize it. Download the cropped images or share them. This helps you resize your images to get the right size and proportions. It can also help you create easy banners and take out parts of an image that you don’t want to use with your mockups.
The Video Cropper works the same way, only that it works with your videos rather than images. Meanwhile, the video to GIF converter allows you to create GIF files from your movies. You can crop your videos before converting it, ensuring that you have the perfectly-sized and great looking GIFs.
What You Will Like About PlaceIt
PlaceIt makes it very easy for you to create logos, flyers, mockups, and videos. It’s also straightforward to customize things as the site allows you to use text and images.
Also, the PlaceIt site is easy to navigate. On top of services (mockups, designs, logos, videos, and gaming), you can choose subcategories as well. For instance, for mockups, you can easily click on free mockups, t-shirts, apparel videos, hoodies, tank tops, mugs, tote bags, hats, and others.
Once you find the template you like, customizing it is easy. This service also allows you to customize everything, colors, fonts, text, images, and even add images.
Mockups now take only minutes instead of the hours that they once did. Can’t find what you’re looking for? You can suggest content and features to the team.
What Can Be Better About PlaceIt
One of the biggest disadvantages of PlaceIt is that they do not have a large library of images and templates. Some of these templates are also quite dated. What’s more, the subscription is set to auto-renew, so you need to cancel your subscription before the next payment cycle starts.
Some of the templates here feature some old devices such as iPhone 6. It would have been a lot better if the company removed these templates, instead of keeping them on to pad the 13,000+ library.
The Last Word on PlaceIt
PlaceIt is aimed at business owners and individuals who may not have the graphic design skills to create compelling graphics for their use. It is easy to use, and you can quickly create images that are professional looking.
What’s more, this service is not limited to mockups. You can create logos and other marketing and branding collaterals using PlaceIt. But the biggest wow factor is that you can create your own branded videos with this service.
Why is this a big deal?
Video is an excellent way to engage customers or visitors to your site. According to HubSpot research, 54 percent of consumers in four countries wanted brands to release videos, beating out emails and newsletters, as well as images. Meanwhile, 34 percent said they want to see more social videos from their favorite brands.
Videos are an excellent way to attract your target market and convert your audience from potential customers to buyers. You can use them to connect with consumers or audience. If your product needs explaining, a video does that better than an ad.
- Can be used not only for mockups, but also logos, videos, and other visual content.
- It allows you to customize using text and images.
- Very easy to use
- Professional-looking mockups, logos, and videos.
- Image library can be quite limited, with some templates looking dated.
- No refunds and the subscription auto-renews
PlaceIt vs. SmartMockups: How We Evaluated and What Features Should You Consider
When you’re comparing two services, it always helps to have a set of criteria that you can use to evaluate each. For this comparison, we took note of these:
- Image quality
- Size of image quality
- Other features such as export and import technologies and integration with third party services.
You will be using mockups for your business, so it has to be compelling. Consumers prefer high-quality images when they are choosing or buying a product: two out of three say that it is very important in their purchasing decisions.
In fact, 63 percent of consumers say that product image quality is more important than product information, and 54 percent prefer images to long product descriptions. Meanwhile, more than half, or 53 percent, say that images are more important than product reviews.
You can use free mockup software, but you get what you pay for. Some deliver unrealistic images, while others put their watermarks on the mockup that you create.
Next to image quality, a mockup service should also provide value for money. Consider how the cost compares to the image quality you get, as well as other deals such as discounts for higher levels of usage.
Large Image Library
Your chosen mockup service should also have a large collection of templates that you can use. These images should come in a variety of file formats as well. More importantly, the images used should be royalty-free. You don’t want to run into copyright-related legal troubles!
Conversely, the image library should be easily searchable. Not having a useful search function means that you will be spending minutes or even hours looking for the perfect image for your mockup.
Other Features You Should Consider
Which between SmartMockups and PlaceIt have it better when it comes to:
- Export options, or being able to download the finished mockup in the file format you wanted.
- Customization options, or how much flexibility do you have when it comes to manipulating the image so that you can create the perfect mockup.
- Import options, or how easy it is to upload the image you want to use for your mockups.
- Integrations, or how well does the mockup service work with other software such as Adobe Photoshop.
The Power of Images: Why It’s Important to Know Which Service Is the Best
Why should you include mockups? Images, in general, help you get more eyeballs and helps you engage your audience. According to top social marketing guru Jeff Bullas:
- Articles that contain images get 94 percent more views.
- Press releases that have photos and videos have more than 45 percent more views.
- Around six out of 10 consumers say that they are more likely to contact a business if they have a photo in local search results.
- Articles that contain images get 94 percent more views.
- Facebook engagement rates are higher for posts with photos than those with only text.
As such, using a mockup will help you engage your own audience. It’s a great way to hook them to your content, and even help you sell more. For instance, it’s challenging to describe t-shirt designs, which is why top brands have catalogs wherein models wear the company’s clothes. But not every business can afford this, so mockups are necessary for them.
SmartMockups vs. PlaceIt: Which Service Is Better?
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these two services:
When it comes to image quality, SmartMockups have some of the highest resolutions in this space. You can get resolutions of up to 5,000 by 3,333 pixels.
However, both SmartMockups and PlaceIt give you high resolutions that are Web-ready. This means that your mockups done on PlaceIt will probably look as good as the ones you create with SmartMockups.
At its lowest rates, SmartMockups charge $9 per month, while PlaceIt charges only $8.33. What’s more, PlaceIt allows you to buy single mockups if you don’t have plans to use images and videos as part of your marketing.
PLUS: All Free Mockups users get 15% off any PlaceIt plan!
Both SmartMockups and PlaceIt have thousands of images and templates that you can choose from. However, there are complaints that PlaceIt has dated designs.
SmartMockups work with Canva, Marvel, and Dropbox, which means that images that you store on these third-party services can be used for your mockups, without needing to upload it to the service. SmartMockups also have agreements with other companies that allow you to use their content for your projects. For instance, you can use Unsplash photos as backgrounds for your mockups.
PlaceIt does not offer any integrations. However, you can easily import photos from your own computer and use them.
When it comes to customization, both of these services do an excellent job of making this entire process easier. Both services allow you to upload a photo, and you can work with that and create the best mockups.
However, SmartMockups only lets you upload images for your mockups, unlike PlaceIt, which also allows for text-only changes.
PlaceIt also has more powerful tools for personalizing your mockups, logos, and other projects.
So, Which One Should You Get?
Taken together, it’s easy to see where each service excels and which one is better than the other.
Get PlaceIt, if you:
- Want an easy time creating logos, mockups, flyers, social media images, videos
- Want a greater degree of control when it comes to your projects
- Want to save money on a yearly subscription
Get SmartMockups, if you:
- Plan to focus on creating only mockups
- Need the highest resolution images for your mockups
- Are an experienced graphic designer that wants to have an easy way to work with images you have stored in Canva, Dropbox, and Marvel.
Other Services You Should Try
Of course, SmartMockups and PlaceIt are not the only ones that offer mockup generation services. Here are two that are worth checking out:
- Mediamodifier is well-known for having lots of templates and easy to use. It also stands out for offering PSD downloads. This service costs $19 per month, or $9 a month if billed yearly.
SmartMockups vs. PlaceIt: The Final Word
Mockup generators free you from having to spend time in front of your computer, trying to figure out which icon to press in Adobe Photoshop. Instead of spending hours and suffering through agony and confusion, you only need a few seconds or minutes to come up with a mockup you have in mind.
For most people, PlaceIt is the better option for this comparison. Businesses will be able to engage their customers and sell more with the mockups, videos, and other types of images that they can create with this service. SmartMockups is somewhat limited to its offerings. What’s more, PlaceIt allows businesses to create their own logos and other branding materials. Plus, it also offers free tools that guarantee you may completely ignore image editing tools.
This is not to say that SmartMockups is a slacker. It’s also an easy to use service that gives you great mockups. However, that’s all it does: mockups. If you need something else like a social video greeting for your business page on Facebook or a flyer for an upcoming rave party, you will need to look for and pay for another service.