Way back in 2011, when I first started using Instagram, I loved how easy it was to edit and share photos that looked stunning and unique. The trouble was, when Instagram exploded in popularity we all started using the same set of filters. Eventually, our photos stopped looking as unique in a feed full of Valencia-filtered selfies (#original).
This didn’t matter to me much at the time considering I was sharing photos on my personal Instagram feed. However, when you’re sharing photos to promote your business on your website or social media channels, your images should be unique and high-quality to help put your brand’s best foot forward.
If you’re at an early-stage startup and don’t have the time or budget for an in-house photographer, DIY photo editing apps can help. You’ll be able to create high-quality images quickly and at a fraction of the price.
One of those options is PicMonkey, an online photo editor that provides a wide variety of photo editing capabilities and templates for creating different types of web images. PicMonkey offers a free trial, but not a free subscription tier, so you can only try it out for a week before deciding if you like it enough to start paying for it. With that in mind, you may be on the lookout for photo editing tools you can start using for free (or more affordably than PicMonkey).
Whether you need more image editing capabilities, better templates, or a better price, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best free, free-to-start, and paid PicMonkey alternatives, so you can figure out which tool is the best value for your time, talents, and money.
10 Best PicMonkey Alternatives for Image Editing
Price: Starts at $8.99/month for a Basic subscription
Fotor offers a variety of photo editing capabilities, such as retouching, resizing, and filtering, within an interface that makes it easy to slot your images into social media, web templates, or collages. You can also add different effects to your images within the tool. Fotor users will want to upgrade to Fotor Pro for increased capabilities, such as image storage in Fotor Cloud, batch image processing, and more advanced editing and retouching capabilities than in the Basic subscription.
Choose Fotor if:
- Easy social media sharing is your thing. Fotor lets you edit photos and slot them into templates.
- You plan to do a lot of image retouching.
Price: $25 per month.
RelayThat is a DIY design tool that helps users create eye-catching custom graphics for web and social media sharing. It offers a wide library of customizable templates, images, and fonts to choose from. Plus, it makes suggestions for users based on uploaded brand colors, logo, and fonts to help you create the most effective image for your medium. RelayThat also automatically resizes images for you, so you don’t have to waste time duplicating images and resizing them for different platforms.
RelayThat makes it easy for you to edit your own images with overlays, text, borders, and templates. Or you can choose from their library of more than three million edited, copyright-free images. The tool doesn’t offer RAW photo editing capabilities, but if your use case is to edit JPEGs to include them in images for your web and social media channels, RelayThat will help you the fastest and easiest.
Choose RelayThat if:
- You want to use templates and get suggestions to make the most effective graphics for your goals.
- You’re looking for a tool that’s intuitive and easy to use.
Price: $49 for lifetime access
Pixlr is available in Regular or Express format, both of which are a good option to replace PicMonkey. The Regular version of Pixlr offers more complex photo editing features within an interface that’s similar to Adobe Photoshop. Meanwhile, Pixlr Express has fewer features and is easier to use. Users will want to upgrade to Pixlr’s Advanced subscription to access photo overlays, icons, and text to add to images, as well as AI editing tools — if you need to create social media or web images, you won’t be able to do that with the free version of Pixlr.
Choose Pixlr if:
- You’re looking to customize your photos with different effects and overlays to make them unique.
- You don’t need RAW photo editing capabilities.
- You’re familiar with the Adobe Photoshop interface and are looking for a more cost-effective alternative.
4. Adobe Spark
Price: Free with Adobe Creative cloud subscription; $9.99/month for Individual subscription
Source: Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is Adobe’s solution for users who need to create images for social media and web sharing but don’t have the time or knowledge to use Photoshop to do so. Enter Photoshop’s lightweight, user-friendly counterpart. Adobe Spark offers a ton of design templates to choose from so you can design the right images for different platforms. Its mobile app is also one of the slicker and more intuitive interfaces we’ve seen. That means Adobe Spark is a helpful tool to choose from if you capture a lot of photos from live events and have to edit them on the fly for immediate social sharing.
Adobe Spark’s primary use cases fit those looking to quickly and easily create social media images and collages. If you need RAW photo editing capabilities or to edit standalone photos, this likely isn’t the right solution for you.
Choose Adobe Spark if:
- You’re already familiar with other Adobe tools and are comfortable with the interface.
- You want to create social media and web images and collages.
- You want to be able to easily create and edit images via mobile.
Price: Starts free; $4.95/month for a Premium subscription
Ribbet wins points for being slicker to use than PicMonkey. Its processing power makes it faster and easier to edit, export, and render photos. This comes in handy if you’re creating lots of social media graphics or collages at once, or you’re batch-editing photos. Ribbet also has a mobile app you can use for photo editing on the go.
Choose Ribbet if:
- You’ve tried PicMonkey before and want a slicker interface.
- You need a tool that allows you to make edits and render photos quickly.
Price: Starts free; $6.99/month for a Plus Subscription
FotoJet is an all-in-one photo editing and DIY graphic design tool. It offers basic editing tools like resizing and adjusting color and exposure. It also comes equipped with more advanced features like photo sharpening, as well as noise and focus editing. On top of that, users can choose from its template and effects libraries to create truly unique images to share on different platforms.
Choose FotoJet if:
- You’re looking for a mix of basic and advanced photo editing capabilities within a simple interface.
- You want to use templates for collages, social media graphics, and other web applications.
Price: Free with a Buffer account
Pablo by Buffer makes it fast and easy to create engaging visuals for social media sharing — which you can do with the help of Buffer’s social media tools. You’ll get a library of images to choose from (or you can upload your own), and you can add text, logos, and filters and resize them for vertical, square, or rectangular sharing on social media. Pablo by Buffer isn’t an image editor per se, as its editing capabilities are fairly limited, but if you want to customize photos quickly and easily share them on social media, it’s a great option — especially if you already use Buffer.
Choose Pablo if:
- You already use Buffer for social media sharing and scheduling.
- You’re interested in making only light edits to photos to use them for effective social media images.
For a photo editing tool that starts free and stays free, GIMP’s open-source software might be right for you. It has plenty of basic photo editing capabilities, but it’s not an all-in-one tool like PicMonkey or some of the other alternatives on this list. That means it doesn’t come with any templates to use for creating images for specific platforms. Its interface is also one of the more complicated ones we’ve seen in our research.
Choose GIMP if:
- You want a completely free open-source tool.
- Your goals include image retouching, composition, and rendering.
- A more complicated user interface doesn’t bother you, and you don’t need templates to work out of.
9. Apple Photos
Price: Free with Mac and Apple computers, phones, and tablets
You likely already have access to a great free photo editor on your laptop, iPhone, or tablet: Apple Photos. With Apple Photos, you can keep track of your photos and edit them within the same tool using its basic and RAW photo editing capabilities. Apple Photos doesn’t offer templates to make graphics for other platforms, but you can add visual effects, retouch photos, add text or paint to photos, and create albums within this easy-to-use tool.
Choose Apple Photos if:
- You already own a Mac or Apple computer, phone, or tablet.
- You’re looking to edit and organize your photos in the same place.
- You don’t need templates to create images for different web platforms.
Price: Starts free; $6.99/month for a Plus subscription
BeFunky is another all-in-one photo editing and graphic design platform to help you edit photos and turn them into something unique for your web channels. It offers a ton of unique text, sticker, and editing features. On top of that, its website offers a wide variety of tutorials, so users can get the most out of the tool. BeFunky doesn’t include RAW photo editing capabilities, but there are still basic edit features like image blurring, making backgrounds transparent, and adding effects. BeFunky also lets you make unique designs, like turning photos into art-style or cartoon-style images.
Choose BeFunky if:
- You’re editing photos for a variety of different uses across your website and social channels.
- Their “funkier” features are right in your wheelhouse.
Price: Starts free; $5.99/month for a Plus subscription
If you’re looking for an intuitive, easy to use image editing and design tool that also has the scope and power to deliver pro-standard results, then Colorcinch may just be the image editor for you. Colorcinch is an image editor, cartoonizer, and photo art creator in one. There’s no steep learning curve and no need to register with the site, which saves a lot of time and effort when all you want to do is get on and edit.
Colorcinch features an array of essential photo and text editing tools, as well as a unique collection of adjustable effects, filters, overlays, and masks. You also get the option to export your images at higher resolutions up to 300 DPI, which is a must for creating professional-looking prints.
Choose Colorcinch if:
- You’re looking for a free, well-polished all-in-one image editor
- You are looking for a photo editor with an extensive library of filters, effects, graphics and other one-click presets
When it comes to image editing platforms as well as most software, it’s always a good idea to define your unique use cases and assess how different tools fit into your budget.
But no matter what your goals are, one of these tools will help you save time when it comes to editing photos for your business.
For a DIY photo editing and graphic design tool with the capabilities and templates you need at a startup-friendly price point, purchase lifetime access to Pixlr for only $49.
If you’re a founder looking for even more tools to help you grow your business, check out AppSumo’s directory of affordable business tools for founders and their growing companies.
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