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How to Choose the Right UK Online Greeting Card Website

UK Online Greeting Card Websites image


Greeting card websites offer a convenient way of sending cards to friends and loved ones. Whether you can't get to the store, or you've just remembered that you need to send a card to somebody special, they offer a valuable service from the comfort of your computer, never close, and compare favourably with purchasing and mailing cards yourself. Their value is such that once you begin to send your cards this way you may never want to have to browse at the store again.

After all, you can not only view thousands of cards from the comfort of your home, but you can personalise your card in a number of ways, unlike the ones you buy at the store. In order to alert you to the possibilities afforded by this service, we provide the following guide and reviews to give you a better idea about what's on offer, summarising the main features of greeting card websites, helping you to to make an informed choice.

Greeting sites can differ significantly in terms of both their style and content. The site that's best for you will primarily depend upon your needs and preferences. Below is a basic breakdown of greeting card sites in terms of what they do and do not offer.



  • Ecards are electronic cards that are sent via email to a single recipient or multiple recipients. To send an ecard both the recipient(s) and you need to have a valid email address.

  • You'll usually find ecards arranged by theme and occasion.

  • It's easy to send an ecard. Basically, you select a card, write your message and email it. The recipient is sent a link that they click to access their ecard. On some sites you can also receive an email notification when your card has been received.

  • Some websites are dedicated ecard sites, however, only one site in this category fits this description (ecards.co.uk). Quite often, in addition to offering a range of free ecards, some sites offer a premium service. For a nominal subscription fee you get access to premium ecards, often with better animation and music. Despite the low cost of membership these are probably only worth signing up to if you send lots of ecards.

  • You often get what you pay for. Whilst a lot of ecards include animation and sound, the quality between sites varies significantly. The free sites tend to feature lower quality ecards that can only be personalised by adding your own text. In contrast, the subscription ecard sites mostly feature much better quality cards, a much wider selection and more customisation options, sometimes even allowing you to upload and add your own images or sounds for unique animated content.

  • To view animated ecards you will need to have installed the Sun Microsystems Java Player and/or Adobe Flash Player on your computer.

  • In addition to emailing your cards, many sites enable you to share cards via social networking sites such as Facebook.


Printed greeting cards:

  • Printed cards come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes. They are much the same as the greeting cards you buy in the store, except you buy them online.

  • Most websites selling printed greeting cards will arrange them according to theme and occasion. On the better sites you are able to narrow your criteria by filtering cards within each category by age, recipient, card type, etc. When you find a card you like, you can select it and personalize it in many different ways before submitting your order.

  • Alternatively, many sites allow you to upload your own photos and images and create your own cards this way.

  • You can typically browse existing designs and personalize the card with your own text.

  • Because you will not be able to see and handle the card, it's important  that you check what kind of card it is (e.g. flat or folded), the paper/print materials used, the size of the card and whether the price includes envelopes, shipping, etc.

  • Some sites will allow you to purchase single greeting cards (e.g. Moonpig.com, Hallmark.co.uk), whilst others make you buy in larger quantities, usually a minimum of 15-25 depending on the design (e.g. Paperstyle.com, Sendoutcards.com). You'll pay considerably less per card for bulk orders.

  • You can typically choose to have the cards you purchase sent to your home address for you to mail, or get cards mailed for you. An extra fee will apply for this.


Other features:

  • Card editor:
    • The great thing about buying a card online is that you can often get exactly the same cards as you'd see at the store, with the added bonus that you get to personalize them.

    • Editing your card is usually performed online, although there are one or two sites where special software must be downloaded (e.g. Smilebox.com through Hallmark.co.uk). Card editors differ across sites, with free sites offering more basic editing options and subscription sites giving you more control and embellishments. Full instructions and help guides can be found on nearly all sites.

    • Whilst all cards can be personalised, there are a couple of points to note. Unless you select a photo card design, you will be unable to upload your own images, therefore be careful when you choose. Usually, you're limited to creating your own message (can feature on the front, inside and back of the card).

    • Typical card editing options include changing fonts, changing text size, color and position of text. There may be more or less depending on the website and the card you select.

  • Account Manager:
    • If you sign up for a membership you'll typically have an account in your name to help you organise and manage your activities.
    • An address book feature allows you to compile a list of contacts and address cards at the click of a button.
    • A reminder service informs you of important upcoming dates so you don't forget to send a card.
    • Future send option allows you to specify when a card is sent, for anything from a month up to a year in advance.

  • Help and assistance:
    • All sites will have instructions and guidance, usually in the form of a FAQ section. If you need further assistance, email, telephone/fax and online support are usually available, though this depends on the site.

  • Other products:
    • Many greeting card sites deal in more than greeting cards. e.g. many will deal in other gifts (e.g. Moonpig.com, ClintonCards.co.uk, FunkyPigeon.co.uk) to accompany a special occasion.


Sending greeting cards:

  • Ecards are normally emailed to the recipient, however, some sites allow you to share cards via social networking sites such as Facebook.

  • Printed cards can be shipped directly to you or mailed to recipients.

  • Downloading a mobile app (e.g. from ecards.co.uk) lets you order cards using your iPhone (some sites support Android) and send printed cards this way.



  • With most sites in this category cards will be priced in two main ways. The most common way is to charge by the card size/type. This means that all cards of a particular size/type will cost the same, no matter what the design (though some special designs may not be included). Alternatively, cards may be priced individually, in which case the price often appears on the thumbnail image when you're browsing.


Paying for cards:

  • More or less all of the sites in this category require you to register your details before you can purchase cards and you pay each time you place an order. You may also find the odd site that charges a membership subscription that entitles you to a preset number of cards.

  • The following forms of payment are commonly accepted:
    • Credit card
    • Debit card
    • PayPal
    • FreePay. Allows you to pay offline at any outlet with a PayPoint counter.
    • PrePay. This enables you to add credit to your website account that you can spend later. Often you get bonus credit by using PrePay (e.g. Moonpig.com and FunkyPigeon.co.uk)


The Bottom Line:

Greeting card websites offer varying degrees of style, content and functionality. So it's worth shopping around to see which one is best suited to your needs & tastes.