Comparing magazine publishing software applications

If you’ve found your way to this page, then it’s fair to say that you have an interest in magazine publishing software, and you want to know which platform is best for your product.

I’ve spent a lot of time using the three platforms (Issuu, Joomag, Yumpu) to break down the pros and cons of each while exploring their varying features.

So, without further ado, let’s compare these three excellent platforms.


Price is always a factor that sways business decisions and is very likely to decide which magazine maker software you choose for your business.

However, if you are running things on a tight budget then fear not, price need not concern you. In this case, each of the platforms we are comparing offers a free plan as well as various paid plans.

Intermediate$29 per month$9 per month8 E per month
Advanced$39 per month$39 per month79 E per month
Pro$309 per month$79 per month178 E per month
Pro PlusN/A$POA277 E per month

So, who wins the price war? I’m going to have to go with Joomag, their prices are the most affordable of all three magazine publishing software platforms.

Free Trials

All three platforms offer a free trial on at least one of their paid plans which are fantastic if you want to try before you buy as so many of us do.

Issuu offers a free 14 day trial on each of their paid plan, and yes, that includes the $309 per month plan!

Joomag provides a free 14-day trial. However, it is restricted to their starter plan only.

Yumpu offers free 30 day trials on both their starter and web kiosk plans.

This one is a tie-up between Issuu and Yumpu. While Issuu gives you trials of all their plans, Yumpu offers 30-day trials which let you get to grips with the platform and all its features.

E-Magazine Software

Free Features

With all three platforms offering a free plan – which platform provides the most feature packed free plan?

Single UserSingle UserSingle User
Mobile OptimizedMobile OptimizedMobile Optimized
-CRMUnlimited Magazines
-100 SubscribersUnlimited Pages

This table shows only the main features of each platform, and when we delve deeper, Yumpu’s free plan just blows the competition out of the water.

For example, with Yumpu, we can read our publications on Facebook, publish in over 70 languages, utilise their WordPress plugin, embed on a variety of platforms, link to our shops and much more.

So, it’s plain to see that Yumpu wins this one, offering the most feature packed free platform available on the market today.

Premium Features

Looking for something with a bit more depth? Let’s compare the full range of premium features offered by each of the magazine publishing software platforms.

Publication SizeStoragePublish documents globaly
Storage LimitUsersReach millions of readers weekly
Embedded ReaderPDF uploadingSSL encrypted communication
Mobile FriendlyAPIUnlimited number of e-Papers
In-document SearchDirect PDF download for readersUnlimited pages per e-Paper
Unlimited TrafficPDF exportPerfect to embed in web & blogs
Social SharingAds freeRead on Facebook
SEOReal-time analyticsOptimized social sharing
PDF ConversionSEO optimizationPlayer: HTML5, Flash, Javascript
Include VideoCustom mobile versionTablet and mobile player
Full-Screen Read ModeUser managementCross-links inside e-Paper
API AccessAdvanced rights and rolesAdd audio, video and links
Available StatisticsPriority supportSearch engine optimized
Standalone ReaderAudit logsContent delivery network
(Link directly to your publication)Dedicated account rep.Support community
Remove Related Publications from Embeds and ReadersSAML-based single sign-on (SSO)Publish in 70 languages
Schedule Publications99.99% guaranteed uptime SLAWordpress plugin
(up to 30 days in advance)Extended APIDeveloper API interface
Customize ReaderBrandingDeveloper PHP API library
(add logo, background photo, remove social links, etc.)Viewer customizatione-Paper zoom on Yumpu
Sharing ControlsLogo in the ViewerPublish via Dropbox from desktop
Automatic Detection of Text Links in PublicationsCustom background in the ViewerNo advertising
Enable Non-Member DownloadsCustom system messages / emailsPublish preview magazines
Disable User-Generated ClipsBranded CheckoutSet publishing and cancellation dates
Unlisted PublicationsMulti-brandingSet magazine printing
Collaborate users, titles and storagePublication privacySet PDF download
Flatplan and asset managementUnlistedManage social sharing
Publisher Print on DemandPrivate for team membersManage player branding
-Private for specific peopleTrack Analytics inside Google Analytics
-Password protectedLock magazines to your domain
-SellingSecure link for sharing and emails
-Selling hard copiesPassword protect magazines
-Selling subscriptionsUpload new document versions
-Selling issuesCustom branded kiosk site
-CommissionDrag and drop layout
-Discount couponsCustom Logo and colorscheme
-Branded CheckoutCustom CSS for your kiosk
-ViewersUse predefined stylesets
-Online desktop ViewerCustom bookshelfs
-Mobile ViewerHost on your subdomain (Optional)
-Standalone mobile apps (iOS & Android)Mobile optimized
-Facebook Mini ViewerIntegrate your social accounts
-DistributionImport your news via RSS
-Joomag NewsstandAdd custom HTML code
-Joomag App Store NewsstandManage your own ads
-Joomag Google Play NewsstandPromote apps with smart banners
-Awesome CRM™Manage appearance in search engines
-Mass mailingYou own iPhone & iPad app
-Email DesignerPublished by you as developer
-Email TemplatesLatest iOS7 technology
-Segmentation and groupsHighspeed display engine
-Sending issuesYour corporate design
-Sending complimentary subscriptionsCustom logo & layout
-Email campaign analyticsCustom layout
-Custom subscribe formsCustom content
-Exporting subscribersStore magazines on device
-Double opt-InWebsite and Forms integratable
-Subscriber analyticsStore video and audio on device
-SubscribersManageable chapters
-SharingLinks in & to apps
-EmbeddingWeb & image layers
-BookshelfInApp fulltext search
-Linking social media accountsData traffic included (150 GB)
-Direct link with short URLSell your premium content
-Integration with Joomla and WordpressInApp payment
-Sharing private publicationUser management
-Custom DomainSubscription management
-Crater™ EditorAdvanced rights and roles
-Stunning templatesRecurring revenue handling
-Video and audio-
-Links / Hotspots-
-Beautiful stock images-
-Image Editor-
-Layout tools (Grids, Layers, Snapping)-
-Custom fonts-

As you can see both Joomag and Yumpu have extensive feature sets. While the table shows, Joomag has a few more features, on closer inspection Yumpu’s feature set is arguably the most comprehensive and therefore is the real winner for me here.

Ease Of Use

How easy the software is to use is another very important factor for many people when choosing their preferred magazine publishing software platform.

To be fair, all three platforms are very easy to use, they all offer quick uploads and are easy to navigate. With the drag and drop upload feature included on all platforms even the most technologically impaired can publish a magazine via any of the three solutions in a matter of minutes.

There is no outright winner in this area – all three platforms do an excellent job by quickly converting your pdf into a beautiful online magazine.


So, what happens when something goes wrong? Who is on hand to help you out? How good is the quality of the support you will receive?

Both Issuu and Joomag offer a knowledge base for their products. I scoured through both of them; they are both easy to navigate, and I found answers for most of the basic questions one would have.

All three platforms offer community support where you can connect with other platform users to discuss issues, errors, bugs, and workarounds. In this instance, I found Issuu’s community to be somewhat quiet in comparison to the communities at Yumpu and Joomag.

It’s also worth noting that while Yumpu doesn’t offer a knowledgebase, they do offer something neither Joomag or Issuu offer – live support. I found the live support at Yumpu to be extremely helpful and much more reliable than waiting (and hoping) for a community member to respond on a forum.

I would score this a three-way tie again. Issuu and Joomag offer a comprehensive knowledge base twinned with community support while Yumpu opts for both live and community support.



Looks are important, and as I discussed in a previous article, cognitive bias often means we give more value to people, products, or brands simply because they are attractive to us.

All three of these platforms offer beautiful final product and it’s worth keeping in mind that your designs will ultimately play a bigger role in the overall attractiveness of your publication than the software. However, each platform does have slight differences in the way it displays your magazines.

In my humble opinion, Joomag just edges both Issuu and Yumpu in the design stakes with slightly cleaner feel to their overall design and display.


All three platforms offer a fantastic magazine publishing software solution, each excelling in different ways. This was a closely fought contest and one that was tough to judge. But we do have a winner – Yumpu .

Yumpu scored five points in my comparison just beating Joomag (four points) and Issuu (three points).

Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you like (or dislike) about each of the three platforms in the comments below.


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