Online printing (web to print) can be a viable option but it is often better to discuss your printing in detail with a print shop or mail house and have them print the piece for you. Many times online printing is more expensive than working with a local print shop and printing online can lead to expensive errors. When you print through a direct mail and print shop they can review the piece to ensure that the design meets all the postal regulations and that the artwork is properly formatted. Additionally print and mail shops can offer alternative ways of printing which can save time and money. A small error in the paper thickness, print orientation, or folding can lead to thousands of dollars in additional postage.
Printing is quite complicated and it is helpful to have an expert guide you through each step of the process. Having someone to guide you on the paper type, finishing, paper weight, paper size, print type can be helpful to get exactly what you want. Often times printers can make recommendations like adjusting the size slightly in order to get better pricing and faster turn around times. Additionally variable data printing is very complicated and should not be printed online, as the files need to be setup correctly to ensure the mail merge is run accurately and the formatting is consistent. Printing at a mail house also eliminates shipping costs and increases efficiency.
Sometimes it is much easier to print online, but doing so may lead to crucial pitfalls that could affect the look, feel, and price of your print job.