Visuals constitute a big part of a website’s appeal. A web page without appealing photos or graphics stands little chance of retaining visitors, or getting them to read the text, click on links or buy the products.
But, how do you procure those visuals? The ideal way is to use your own original imagery. However, this can turn out to be very expensive and time-consuming if you want your photos to be high resolution, professionally taken and right on topic.
Another option is to use high-resolution stock images. But buying them on websites like Shutterstock, BigStockPhoto, 123RF or DreamsTime may involve significant cost.
So, what is the budget-conscious webmaster to do? Luckily, almost all of the top website builders we’ve reviewed offer free stock photos. And if those don’t cover your needs there are quite a few good outlets where you can find free images for your website to use in any way you like. Here’s our pick.
This is a well-known resource of free pictures many website owners use. The website is searchable and easy to use. There are different file sizes available. One word of caution, though: read the attribution and license terms for each image you download. Some photos are public domain, which means no attribution is required. Some cannot be used in commercial purposes, but you can freely insert them in your blog. Visit Wikimedia Commons.
Public Domain Archive
A project initiated by an enthusiast graphic designer and photographer from Athens, the Public Domain Archive is a repository of free stock photos, all in high resolution. The site has an internal search feature, but this is not accessible from the home page. Once you get to one of the pages, you will see it in the right hand sidebar, where you can also find a list of categories, in case you find it easier to browse the pictures this way. Visit Public Domain Archive.
Here you will find a huge collection of free stock photos, vectors, illustrations and videos, all released under public domain license. Just enter your keywords and search for the visual you need to create a more appealing website. Visit Pixabay.
Offering high quality images free of charge, PicJumbo is more than a webmaster can wish for. The database is refreshed every month, and they also offer a premium option if you want to download all the photos they have at once. Visit PicJumbo.
This is the best resource around for high resolution landscape photos. Moreover, ten new photos are added every day. Visit Unsplash.
Looking for desktop backgrounds style images? Browse the impressive collection the Dutch photographer Folkert Gorter has been curating, and you might find just what you were looking for. Visit Superfamous.
New Old Stock
Difficult to find antique photos? Not if you have the right address! Since there is no search option, you will have to scroll down to see the images, but it’s well worth the effort. Visit New Old Stock.
So, what are you waiting for? With so many resources for free stock images at your disposal, you can start building your website today!
Keep the list handy and, if you want to have an even wider range of royalty free visuals at your disposal, read the reviews and pick a website builder that offers a sizeable bank of free website images.