An image says a thousand words, and while 1000 words are much better for search engine optimization, a high quality image will be invaluable to convert users and increase your website credibility. Getting high quality images will set you apart from other websites. If you don’t have a photographer on staff or don’t want to pay to have professional photos taken, public domain (free ) or royalty free images are a low cost solution to quality websites.
3 Types of Images
- Public Domain images – free to use however you want – pictures taken when working for the U.S. government or any pictures that you can download from a government website are automatically public domain.
- Right Protected images – purchased for a certain length of time for one design project. These images are usually negotiated directly with the photographer, and for a fee you receive exclusive rights to the image during the pre arranged time period. May work for big businesses, but not very effective for website designers.
- Royalty free images – purchased for a one time fee and you can use the image however you would like. Other websites and graphic designers can also purchase the same image. If you use a generic image, it is likely someone else in your field will use the same photo.
Free Online Image Stock Photo Resources
- Pexels Free online photo website with user submitted images.
- Flickr.com share, store, search, and sort your photos. Flickr is free, though you will have to register if you want to upload and edit your own images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the permissions carefully. If you use someone else’s Flickr image, it’s an unspoken rule to link back to its source.
- Bigfoto.com pictures from around the world, including America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Pacific. Each main category has subcategories, which allows you to choose from pictures in a certain theme or business industry.
- Fotogenika.net photos for free download for personal, educational, and nonprofit use. You cannot use the free images commercially, sell them, or claim authorship. The site is well organized, and it includes categories such as architecture, animals, people, and textures.
- FreeDigitalPhotos.net over 2000 free images that you can use in commercial and noncommercial work. You are not allowed to sell, redistribute, or claim these images as your own. You can browse by category or search for exactly what you need.
- Stock Vault 12 Thousand images that are completely free to download. There are many free image sites, but this one is stocked with high quality photographs. I was impressed at the professionalism of many photographers.
- FreePhotosBank.com non-exclusive, non-transferable license to images. You can search for photos, see which photos are the most popular, and which ones have the highest ratings or the most downloads.
- FreeMediaGoo.com large collection of images, audio, textures, and other visual mediums that you can use for free with some restrictions. You do not even have to credit the images. The site also features some amazing digital images if you are looking for something different.
- MorgueFile.com stock photographs in high resolution digital. With over 55,000 images, divided into several categories, they are sure to have something you can use. The thumbnails are small, but your search results display quickly, and the photos are of top quality.
- PhotoRogue.com offers a different concept. If you cannot find what you need, you can send a request. The service is free and uses volunteer photographers. If you like, you can also sign up for an RSS feed that will let you know when new images become available.
- SXC.hu high quality images taken around the world by amateur photographers. If you have an interest in photography, you can even submit your own pictures with over 100,000 images online. The photographers establish unique terms, so read the fine print, most pictures can be reused immediately.
- Picsearch.com search engine that crawls the web and indexes images. Make sure that you see the site’s licensing terms or contact the copyright holder before you download pictures. Edit your search by animation, color, or size to find exactly what you need.
- Canva also has a list of free stock photos that can be used in new wordpress themes.
Royalty Free Low Cost Image Sources
There are many more places to get free images and photos for your website, what sites do you use?