Finding images for your WordPress website is a universal need, but finding free, high-quality ones is something that you will always value. Good images help you create a sense of professionalism or beauty for your website. Many websites provide stock images or royalty-free images, but they commonly carry a price tag. We are going to list five sites that are great sources for website images that are royalty-free.
- Defining Royalty-free and Creative Commons
- Five Great Sources for Free Images
- Remember that “free” may have conditions
Royalty-free and Creative Commons
Before we start, we need to define “royalty-free.” Royalty–free (RF) material subject to copyright or other intellectual property rights may be used without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use, per each copy or volume sold or some time period of use or sales. (Wikipedia)
There’s also another type of licensing called Creative Commons that has the equivalent of “royalty-free”, but with some possible conditions depending on the selected license. This licensing is known as Creative Commons. To explain, we will let the Creative Commons website describe themselves:
Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. We unlock the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.from the Creative Commons About Page
In other words, they provide licenses that let you publicly use works that someone could have copyrighted. The following site recommendations make use of the Creative Commons licenses or use their own licenses for images that you can use for your website. Make sure that you check the terms of each website for details about their image licensing. For more information on the licenses provided with Creative Commons, please see their website.
Five Great Sources for Royalty-free Images
One of the best sites for finding and storing quality photos (or videos) of all types is Flickr. Though video support has been added, Flickr is mainly known for its extensive library of photographic images. Many professional and amateur photographers use Flickr to house their photos and videos. Additionally, Flickr provides a great search feature that will help you locate that hard-to-find image. You can even filter by license type. Pro Membership includes a terabyte of space for your photographs or video. Flickr’s goals include helping people make their photos available and enabling new ways to organize photos and video. The supported photo formats are JPEG, PNG, and GIF (non-animated). All other image formats are converted to JPEG. Supported video formats are MP4 (recommended H.264), AVI, WMV, MOV MPEG (1, 2, and 4), 3gp, M2TS, OGG, and OGV.
Rawpixel includes photography and designs that can be obtained freely or through a membership. Their mission is to provide access to design resources that reflect the reality of today’s society. Available image types include illustrations (vector type), photographs, and PSD mockups. Membership types include Free, Casual, and Premium. Free memberships can download up to 5 images per day (for commercial use). The Casual membership is for personal use only and the Premium membership is for commercial use. Both Casual and Premium membership downloads are unlimited.
SVG Silh is a no-nonsense website that is composed of images using the Creative Commons CC0 license. CC0 content is free for use with no restrictions. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) images can be downloaded in the SVG format or as a PNG (Portable Network Graphic) file. The website also includes an online editor for its images. All of the images are organized in categories that you can select on the home page. You can also immediately see the SVG graphic in a different color using the numbered colors at the top of the page. The available images are incredibly diverse and can be used or altered to meet your image needs. SVG Silh is very useful to find public domain images that you can utilize for your website’s needs.
Pexels provides quality, free stock photos that are tagged and easily searchable. Pexels’ mission states, “We help millions of designers, writers, artists, programmers and other creators to get access to beautiful photos that they can use freely which empowers them to create amazing products, designs, stories, websites, apps, art and other work. We call it: Empowering Creators.” Pexel provides both images and videos.
Reshot’s mission is to unify creators via freely exchanging the world’s best content. All photos published from Reshot are handpicked by the Reshot staff and available for personal or commercial purposes. Photos are also organized in packs of curated photos. They allow you to download these packs for you tweeting out about their service.
Things to Remember about the Word “Free”
Out of all of these different sites for royalty-free images, only one of them is truly “free”- the SVG Silh site. The images on that site are all set with the CC0 or public domain license. These images have no restriction on use. You will need to remember that all of the free images on the other sites may have a few requirements for use. These conditions can vary based on membership, the website’s licensing rules, and/or the Creative Commons license applied to the image. Always make sure to check the terms and conditions of each site before you copy images from any site that states that they have “free images.”
These five websites provide royalty-free, high-quality images that you can use for your WordPress website. Make use of these resources to create aesthetic websites that appeal to your customers or potential customers. And never forget to check that your images meet the conditions of the license that applies to their use. For more information on using images in your WordPress site, please see How to Optimize and Compress Images in WordPress.