We build a lot of websites and that means we use a lot of stock images. Although, some businesses get photos taken by a professional photographer to use on their website (always, a great idea). Sometimes, professional photos aren’t available or you need to supplement those professional shots with stock images.
It may be tempting to Google for a suitable image in Google images, but that is a big no no. All images have automatic copyright protection for the creator, unless it is stated that you can use the image royalty free. Plus , it just isn’t cool to steal content without attribution.
So where do you find quality royalty-free images?
Here are our go-to spots:
Adobe Stock images are royalty-free, but they aren’t free. You pay a monthly subscription to have access. Depending on your plan, you can download a certain number of images per month. We are on the standard plan that allows for 10 downloads a month with rollover if you don’t use all 10. That seems to do the trick.
Adobe Stock has a large selection of quality images and graphics. We go here first if we need something specific and/or are in a hurry.
2. Burst by Shopify
This is a collection of free, royalty-free images put together by Shopify with a specific focus on being useful for ecommerce sites. The selection is limited compared to some other sites, but if you can find what you are looking for, you will be happy. For the most part, the images on Burst are high-quality, hip, and website-friendly.
A large (2.6 million+) collection of free, royalty-free stock images. Includes more icons and vector-like illustrations than other free stock image sites mentioned here (you don’t download as vectors, but graphics that aren’t photos are available). You can definitely find some good images on this site.
Powered by Squarespace, this is another good source for stock images. Unsplash also has a large selection. Pretty reliable collection. Their images are all (or mostly all) photographs, so if you are after icons or drawn images, you might want to try Pixabay or Adobe Stock.
Also worth checking for an image. Pexels is another large free stock image site. They say they are the best site for free stock images. I would say Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay are fairly comparable, although if you try them all, you may develop a favourite depending on your style and the type of images you are usually looking for. Not a lot, or any icons and drawn images on this site.
JSYK – Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click through, it is much appreciated. If you make a purchase, we may make a commission, at no extra cost to you. We really, truly, only recommend sites, plugins and tips that we have tried and love using.