Images have become a vital component of online content over the last ten years. This is partly due to the increase in internet speeds and partly due to the rise in popularity of sharing content on social media services. From a reading perspective, images are important as they break up long articles and make it easier to digest information.
Finding images for posts on Elegant Themes has not been difficult for me as I have been reviewing a lot of plugins and services. Therefore, I have been using screenshot images. With many other topics, a screenshot cannot be used; however it is still important to include relevant images where possible.
One of the stumbling points for many website owners is the uncertainty over whether an image can be used or not. It’s understandable as no one wants to receive a bill and a threatening letter from a large stock image company.
You should therefore avoid searching for images using tools such as Google Images, as many of the images that you will find through the service have been used illegally. Do not be fooled into thinking an image is safe to use as many others have been using it. It is no guarantee that the owner of the image will not contact you about using the image illegally.
Let us take a quick look at the most common licenses that you will see for images:
- Public Domain – Images in which the intellectual property rights have expired or images in which the owner has released them to the public domain free of charge. They can therefore be used in any way you see fit.
- Creative Commons – Can be one of several available licenses. Some licenses allow you to use and share the image if it is unchanged, whilst others require a credit link to be displayed. It is important that you read the Creative Commons license that an image has before using it on your website.
- Royalty-Free – Do not let the name fool you, Royalty-Free does not mean that an image can be used free. It means that once you have purchased the image, you can use it as many times as you want. That is, you do not pay a royalty every time you use the image.
- Rights-Managed – This allows the image to be used a limited number of times. If you want to use the image more than the defined amount, you will need to pay for the privilege.
There are many other image licenses that are used online. My advice to all of you is that if you are unsure about whether an image can be used, do not use it until you have emailed the owner of the image, or service selling it, and clarify how the image can be used.
In this article, I would like to share with you twelve places online which you can use to find images for your blog or website.
Several billion images have been uploaded to Flickr since it launched in 2004 (yes, I said billions!). A large percentage of these images have been released under the Creative Commons Attribution license. This means that the images can be used on your website as long as you give the original photographer credit.
Flickr also have a large archive of public domain images. Known as The Commons, the catalog hopes to become the world’s public photography archives.
A wide collection of public domain images. Although the images are free to use, some restrictions do exist for commercial users, so be sure to check the usage conditions for each image.
A free photo archive that contains over 130,000 images. A link back to the image is required in order to use them.
With over thirty million registered users, DeviantArt is one of the largest communities online for artists and photographers.
Some artists allow their items to be used if you link back to their profile. You can search for these images through Google using “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons” site:deviantart.com. You can also find suitable images at creative-commons.deviantart.com.
A directory of free public domain photographs, vectors and drawings. All images are of a high quality and no attribution link is required in order to use them.
Wikimedia Commons is one of my favorite places to find images for blog posts. Owned by the Wikimedia Foundation, it hosts over twenty million images and media files. The quality of images is generally high.
The Creative Commons organisation has a fantastic search tool that lets you search resources such as Flickr, Fotopedia, Open Clip Art Library and Pixabay. It is the best way of finding suitable Creative Commons images.
Owned by Getty Images, Stock.xchng is a free stock image directory that contains over 400,000 photographs and illustrations. The standard of images varies from poor to high, therefore you sometimes need to spend a little time to find the right photo.
Photodune is an affordable stock image solution from Envato that has a collection of over four and a half million images. Like all stock image services, the price of the image depends on its size. Small images of around five hundred pixels in width only cost one dollar.
A large directory of free stock images. It contains hundreds of thousands of photographs, textures, and wallpapers.
With over eighty million photos in their archives, GettyImages can claim to be the largest stock image service online. Earlier this month they made thirty five million images available to bloggers. All you have to do is click on the embed icon and then paste the code into your post or page.
ShutterStock is a royalty-free image service that offers over thirty million images and vectors. Subscriptions are available that allow you to download a set number of images per day. Alternatively, you can pay for a package of images.
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Please let us know what resource you use for images in the comment area below 🙂
Article thumbnail image by YuryImaging / shutterstock.com