Website Images -Where to find Free and Premium
You’ve just created new or updated your website and you need some new images, If there is one thing you can change on your website that will instantly make your website look more credible and professional – and requires no technical skills, no design skills, and no or minimal cost, would you do it? To make your website look more professional, the number 1 thing Blue Elephant recommend is to use good quality images on your website. Using lower quality image when the browser expands the image to fit the screen, the image is stretched and this ends up distorting the image and make it appear very fuzzy and pixelated.
Why? – Because it is the quickest way to upgrade the look and feel of your website with the least amount of work! Giving nice new fresh look.
Just by swapping in the right relevant images, you can instantly make your products more appealing and desirable, plus make you look more professional and more put-together, so your website appears more credible and trustworthy, most importantly, it will make your website look more expensive! This is a key improvement since most people associate something is of better quality when it appears more expensive.
This is why displaying high quality and relevant images on your website will not only make your website appear more professional, they will also increase your visitors’ engagement – so it’s win-win for everyone! But before I provide the sites to find free and premium images, first I will explain why its bad practice to copy images from Google search!
Why You Should NEVER Use Pictures from Google search!
You need a photo for your website banner, preferably something quirky, fun for the theme of your website. You pop onto Google, type in “funny animals” and wham! bam! Up pops millions of images, some of which are perfect for your website. You right-click on one, save the image, upload onto WordPress, and moments later, you are designing the perfect banner for your website promotion. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, that’s because it is.
Google can pull up countless images on any topic you can think of. As a result, the temptation to browse through those pictures and just pick the one best suited for your needs can be quite high. But those images aren’t just free for the taking. They belong to someone, and using one without permission could get you into a lot of unnecessary legal trouble.
Why using Google Images could cause you serious problems!
The pictures on Google Images may not have a watermark or a price tag, but that doesn’t mean they’re up for grabs. Unless you know for certain otherwise, your safest bet is to assume that all the images you find from Google search (or any other search engine) are protected by copyright law. Which means that using them without permission could result in legal action against you.
There’s abundance of stories of blogs and websites on the internet who infringed on copyright and found themselves in legal hot water as a result. Usually, the offenders are facing legal action over just a single photo. The number of images you use doesn’t matter. One stolen image is one too many. And the cost of infringement is steep, with bloggers and websites paying well into the thousands for photos that would have only cost less than €10 bought from online stock photo/image website or even free! The price to pay due to infringement is simply not worth it!
The bottom line is unless you have received explicit (and written) permission from the copyright holder, do not use random photos you find on the Internet. It’s a recipe for disaster and not worth the hassle, time, or cost.
Free Vs Paid Images?
Now got the legality bit out the way, while its our natural tendency is to only look for free images, both free and paid as they both serve different purposes.
The free images are referred to as “creative commons”. They’re free for you to download and use on your websites as long as you provide proper credit to the owner of the image (such as citing the source or the name of the person who took the picture). Free images usually are less focused and are more creative. You can find more inspirational and artistic images in free resources rather than paid. They are great to use as backgrounds, header images, and mood pictures to help set the tone of your website, Blue Elephant recommends both PIXABAY and PEXELS great places to find free images, with majority of images having free commercial license and no required attribution.
FLICKR.com and 500px.com are other great sources of authentic looking images, but you need to be careful regarding available license and almost all of them do require attribution, you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Why not take your own!
You’ll have tons of amazing material available to you right in your own website. Use that to your full advantage and fill your website with real images. If you take the photo, you own the copyright. And taking your own in-house photos is really easy! You’ll only need a couple of things: a photo consent form if taking picture of 3rd party and a suitable camera
Premium paid images usually have more commercial applications that are used in ads and in business websites. While they are not as interesting or inspiring to look at, they tend to serve and satisfy specific purposes. You will generally find more options for business applications. For example, if you are looking for a generic image of people shopping, paid images will give you more choices than free sources. Blue Elephant highly recommends DEPOSITPHOTOS.com, the reason they have vast collection of photos, images and video, the nice thing about DEPOSITPHOTOS.com compared to Shutterstock or Abobe Stock, they don’t have big price tag Shutterstock or Adobe Stock has, below example of the monthly plan with cancellation anytime! (based on European pricing).
Price Comparison table
|DEPOSITPHOTOS||€61 (approx $69)||75 images/mth|
|Shutterstock||€125 (approx $142)||50 images/mth|
|Adobe Stock||€99.99 (approx $113)||40 images/mth|
Happy Image Hunting!
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