The best royalty-free stock images for your website
Searching for quality royalty-free stock images for your website or blog? We've compiled a list of the best high-quality sources for use on any project in 2018. And that means no cheesy posed, 90s-style stock images! In case you're confused by the terminology, royalty-free means you don't need to pay to use these, and there is no need to credit the source (unless you're feeling generous that is!). One of the biggest issues we come across when we do our Brand Consultations for small business websites is poor image quality, and with these totally free resources there's just no excuse for it, even if you aren't ready to invest in your own professional photography yet.
The Best Online Resources for Free Stock Images
StockSnap One of the biggest sites for free images, with hundreds of new images added weekly. StockSnap has a user-friendly interface, and will deliver you a zip file of new images weekly. You don't even need an account to download from their site.
Pexels One of the things we love most about Pexels is that it has images of specific items, things and animals which you might need, rather than being only about big landscape vistas and cups of coffee like some other stock image sites we could mention (but won't).
LibreStock Nearly 45,000 photos and the ability to search OTHER stock image sites, which is super-useful if you're on a deadline.
Unsplash If you haven't heard of Unsplash, go straight to the back of the class. The only bad thing about Unsplash is that because it's so popular, you might run into another site using your image. But when they're this good, ask yourself how much that matters?
Gratisography Skews delightfully quirky, so this is a good stock photo site to head to if you need resources for an eye-catching image for social media usage.
IsoRepublic Provides a mixture of free and paid ("premium") stock photos.
Pic Jumbo This site doesn't have quite as user-friendly an interface as the ones above, but worth a look-see if you're struggling.
Raumrot Has a relatively small selection, but what is there is highly curated and a bit hipster, if that's the vibe you're going for.
New Old Stock Vintage photos from the public archives. Awesome for collaging and hunting for the esoteric.
Took a Pic This is apparently "not another stock site with thousands of boring corporate pics". And yeah, we kind of agree. Unfortunately some of the best images are not actually free (unlike the best things in life).
Life of Pix Good photography somewhat let down by the interface. Recommended if you're looking for something to capture a mood, or for a generic image for corporate sites, not so good for specific searches.
My Stock Photos The image scroll effect slightly does our head in, but we love the wide ranging selection of pics.
Cupcake We're suckers for the logo, and the photos are cool, but it's pretty tricky to search.
Finda Photo Minimal interface, but has a super-helpful colour browsing tool and a library of more than 10,000 pics.
Pixabay One big mother of a stock photo database with more than 380,000 images. Their selection definitely feels a bit more trad stock, but there are gems to be found.
And of course, if you've got even a little bit of budget to spare, we recommend splashing out on your main banner image to get something really fabulous. Our favourite paid stock image resource is Stocksy, which is extremely well-priced.
If you need help with finding awesome images for your website, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to chat about how we can help you out!