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How To: Stylize your site with Free-Use Images

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How To: Stylize your site with Free-Use Images

An engaging website or blog thrives through a balancing act between text and visuals.  Gorgeous imagery, infographics or vectors all give your site the extra “oomph” that creates a layout appealing to the sites visitors.

Having high-quality images is part of the design puzzle to create the attractive site you need. Luckily, there is no need to stress about having to find images that fit those requirements. There are resources available, for free, that can supply you with captivating images suitable for a blog or website.

Before getting into which sites are best used for occasions such as cover photos, etc., it is important to know how to successfully use free images online. For example, Public Domain and Creative Commons are two terms that may be unknown to most, but nonetheless crucial details to be noted in the process of choosing images.

For those of us who appreciate a good definition, here is the underlying difference between Public Domain and Creative Commons:

Public Domain:

“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”

Creative Commons:

“CC0 gives those who want to give up those [copyright laws] a way to do so, to the fullest extent allowed by law. Anyone can then use the work in any way and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, subject to other laws and the rights others may have in the work or how the work is used. Think of CC0 as the “no rights reserved” option.”

In essence, on these terms you do not need to link each image to its original source, however you should always give credit where credit is due. This is a huge deal for small business owners at it depletes the liability for copyright and posting images as your own.

Online imagery may be tricky, therefore navigating the roots behind the rules and regulations of using said images is vital. Ensure you use Public Domain or Creative Commons images to successfully navigate and use the correct images for your sites.

Photographs, Vectors, and Illustrations

All with image counts in the hundreds of thousands, these sites have photos, vectors, videos, and illustrations perfect for many different areas of use.

  1. Pixabay​
  2. Unsplash​
  3. Creative Commons
  4. Public Domain Archive
  5. Flickr: Creative Commons
  6. SplitShire
  7. Gratisography
  8. pdpics
  9. StockSnap.io
  10. Magdeleine
  11. Good Free Photos
  12. Free Range Stock
  13. Pickup Image
  14. Photogen
  15. Skitterphoto​
  16. Life of Pix
  17. Pexels​
  18. Morgue Files
  19. 1 Million Free Pictures
  20. Negative Space
  21. Pic Jumbo
  22. Free Stocks
  23. Free (I)mage Bank

Stylized Images

If your business is tailored more towards a specific niche and theme, these sites are the best bet for complementing your brand’s standards.

  1. New Old Stock
  2. Free Refe Real Life Photos
  3. Jay Mantri
  4. Foodie’s Feed
  5. Shutteroo  

These websites are great for populating your page with images that won’t cut into your budget.


Written by: Tacy Cresson


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