10 Free image sources for your WordPress website or blog

Great sites to download royalty free and copyright free images

Blogging has become very popular and starting a blog has never been easier. Writing and blogging online is also very much about images and photographs that complement the content you are producing. While many sub-niches can get away by not having any images at all (these usually are highly technical niches), the majority of bloggers today are used to have at least 2-3 images per post.

The problem arises when beginner bloggers realize that their competition and other bloggers are using images without having the permission to do so. You may even have used images from other blogs yourself while thinking it probably would be “ok”. In addition there are those who simply ignore the matter all together. It’s possible to take the approach of “remove only when necessary”, but some others like to play it safe. Copyright infringements can have serious consequences.

Images
Image Source: Simon – Pixabay.com / License: CC0 Public Domain

Luckily, these days it is a lot easier to find – good quality – license free images than it was, lets say, just a few years ago. The market with millions of professional and beginner bloggers is demanding for such type of content. Many new sites with royalty free images have sprouted as a result, providing nearly unlimited resources of free photographs to use. That’s certainly enough to have you running ten different sites in ten different niches, and still have plenty of unused images!

When using “free” images, you should consider that there are different licensing terms and conditions which could apply to your selected images. Under Creative Commons, you will find several different licenses as well as Public Domain (CC0). In the following we’ve collected for you some great sites where you can download copyright free images.

10 Great sources for copyright free images

Image Search
Image Source: Picjumbo – Pexels.com / License: Public Domain CC0

Note: Do double-check the terms and conditions of the licensing terms for these resources, many of these have a strict “change of licensing without notice” rules in place!

Flickr

Flickr
Image Source: Screenshot – Flickr.com

Flickr is a complete goldmine of free creative commons photographs. Hundreds of millions of images that do require an attribution, but in many cases – a simple name/surname of the photographer and a link is sufficient enough. We do recommend giving authors credit where it is due. Not all images on Flickr are “digital era” quality photos, but many of the images are taken with state of the art cameras, giving your readers a high-quality experience.

Pixabay

Pixabay
Image Source: Screenshot – Pixabay.com

Without question, Pixabay has grown into one of the largest free image resources in the world. There are now roughly 1,100,000 images available, none of which require any attributes back to the site. You can just download your preferred images and use them on your website or blog. The only real limitation is that you need to create an account in order to download full-resolution images.

Unsplash

Unsplash
Image Source: Screenshot – Unsplash.com

We were sceptical at first, but this turned into one of the most colourful and rich experiences of free images that we’ve seen so far: Unsplash. And, if none of the photos appeal to you, while not grab your camera and submit your own? Truthfully, there are some truly stunning images available.

Gratisography

Gratisography
Image Source: Screenshot – Gratisography.com

The free images on Gratisography are the reflection of the one photographer who maintains the website as well, Ryan McGuire. It’s always nice to try something new for your blog posts, or whatever the type of content you’re working on.

Pickupimage

Pickupimage
Image Source: Screenshot – Pickupimage.com

Pickupimage is one of the largest collections of free photographs. Free download high quality free stock images, public domain photos. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Find and share outstanding free photos.

Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos
Image Source: Screenshot – Startupstockphotos.com

Are you working in the startup field, perhaps technology? Startup Stock Photos is a great resource for anyone who writes about computers, programming, or technology in general. Lots of images of Apple computers, workspaces, and more.

Morguefile

Morguefile
Image Source: Screenshot – Morguefile.com

These guys have evolved over the years in every possible way, and while there is no direct way of browsing all the images at once, a simple search for a keyword such as “sea” returns hundreds of images to choose from, so the Morguefile library is quite large!

Skitterphoto

Skitterphoto
Image Source: Screenshot – Skitterphoto.com

Yes, stockphotos on this website are completely free. Use them however, whenever and wherever you want. Even commercially. Skitterphoto can be a little slow at times, but the quality of the images makes up for it. Skitterphoto is another great resource for license free images.

Little Visuals

Little Visuals
Image Source: Screenshot – Littlevisuals.com

Do you blog or write about nature, perhaps environment? Little Visuals offers seven images every seven days, and the majority of them will be related to the outside world. There is some great quality stuff to be found in the archives.

1 Million Free Pictures

1 Million Free Pictures
Image Source: Screenshot – 1MillionFreePictures.com

1 Million Free Pictures is a public blog that constantly lists free images to use based on several different categories, you can browse the posts by dates, but there is also a widget at the footer that lists the most popular posts of all time, and also the monthly favourites.

Conclusion: Resources for license free images & photos

As you can see, the variety is there. We could go on and on with these types of websites with copyright free images. Be aware that some of these sites are image search engines that combine together what other sites are listing, making it more accessible. We hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup and please let us know in the comments if you’ve any questions.

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22 Comments

  1. I would love to add my site (blogpiks.com) that contains totally free images for blogs or social media. All images are free from copyright limitations and free of charge for commercial use.

  2. I’m looking for copyright free images for commercial use, but I need high resolution images. Which stock photography site with no copyright do you recommend?

    • Hi David, you can check each of these sites because most of them offer high resolution images. However, there may be some restrictions depending on which site you use. For example on Pixabay you need to create an account in order to download high resolution images.

      Since most free images on these sites are licensed under Public Domain (CC0), they can be used for commercial purposes as well. As an alternative you could purchase professional stock photos on sites like iStockphoto.com, Shutterstock.com, Fotolia.com or else.

    • Hi José, sorry – we can’t guarantee this since we don’t run or control these sites and licenses may also change over time. We recommend that you always check the license of an image before you download and use it on your website. The license of an image usually can be found near the download button on these free image sites.

  3. Hi, are these sites suitable to download royalty free images? I want to start a blog, but I’m really looking for copyright free images which I don’t have to pay for because I’m on low budget.

    • Hi Philippe, yes – on most of these sites you’ll only find royalty free images licensed under Creative Commons. However, we still recommend you to check the license of the particular image before using it on your blog. The license usually is listed near the button where you can download the image. If you’ve any doubts about a particular photo, you can also use reverse image search to find the original source of an image.

      By the way, it’s great to read that you’ve planned to start a blog. We hope you’re considering using WordPress, which is the most popular content management system, running on around a 3rd of all internet sites. If you want to choose a self-hosted WordPress site for your blog, this guide may be helpful as well: How to start a blog.

  4. I always buy stock pictures for my site but it seems there are some nice free alternatives. Would you recommend to buy professional stock photography or are these royalty free photos also suitable for a high-quality travel website?

    • Hi Nathalie, if images from these free sites are suitable for your content probably is something you need to decide by yourself on a case by case basis since we don’t know about your requirements. Many of these sites offer great images for travel websites, so we definitely recommend to have a look. It’s also worth mentioning that buying stock photos can be pretty expensive and you may be able to save some money with these free alternatives.

  5. I’m in need of non copyrighted pictures for my blog about chemistry. Are Wikipedia images copyright free as well? I found good images on Wikipedia but I don’t know if I can use these pictures or not.

    • Hi Mohamed, as far as we know images on Wikipedia are licensed under Creative Commons / Public Domain. That means in theory you should be able to use these images on your blog. However, it may be required to give credit attribution where necessary.

      In general it would be highly recommended to check the license and the terms of use of each image from Wikipedia which you plan to use on your site.

  6. Many thanks for suggesting Pixabay. I didn’t know about that site and it turns out they even have free clipart images, which is perfect for my website. Much appreciated!

    • Hi Harry, thanks for suggesting Pexels and we’re very happy that you like the article. Pexels certainly is a great source for copyright free images and we use images from there as well. We’ll certainly consider adding the site to the roundup with the next update.

  7. I just started my fashion blog with the MH Magazine theme last month and I’m struggling to find free images to use. I don’t want to take images from other blogs because I fear that this would get me in trouble. Which one of this free stock photo sites would you recommend?

    • Hi Caroline, many thanks for choosing our popular MH Magazine theme for your fashion blog, that’s much appreciated. Finding free fashion images certainly isn’t that easy because most of the time the images are copyright protected by brands or they show a person, which can be an issue as well. Copyright infringements can be serious and very expensive.

      For our own editorial content we usually use Pixabay, where you can find many great free images licensed under Public Domain (CC0). On Pixabay you can find copyright free images for fashion topics as well. But probably the best thing you could do, if you’re looking for high-quality fashion images, is reaching out to other fashion bloggers or brands and ask for permission to use their images.

      It certainly is related to some work, but then you can be sure that you’re allowed to use the images. They’ll probably ask for something in return (e.g. a link to their site). On the other hand you also get new contacts in the fashion blogging industry and some brands may even be interested in publishing sponsored posts on your blog.

  8. I needed image sources for my blog and I found helpful information here. Thanks for the post. I checked the sources one by one and found really good free images. Keep up the great work.

  9. Great list – thank you. I would like to recommend another source. It’s Plixs.com with many high quality free images.

  10. On Freesh you can search millions of royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, and vectors. Get inspired by ten thousand new, high-resolution images added daily. Free stock photo, free vector, free texture, seamless, pattern, mock-up and more.

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