Using beautiful and attention grabbing images can make a real difference to how your audience reacts to your WordPress website. Content displaying eye-catching photographs gets more reads and shares, will increase the number of returning visitors you receive, and ultimately help your website achieve its goals.
But finding stock photos that give your website the ‘wow’ factor can be difficult. In this article, we have put together a list of the best free and premium stock photography websites. Hopefully, whatever your WordPress website needs, there will be something here for you.
The Best Free Stock Photo Websites
There are many free stock photo websites that you can quickly and easily download a high-quality image from. If you are a blogger or small business that needs an occasional photograph for WordPress website content, then one of these free photography sites may be just what you are looking for.
Pixabay pride themselves on being a community of creatives, sharing and using copyright free photos, illustrations, vectors, graphics, and videos. Again, all content is released under the CC0 license. So all media is free to use for personal and commercial use, and attribution is not necessary.
Pixabay currently displays just over 1,090,000 images and videos. The wide range of images on offer makes it a great choice whether you are looking for an illustration, vector, photo or something else.
Pixabay encourages users to signup and create their own account (for free). Here you can upload and bookmark favorite images, follow other users, send messages, and much more.
Unsplash is another free photography resource. This website has a collection of over 200,000 high-resolution images, with hundreds more being added daily. Photographs are provided by a community of over 41,000 photographers, and they are all free to use for personal and commercial purposes.
Unsplash provides the option of signing up, creating your own collections, and following favorite photographers. When searching for an image, you can use your own terms or view a ready made collection. Unsplash has an interesting and varied range of images, and provides photographs with a professional feel and finish. This is a tool definitely worth checking out.
Picjumbo is a free stock photo owned and maintained by Viktor Hanacek. Originally Viktor used the site to share his own free photos, but since it’s creation Picjumbo has grown and now accepts and shares photos from many creators.
There are currently more than 1500+ free stock photos, but if you want even more you can upgrade to a premium account to have access to 30+ more photos each month. All photos are free to use as you please, unless you want to redistribute in which case you’ll need to subscribe.
MMT (The Moment Captured) provides free stock photographs for commercial use. Photos are CC0 licensed, so can be freely downloaded, used and redistributed for both personal and commercial purposes. That makes MMT a great choice if you are looking for images to display in websites, themes, templates, print material, social posts, apps, or design tools, to name a few.
MMT’s content spans many categories, including macro photography, city scenes, nature, workspaces, and more. New images are added each week, and a range of interesting categories are showcased in galleries. An active blog is also shared on-site.
Pexels is a free stock photo resource that shares its images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. That means you can use their images for personal and commercial use. So, if you are running an online business then you can use Pexels’ images on your WordPress website without having to attribute to the site or the photographer.
Pexels currently has over 30,000 stock photos to search through, with 3,000 more being added on a monthly basis. These beautiful images can be copied, modified and distributed. Images can be downloaded in various sizes, or a custom size depending on your needs.
The Best Premium Stock Photo Websites
As well as numerous websites displaying free stock photos, there are also a wide assortment of premium image sites. These sites, on the whole, provide higher quality photographs, as well as a much greater selection. They also offer many extra features, including editing tools, digital design elements, illustrations, video clips, and much more.
If you are a large business, or your job requires you to work with images on a daily basis, then access to professional, top class photographs should be a priority. Therefore, you should perhaps consider subscribing to a premium image website. Let’s have a look at some of the best sites available.
Bigstock is a stock photo membership site with over 57 million photos, vectors and videos to choose from. Anything you want they probably have it. All of their photos are royalty-free so you’re able to use the imagery for your business as needed (just as long as you aren’t reselling them or using them as a logo).
Bigstock offers two pricing structures: monthly plans with a set number of downloads per month, or an alternative credit plan where you can top up and use credits as needed. Just choose a plan that works for you!
Envato Elements is a premium subscription service providing digital assets. Targeted at designers, agencies, marketers, and other professionals, Envato Elements provides over 300,000 royalty free stock photographs, 33,000 graphic assets, courses, eBooks, and more.
Once you have signed up with Envato, you can download an unlimited number of photographs from the library each month, all with a commercial license. Photos can be searched for via categories, or via more specific filters like orientation, background, and color. This makes it easier to find the right image for your project.
Envato Elements is great value for money, and is the ideal choice for professionals needing photographs, or other design elements, on a frequent and high-volume basis.
Adobe Stocks offers three monthly premium plans. With each of these subscriptions, you can download a number of stunning and original images. You can then use these photos in print, presentations, websites, and social media, to name a few options. Browse photographs from dynamic artists and thematic galleries, or check out the selection of videos, 3D assets, and much more.
All images can be viewed, licensed, accessed, and managed within your Adobe Experience Cloud. Preview watermarked photographs within your designs in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, an Adobe app, or any other Adobe tool, to see what works best before you make a purchase. If you decide to sign up with Adobe, their inspiring images will ensure you find the perfect fit for your next creative project.
Shutterstock is a truly impressive premium image provider. Showcasing over 160 million royalty free photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, video clips and music tracks, there will undoubtedly be something here for you. Plus with their new Adobe plugin, it’s easy to access your stock photos from your favorite Creative loud applications.
Shutterstock offers a number of subscription plans to cater for individuals as well as businesses needs. Shutterstock also comes equipped with its own Editor, which provides ready-to-use templates for the photographs you choose to download, allows you to customize images, create slideshows, and much more. If you are looking for high quality, interesting, and eye catching photographs, then Shutterstock is the solution for you.
Death to Stock
Based on the concept of “when stock dies art thrives,” Death to Stock is a premium grassroots photo site that provides curated galleries created by artists around the world. Your membership to the site helps fund future photosets that include nature, fashion, concept art, dance, office settings and much more.
The best part is that as new photos are released each month they come with their own store of how they were created. With Death to Stock you aren’t just getting photos, you’re getting a complete look at the creative process that goes into their conception and creation.
Canva is a graphic-design tool website that includes a photo editor, and access to over a 1,500,000 free and premium stock photographs. Photos are divided into multiple categories, helping you quickly and easily find the images you need.
Canva is a free tool, but you will need to sign up to download and use the free photos. Paid images vary in price and the license provided with each photograph is price dependent, so always check the license before you use an image in a project. A monthly subscription plan, Canva for Work, is also available, which includes over 300,000 free images.
For those who are working with images on a daily basis, subscribing to a premium stock photo site will save you countless hours searching the web for the right picture. A premium site will ensure you can search and access countless beautiful and professional images, all from one location.
However, if you are on a budget then, as we’ve shown, there are some great photographs to be found on the free image sites. And now you have this list of stock photo websites, if you aren’t happy with the photographs displayed on one site, then you can simply check out another. Happy image searching!
Can you recommend any other great stock photo websites? Please share your favorites in the comments below.