Images are the most attractive content on the web, gives multiple advantages to bloggers. It not only attracts users on the site as well from the search engines through image searches. Adding featured image to your blog post has additional importance for sharing elegant content on social platforms. Almost all social websites encourage users to use images and share it on their profile along with the text content. If you are a blogger and constantly searching for free stock images, here are top 5 platforms that you can use.
Images Drive Traffic to Your Site
Using beautiful images on your site helps to get traffic from various sources:
- Exclusive image sharing sites like Pinterest and Flickr not only increase the traffic to your site but also increase the potential conversion of a visitor to a customer.
- Facebook allows to share with image by using Open Graph protocol.
- Twitter allows sharing tweets with images by using website cards.
- Google Image search has a growing trend indicating users are searching images for different reasons.
- Recommended article services like Outbrain and Taboola use featured images for attracting users.
Why to Use Free Stock Images?
Now that you understand the importance of using images on your site. However, it is actually not an easy task to prepare images in proper format and size. There are many image processing tools like Photoshop, SnagIt, etc. to create your custom images. But you need to buy the software, install on your computer and prepare every single image for your site. Other option is to buy copyright protected images from third party websites like Shutterstock. In summary, creating your own images for each article on your site needs huge investment of time and money. Here comes the use of free but attractive stock images.
Note: At any cost avoid using images from Google search and other sites without permission. By default, all images available on the internet are copyrighted, even if there is no copyright information mentioned explicitly.
What are Stock Images?
Stock images are distributed under Creative Commons CC0 license with the following understanding:
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.
You can view the full details of CC0 license here.
5 Free Sites to Get Stock Images
Here is the list of top 5 free websites that offer stock images mainly under CC0 license. Generally, use of stock images from these sites does not require attribution or link back. But check out the latest license guidelines on the site before using the images on your site.
Pixabay has the large collection of stock images, videos and music for bloggers hosting more than 2.5 million media files. This is one of the site really has lot related images for bloggers for the search terms like WordPress, blog, computer, network, etc. You can filter images based on orientation, media type, category, size and colors to find suitable image for your need. Each image is available under various sizes, you can check the dimension and license before downloading.
2. WordPress Openverse
WordPress recently introduced free stock image platform called Openverse by using the service from Creative Commons. Openverse has more than 600 million of media files including images and audio. This is a good option for bloggers using WordPress.org platform and you can expect many hosting companies to make use of this service straight from the WordPress editor. You can filter images baed on size, license, creator and type and get your favorite items for free. The only problem is that unlike pixabay, most of the images in openverse are from flickr and needs credit back to the creator.
Unsplash is another place to find a free stock images. Here you can find a collection of related images to make it easy for downloading. After searching to filter relevant images, click on the one you like to view in a larger window. You can select one of the available dimensions and download the image to your computer. The advantage with Unsplash license is that all the images can be used for commercial use without any attribution.
Stocksnap.io offers beautiful and free stock images for free commercial use. Earlier they were offering images created using a graphics design tool Snappa and now you can find thousands of images uploaded by users. You can view photos by categories, trending and add to favorite for your frequent use. Compared to Pixabay and Unsplash, Stocksnap does not offer downloading of photos in different dimensions. You need to download the largest available dimension which is more than 5000px width in many cases. This will create problem as many blogging platforms do not allow uploading large size images and you need a powerful image processing tool to edit such a large size file.
Pexels is the last free stock image site in our list. It offers photos and videos grouped under different categories for you to explore and find quality images. It offers similar interface like Unsplash and allows you download images with various dimensions. You can also register for a free account to add similar images to create personal collections for your use. The license is simple that all images are free to use for commercial purpose without the need of attribution.
As the popular proverb says, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Images can also make your content beautiful when sharing on social platforms and drive traffic to your site. The above list is a popular free stock images sites from where you can get public domain pictures. You can also find many more free sites on the web offering free stock images. Always ensure to check the license details before you start using the images on your site. One of the problems in using free stock images is that they can be found anywhere on the web. This makes your site less reliable especially if you are selling goods online. Therefore, create your own or buy premium images for your product images. Otherwise CC0 licensed images are generally sufficient for general blogging purposes.
Note: Uploading large size images will affect the page loading speed of your site. Hence, make sure to use smaller images or compress the size before using on your site. You can use lazy loading and WebP conversion services to speed up the loading of images on your site.