Great images are an essential part of a beautiful website. Adding several stunning images to your website can transform it into an exciting, memorable experience for your visitors and customers. When putting images on your site, there’s a lot to keep in mind, like placement, dimensions, and file size. But before you need to think about any of those questions, you need to know how to choose great photos and where to find high-quality, royalty-free images.
The do’s and don’ts of stock photography
There are millions of stock photos out there which is why we put together some do’s and don’ts to help you choose the right ones.
- Take time to browse images: Even if you’re immediately blown away by the first images you see and think “wow, these are great pictures,” invest a few minutes into checking other photos and stock image platforms. You may find an image on another platform fits more to your style. Don’t just take the first picture.
- Use high-resolution images: Smaller is always possible. Pay attention therefore to a high resolution of the pictures, which you download.
- Stick to the basics: Don’t use more photos than you really need, even if there are thousands of beautiful pictures.
- Write alternative text: Remember to enter the alt texts for search engines.
- Use cliché stock photos: We’ve all seen those five stock photos that have been used a thousand times. Or scenes that look staged … awkward. Avoid these at all costs.
- Be inconsistent: Find photos that really fit your industry and text. Don’t just choose photos because they look great.
- Use too many symbolic images: A few symbolic images (depictions that don’t actually show something but illustrate it e.g. a lightbulb to symbolize an idea) are perfectly okay. However, be wary of using too many of these images throughout your website as it could look bland and outdated.
Interested in learning more about photos for your website? Check out our other blog posts on the topic:
Where to find high-quality images
There are a number of different websites that offer free, high-quality images that can be used commercially without any royalties. Here are some of our favorites!
Unique and relatively unknown, Barnimages offers free, high quality images that you can’t find elsewhere. The reason? Barnimages isn’t your normal stock photo portal. It’s a photography project by Latvian founders Igor and Roman, who call their pictures “non-stock images.” They only provide you with photos that they themselves love. The two of them have taken the majority of pictures themselves. Plus, they also upload photos from their personal photographer network—always with the claim, that each of the (over 2000) pictures are totally different. Definitely worth a look!
Pixabay is an excellent community of photographers who are dedicated to sharing high-quality, license-free images. You’ll get complete access to a huge library of approximately 1.4 million incredible images and videos in a variety of styles and sizes. You can sort photos in specific categories (food / drink, sports, health, etc.), filter by color and size, or search for specific keywords. In addition to the search results, photos from Shutterstock are displayed (clearly marked), which are subject to a charge. We recommend that you check out the Editor’s Choice, section, which is frequently updated and contains tons of fantastic photographs.
The strength of PhotoPin lies in the simplicity: Just like a search engine, you enter your search terms directly on the start page and then get suitable photos displayed. The pictures can then be downloaded with a click on “Get Photo” in various sizes.
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Unsplash is something of a pioneer among photo platforms right now. The photos are submitted by a range of photographers with a wide variety of interests and for the most part are of outstanding quality. There’s a total of about 550,000 photos that you can download and use for free. You can use the search function for a specific image, check categories or even check photo collections of the 95,000 members. We could spend days scrolling back through their archives and looking at thousands of mesmerizing images.
Highlight: Be sure to visit our Support Center for more high-quality image resources.
PicJumbo also offers a large collection of pictures in many categories. The platform was founded in 2013 and two years later it was able to break through the barrier of 2.5 million downloaded photos. Good to know: If you want, you can download more than 2000 photos at once, so you always have a considerable image library offline. This feature is also free, although there’s an optional donation.
There are a lot of cheesy stock photos around but Gratisography proves that this doesn’t have to be the case. Their images are creative, interesting and can spice up your website with their quirkiness.
Tip: The services presented here usually provide you with the photos free of charge. Please note, however, that images of trademarks (logos, names, products) may not be used for commercial purposes.
Life of Pix publishes a new, high-resolution image from (mostly) professional photographers every week. Again, instead of your standard clichéd photos, you’ll find high-quality footage on Life of Pix that makes your website stunning! You can browse the galleries of individual photographers and click through their collections for hours.
Another huge selection of photos, sorted into various categories can be found at Pexels. In addition, the portal offers you some special features, for example, you can filter by popular photos or trending searches which can provide beautiful images or even some nice inspiration for your own search. Despite hundreds of thousands of photos, Pexels is easy to use and still looks tidy. Highly recommended!
Freeimages offers over 300,000 free images covering a wide variety of topics. In addition to the usual search filter functions such as subject or photographer, you can also sort images by camera. There are so-called lightboxes too. These are photo collections that users have put together according to certain criteria, such as great color samples, nature photos, or just pictures they love.
As the name suggests, Wikimedia Commons is the Wikimedia Foundation image and video database, i.e. the organization behind Wikipedia. Here you will find all the photos and videos that are used in the world’s largest online encyclopedia. You can use most of the 75 million+ media files yourself, but not all of them. We advise checking the license for each picture or video so as to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
Free stock photos included for Jimdo
We at Jimdo think that only ingenious pictures from a nice website make a fantastic site. That’s why with Jimdo’s website builder it’s now especially easy to integrate the best stock photos – with no need to download and search in an image database. Just click on the picture symbol and choose “Photos from Jimdo”. We offer a huge selection of free photos in different categories. It’s that easy 🙂