17 Image Resources for Your Website

2. GraphicsFuel

Before you begin your quest for website resources, consider how you want to use the images that you are downloading.  Not every site that claims to be giving away “free” images is actually catch-free, so be sure to see if the site provides any details on their terms of use. Images can be licensed for use in many different ways.

Here are a few common licenses to be aware of (source: http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/twelve-places-to-find-images-for-your-website):

  • Public Domain. This license allows you to use the image any way you want. The intellectual property rights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable. (More details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain)
  • Creative Commons (CC) Licenses. The name of several copyright licenses created by a non-profit organization in the US; these types of licenses usually indicate how a creative work can be used with credit given to the original source. (More detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons)

Some of the licenses under CC are (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/):

    • CC BY (Attribution) – You can distribute, edit, and build upon the creative resource as long as you give credit to the original owner.
    • CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivs) – You can redistribute the work commercially and non-commercially, but you can’t change the work in anyway and you have to give credit to the original owner.
    • CC BY-NC (Attribution-NoCommercial) – You can edit the original work but cannot use it in a commercial way. You must also give credit.
  • Royalty-Free (RF). You must buy the image first. After that, you can use the image as many times as you want. As the name implies, you do not need to pay royalties (or license fees) each time you use it. (More details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royalty-free)
  • Digital Rights-Managed (DRM). You may use the purchased image for a set number of instances before you have to pay again. This license intends to manage the number of uses after sale. (More detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management)


But enough with the formalities, let’s get to the good parts – here’s a list of 17 great places to get images for your website:

1.     Dollar Photo Club

1. Dollar Photo Club

Price: $1 per download

This is a great resource to get high-quality stock images, vector illustrations, and more. I personally have used this website many times and would definitely recommend it—the selection is large, the downloads are reliable, and best of all, it’s cheap!  Their front page states plainly that each photo or vector is just one dollar.  To get started you have to request a membership via a “formal application process”.  After you’re accepted, you can choose a monthly membership which starts you off with a minimum of 10 downloads for $10, or you can do a yearly membership which sets you up with a minimum of 99 downloads for $99.

Screenshot: www.dollarphotoclub.com/stock-photo/One page website flat UI UXdesign template./67486576

Image Use Info: Royalty free standard and extended. https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/Info/FAQ


2.     GraphicsFuel

2.	GraphicsFuel

Price: Free and paid

A nice place to find daily “Photoshop Freebies” and more, this is site worth keeping bookmarked. Rafi—a graphic designer, artist, and blogger—keeps this blog overflowing with both free and paid high quality, professional-looking graphics.

Screenshot: http://www.graphicsfuel.com/2015/03/10-free-grunge-textures-2/

Image Use Info: Non-exclusive or extended license. http://www.graphicsfuel.com/terms/


3.     New Evolution Designs

3.	New Evolution Designs

Price: Free

Another great source for daily downloads, this site “…delivers new design freebies, tutorials, inspiration, and wallpapers for evolving minds.”  I’ve been able to use a few of their free resources, including their set of Free Halftone Photoshop Patterns (https://newevolutiondesigns.com/photoshop-patterns) which gives you a click-and-install .PAT file, ready for use in your Adobe Photoshop application.

Image Use Info: not found


4.     Dribbble

4.	Dribbble

Price: Free and paid

Another great source for both designer and non-designer alike, this site is one big “show and tell for designers.” If you know where to look, you can snag some really great stuff for a set price – or even free.  Just navigate to the “Goods for Sale” link listed in the extended section of the menu bar.  From there, you can set the price meter to any price in your budget and take a look around for what you need.

Screenshot: https://dribbble.com/goods

Image Use Info: not found


5.     IconEden & SmartIcons

5.	IconEden & SmartIcons

Price: Free (for now) and paid

Icons as far as the eye can see! I found this SmartIcons pre-launch offer for a 1,450 icon bundle.  For now, all you have to do to get these icons is “pay” with an email address.  After that, you’ll receive an email allowing you to download three different styled icon packs that include 250 – 800 individual .pngs, plus the original vector files. IconEden.com, the parent company, also offers paid access to their full catalog of over 4,300 icons.

Image Use Info: http://www.iconeden.com/contact/faq


6.     TextureLib.com

6.	TextureLib.com

Price: Free

Here’s a nice little library of 6,605 images that feature a wide variety of natural textures like grass, plaster, and water, just to name a few.  There’s no catch and downloads are free.  Just navigate to the image you want and choose from two file sizes – large or larger.  The only small request this generous photographer asks is that the site, texturelib.com, be given credit when possible.

Image Use Info: http://texturelib.com/license/


7.     Shutterstock

7.	Shutterstock

Price: Paid

Shutterstock is probably one of the world’s most well-known sources for stock photography, vectors, videos, and music. With over 40 million downloadable resources to choose from, you’ll never be left wanting!  If you have a sizable graphics budget and you’re serious about your website’s media resources, this is a great place to turn to.

Image Use Info: http://www.shutterstock.com/licensing.mhtml


8.     Elemis

8.	Elemis

Price: Free and paid

elemisfreebies.com is a pretty nice location to download some “raw materials for design,” in the form of elegant and modern website templates.  The owners of this website, Cemile and Volkan, are freelance web designers and developers who also offer premium versions of their WordPress themes.

Image Use Info: Royalty Free. http://elemisfreebies.com/license-and-rules/


9.     CSS-Trick.com

9.	CSS-Trick.com

Price: Free and paid

CSS-tricks.com has put together a decent sized list of places to get icon bundles. Each recommended link features a short description, number of icons in the pack, and the cost.  Any type or style of icon you could possible image is probably included in this list – so definitely take some time to check it out.

Image Use Info: “If you feel better crediting it, that’s cool. If not, don’t sweat it.” https://css-tricks.com/license/ ßsuper cool terms of use. Read it just for kicks!


10. 4-Designer.com

10.	 4-Designer.com

Price: Free

A little ad-heavy, but still useful – this site has a wide variety of downloadable freebies like vectors, photos, and fonts ripe for the picking.  Once you have targeted the image you want, make sure to scroll down to the correct “download” button and you’re good to go – no sign up required.

Image Use Info: not found


11. unprofound.com

11.	 unprofound.com

Price: Free

A nifty little database of some classic film photos, this site has free-to-use images that are sorted by a basic color group.  Other than the search bar, you have the option to browse the suggested downloads by choosing the color you’re looking to match. For example, if you picked green, you would get photos of subjects like a bamboo forest, a pond, and a picture of some toy army men. After that you can navigate to the photo you need, right-click, and “Save image as…”

Screenshot: http://unprofound.com/viewpic.php?pic=onthemoat.jpg&photographer=catherine

Image Use Info: All rights reserved. http://www.unprofound.com/faqs/


12. Pixel Perfect Digital

12.	 Pixel Perfect Digital

Price: Free

A nice, clean place to find some good quality stock images by photographer Barren Hester, “Pixel Perfect Digital offers Free Stock Photos, Backgrounds, Textures and other Design Elements. ”  There is no registration required to download and everything is CC-BY licensed, so you can use what you want for any project as long as credit is given.

Image Use Info: Creative Commons Attribution License. http://pixelperfectdigital.com/about.php


13. Fotolia

13.	 Fotolia

Price: Paid

Like Shutterstock, this is a vast databank of royalty free stock photos, vectors, and videos. It includes over 30,000,000 photos to choose from.  Pay a subscription to get access to any size image you need.  XXL sized images can be as low as $.80/image if you purchase a Monthly Pack (http://us.fotolia.com/Info/MonthlySubscriptions), or $0.26/image for a Daily Subscription (http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Subscription/Daily).

Image Use Info: Royalty free, standard, or extended. http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements


14. Pixabay

14.	 Pixabay

Price: Free

Free stock photography, vectors, and art illustrations, Pixabay is a great place to download any image you need in small, medium, or large sizes.  All images are free for commercial use and no attribution is required. All you need to do to get started is make an account, or just prove you are human by filling in the captcha. Donations are also encouraged, but not required.

Screenshot: http://pixabay.com/en/siamese-blue-eyes-cute-feline-468814/

Image Use Info: CC0 Public Domain. http://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#download_terms


15. Flickr

15.	 Flickr

Price: Free

Flickr dubs itself “almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.”  It works as an online tool for storing and sharing photos.  Many members offer their images for free download and you can find them with the advanced search function at https://www.flickr.com/search/advanced/. You can also try a separate search engine called Compflight which uses the Flickr API to sift through the database.

Image Use Info: Creative Commons, individual images have their own info.


16. Deviant Art

16.	 Deviant Art

Price: Free and paid

A hodgepodge of artists offering free and paid versions of their artwork, this is a good place to scout out some unique images and other resources.  Anything from Photoshop brushes, to pixel art gifs, to photorealistic paintings, there’s always something to find here if you know where to look.  Deviant Art (DA) recommends using the advanced search function on Google to quickly browse through their Creative Commons selection (http://creative-commons.deviantart.com/).  You can also go to the SHOP link in their top menu bar and search by subject or artist (http://shop.deviantart.com/).

Image License Info: Creative Commons, check the individual artworks for details.


17. OpenClipArt

17.	 OpenClipArt

Price: Free

Good for a quick clip art fix, this site has a number of resources in a variety of cartoon styles.  Simply navigate to the image you want and choose from one of the three sized .png options. It’s a quick and easy way to find some simple clip art, and each image is public domain so they are free to use however you need.

Image License Info: Public Domain. https://openclipart.org/share


As you can imagine, the list of online resources offering images that you can use for your website could go on and on.  I recommend starting with this list and finding a place that works best for you.  Good luck, and happy image hunting!

by Alexandria O’Brien | 3/6/15

*The image license descriptions provided on this blog are only an example of the license types associated with the listed image resource and may not be accurate as they are short summaries of what information I found. Licenses and terms of use vary by site. Be sure to read the terms of use or other such details provided at that individual site for the complete license agreement.


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