As a web developer, when creating a website, the importance of well-placed images cannot be overstated. Images breathe life into your website and give it a professional look that adds credibility. Knowing where to get high-quality images, that do not infringe on copyright, can be difficult. Here are my top 6 sources for professional images when I am building a website.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
My number one choice for images is pexels.com. This site is awesome. Apart from the fact that you can find high-quality images on practically any category, except for aliens, the images are 100% free. My favorite part of Pexels is the custom image size feature. This ability allows users to resize an image before downloading it. The best part is, you can change an image’s aspect ratio without sacrificing quality. If you are like me and are not very good with photoshop and other image editors, this feature is heaven sent – no more stretched, warped, distorted, or jagged images. Pexels also offers free video downloads
Bottom-line: Pexels has the best free stock photos and videos. It is where I get the majority of my images from when building a website.
Another great image site I frequent is Pixabay. Pixabay is very similar to Pixels. The images are free and you are given the option to download your image in multiple quality sizes. Unlike Pexels, Pixabay does not have the custom image size feature.
Bottom-line: Pixabay is a great place for beautiful, free stock images. It’s my go-to site when I can’t find the image I want on Pexels.
Adobe stock (adobestock.com)
Adobe stock has some of the most beautiful high-quality images on the web. When users sign up for Adobe stock, they get 10 free images. After that, the license for the images cost about $2.99 each or $29 for 10 images. When I am searching for images I try Pexels and Pixabay first. if I can’t find the image I want on either site, I default to Adobe stock.
Bottom-line: Adobe Stock is the perfect place for high-res, royalty-free, stock images, but that should be a given considering it is not free.
PNG Tree (pngtree.com)
PNG Tree is another good source for images. PNG tree has millions of PNG images, Backgrounds, and Vectors for free. However, there is a catch. Users are limited to only 3 free downloads a day. If you want an unlimited download of images, you have to pay a monthly subscription of $14.99. I normally use PNG Tree when I need images with a transparent background.
Bottom-line: PNG Tree is a good source for PNG images (images with a transparent background), but for other high-res images I default to Pexels or Pixabay.
Most developers do not use Google as a source for getting images. This is mainly because the vast majority of these images are not free for the taking. Luckily Google has a tool that can help you find free images labeled for reuse on its website.
To find free images on Google – Go to google.com. Type the keyword in the search box and hit enter. Click the images tab. Select tools (next to the settings tab), this will present you with some drop down options(size, color, usage rights, type, time and more tools). click usage rights and select Labeled for reuse to filter your search results to free images only. Using these images will not infringe on copyright.
Bottom-line: This is a neat feature on Google, but do not count on this method, as many of the images tend to be of lower quality.
The last place I get my images from, and perhaps most obvious, are my clients. There will be times when you will need images from your client, whether it is a picture of the building where the business is located or a photo of the client for the about me section of the site. In both cases, the images will have to come from the client.
Bottom-line: Clients are a good source for images, but sometimes the images are of low quality.
There are many other sources out there for high-quality images such as Shutterstock, Flickr, GettyImages, Pikiwizard, and Unsplash. In this article, I only focused on the 6 that I use primarily. Feel free to research more sources on your own and please leave a comment regarding the ones listed in this article.