When I began building my online affiliate business it was often a bit of a struggle to find high-quality images. The question that often came up was, where can I get free images for my website?
After quite a bit of research, I have found 5 excellent services.
So let’s take a look at each of them!
Free and sponsored image services
Design and image tools for designers and non-designers
Images are an essential component of quality content. Did you know that content with images has more SEO value and 94% of content that includes images is more likely to get a re-share compared to all-text content?
No matter what your profession is, it is wise to have some photo stock websites bookmarked. Almost everyone who writes content is, at some point, looking for free photo stock websites.
In addition to the above, it is useful to have access to good design tools, where you can effortlessly create great-looking content, even if you are not a designer.
Below are my Fabulous 5 websites where you can get free, high-quality images, and in the case of Crello and Canva – a whole lot more.
A note on Image Size
You will notice my question/answer under the first three services relating to the ability to select an image size. Some of these services don’t allow you to choose the image size, and sometimes, even when you can select a size, it isn’t the one you need.
While writing my website articles using a StudioPress theme, it required an image size of 640 x 426 for the featured image (the image in the preview of the post). Some of my pictures (especially the ones I created) were not the correct size, so they were auto-cropped when displayed. So I needed to find an image resizing tool.
After a bit of searching, I have found a great website that lets you resize images for free. You can use this tool to get the best possible result. See the website mentioned at the bottom of this article.
So let’s take a look at my Fab-5 services.
Note: The sequence below is not in any particular order or based on ratings. I have simply grouped them into two areas. First: Three free image services. Second: Two great design tool services.
Due to its extensive variety, Pexels is a popular source for images among content writers, Web, and App Designers. The photos are original and high quality, which happens to be ideal for Affiliate Marketers and bloggers, who write a lot of content.
Anyone can upload their own original images too. The website chooses the best one and then, adds it to the searchable collection.
Every day 10 new high-quality images are added to the free stock photo collection. You could browse images by emotions, locations, themes, and even search for a specific image. It is one of the few websites that offer free space images and these, too, are of excellent quality.
I use Pexels all the time. It is a great money saver.
Can I choose the image size? Yes
Some website themes prefer a specific image size for it to display correctly. If an image is not the specified size, it may be cropped when displayed on your website page.
Pexels lets you choose an image size before downloading.
As shown in the picture above, select the image, choose the size you require, and click ‘Download Photo.’ The image will appear in your downloads folder. If you want more than one size, select another size after the previously selected size has finished downloading.
Unsplash is another great source of artistic and high-resolution images from both semi-professional and professional photographers. These images are great for your blogs and digital marketing. Unsplash doesn’t have millions of images, but its quality is one of the best out there.
They have a team of curators that pick 10 photos every 10 days to feature on the front page of their website. You can also subscribe to get 10 of their newest pictures sent to your email every 10 days.
Unsplash has the Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license and all the images submitted and published on the site fall under it. This means you can use Unsplash images for both personal and commercial use. See the website for more details.
Can I choose the image size? No
Unsplash doesn’t let you choose the image size before downloading.
You can click on the Info icon at the bottom right area of the picture to get a pop-up window that shows all the information about the image, including its native dimensions, but the image size is preset. If you need a specific size, you can try the free image resizing tool mentioned at the bottom of this page.
Pixabay possesses one of the largest collections of free online images. The site has more than million public domain images and, you can find everything from illustrations and vector graphics to videos. Their selection of landscape photography happens to be one the best out there.
There are more than 420,000 images to choose from, and you should be able to find something for your blog or website. With Pixabay, you don’t have to worry about any image license. You can use any Pixabay image in printed or digital form, whether you are using it for commercial or personal use.
Can I choose the image size? Yes
Pixabay lets you choose from a list of 4 image sizes. As mentioned in the Pexels review, having the ability to choose a picture size can be an important consideration for your website design and can help you avoid auto-cropping.
UNIQUE TO PIXABAY: Once you choose the picture size you require, you can click the ‘view’ icon and preview the picture in “actual size” before you download it – just click the ‘View’ icon. This is quite a handy feature.
With the next two services – Crello and Canva, you will notice that I often reference both. This is because they are very similar to each other. The interfaces look almost identical. In fact, these two tools are so similar that they are often referred to as TWINS. The differences are minor, and both are considered great Design Tools for designers and non-designers.
Both Crello and Canva are more design and graphics oriented than Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.
Both have free and sponsored images, and project file manager capabilities. Canva does, however, restrict users to only two folders for their designs if they are using the free version, whereas Crello does not.
Crello does not yet have a collaboration feature, whereas Canva does. So with Crello, you will be working on your own. You could use something like Skype to share your screen if necessary, but direct input can only occur from one user at a time. If you need collaboration capability … you need Canva.
I have used Canva a great deal for both free and paid images. I find it a beneficial tool, and even the paid images are not expensive at $1.00 each. I’ve had occasions where I needed to buy an image or two, but I always check the other free image services listed above first. Quite often, an acceptable image will be on one of my Fab-5 sites. So far, my use of Canva has only involved sourcing high-resolution images and logos. However, it does have a fantastic range of design related features.
There are two versions of Canva to choose from. The free Canva version is suitable for most individuals, whereas the Canva for Work (Pro version) is a must for businesses where more than one person will be working together on projects and collaboration is necessary.
Key Features of Canva for Work (Pro Version)
The main difference between Canva and Canva for Work are the Your Brand and Team Stream features.
Templates: You can save branded templates and create templates for anything from presentations to social media graphics, which ensures consistency. Along with that, it boosts teams from marketing, social media, and sales to come up with their own on-brand graphics.
Brand Kit: This allows your team to access your colors, fonts, and logos and apply them to their own designs. This saves an enormous amount of time by having them all in one place where everyone can see and share them across projects.
Magic Resize: The option of magically resizing designs is available now that lets you resize a design for all popular web and social media formats. All you have to do is create a design once, and then optimize it for the various social media channels that you use.
File manager: Now your employees will never waste time trying to find the right graphics, as you can organize the images and other items into specific folders.
Team Stream: Allows you to see what your team has been creating. You can comment on the designs, edit and or remix them.
How much does Canva for Work cost?
The existing Canva service remains free, whereas Canva for Work is $9.95 per user/month.
Video: Canva (free) versus Canva for Work (pro)
I found this very good 6-minute video on YouTube, which clearly shows the key differences between Canva free and Canva for Work Platforms.
Free Image Resizing tool
Here is a free image resizing website I have found very useful. I use it to resize all types of images.
This is a great tool. You simply upload your image from your local device, choose the resizing, cropping or any other parameters you require. Then hit the resize button.
You no longer need to wonder how to get free images for your website.
My Fab-5 free Design and Image services have helped me a great deal with my content and website design. They each have their pros and cons and can be grouped into two types.
The first group being Free Image services (that also include sponsored photos). These include Pexels, Pixabay, and Upsplash.
The second group is the Graphic Design Tool services. This group includes Crello and Canva, with Canva being the best one for business collaboration. These two services include free and sponsored images, but also have great design tools.
Wikimedia has some great information on imaging licensing and lists stock image websites under the general collections section.
I hope this information has helped you out and will save you some time and money by using these services.