Having images on your site makes it a lot easier to read. We are visual people, and images should be used to help the reader understand your content or relate to it in some way. Pictures and other graphics also make your content seem less daunting. When your visitors come to your site and there big blocks of text, it makes it seem daunting.
Finding images to use for your website can seem equally daunting. Some might be tempted to go to Google or your favorite search engine and just search for an image and use that for your site. This practice, however, can get you in trouble and cost you money in fines and legal headaches. Most images are copyrighted and you can’t use them without having permission of the owner, and usually that requires a licensing fee. But, have no fear – there are lots of places where you can find royalty-free stock images for you website and other marketing. Read below for some of my favorites – some are free, and some might require a fee per image or for membership.
Pixabay is one of my favorite places to look for images to use for my website and social media graphics. It’s easy to use, easy to search for images and save your favorites. There’s photos, vector graphics, and even videos. All you need is a free account.
There’s also a Pixabay Plugin available for WordPress, so I can search for an import image from Pixabay right from inside my post editor – so simple! (That’s how I added that image above!)
Pexels is my other go-to stock image site. Similar to Pixabay, you can easily search for pictures by keyword, and if you have a free account, you can easily save images that you want to use later. Sometimes I just go to Pexels and look at all of the amazing images and get inspired by the beautiful artistry I see there.
There are also several plugins available for you to easily add Pexels images to you WordPress site. Check them out in the repo and add one.
Creative Market has lots of things for you to love and enjoy – graphics, backgrounds, themes, fonts, document templates, and more. Most of the products cost a modest fee to purchase, but each week, they release some product available for free. I’ve found some great gems in these free products, and some that I’ve grabbed to use later. And for the ones that I’ve purchased, they have been great to use.
When using images from any of these sites (or any other stock image provider) be sure to check the licensing requirements for each image. Some may not be licensed for use for business purposes, some may require attribution of the artist, and some may only be able to be used in certain situations. It is your responsibility to make sure you are following the licensing requirements or you could end in a legal mess. (I am not a lawyer. If in doubt, consult your attorney.)