16 Safest Places to Find Free Images for WordPress in 2020

16 Safest Places to Find Free Images for WordPress in 2020

Finding the perfect image is a challenge for many bloggers. It's like there are millions of questions to consider: 

  • Where to find pictures that are relevant to my blog site?
  • What is the best placement for photos on the free website builder I am using?
  • How many should I include?
  • Is it even safe to use free images for WordPress blogs?

As a savvy blogger, you already know that an effective content marketing strategy cannot only rely on ‘blocks of well-written text.' Using beautiful and eye-catching images to support your content can make a real difference to the website's traffic, engagement rate, and search engine ranking.

In fact, humans are said to be visual creatures and prefer pictures over text. They can also process image-based content at an alarmingly fast speed. 

Whether 

Fortunately, many sites offer images for use in WordPress blogs. And thanks to the contribution of talented photographers from across the world, they are available for free in every niche imaginable!

Understanding Stock Photos Licenses

Last year, photographer Simon Palmer made the headlines for using a ‘free to reuse' image from a reputable stock library on his WordPress site.

His fault was that the image he used featured a lady who was quite recognizable. And according to copyright rules, proper consent is required for any image that has:

Interestingly, the site's policy also mentioned the same in the fine print – but just like most of us, Simon Palmer failed to thoroughly read the licenses and procedures. As a result, he was addressed with a legal notice and a demand to pay a hefty licensing fee.

Of course, the same consequences are not for every image you use. In most cases, all you do is search the stock libraries, download the image you want, and add it to your blog for an attractive look.

But yes, you must educate yourself around the licensing conditions and look out for the red flags (mentioned above) when using free stock photos for WordPress.

Stock Photo Licenses Explained

Generally, bloggers will come across one of the three types of licensing when using free or paid stock photo agencies. These include:

  • Royalty Free

Royalty Free is the default mode of licensing in paid stock photo sites. With the purchase of a single license, the buyer has access to unlimited downloads from a premium stock agency.  However, the copyrights remain with the photographer or the stock agency, and the buyer cannot resell them in any case.

  • Creative Commons License (CC0)

The Creative Commons License is set up by a non-profit organization to help photographers license their work. The images that come under CC0 are free for the users and can be adapted in any format without attribution.  

  • Public Domain

As the name implies, the images that fall under the public domain category are free from copyright restrictions. The photographer has allowed the public domain images to be used by anyone in any format they want.

What about Google?

A common man's first impulse is to head towards Google Photos for the perfect picture. 

However, the Google Image Search is merely showing you the pictures by default – without any regard to their copyright and licensing. These images are usually protected by copyright or come with a price tag. And using them without knowing the detours can get you in legal trouble and even have your site penalized.

So, Where Can I Find Free and Safe Photos on the Internet?

The best way to avoid litigation when using free stock images for WordPress is to understand the licensing details and carefully adhere to them. Avoid images that don't have a license and give credit to the owner by default. 

In this article, we share the best websites to download free images for commercial and non-commercial projects. Plus, we will go through the licensing details of each so you can avoid any potential litigation from using these photos. 

So without further ado, let's get started.

1. Unsplash

Unsplash main page screenshot

Founded in 2013, Unsplash started as a small-scale Tumblr blog to distribute leftover images from an in-house production company. But fast forward to today, Unsplash has become one of the leading photography websites and an ultimate choice of WordPress bloggers looking for free images.

Boasting a database of over 1 million high-quality images, Unsplash often leaves you spoiled for choices with its extensive range of categories. Thousands of photos are added from photographers worldwide every day, so you will definitely find something of your liking. You can even become a member and upload your photographs on this fantastic site.

Licensing:  Unsplash photos come with their own custom license. Under the specific license, you can download and use images for WordPress in both commercial and noncommercial projects.

Credits are also not required – but are welcomed, nonetheless.They only limit the user to sell or redistribute the images without modification. Other than that, the photos are good to go! See License Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Unsplash is very popular, and therefore, we cannot judge its credibility. The site gets a considerable number of submissions every day so you can find images for WordPress and other mediums in a jiffy. 

We only suggest that you thoroughly inspect each image carefully. Unsplash moderates each submission, but there is a good chance that an image enters their database without required permission. If you are in doubt about any image, go to an alternative.

WP Clipboard Rating : 9/10

2. Pixabay

Pixabay website screenshot

Owned by the popular online design platform Canva, Pixabay is home to over 1.8 million high-quality images. The images showcased here are more catered towards marketing, making it a perfect choice for WordPress blog creators.

Pixabay is one of many fantastic sites that offer fantastic free vector images for your designs.

Searching for images on Pixabay is relatively easier than other stock libraries. You can find your preferred selection through keyword research or filter via size, color, and even orientation.

Apart from free stock images, Pixabay also offers customizable vectors, illustrations, stock footages, and music clips for free.

Licensing: Similar to Unsplash, Pixabay also works with their own personal license. According to the licensing terms, the users have a non-exclusive and free right to download, modify, use, or copy the images for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

 

Photo credits are not compulsory, but they are always appreciated.

Additionally, Pixabay doesn't allow mass distribution or redistribution of images without modifying them. See License Details.

 

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Pixabay has an extensive collection of images, and you can find the perfect image for your blog without any hassle. 

The only catch to remember is that Pixabay relies on the user's submission. And although they have a team of moderators that manually go through each image, it may not always be the safest option. You also have to look carefully when using photos of people, landmarks, and logos.

WP Clipboard Rating : 9/10

3. PikWizard

Free Stock Photos, Free images for WordPress

PikWizard may not have a library the size of Unsplash and Pixabay. Still, it is one of the most reliable platforms for high-quality stock photographs. Owned by Wavebreak Media, it is led by renowned videographer and entrepreneur Sean Prior. Contributors to the PikWizard gallery are also well-known stock media photographers, so you are bound to find free images with exceptional quality.

Apart from images, PikWizard lets you edit the photos like add text overlays before downloading. A premium version of PikWizard is also available with a full-feature online image editing tool.

Licensing: PikWizard has its own custom license that allows users to download, modify, and use the free images as they prefer.

Giving credits to the stock source is not mandatory, but always encouraged by the PikWizard team.

However, the images cannot be resold to other stock photo libraries. PikWizard also adds a reminder that users cannot use pictures depicting brand names, logos, or trademarks for commercial advertising. See Licence Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The PikWizard does a great job of handpicking some of the best photographers from across the globe. In our opinion, they could do a little more enhancement on their website design, thus making it more functional.

WP Clipboard Rating : 9/10

4. Gratisography

High-quality stock photographs, free images for WordPress

Gratisography takes the stock photo industry from a different level. While mainstream stock photo sites offer pictures catering to all niches, Gratisography prides itself as the provider for the world's quirkiest collection of high-resolution stock images. And all free!

Their collection is limited but unique and offers some great findings for Instagrammers and WordPress bloggers targeting millennials.

Licensing: Gratisography has its own customized license. According to the license, the pictures from their site can be used in commercial and non-commercial projects. The users are also free to use and modify the images for advertising purposes.

However, they are not allowed to redistribute the images as their own and sell to other free/paid stock sites. They also ask the users to thoroughly check images for trademarks, logos, and other property rights as Gratisography does not guarantee the ownership of model licenses. See License Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Undoubtedly, the collection offered by Gratisography is different from almost every stock site in the market. But it is limited, and you may have difficulty finding multiple images to complete your WordPress design layout.

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

5.Pexels

Free stock photos and video library, free images for WordPress

Pexels is another website owned by Canva that offers a wide range of free stock photos, videos, and vectors. Moreover, it also has some other fun add-ons like a Photoshop plugin.

Searching for an image on Pexels is very convenient. Just write the search term you are looking for – such as ‘tasty food' and ‘beautiful black woman' to find the perfect accompanying image for your blog. Moreover, you can filter the image search by a specific color scheme to match the design of your WordPress blog.

Licensing: Photographs on Pexels are covered under the Creative Commons Zero license. This means that you can use them for commercial WordPress projects, while attribution is not mandatory.

Pexels also does not allow you to redistribute or sell the photos to other stock libraries. Moreover, you may need to take consent from the people that may appear in a photo you use. See License Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The developers at Pexels work very hard to maintain and create a fantastic website. It is also affiliated with Canva, giving it major brownie points. 

The only risk of infringement and copyright issues is that Pexels has a user submission system. This allows them to take images from different sites, opening the doors to vulnerability.

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

6. Life of Pix

Free High Resolution Pics, free images for WordPress

Owned by Canadian digital marketing company LEEROY, Life of Pix is home to premium-styled images – with zero price tag. They do have a limited database when compared to other stock sites. But their pictures are of the most exceptional quality and cover a wide range of themes.

Additionally, Life of Pix has a sister site dedicated to free stock videos that you can try for your WordPress blog. They are also partnering with Adobe Stock for more (paid) collection of stock photos.

Licensing: Life of Pix falls under the Public Domain license, allowing you to use images freely without attribution. But the site does forbid mass distribution. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Life of Pix boasts a great collection of images and videos for your WordPress blogs. Their Public Domain images give you the freedom to use the photos in commercial and non-commercial projects. 

However, in some cases, the people who submit the photos under the Public Domain are not the owners. Therefore, it can be risky!

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

7.Kaboompics

Find Perfect photos for you

If you have a WordPress blog dedicated to lifestyle, nature, or interior décor, then Kaboompics is your best friend! It is founded by Karolina Grabowska, an expert interior and stock photographer. In fact, out of all the pictures on Kaboom, over 8000 images are shot by Karolina herself.

Besides using the Kaboom images for WordPress, they are ideal for social media networks. Another cool thing about Kaboompics is the option of color palette while searching for images. It also allows filtering the photos by color, or two – to perfectly complement your website design.

Licensing: Kaboompics has their own personalized license that enables users to download their images for free. All photos can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes without any attribution.

Modifications to the photographs are also allowed. However, Kaboompics prohibits the members from reselling or reusing the images on a similar platform – aka free stock sites. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Kaboompics is a great place to find images for the young audience. They are free, and the custom licensing gives you full ownership. The only drawback is that the collection presented by Karolina Grabowska is minimal, and you will have to dig around for the best image.

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

8. PicJumbo

Find Perfect photos for you

PicJumbo was created by Viktor Hanacek in 2000, after facing multiple rejections from leading stock libraries for lack of quality. Initially, he planned to use the database for his own personal images. But with a span of some years, PicJumbo became one of the leading stock sites for free and high-quality images to use in WordPress blogs.

One of the best things about PicJumbo is that the creator frees you from some copyright troubles. For example, there are many images with people as the main subject. However, they are hidden purposely to avoid any problem linked with “model-release” clauses.

Licensing: The images available on Picjumbo fall under the Creative Commons Zero license. You can download, edit, modify and use the images personally and commercially. But it's better to alter the photos when you use them for a commercial purpose.

Attribution is not required, but as always, it is appreciated by the owner at PicJumbo.

Moreover, Viktor asks the users to take the necessary precaution when using the images from his site. Such as avoiding the use of logos and trademarks with proper consent. He also states that he or his team shall not be responsible for any potential liability. See License Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The best feature of PicJumbo is that it comes from an experienced stock photographer. He knows the smallest details regarding licensing and carefully adheres to them to safeguard the users. 

The only drawback of the PicJumbo site is that it can be overly commercial in many images. There is no artistic viewpoint, and thus, images may not be suitable for those with lifestyle and modern-niche blogs.

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

9. Rawpixel

Creative Home for Photos

Founded by Robert Churchill, RawPixel has one of the most diverse collections of stock prints for WordPress blogs. Their selection is sourced from authentic contributors only and is always up-to-date with the newest trends of photography.

At Rawpixel, each user is limited to 100 downloads per month. They also have a vector collection and PSD mockups, along with a premium-based database of stock images.

Licensing:  Rawpixel offers images in two categories of licenses – the personal and the commercial. The users of personal licensed images can use them for non-commercial activities such as personal social media accounts, portfolios, and hobbyist blogging sites.

On the other hand, pictures with commercial licenses are suitable for print and digital advertising.

They also have a dedicated collection of Public Domains that include free images for personal and commercial use with no attribution required users. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

We absolutely loved the collection of images present on the Rawpixel site. The only disappointment is the search filter that needs a little improvement. Other than that, the website is a hidden gem in the stock industry.

WP Clipboard Rating : 8/10

10. Good Stock Photos

Free Stock Photos

Good Stock Photos is created by Chris Ma, a web designer, and online marketer. All images available on the stock photo site are shot and owned by him as well. They are all free for use.

When it comes to the collection, Good Stock Photos has a commendable library of high-quality and high-resolution images. They are specifically ideal for WordPress blogs with their editorial style layout. The niche is versatile as well, with a mix of everyday life situations, nature, urban scenes, and travel-inspired photographs. 

Licensing: Chris adds a customized license to his collection of images. As per the license, the images are free to use for commercial purposes and do not require attribution to the owner.

The only thing not permissible is selling the images to a third-party service and/or claim it as your own creation. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

Images offered by Good Stock Photos are pleasing to the eye with an interesting mix of topics and styles. They are also free to use for WordPress with no restriction of copyrights. But some images lack the commercial value we see in other notable stock photo libraries.

WP Clipboard Rating : 7/10

11. StockSnap.io

Thousands of Free image, free images for WordPresss

Founded by the same guys that created the graphic design tool Snappa, StockSnap.io boasts thousands of free images to use in your WordPress blogs.

They function via user submission. Each day, they get hundreds of images for their collection. However, they have a strict quality control policy and curate only the best photos in their database.

Licensing: StockSnap.io uses the Creative Commons Zero license. According to the license, the users are allowed to use, modify, and share the images as per their requirements.

You also don't need to attribute the source site. But just like other sites mentioned in this guide, you cannot use a StockSnap.io image to imply any kind of endorsement. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

StockSnap.io has an impressive collection of images. They are in line with today's photography trends and are ideal for social media as well as blogging. The only downside is the crowdsourcing of images and applying CC0 license, which may put you at risk of infringement.

WP Clipboard Rating : 7/10

12. FoodiesFeed

Aspiring food photographers

As the name implies, FoodiesFeed is a stock photo site for the food-niche blogs. It is created by Jakub Kapusnak, who launched the site to sell his own food photographs just to get rid of them. 

With time, his website grew in popularity, and therefore, he included the submissions from other aspiring food photographers in his database too.

Today, it is considered the best resource for food photographs with over 1600 free and mouth-watering images.

Licensing: FoodiesFeed works under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means that the user can use, modify, and share the images for free.

The photos also don't require attribution or credit to the source site. However, it is always welcomed by the creators. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Great:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

FoodiesFeed is a great platform for those who need photos related to the food industry. The collection is attractive and enticing – enough to water the viewer's mouth. The only catch is the use of CC0 license along with user submission that may be a bit risky. Nevertheless, there are only food photos and no people – so the user may be much safer than the rest.

WP Clipboard Rating : 7/10

13. Wunderstock

Wunderstock.com homepage screenshot

A relatively new website in our list is Wunderstock. Boasting over 100,000 photos on the Public Domain Library, Wunderstock is aimed to help bloggers find the right pictures at the right time. And if Wunderstock is unable to match your search criteria, it will automatically extend its efforts to Flickr’s repository of 10 million Creative Commons photos.

However, that is very unlikely as Wunderstock regularly updates its database with fresh photos. The categories here are vast and you can easily find some unique and natural looking photos with the help of smart search filters. You can also search for photos according to the orientation (portrait, landscape, or square) and licensing requirements

Licensing: The licensing requirements on Wunderstock fall into two categories: Public Domain and Creative Commons. While most photos under the Public Domain are free for use in both – commercial and non-commercial settings, there are some Creative Commons images that may require attribution. See Licensing Details

Modification of the photos available on Wunderstock is allowed. In fact, you can conveniently resize, crop, and add filters to the selected images from the platform’s dashboard before downloading. If there are any restrictions, they are clearly marked on each picture.

Why it's Good:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The creative asset offered by Wunderstock is helpful for bloggers who are looking for resources that are unique. The photos available stand apart from the generic collection we are used to seeing and will definitely give you a broader range of choices. 

WP Clipboard Rating : 7/10

14. New Old Stock

New Old Stock free photos

Another niche-specific site is the New Old Stock. But unlike others in the industry, New Old Stock boasts a collection of historical and vintage images.

The site has over 1,500 stock images that are handpicked by the creator of the site via Flickr Commons listed institutions. This includes museums, NASA, etc. Photos are available for free.

Licensing: All photos available on the site are based on Public Domain and subjected to Flickr Commons terms. Each institution has its own legal requirements, and therefore, some images may not be allowed for commercial use.

A few photos also require the users to link back to the source of the institution's site. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Good:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The New Old Stock is unique in terms of the category it focuses on. But quality is sometimes compromised – as with many other old photographs. Checking the licensing details of each image can also be frustrating. Nevertheless, they are a great find for WordPress blogs linked with the vintage era. 

WP Clipboard Rating : 6/10

15. NegativeSpace

Contributions from photographers all over the world

Fit for a minimalist, NegativeSpace is a simple website that welcomes contributions from photographers all over the world. The site is also straightforward to navigate with choices of multiple categories from the drop-down menu.

Photos are also of high-quality and manually vetted by the moderators at NegativeSpace.

Licensing: NegativeSpace makes use of the Creative Commons Zero license that grants the users to download, copy, share, and modify the images. They are available for both – personal and commercial purposes. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Good:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

From the photography perspective, NegativeSpace is the best you can get. It has a great collection of high-quality and high-resolution images in various niches. But legally, the CC0 license is not the safest choice for commercial activities, and we suggest doing a background check of the images before using it.

WP Clipboard Rating : 6/10

16. Styled Stock 

Free Styled Stock Photos, free images for WordPress

The Styled Stock is a great resource for feminine-styled photography. Think flowers, makeup, and jewelry. 

It has a small database of around 100 photos. But each of them has a clean and modern concept, making it a perfect choice of free images for WordPress blogs targeting the women of today.

Licensing: The owner of Styled Stock gives free usage rights for commercial and personal use. The copyright is owned by the creator of the site, but no attribution is required. See Licensing Details.

Why it's Good:

WP Clipboard Verdict:

The limited stock library of Styled Stock is helpful if you are looking for the certain-styled images. But the collection is very limited while licensing requirements are not clear as well. We suggest you check them with due diligence before using them.

WP Clipboard Rating : 6/10

Final Thoughts

WordPress is listed as one of the best blog sites, with over 75 million websites running under its hood. Even famous companies and notable celebrities use WordPress to host their blogs. 

And naturally, with the competition, you want your blog to stand out amongst the herd without getting into the whirlwind of licensing.

These were just some of our favorite free stock photo sites for WordPress that offer transparent licensing details. But as they say, it's better to be safe than sorry – and so we advise considering each license before using the images in a commercial medium.

In case you might be searching for free vector images

With that being said, try out the free stock sites and let us know your experiences in the comments section below!

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Justin

If you ever decide to add to the list, may I also recommend Wunderstock? Our community currently has 3 million photos and counting.

All the best,
Justin