Is there such a thing as royalty free images for websites?

Well this article will give you so many places to go to find free images you can use on your websites.  There are a few things to remember when looking for free images. Read the following basic rules about using free images and you can’ go wrong !


We know the importance nowadays of visual content. Studies have show that we respond and engage our audience so much better with images. But finding those images that are high quality and free to use in blogs is not so easy.  Images come with copyright – the protection that every creator puts on their images for their exclusive use.  There are public domain images or creative commons and it is possible to filter images on Google to find those that are free to use but it is still a risky business to use one, in case the originator of that image was not the creator.  We aren’t all great photographers or even have the skills to take the images we would want to use.  There is always illustrator, if you know how to use it….. a huge learning curve if you don’t.   So lets head straight into the few rules to notice when surfing the image websites.

Check out the types of images you will find here, so you’re sure of what you need to do with the different categories  – whether you need to attribute it to someone, how to check that it is safe to use.


Images marked as ‘Atrributed’ must appear on your website with the name and the website the image came from. Some websites will tell you what attribution you should give to the images.


Many images on the following websites are unattributed which means you can use them without saying where you got them from.  I prefer this type of image, it looks a lot less ‘messy’ on my website.

Creative Commons

This allows free distribution of otherwise copyrighted ‘work’ . The author wants to give others the right to use their images. 


This is another way image websites give perission to its users to publish the images free for personal, business and commercial use. 


Extended Use is the same as for standard but also allows for reprints, digital reuse, for bookcovers etc and you will usually find that you have to pay extra for this privilege. 

Not Allowed.....

There are certain exclusions as to where you are allowed to use the images regardless of its accreditation….. no sublicencing, selling, creating obseene, defamatory or illegal images from them, use as a logo, infringing intellectual property rights. 

   Royalty Free Websites


20 great websites here for royalty free images. There are a lot more out there but these are the best for high quality unique images. Have a blast checking them all out !  I have given a little advice to each one so you don’t inadvertently fall in love with a photo only to find you have to pay for it!



  • Pixabay –  Take care not to click onto Shutterstock images that are also sponsored on the website.
  • Unsplash – Images/backgrounds etc freely given by their creators.
  • PicJumbo – Check the FAQ so you are up to date with their specific terms.
  • Stokpic – Limited images but if you sign up you get 10 free images sent every two weeks.
  • Pexels – Free images, check what you can do with them.
  • FreeRangeStock –  Take care not to end up on iStock (Getty images)
  • Splashbase – Limited but does show images from various free sites.
  • FreeDigitalPhotos – Small images are free, require attribution. Larger ones are charged and take care not to drift into iStock images (Getty)
  • FreeImages – Again iStock intermingled with free images so take care.
  • FreePik – Shutterstock is hiding within some of these free images, care should be taken.
  • FreePixels – Great free image site for outdoorsy type images.
  • Splitshire – Great collection of ecletic images, all free.
  • Photopin – Sponsored images at the top so make sure you scroll down!
  • LifeOfPix – Great  high resolution photographs but interspersed with  a lot of Adobe images.
  • StyledStock – Feminine styled images. Check the FAQ.
  • Reshot –  Unique styled images.
  • Stockvault –  Great photos, but watch out for the premium shutterstock.
  • Canva – Slightly different in that it is a poster style tool as well as offering thousands of free images.
  • Picography – Collects images from lots of other free sites. Check the FAQ.
  • Rawpixel – Great resource for designers.

One suggestion I do have, for absolute transparency, when using a new site, go read what security checks they carry out to ensure the images they are offering are free to use. Its worth the time to be secure in the knowledge that they are doing due dilligence on their images. 

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