If you need to find high-quality images to use on your website, but you can’t (or won’t) pay for them, the best solution is to get images from websites that offer free (for commercial use) images.

There are many websites that do that, but, in many cases, these websites have low-quality images and/or low resolution. Or, what is the most important, the license some websites use is not clear enough, and images are not really free to use in commercial products. What we really want, are images licensed under CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) license, or with explicit permission to use them for free, in commercial projects without attribution or images licensed as Public Domain.

Most websites with free images, use CC BY-SA 2.0 license, that requires attribution, and it is not compatible with GPL license. CC0 is the only Creative Commons license compatible with GPL license. So, here are 7 websites with high-quality images, all under Public Domain or CC0 license, and free for commercial use, with no attribution required.

Pixabay

Pixabay - Website Screenshot

This is one of the largest websites for sharing public domain images, and it includes a lot of extras that will make it a great choice for your main source of CC0 licensed images. The website allows you to download each image is one of the available sizes, for each image you can see information about the camera used, dimensions, the number of views and downloads... You can register for a free account, and you can keep your list of favourite images and comment on every image.

Pixabay is especially useful for the WordPress powered website because they have a WordPress plugin for adding images directly from Pixabay into your posts.

Plugin: Yes
App: Yes
API: Yes

Unsplash

Unsplash - Website Screenshot

Unsplash is another great choice for public domain images. It doesn't have as many images as Pixabay, but the image selection is really great and easier to find what you need. The website offers images organized as collections, and all users can create collections.

You can register for a free account, and you can keep your list of favourite images, or create your own image collections. Unsplash is especially useful for the WordPress powered website because they have a WordPress plugin for adding images directly from Unsplash into your posts.

Plugin: Yes
App: No
API: Yes

SkitterPhoto

SkitterPhoto - Website Screenshot

This website started by sharing photos from amateur photographers from Holland, and in the past few years have grown to include a great collection of photos. You can register for a free account to like images and keep them in your account. It shows detailed information about each photo, and it has one great feature that most other websites don't have: it shows you dominating colours for each photo, and allows you to search for other images using colours.

Plugin: No
App: No
API: No

Gratisography

Gratisography - Website Screenshot

This is a somewhat unique website in this collection because all photos on Gratisography are taken by one author only: Ryan McGuire. It is not rich with features as other websites, and you have a single page website where you can see (and filter) all images, and download each photo.

Plugin: No
App: No
API: No

Pexels

Pexels - Website Screenshot

Another great website that includes a large selection of photos. Pexels features the search by tags or colours, includes detailed information about images and allows you to download each photo in the desired size, including custom size. Just like most of the other websites on this list, you can sign up for a free account and keep track of images you like.

This website has Windows and MacOS app for browsing images, and it can integrate into Photoshop too.

Plugin: No
App: No
API: Yes

StockSnap

StockSnap - Website Screenshot

StockSnap is another great source of CC0 licensed photos, offering similar features to other websites listed here. It has a huge list of categories, and you can use tags and authors to filter photos. You can sign up for a free account to keep your list of favourite photos, or to submit your own photos.

Plugin: No
App: No
API: No

FreeImages

FreeImages - Website Screenshot

FreeImages is a solid choice for free images, and the only one in this selection to show the complete EXIF for each photo. The only downside is too many errors on the website, missing content for some categories. But, search and download work great (including an option to download images at different sizes).

Plugin: No
App: No
API: No

Use comments to let me know if you have some other CC0 photography websites to recommend.

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About the author

MillaN
MillaN
Dev4Press owner and lead developer

Programmer since the age of 12 and now WordPress developer with more than 8 years of WordPress experience, author of more than 100 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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