Blog Post

7 websites to get free images for commercial use

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.

If you need free vectors and illustrations for commercial use, check this out: 7 websites to get free vectors and illustrations for commercial use. If you need free videos for commercial use, check this out: 5 websites to get free videos for commercial use. If you need free videos for commercial use, check this out: 5 websites to get free videos for commercial use.

Most websites with free images, use CC BY-SA 2.0 license, which requires attribution, and it is not compatible with a 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.

Name:
Pixabay
URL:
https://pixabay.com/
Information:
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.
API:
True
Mobile App:
True
WordPress Plugin:
True
Screenshot:
Name:
Unsplash
URL:
https://unsplash.com/
Information:
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.
API:
True
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
True
Screenshot:
Name:
SkitterPhoto
URL:
https://skitterphoto.com/
Information:
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.
API:
False
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
False
Screenshot:
Name:
Gratisography
URL:
https://www.gratisography.com/
Information:
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.
API:
False
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
False
Screenshot:
Name:
Pexels
URL:
https://www.pexels.com/
Information:
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.
API:
True
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
False
Screenshot:
Name:
StockSnap
URL:
https://stocksnap.io/
Information:
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.
API:
False
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
False
Screenshot:
Name:
Pickup Image
URL:
https://pickupimage.com/
Information:
PickupImage is a good choice to get free images, currently including over 5000 images for download, with the tag-based search, ability to download the same image in different sizes and similar images recommendations
API:
False
Mobile App:
False
WordPress Plugin:
False
Screenshot:

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

Changelog

  • 2020.05.11 – Removed Freeimages.red
  • 2020.05.11 – Added PickupImage.com
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About the author

Milan Petrovic
Milan Petrovic

Programmer since the age of 12 and WordPress developer since 2008 as freelancer and author of more than 200 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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