We judge the quality of the site, based on the quality of the images.
Images are important.
When we visit a website, we see the images first and judge the quality of the website even before we read the article.
It’s not our fault. It’s just how our brain works.
Our brain loves to use various senses to receive information. Survey says that 94 percent of content with visuals get more views than textual content. And it happens very quickly. As research says, the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.
So, we open the site; scan the images in a blink of eyes; and judge the quality of the site based on the quality of the images and design.
In that sense, I agree with Vistaprint’s article. It says, “High-quality images allow viewers to make an educated decision about the value of your site. You spend hours poring over the content of your website, why wouldn’t you apply the same considerations to your images?”
Paid Stock Photos vs. Free Stock Photos
To improve the quality of images, experts suggest paying for premium stock photos. I used to do that. And I’m still doing it if I need to. Yet, purchasing images for each post and page is quite expensive.
Luckily, while web designing, I found many resources where I can download high-quality images for free. Many professional or amateur photographers are sharing their arts for free. I appreciate their inspiring work and contribution.
Among these resources, let me share my selections with you.
Photographers put lots of efforts to capture the right scenes. They deserved to be rewarded.
You may think that you can find any images on Google and use them. But, Google warns you that those “Images may be subject to copyright”. If you happen to use copyrighted images that belong to digital agencies on your website, you may face serious legal troubles. I’ve heard of several cases.
Don’t worry. All images that I’m introducing here have public domain equivalent license. They are copyright-free photography and you can use them for personal and commercial purposes. But, there are certain restrictions which sound like common sense to me. If you want to know more about it, please check this article.
Best Websites to Download Free Stock Images for Commercial Use (Updated 2019)
I update this article because I’ve found a few more resources since posting the first article.
Still, my favorite site is Unsplash. When you search “Hawaii” or “Kauai” in Unsplash, you will find amazing photos about Hawaii or Kauai. (Click to see)
It’s also the most famous site for web designers and web developers. They use photos from Unsplash when they make a sample website.
According to Wikipedia, Unsplash has been cited as one of the world’s leading photography websites by Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNET, Medium and The Next Web.
My banner image for this article is made of Unsplash’s images.
For the last few months, I’ve used several images from Pixabay. It has stunning images of nature. with the highest quality.
You can find the highest quality images in Pixabay. Especially their wallpaper images are stunning. Even you can find free 4K videos.
Sample 4K Video
If you’re looking for the images with specific concepts, then try rawpixel.com. You can find many creative images and vectors to fit your needs. You can re-design and tweak as you desire. I found this site recently and love it.
You need to open your account to download images from Rawpixel. It just takes 30 seconds to open it. You can choose a free plan which allows you to download up to 100 images per month from their free collection.
These are sample free images from Rawpixel.
Canva is for social media and blog posts. They have various ready-made templates which you can use for all kinds of social media platforms. You can choose a template and change images and texts. It’s very convenient to use.
You can use basic images in your free plan. If you want to use high-quality images, you can purchase them. Visit Canva.
A sample image designed with Canva
5. Last but not least
I introduced my favorite sites to download free stock images for commercial use. There are more sites that you can find the images on. Check these sites and select your own favorites.
The efforts of anonymous contributors have developed our internet.
For instance, we’re now sharing our knowledge on Wikipedia, local information on Google Maps, and our artistic talents on Unsplash. We are building a collective database that anybody can access through the internet.
These free stock images are another benefit that we can get from our collective database. The best way to show our appreciation is making the most use of them and sharing the benefits with more people. It’s like paying it forward.
I hope these resources help you to share your knowledge, talents, and inspiration with more people.
* We wrote this article to support our Hawaii Web Design service.