Best Websites to Download Free Stock Images for Commercial Use (Updated 2019)

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.

Copyright:

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.

1. Unsplash

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.

2. Pixabay

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.

Also, check out: Morning Images, Nature Images, 4K Videos

Sample 4K Video
from Pixabay

  • In mobile device, the video will not be played.

3. Rawpixel

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.

Hawaii Web Desgin Download Free Stock Images for Commercial Use

4. Canva

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.

BEST WEBSITES TO DOWNLOAD FREE STOCK IMAGES

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.

https://foter.com/
https://www.pexels.com/
https://www.splitshire.com/
https://burst.shopify.com/
https://freephotos.cc/

 

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.

Mahalo nui.

* We wrote this article to support our Hawaii Web Design service.

Hawaii Website Manual – WordPress, Gutenberg & Google Analytics

*This article is written for our clients of Hawaii Web Design Service.

Congratulations!
You have your own WordPress website now. Originally WordPress started as a blog platform. It has been developed constantly and became the most popular website platform now (Source: Wikipedia ). In this Webmaster manual, we will show you how to use WordPress, Gutenberg, Elementor, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.

*WordPress released a new editor, Gutenberg, in December 2018. If your site is using Gutenberg, read Gutenberg section instead of Classic Editor.

Manual Quick Links


WordPress Login
Dashboard Overview
How to write a blog post
How to edit web pages
How to read Google Analytics
Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tool

Kauai Web Design WordPress

WordPress Login

Your default login URL is “yourdomain.com/wp-admin”.
Just type “/wp-admin” at the end of your domain name in order to go to your login page. Then, a login window will show up.

*To improve security, some of you may have a customized login URL. In this case, visit your custom page.

Kauai Website Login Page

Input your username and password.

*You have a security plugin. So, if anybody fails to log in 3 times in a row, their IP will be locked for 24 hours. In that case, you will receive a warning email about the malicious login attempts. Then, contact us immediately.

How to change password

After login, click following menus in your dashboard:

  • For Admin: Users >> Your Profile >> New Password >> Click “Update Profile”
  • For Editor: Profile >> New Password >> Click “Update Profile”
How to change an admin’s password
How to change an editor’s password

Dashboard Overview

When you log in for the first time, it may look overwhelming.
Don’t worry. You will need just a few menus to write blog posts and edit your web pages.
Let us give you a quick overview.

*The following image is an adminʻs screen. In the editorʻs screen, you will see only content-related menus. You will not see your system-related menus.

Kauai Website Design Dashboard
*The screenshot may look different depending on your website functions

Posts: your blog posts
Media: your image files
Pages: your website pages
Plugins: add-on patches to extend your site’s functions
Users: managing users who can access your site
Settings: basic setting (Don’t touch anything unless you know what you do)
Under the settings, we set up to back up your entire site regularly. If something bad happens to your site, we can restore it.
SEO: managing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). We generated your XML sitemaps and indexed your site to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tool
Insights: Google Analytics. We connected your site to Google Analytics
Performance: We installed Cache plugins to improve the speed of your site. When you’re using our maintenance package, your site will be added to our CDN (Contents Delivery Network) for the enhanced speed and security.

In “Insights” menu, you can monitor how many people visit your website.

If you want to write a blog post, click “Posts”. When you edit your web pages, click “Pages”.

How to write a blog post

Click “Posts” on the left sidebar.
In the new page, click the “Add New” button.

For Classic Editor: How to add a new blog post

1. Type your title
2. Input your contents
3. Post your featured image (this image will show up on top of your post and in your articles’ list)
4. Check the preview
5. Click the “Publish” button

Classic Editor

For Gutenberg: How to add a new blog post

1. Type your title
2. Input your contents on blocks*
3. Post your featured image (this image will show up on top of your post and in your articles’ list)
4. Check the preview
5. Click the “Publish” button

*A Block is a basic unit for your content such as heading, paragraph, image, audio, quote etc. Gutenberg is an intuitive editor and it’s easy to learn. Check here to find out more: WordPress Gutenberg

Gutenberg Block Editor

If you want to know more about posting WordPress Blog, please watch the following short video.

For Classic Editor

For Gutenberg

How to edit web pages

We introduce 2 different page builders: (1) Elementor Page Builder, (2) WP Bakery Page Builder. Check which page builder your site is built with.

(1) Elementor Page Builder

1. Click “Pages” on the left sidebar.
2. Hover your mouse over the title. Then, click “Edit with Elementor”.

3. Edit the page as you want.
4. Preview how it’s changed.
5. Update the page.

(2) WP Bakery Page Builder

1. Click “Pages” on the left sidebar.
2. Hover your mouse over the title. Then, click “Edit with WPBakery Page Builder”.

3. Hover your mouse over the section you want to edit.
4. Click the pencil icon to edit.
5. When the editing window pops up, edit the contents as you desire.
6. After you finish editing, click the “Save Changes” button.
7. Click the “Update” button at the right top corner when you finish editing the entire page.

* If it takes too long to load the editing page, click “Stop” button or “Go Back” button and start again.

How to read Google Analytics

We will introduce two ways to check your Google Analytics: quick view & standard view.
Remember, if we set up Google Analytics recently, you will need to wait a few days to see actual data.

(1) Quick View at WordPress Dashboard

Click “Insights” on the left sidebar at WordPress Dashboard.
You will find a brief graph.

* The data in your Google Analytics don’t include the clicks made by administrators or editors of your website. When you log in your site as an administrator, those clicks won’t be counted.

(2) Standard View at analytics.google.com

Visit https://analytics.google.com
Login with your Gmail account which we created as a webmaster.
When you log in, you will see the Analytics Dashboard.

Among the menus on the left sidebar, pay attention to “Audience”, “Acquisition”, and “Behavior”.

• Audience: You will see the demographics of your audience.
• Acquisition: you will see how your site acquires visitors to your site, or how people find your website and through which gateway they visit you.
• Behavior: You can see behaviors of your visitors inside your website. For instance, which page visitors click first, and then which page they click next. How many clicks they make and leave, and so on. When you examine your visitors’ behavior, you will find what to improve your site.

If you want to know more about how to read Google Analytics, please watch this YouTube video.

Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tool

Since we submitted your sitemap and indexed your website to those search engines, you don’t need to do any extra work.
However, if you want to focus on your SEO professionally, then you can visit the following links.
Use your Gmail account to log in.

Google Search Console
https://www.google.com/webmasters

Bing Webmaster
https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster

* Discussing details about Search Console and Webmaster Tools is beyond the scope of this manual. If you want to know more them, you can visit the help pages in the above links.

Improving Kauai Web Design Manual

This is the first edition of Kauai Web Design Manual.
If you have any questions or difficulties while using your website, please feel free to contact us. We will help you to understand the issues and to solve the problems.
Your feedback is important because through the clear communication we understand clients’ needs.
We will keep improving this manual to support the online presence of your business.

Mahalo!

A Free gift to all our clients from Hawaii Web Design Company

A Gift from Hawaii Web Design Company

To show our appreciation, we present all our clients a free gift by the end of 2018. It’s a beautiful mouse pad which represents the beauty of the island of Kauai.

Since we started Hawaii Web Design Company 6 months ago, we have designed websites serving the purposes. We’ve designed each website as if we designed our own. Couldn’t stop working on details until our clients were completely satisfied.

Our clients have loved the websites we designed and supported our work through the thank-you notes or positive reviews. To pay back all your support, we decide to provide a free gift to all our clients. It’s a high-quality mouse pad with a beautiful image of Na Pali Coast.

We study and research to Catch Up the New Trends and Technologies

IT industry changes fast. Google’s updates their search algorithm every month. And new technologies are announced every 3 months.

Utilizing the internet and catching up its trend is critical for the successful businesses. As a Hawaii Web Design company, we do our best to apply these modern technologies to your websites.

We diligently take new seminars and courses in this industry and research new trends. By doing so, we contribute to the development of our community and local businesses.

Again, we appreciate all your support. We promise that we will do our best to support our local businesses.

If you have any questions about our services –web design, SEO or Google Adwords marketing-, please free to contact us.

Mahalo

Benefits of Having a Website for Your Local Business /Organization

Let’s be honest. Having a website can be an advantage for a small business owner. Yet, it can be a disadvantage, too.

If you open your website because your competitors have one, it may bring you unexpected drawbacks. You invested your time and money to create a website which made you excited for a few weeks. But you didn’t know how to use it. Or you might have thought that the website will do the job by itself -which is obviously not true-.

Benefits of having a website for your local business-pinterest

After a while, you find your website looks outdated and feel embarrassed to show it to your customers. Soon, people even don’t know that you have a website.

I didn’t make up this scenario. This is a typical story that many business owners told me. For them, having a website is a burden and a disadvantage. But, if you connect your site to the right channels, you will enjoy many benefits of having a website for your local business.

Debunk a Myth

Business owners often believe a myth and end up disappointed with their website. They think if they have a website, people can find them from all over the world. Technically, it’s true. Actually, it never happens. This unreasonable expectation turns into disappointment. Let’s debunk the myth.

The facts about the internet explain why. As of January 2018, while 4.2 billion people use the internet, 1.8 billion websites are on the world wide web. Every day, Google takes care of 6.5 billion search queries. And 2 million new blog posts are published daily. (*Resource: Internet World Stats / Netcraft – January 2018 Web Server Survey / Website Hosting Rating)

If you just opened your new website and do nothing, then the chance that the public finds your website is almost zero. It’s not because you’re running a local business. It also applies to a global business. Your website will be one of 1.8 billion sites on the world wide web. It’s like finding a rock in the middle of a desert.

Finding the Right Channels

The good news is that if you take a few steps further, your website will start to bring juicy benefits. You need to find the right “channels” for your site to connect.

Let me introduce a few tips and the benefits you can take as a local business owner. It also applies to non-profit organizations.

1. Google Maps – Connect to your local people and the tourists

The most powerful tool for local businesses is Google Maps. When people search for local services or products, Google shows the Map first. Listing your business on Google Maps is critical because more than 90% of mobile searches use Google. Now type “your business name + area” in Google, and check if Google Maps shows your business. (Example: “Kauai ebiz” or “Kauai web design” or “Hawaii web design”)

*You can register at Google My Business.

After listing your business on the Map, connect your website. People prefer a business that has a website. A survey shows that 84% of consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one with only a social media page.

Also, check if it’s under your management. Some businesses are listed by customers and they are not managed well. You can claim your business and manage your own Google Business page.

2. Provide your customers with valuable information 24/7

One of the biggest benefits of having a website is that you don’t need to answer every phone call and explain over and over. Your website will do your job even while you’re sleeping or on vacation. Then, why don’t you take advantage of this benefit?

Post valuable information on your site and share with your customers.

For example, if you run a bike rental shop, write an article such as “Secret tips to enjoy Beach Biking like movie stars on Kauai”. Introduce secret spots and the best photoshoot background. On your business card or brochure, you can say “Please check this article … at www.yourbeachbike.com

If you run a steakhouse, write “Why people from Honolulu visit Kauai only to eat our steak?” and explain how your beef is special and is produced on Kauai. On your to-go menu or brochure, you can say “Please check this article … at www.mysteakhouse.com.”

If your business is growing and people ask you the same questions repeatedly, you can make FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section in your site.

You’re running a business to share value with the community. That’s what your customers pay for. If you research how to share more value, you will find many resources to write about.

This is a process to build your online presence. We call it “Digital Branding.” It takes time and effort to build your brand. But once it’s built, it will be recognized as an authority in your community.

3. Get Links to Your Site – You will find unexpected customers

Getting links to your site is another important step you need to focus on. The quality and the quantity of the links that your site has influence the search engine page rank.

When you have a chance to be shown in your local media, ask if they can add a link to your website in the article. Whenever I find articles about local businesses, I click the link to find out more about them. Unfortunately, many of them linked to their social media page because they don’t have a website. They missed the juicy part of PR. In other words, they’re rewarded with a check but didn’t cash it.

Also, you can look for a local community bulletin board. As you introduce your service/product on the board, you can post the link to your site. In Kauai, Heartbeat of Kauai – Connecting the Hearts of Kaua’i Together is a good place to share information. Post what your business can share with this community and put the link to your site. It has a free listing as well as a premium listing.

Joining a Chamber of Commerce is always a good idea. They link members’ names to their websites. Kauai Chamber of Commerce

If you join any association such as contractor’s association, artists’ association, surfers’ association, check if they can link your name to your site.

When you pay attention to getting links, you will find many creative ways. That will bring people from unexpected sources. Just visiting your site doesn’t mean they become your customers. But, when all those small links gather, they build your branding power.

4. Your site can save your time

Your site can save your time. Let me introduce two examples.

Since my wife discovered the Starbucks online ordering app, we visit Starbucks more often. She has her favorite drink, Lightly Chai Latte with several options: 2 pumps sugar-free cinnamon dolce, extra hot, almond milk, cinnamon sprinkle, and so on. She says it takes almost 5 minutes to order all the options at the counter.

So, she can’t comfortably order if people are waiting in line behind us. Since we found the app, she orders and pays with her phone while I drive. When we arrive, two cups of beverages are ready to be picked up. The baristas at Starbucks can take other orders while we’re ordering online. And, we order more at Starbucks.

One construction company asked me if I can put a request form on his site. The form asks a series of questions and can upload a few photo files. A request form is one of the basic functions of the website. This basic function saves lots of time and energy in his company. They don’t need to grab a phone, ask a bunch of questions and write down the answers for 15 minutes. Instead, they can spend the time to provide better service and find new clients.

These are two examples out of many cases. If you use the functions of your website well, you will save time and energy. Discuss with your web designer/developer.

Conclusion

Running a website is not an easy task for small business owners. You may have to take care of everything: manufacture/service, sales, marketing, accounting, even legal matters sometimes.

As I know, a business grows based on its values, mission, and the owner’s perseverance. And the website becomes a media center to communicate its values and mission. Even though it doesn’t make short-term cash, it builds a strong trust with their customers.

It may require a few days a month to study and manage your website. Yet, think about it. The business owner who builds an online brand will have a huge advantage in the next decade. If you have a long-term vision, you can start to take care of your website today.

Do you need a website? Please request a quote.