Where to find the best free images online?

These days the demand to get free images online is very high. Almost everybody does something on the internet, whether it is promoting a marketing product, blogging website, design, or any activity through social media so free images resource is always in a need. 

We all need free images or even videos to enhance our work with something outstanding. The digital marketing competition is very high and if we just post text with some average image it will not get any traction.

I remember, when I started my first blog I was looking for some free images for the website and it was not easy to find them. This is the main reason I wrote this post as many people who are interested in getting free images online will find it useful.

What will you get from this article?

  • Three major free images online websites
  • A list of other websites if you still did not find what you want
  • Features options explanation
  • Sample word search result statistics to compare

What is the best free images website?

Pixabay

Pixabay is my favourite free image online source as it contains everything and it is super easy to use. They have quite a big database of images, illustrations, videos, and music tracks that are displayed by latest, upcoming, popular, and editor’s choice. 

All images and videos are organised into 20 categories to make browsing easier. Obviously, the best way to search is by your keyword and this will bring a lot of choices.

Pixabay - free images online

Searching in Pixabay

In Pixaby, when you search for free images for commercial use, you can even set a size, colour, or tick transparent or black and white option. In my case, I always liked to search for transparent images or vector graphics as I could use them for my print-on-demand business.

In videos, you can search by three options: animations, slow motion, or time-lapse. 

Uploading in Pixabay

In regards to uploads, Pixabay’s motto is “Quality Over Quantity” and by saying so, they allow contributors to initially upload only 10 images per 10 days which is a base limit. Later, once your “quality score” increases you can upload more content.

In summary, Pixabay is a great source for free stock images, videos, or short music tracks. The selection is enormous and I was always able to find an image in my niche that I was looking for.

Pexels

Pexels is another great website to get free stock images and videos and they have 18 million visits per month! When you navigate to their license page you will find out that all photos and videos are free to use and attribution is not required

It is advisable you are creative and modify images once you download them. On the home screen, at the bottom, you will see a challenge message which I describe later in this post…

Pexels - free images online

Searching in Pexels

Pexels database is huge. When you search in Pexels you type a keyword and the results are displayed on the screen. When I searched for the term “computer” it brought me 14.6 thousand images and 2.2 thousand videos. That is simply amazing! It also brings all related categories on the screen for easier navigation.

Search results in Pexels

Leaderboard in Pexels

It is the best way to find out who is the trending contributor. You can switch the view to see the last 30 days or all-time contributors. 

Challenges in Pexels

This is a very unusual and at the same time awesome feature on a free site like this. Pexels run ongoing challenges where you can submit your photo and win amazing prices. At the moment of writing this article, there was a travel challenge with an 8-Day Eastern European Cruise prize to win. Wow!

Uploading photos in Pexels

You can upload as many images as you want as long as they meet their minimum size of 4 megapixels and 2592 px by 1520 px. In addition, the photos must be oriented correctly without watermarks, borders, or text elements.

In summary, Pexels is awesome with all the additional stuff you get. The only thing I did not find was short music tracks.

Unsplash

Unsplash is yet another website where you get free stock photos. They are powered by an amazing community that uploads thousands of images to share with the world. Presently Unsplash has over 2 million images. 

You do not need to create an account, simply search, and download by selecting your preferred size. All photos are under Unsplash licence that can be downloaded for free and used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. It is purely a stock photos site and there are no videos or soundtracks.

Unsplash - free images online

Searching in Unsplash

The Unsplash database seems to be quite big but still smaller than Pexels. Again I searched for the word “computer” and I got 10k photos in my results. In terms of the number, it could be very subjective as the stock images are organised by tags and if other platforms allow setting the tags more broadly the search result will be bigger. 

Search results in Unplash

It does not really matter how many images are returned from our search as long as it is a long list to select from. With Unsplash, after your keyword search results are displayed, you can also click on related keywords to narrow down the results. Neither, similar to Pexels, I found a filter to select only transparent images.

Uploading photos in Unsplash

Unsplash does not have any limitation on the number of photos you can upload. It is best to read Unsplash submission guidelines to make sure your stock images meet the guideline before uploading. In general, the photo has to be 5 megapixels and 2500 px by 2000 px in size.

Pixabay, Pexels and Usplash feature matrix

 PixabayPexelsUnsplash
ImagesYesYesYes
VideosYesYesNo
Music TracksYesNoNo

Three major free images online website summary

Above I listed three major free stock photos sites that you may use in your projects. All three have very good quality work. Pixabay offers a full set for a creative designer to create an image or video mockup with an optional soundtrack included. 

Also, Pixabay offers a transparent search filter. In Pexels you will also find images and videos in big quantities. With Unsplash you will get only free images online but the selection is enormous.

If you still feel like finding more resources below are other, smaller, free, and semi-commercial sites that you might consider using.

Other free stock photos websites

The list below contains only websites that have a good number of images, they are easy to use and there are no annoying pop-ups to slow your progress down. As a user, we want to visit a website, search for an image and download it quickly.

FreeRange

FreeRange - free images online

FreeRange somewhat is similar to Pixabay but when you select your image or illustration you have to log in to download it. You can select image size which is a great option and not available in all free images online websites. 

The search is pretty slow. When I searched for my “computer” word it took 8 seconds to load the results and it brought me 121 pages of results (only 25 photos on one page).

 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
ISORepublicYesYesNo

Negative Space

NegativeSpace - free images online

It is a quickly growing website with a clean interface to get free images to use commercially. There is no option to select image size at the download.

 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
Negative SpaceYesNoNo

ISORepublic

ISORepublic has a great interface and free-to-use images and videos to download. For my “computer” term I got 5 pages of results. The images are organised into categories and collections. When you download you do not have an option to select an image size.

ISORepublic - free images online
 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
ISORepublicYesYesNo

Pickjumbo

Pickjumbo - free images online

Pickjumbo is a semi-commercial site that offers free stock images to download. It could be your additional source to get a free photo if you failed to find it in other sources. 

You simply go to the home page and search for your keyword. My “computer” keyword brought me only 80 free images to use. There is an option to download over 3000 free pictures in one go for your nominated small price. That is an interesting approach that I have not found on other sites.

 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
PicjumboYesNoNo

StockSnap

StockSnap - free images online

StockSnap.io is a well-designed website where you can download free photos online. For the search term “computer” I got 705 photos which you may think is not a lot but this is just an example. There is no option to select image size when you download a free image.

 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
StockSnapYesNoNo

LibreShot

LibreShot - free images online

This free photos online website was created by Martin Vorel as his passion project. It contains free stock photos for private and commercial use. All photos on the website are made by Martin and you can use them without attribution.

 ImagesVideosMusic Tracks
LibreShotYesNoNo

Best free images online – Executive Summary

As you see there are plenty of websites that offer free images online to use commercially. In my opinion, the three top I listed: Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash, should fulfil all your requirements but in case you want to find more I added other free photos online resources to browse.

In general, the photos are super high quality and we can download them and use them instantly in our projects. Moreover, we should be thankful to all photographers who upload these great photos and make them available to the public.

I hope you have enjoyed this free run through the best free images online resources. If you have any questions or suggestions for a new website that I can list here please let me know in the comments below. 

As a final part, I also added the FAQ for the questions that people ask a lot. Enjoy and see you in the next post!

Please leave a comment below if you know of another free image platform

Best Free Photos Online FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

There are at least a few advantages:

  • Donations – usually the site offer a free donation after downloading an image
  • Reach – your photos will be seen by millions
  • Statistics – you will be able to see the views and downloads; this way you can assess if your photos are liked by people and take your photos to the next level

Also, if you are a starting photographer, you can start promoting your work via free photos online websites like in this article and see if your photos get downloaded.

There are two types of images in your blog: 

  • Featured image -recommended size of 1200 px by 628 px and maximum 150 kb
  • Blog post images – these are the images inside your post and I always make them less than 100 kb and usually at around 70 kb.

Remember that the images are only to enhance your blog visually to attract your audience. As long as the image is not blurry and clearly visible to the user it is fine. Your blog page speed is super important in google ranking!

Indeed, this is a problem I encountered many times. You visit a free image website, download it, and the image is still too big. You have to resize it or compress it.  

There are few ways of it:

  • Right Click on the image and select Edit. This should open your image in Paint where you can click resize and do it by percentage or pixels. Once the image is resized, just click the Save button.
  • Upload your image to a free image compressor like OptimizillaWhen you upload, your image is compressed already, but you still have an option to use a slider to downgrade the quality. Once this is done you can visually compare both images: original and compressed to see if the quality is good enough for your post.

During my research, I found that only Pixabay has the transparent option filter available.

It is possible to find images when searching in Google. There is a hidden option in Google that not many people know about.

  1. Type your search keyword and click Search
  2.  Once the results are displayed, click on the Images tab.
  3. Now, click on the Tools button, and under Usage Rights select Creative Common Licences.
  4. The list of images will be filtered only to those you can use for free.
Free images from Google
Free images from Google

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