A picture is worth a thousand words. And this holds true for web bloggers. It is a proven fact that posts with high-quality images are more popular and are shared more often than the ones without pictures.
There’s another reason why you need proper images on your blog posts, other than social sharing: Google images. When you have high quality and optimized images, your images could rank first when people perform a Google image search. This would, in turn, give you more visitors to your blog or website.
But finding high-quality images for your web blog is not easy. You may google and find good images, but you run the risk of entering into a legal issue.
Online copyright protection is so controversial and provokes much-heated debate. This is also true for illustrations and photos where copyright issues become particularly acute when visuals are used in advertising campaigns or in any other money-making opportunity.
How to get Free High-Quality Images for your website
While searching for the perfect picture for our WordPress blog post or your website, we mostly Google search it.
Here’s how to search an image on Google the right way and not get sued.
The key point when looking for images in Google is to filter your results to find those that are allowed to use by third-parties like you. To do this, you can go to Images > Tools > Usage rights and choose what kind of license you want the content to have:
Types of usage rights
- Free to use or share: Allows you to copy or redistribute its content if the content remains unchanged.
- Free to use share or modify: Allows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
- Commercially: If you want content for commercial use, be sure to select an option that includes the word “commercially.”
Creative Commons (CC) License
One of the easiest ways of finding free visuals for your website is to go to photo stocks and download Creative Commons licensed images. But there’s a little trick — there are various types of CC licenses because the right owners can specify the conditions of distribution and usage of their content.
For example, the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license lets users edit, modify and use an image for business purposes only if the user mentions the owner. So before downloading a free image, pay closer attention to its license description.
Licenses and Public Domain
Another thing to keep in mind, when it comes to licensed content, is the public domain law that, by the way, is different for different countries.
In the USA, for example, every work published before January 1, 1923, is in the American public domain. If a work is published later, it can be protected by copyright. If it’s been 70 years since the death of the creator, their works enter the public domain. However, there’s a number of exceptions that can let a piece of creative content enter the public domain beforehand.
The Russian law is quite alike: a work falls into the public domain if the creator died 70 years ago. If the owner created it during World War II or fought in the war, the copyright protection period extends for 4 more years (the overall period is 74 years).
In Canada and China, the copyright period is 50 years as it used to be in Russia until 2004.
Where to Find Free Stock Images for Your Website
Obviously, Google search with a specific filter and copyright expired pictures aren’t the only option. There are many sources where people publish their works and give full or partly limited rights.
Here are some of the best websites where you can get high-quality images:
Unsplash.com — a source of totally free images, the owner mentioning isn’t required.
Unsplash is our go-to website for finding high-quality images for our blog posts!
Flickr.com — a big source of images where you can find free-to-use ones.
Pixabay.com — one of the biggest free image stocks. Owner mentioning isn’t required, but it’s better to read the license descriptions.
Pexels.com — a stock of free images and videos.
Rawpixel.com — another stock of free images and videos.
Flaticon.com — a rich collection of free icons in vector graphics and .PNG formats.
So what are you waiting for, look up the sites to find your perfect picture for your website and tell us which one is your favorite?