Where/how to get images for your (WordPress) website?

If you have budget to purchase quality images for your website I recommend checking any number of sites offering “royalty free images”. Otherwise here are my recommendations where/how to get them legally. No matter where you get the image I strongly encourage you to contribute to the artist/company/people who created and shared them. Most of the services listed below has an easy way to do so. They deserve it, so give when you can.

Favourite three resources

  1. If you are doing most of your writing/editing in WordPress itself add the ImageInject plugin (nee WP-inject). It searches Flickr, copies the selected image over to your site, provides proper credit to the source, has options for different sizes and alignments too.
  2. Flick licensesSearch Flickr yourself and select the the  appropriate license (see on the right.) Once you found the right picture
    – click the little share button on its bottom right that looks like a curved arrow
    – select the “HTML” or “Iframe” tabs
    – select the image size
    – copy the code
    – go to your post in your WordPress site
    – make sure you are in “text” and not “Visual” mode
    – paste in the code.
    Pro tip: The British Library’s images are there to be used too
  3. Google Image search usage rightsThe widest net you can cast in your search for the right image is at Google’s image search, where you can also restrict your search by “usage rights”. This feature shows up if you click the “Search Tools” button (see right). It is slightly less convenient, because it requires a few more clicks to track down and download the image and then create/code the appropriate attribution.

Sites with images

All of these have built in search feature, so I will only mention it if it has something extra. (I boldfaced my personal favorites.)

  1. 1MillionFreePictures: mostly collections of random images, but they are taged. They are focusing on “ways to make money from our public domain pictures”.
  2. AnimalPhotos.info: By animal name
  3. Europeana.eu: “Explore millions of items from a range of Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. ” The site’s search engine allows to limit results to images that can be used with attributions.
  4. FreeImages.co.uk: hierarchical organization of tags
  5. Gratisography: One person’s (Ryan McGuire) photos in his unique style. No search and only six categories to choose from.
  6. New Old Stock: Tumblr based archive with a new picture every day. Check the unlinked archive for quick overview of pics and styles.
  7. Open Clipart: 73k+ free clipart
  8. PDPics: “Thousands of free public domain pictures…clicked by our in-house photographers.” 18 categories + latest and popular images available
  9. PhotoPin: you can sort the search results by “interestingness”, not just recency and relevancy
  10. PickUpImage: Besides latest and popular, you can filter the photos by photographers. Has cliparts too.
  11. Pixabay: Great faceted search; images available in multiple sizes. The first row of images no the search result page are coming from Shutterstock, so if you don’t want to buy an image (for money) don’t click from there.
  12. PublicDomainArchive: Dozens of categories and premium membership is available.
  13. PublicDomainPictures.net: You can sort search results by relevancy, popularity, ratings or date. Premium membership/images is available too and you can make money by uploading your own pics too.
  14. SplitShire: Good drill down by categories. Single images are free, and for $20/year you could get a one year subscription with bonus features like “no manual download.”
  15. Wikimedia Commons: “a database of 26,522,521 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute”


  1. LittleVisuals.co: used to provide “7 hi-res images zipped up in your inbox”, but the photographer passed away. Past pictures are available on the site and it is raising funds “to provide a number of schools or sports areas with portable defibrillators.”
  2. Unsplash: “10 new high-resolution photos every 10 days”. You can search the pictures and/or filter by subject. Because of the low-contrast design it might be hard to see that the search box is above the first image on the left.
  3. Viintage: “Hundreds of Thousands of Copyright Free Vintage Graphics” they are in the process of moving to a paid model right now. E.g. $10 for “Unlimited downloads.”

Some of these I learned about from a WPTavern post

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