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Our top 10 picks to find the perfect images for your website (and social media)

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Your images are the eye candy of your website. They give your content interest, help explain what’s going on, make things more fun and best of all, give your website stay-worthiness.

If the first impression people get is "Yuck, not interested", we hate to be the one to tell you...but your website stinks.  via TheEssentialWebsite.comToo little or the wrong type is boring at best or run for the hills at worst. If the first impression people get is “Yuck, not interested”, we hate to be the one to tell you… but your website stinks. We’re not buying what you’re serving, and I bet no one else is either.

If you’re not using clean, crisp, professional images, your website stinks. The whole point is to keep people on your site, engaged and interested. Right?

There are literally thousands of places to find images online. Some are great and some…not so much – unless you want to pick up a virus along with a puppy image at the same time.

We think these are the sweetest. Here are our top 10 flavors:

To help you wade through the ocean of image sites out there, we’ve put together our favorite free and paid go-to’s for spectacular, quality images and graphics.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Unsplash.com – Sign up and get high-res (high quality), professional images emailed to you each month. Another nice thing, they are free to use commercially.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
IvoryMix.com – Sort by color or composition (we love that!). Free images require no attribution and are free to use for commercial use. You can also have her create your own custom images just for you and your brand. Join a free or premium membership for even more beauties!

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Deathtothestockphoto.com – Another place where you sign up to get images emailed to you. You can also use these commercially with no attribution.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Lifeofpix.com – We like that you don’t have to sign up for anything – you can download straight from their website. High resolution for commercial use with no restrictions.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Gratisography.com – If you’re looking for something a little different, this is your place. New images added each week and free for commercial use.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Stocksy.com – Stocksy is awesome. Fresh, modern and mega professional. Reasonably priced, too. The small sized images (which are plenty big for most needs) are only $10.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Creativemarket.com – You can easily get lost in Creative Market’s candy aisle. Not only images but fonts, vector images, templates, patterns and a ton more. We suggest signing up for their email list – they’ve got pretty great blog posts with helpful info, and you’ll get notified of the “Free Goods” for the week, too.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
Pexels.com – Great, high-quality images by a variety of excellent photographers. Free for personal and commercial use.

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
DepositPhotos.com – A huge variety of images, graphics, vector images, icons, and clipart. TIP: Do what we do: sign up for AppSumo’s newsletter and keep an eye out for the Depositphotos deal – $39 for 100 downloads (images of any size, vectors, graphics anything)!

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
SC-Stockshop – Another lovey shop to get lost in. Free and paid images. Shop by color and sign up for free monthly images plus a 10% coupon to use on your first purchase.

Now, once you have your images, don’t forget to stick to the rules.

Do’s

  • White space is your friend. Give your images (and copy) room to breathe.
  • Use properly sized images. You probably don’t need images 2000 pixels wide. Most images you’ll use on your site will only need to be around 400 to 650 pixels wide. Remember, big = too much file size which means a slower website.
  • Optimize your images to increase website speed. Use an image optimizer like: ImageOptim or PhotoBulk.
  • Stick with images that reflect your brand or topic. Unify your brand identity by looking like “you” on your website AND social media.

Dont’s

  • Don’t use old-school stock image photos like this: Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
  • Use something like this instead: Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com
  • Don’t use images without permission. Use images that you have taken yourself or purchased, legally downloaded, and have the rights to use.
Stay Organized

TIP: Create a Pinterest board(s) for images, fonts, colors and other website inspiration. That way, they’re all in one easy, convenient spot where you can compare your special finds all in one place! Want some ideas? Come follow us on Pinterest!

Do you have any favorite image shops/flavors? Tell us below, we’d love to know!

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Written by: Janet Hi there! I’m Janet Hoover, designer, code techie, dog lover and co-founder of The Essential Website. Our big thing is helping people bring their online visions to life more beautifully, polished and smarter! We create custom-crafted, hand-coded WordPress websites for biz-builders, action-takers and dreamers who are ready to GROW and shine online! We’re here to help you stop dreaming and start doing with the perfect online solution for your one-of-a-kind biz.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Lynn February 28, 2017, 7:15 pm

    Thank you so much this is beyond amazing!

    • Janet February 28, 2017, 7:19 pm

      You’re so welcome Lynn! Glad we could help 🙂

  • Vanessa February 28, 2017, 7:56 pm

    Super helpful list I especially appreciate the do and don’t section – this is getting pinned for sure!

    • Stefani February 28, 2017, 8:13 pm

      Thank you so much, Vanessa! So glad you found it helpful!

  • Sarah Peterson March 1, 2017, 9:22 am

    Thanks for the information! I have currently only been using Unsplash and can’t wait to try out these other sites to mix it up. Any recommendations for free places for fonts or making fancy documents people can download?

    • Stefani March 1, 2017, 9:30 am

      Hey there Sarah! YES – Google Fonts, Font Squirrel, Creative Market for fonts. For fancy docs people can download: Canva. Let us know if we can help with anything! 🙂

  • Amy March 1, 2017, 9:58 am

    This is such a cute website! Great job! 👏🏻 I love this post! Pinning it!

  • Marie March 1, 2017, 11:23 am

    Great post. I was looking for new places to find stock photos. I am addicted to Unsplash! But I wanted more options. Thank you for this!

    • Stefani March 1, 2017, 11:35 am

      Yay – so glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Tanya March 2, 2017, 8:43 am

    Loved the new ideas for stock photos like lifeofpix.com and pexels.com! Oh, and I will def sign up for AppSumo’s newsletter so I can keep an eye out for DepositPhotos deals. Thanks a mil!!!

    • Stefani March 2, 2017, 8:46 am

      So glad there were some new ones in there for you! 🙂

  • Igor Mozek March 2, 2017, 9:10 am

    Dogs are dogs 🙂 I will always put them first even if the story is about cats 😀

  • Sue March 2, 2017, 11:53 am

    Great post.

  • Thivy Michelle March 2, 2017, 3:09 pm

    Great post, I will keep these in mind for future references 🙂

    • Janet March 3, 2017, 6:00 am

      Glad you liked it Thivy!

  • Yolanda March 4, 2017, 5:44 pm

    What a brilliant post Janet! The best one I have come across on with regards to where to find images for your website! <3 Had never heard of gratisography until now (I think I have found my place!)

    • Janet March 6, 2017, 5:45 am

      Thanks Yolanda! There are SO many great places to find images – it was actually hard to just pic a few for this post! 🙂

  • andthebee March 6, 2017, 11:21 am

    Awesome list! There were so many I hadn’t heard of before, thank!!

    • Stefani March 6, 2017, 11:24 am

      We’re so glad you liked it!

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