One trend which is entirely impossible to ignore is the growing power of visual content and how it adds value to your website, marketing campaigns, and social media. Instagram is the most popular social media platform for people 18 to 30 (link) years of age, and that’s the demographic which most of the companies are targeting when they are trying to sell their products.
The same goes for new websites or for blogs that are trying to increase their traffic. Everyone needs images to put up on their website to make it look more attractive, but not everyone has the resources and time to take photos based on the information that they are providing. As such, many website owners hunt for the required images on public domain image websites.
A public domain image is defined as a photo, clip art, or vector whose copyright does not exist. Meaning anyone can easily use these images for their personal or commercial use, without needing to pay for them. Today, we are going to talk about different websites where you can find these royalty-free images for your personal and/or commercial use.
How Does Public Domain Images Work? Are They Really Free?
Well, there is no denying the fact that everyone loves to get fantastic free photos from the internet. You can find a lot of websites that are happy to provide you with free images to download and even give you the option of choosing the resolution and/or format of the picture. But free doesn’t always have to be free, especially when it is present on the web for you to download.
One must look for the price tag when they are searching for something free online, and the same goes for free images. There are indeed some pros and cons of using public domain images on your website.
In some cases, websites that are not reliable will allow you to download pictures for free, but the creator of the image doesn’t know about it. You might not have any idea that you are infringing the rights of a copyright or trademark owner.
There are 3 ways an image that is available on the internet can be considered a public domain image.
- First, if the image is assigned to the public domain through a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license or some other type of similar release. In that case, you can download the image and use it for your own benefit without having to give credits to anyone or money.
- On the other hand, if the image is not copyrighted in the first place.
- Lastly, if the copyright of the image has expired.
Only in these three scenarios can an image be considered as a public domain image. People who are sick of buying image rights so that they can post them are moving towards free stock images and as such, saving money.
Do Online Artists Make Money from Their Digital Art?
Well, you found a great piece of digital art, and you download it to make your wallpaper. So now, a question will arise in your mind about whether the artist will be able to make money from your download. Well, there are multiple ways a digital artist is making money. Also, you will be shocked to know how much people are paying for owning their digital arts.
In addition to this, there is an online digital art market that is booming right now and is the complete opposite of public domain images. It’s the crypto art or NFTs. These images are the digital art created by the artist, and they are selling it for millions of dollars online via blockchain technology.
As a result, individuals who purchase digital art have its full ownership to themselves, and even if some people were able to get the partial digital blueprint, they can’t really create the exact copy of it. This results in a new form of web authenticity, and it’s been gaining trend in 2021.
Benefits of Using Images on Your Website
Well, indeed, there are certain benefits that you can’t really ignore when it comes to using public domain images. Given below, we have mentioned a few of them to make it easier for you to make a decision whether you want to use them or not:
- First, with images, you are making your website look better and user-friendly. People are more likely to find themselves attracted to pictures than plain text.
- Also, when you are uploading images on your website, you are writing their alt-text, which is necessary for your image to be seen on Google Images. As a result, these images will help in increasing your website traffic via google image search.
- When posting a blog or an article with the image, its chances of getting shared on social media websites, and social networks increases. Because in the past 3 years social networks have turned their focus on delivering more visual content to their users.
As a result, when a reader of your blog checks your post, they can connect their thoughts easily with your topic because of the image. On the other hand, if you don’t include an image, the network will upload some other image from your website, creating confusion for the viewer.
- As we said, the correct image will work as an explanation of your text that is written in the post. For example, a lot of times, you had taken a screenshot when you were writing about the apps and how they work.
An image will be given information about the content written even before the viewer reads the first line. Getting your user to stop and think about the image is something every blogger wants to do, but this is a trick that is hard to pull off.
- Images can be used to introduce a message to your readers since an image can also be used as a thumbnail on your website and even on your social media pages. It is the first thing that your potential reader is going to take notice of. It is in your hands to make them compelling to convert the potential viewer into a reader.
- A great image can make your website memorable. What intrigues the mind of the reader will surely make them share it with their friends and on social media. For some individuals, a single image can be more compelling than all the information that you have written in a blog.
- A blog with just plain text, no matter how many headings you use and pointers you add in to create a more approachable reading, is still just a text. The readers in 2021 are not looking for page after page plain text, bullets, and block quotes. One or more images will fill in color to your blog and give a breather to a reader in between the texts.
- One of the significant advantages of using images for your website is that it makes your website rank higher on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Even a small thing like putting your image file name can boost your SEO by making it easier for a crawler to understand what your image represents.
- Lastly, an image could create both professionalism and humor at the same time. A well-chosen image will show how much effort you are putting in creating a better experience for your readers, and these little details go a long way. A blog without images will look bland and will question your authority, trust, and professionalism.
10 Websites Where You Can Easily Find Public Domain Images
Images polish that you need to put on your website to make it shine. As we said earlier, it doesn’t matter if you are creating a blog post, a web page, or even an ebook, adding a visual will surely improve the user experience.
But pulling an image off from the internet could lead you to violate some copyrights. You need to know that you are acquiring the image to use it in a certain way that doesn’t break the copyright code. So given below are 10 of the best websites that provide public domain images:
Pixabay is one of our favorite public domain image portals. It has millions of royalty-free photos in addition to illustrations and vector graphics. You can even find free videos and music on the same website too.
All the photos which are present on Pixabay are in high resolution, and the website allows you to download multiple resolutions depending on your needs. The images you can download are entirely free to use, meaning you can use them for personal and commercial use.
Pixabay also has a browse by category filter. You enter a topic in the search field and press the explore button, and tons of images related to your topic will start popping out on your screen. A number of filters let you target searches to a picture that uses specific pictures, and has a particular size and orientation.
Each day you are getting the editor’s choice images. Also, it’s an excellent platform for creators as well. If you make an account on the website, you can post photos captured by you. If someone likes your photos, they can even donate money to boost your confidence.
The image collection is vast, and you can find almost any image for different topics and niches on Pixabay. The only complaint we have with Pixabay is their inadequate customer response. Also, to get a full resolution of the image, you need a login ID which is, of course, completely free and can be created using your Google account as well.
2. Public Domain Archive
For professional-level public domain images, you need to visit this website. The website loves to shout out its best creators. Thus, every week they come up with the list of best uploads based on the downloads in their specific categories.
You can go for modern images, classic images as well as vintage images from the past, which were digitally converted. The website is managed by Matt Hobbs, a professional web designer and a photographer. As a result, he knows well about the needs of internet users.
3. New Old Stock
If you are looking for photos that are from the past era but are nicely digitized, then New Old Stock is the right website for you. The owner of the website Cole Townsend has said all the photos present on the website are free for the users to download and use according to their needs.
The website’s main aim is to spread these archived photos as much as possible to let the world know about how people used to live, love, and laugh in the old times when there were fewer screens and gadgets. If you are looking to purchase these photos for your marketing campaigns, you can add them from their pro photo packs, specifically designed for commercial usage.
Well, sometimes, what we are looking for is something quirky that makes us laugh or think about the image too much. When you visit Gratisography, you will find out that these images are not the typical images that you can find on Google Search or other public domain image libraries.
Photos on this website are made to stand out from the rest of the competition. All the images present on the website are free to download and come with no restrictions. As a result, you can even use them in your advertisement without having to pay anything to the creators.
The website is easy to navigate, while the images present will surely make you think twice before you could understand them correctly. On the other hand, there is no registration required; you can browse by category or search. Then select the picture you like and download it on your system, simple.
Picjumbo is a website that offers both free stock images and premium photos. With a premium membership, a user gets exclusive access to more than 5000 additional stock images, in addition to stock photos that will be delivered to you on your registered email.
The pictures on Picjumbo can be used commercially as well as for personal use. But still, the website gives out a notice to whoever is downloading the image to be careful with how they are using the image.
A photographer created the website under the name of Viktor Hanacek, who loves to create images that are commercial-ready and have a high-resolution format. People present in the photos are positioned so that their presence can be felt while still making sure their faces will remain unrecognizable.
If you are looking for a personal touch, then Kaboompics are the ones you should be aiming at. This is because the founder of the website Karolina has taken each photo. The owner of the site is proud to share her creation with the world at no price. She takes a lot of time in making edits and in color correction, so the users get the best of the images.
Each photo on the website is governed by a special license that allows images to be used commercially and non-commercially while no attribution is required. In addition to this, the user has the freedom to edit the photos and create something entirely new. The only issue with this website is when you download an image and make changes with it, you can’t make money.
Pexels is the name that is quite popular among those who use public domain images. The main reason is that it is one of the oldest websites that came up with providing free images to users. It is backed by the Creative Common Zero license. This means all the photos on the website are free to use for blogs, websites, apps, and even TV commercials.
The user can easily search for the images using 2 different options: browse by collection or browse by topic. On the other hand, just like many other websites that like to put the best of their images on notice, Perxels does it by putting them on a leaderboard. All the popular photos that were uploaded in the last 30 days will be shown here.
8. Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons is a joint project of Flickr and the Library Of Congress. Dozens of institutions around the world collaborate with the commons to provide royalty-free images to their users. Many of the photos that you are going to see on this website are historical and are pretty fascinating as each of them has some story to it.
Also, the search can be filtered by color, multiple orientations, minimum size, and the date the photo is captured. The website has 2 aims:
- To increase access to publicly held photography collections.
- To provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge behind these images.
When it comes to crowdsourcing photographs, Morguefile has a different approach as it integrates social media, which makes the searching of free stock images easy. In addition to this, it also helps in building a greater relationship with the artists who are behind the making of the image to the designers who are using it.
You might be wondering why the name starts with “Morgue.” Well, the word morgue was once used as a file whose post-production materials can be stored in a newspaper industry.
With each decade, the term has shifted its importance from one industry to another, but they all have one thing in common, and that all of these industries have a relation with images in one form or the other. As a result, it seemed perfect to name a crowdsource free image website as Morguefile.
Unsplash has made it easier for internet users to find a diverse range of free stock images. The photos are of high quality, and once you check them out, you will find them to be more creative than other photos present on different public domain images.
The quick gateway to pay the creators of the image if a user wants helps both the user and the creator. Likewise, it has different resolutions, and users can choose the resolution before downloading the image.
Unsplash has both images and illustrations for both creative and artistic minds to find inspiration. Lastly, the images that you download from Unsplash will bring in the splash of unprecedented creativity, which will give you the upper hand over your competition.
So these were 10 of the best public domain image websites where you can find royalty-free images to download and use. Most of these websites work precisely the same, with a minor difference in-licensing and user experience. You can choose any of them for the best results.
If we have to pick our favorite, we would without a doubt go with Pixabay as its user interface is pretty sweet, and with the added feature of downloading different resolution images can be of great help for specific requirement projects. Nonetheless, you can try all of them to see which one(s) works out the best for you.