Hugues Audouard Freelance web designer and wordpress consultant

Finding images for a website or social media

A picture paints a thousand words, they say. Indeed images constitute an essential element of the design of any website. Images create impact, help define tone and mood and provide a tangible expression of your brand online. Of course, images are also a great way to add weight and meaning to your website content.

Finding images for a website that are “just right” is not always easy however, particularly if you are on a tight budget. To try and help, I have highlighted below a few places where images can be found and – legally – used on your website or social media. This is not meant to be an exhaustive guide of all places where images can be found; just some of my current personal favourites.

Searching for ‘rights free’ images for a website on Google

For many people, the first port of call is often a Google images search. A word of warning, however. Grabbing images off other websites presents a high risk of copyright infringement and is not something I would ever advise doing. There is, though, a way to search Google for images which can be legally reused on a commercial website:

  • Perform a Google images search for the term you wish
  • Then click on “search tool” then click on “usage rights” and select the correct usage right e.g commercial with or without modification, or non-commercial reuse.
  • The resulting images will then have the relevant copyright licence for reuse

searching for reusable Google images

The downside of this method is that it doesn’t always yield high quality images. This is where either free or paid-for stock image banks come in.

How to find good quality free images for a website

There are a variety of free services out there where images can be found. I have listed below 3 of my current favourites at the moment.


This is one of my personal favourites for beautiful images which don’t look like “stock photos”. The images on this site are free to use for anything you want. A good site for more unusual images with 10 new images added every week. At the time of writing, using images from unsplash does not require you to attribute credit to the author (although it’s always a nice thing to do of course).



Another good option for quality images free from copyright restrictions. This site offers some good quality images which also benefit from not looking like your “standard” stock images.



This is a good option for free stock images. The choice of high quality images is, of course, a little more restricted than on the premium, paid services and some of the images feel quite “stock” but there are plenty of good quality images to choose from. It’s worth checking out the “editor’s choice” for a selection of the higher quality free images the site offers.



Quality premium images at cost effective prices

It is true to say that generally “you get what you pay for”, and this also applies to stock image services.


This is my current go-to service for both high quality stock images and vector-based graphics. Combining an extensive library of images, an easy to use search function, easy to share “lightboxes” to bookmark your images and reasonably affordable price plans.
All image sizes are the same price and, for example, a 5 images credit pack valid for 12 months works out at around £8 per image.



A personal favourite for both sourcing images and designing graphics or images of any size – particularly useful for those who prefer not to use Photoshop or other photo editing software.
Canva’s image search function can be a little laborious and the choice is not as extensive as other premium services like Shutterstock, Getty image or Istock photos, but at $1 per image for premium images it is very good value !


I hope you found this information useful. If you need more help with your website design or digital marketing, feel free to contact me for a chat.


Important note: The information in this post is accurate, to the best of my knowledge, at the time of writing this post. There are a lot of different licenses and terms can vary from service to service, so be sure to check for yourself before using an image.

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I'm a freelance web designer & developer, as well as a bit of a digital marketing expert. I love all things WordPress and helping people make the most of their website and digital marketing presence. You'll sometimes find me lurking at various WordPress meet-ups, Facebook groups or the support forum...


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