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How to Find Royalty Free Images for Your WordPress Blog Posts

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How to Find Royalty Free Images for Your WordPress Blog Posts

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is why all top bloggers utilize images to grab attention and effectively convey their message. We often get asked the question, how to find good royalty free images? What are some of the best places to find royalty free images for your WordPress site? In this article, we will share some of our top sources to find royalty free images for your WordPress blog posts, so you can make your content stand out.

1. stock.xchng

stock-xchng free stock photography website

We like stock.xchng because of its large collection of photographs which are neatly categorized and tagged. Finding a photo on stock.xchng is easy. You can either browse image by categories or use the search feature. Most images here are fairly high quality, so you can use it in your website as well as your presentations. Depending on what you are looking for, you might come across images that are widely used and easily recognizable. Like for example if you search for business, lots of images would show up that you have seen on other websites. But if you search for a niche-specific search term, you would find images that are not overly used.

2. Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons Search Photos

Creative Commons search provides an easy way to search across multiple websites for images that you can use on your WordPress website. However, it is important that you understand Creative Commons licenses. In most cases, attribution is required in the manner specified by the copyright owner. A link back to the source material usually fulfills the attribution requirement. At the cost of attribution you get access to many more sources, and you can use images that are unique and would look great with your content.

3. Photo Pin

Photopin uses flickr API to help bloggers find creative commons licensed photographs

Photo Pin helps bloggers find photographs to use in their posts and articles. It uses Flickr API to search for creative commons licensed photographs. Just like the Creative Commons Search, most photographs you find here require that you give attribution. Photo Pin’s search is visually appealing and easier to use than Creative Commons Search. For each search result, it will show you sponsored photographs at first, so you would have to scroll down to see the actual results. Clicking on sponsored results will take you to third party stock photography websites where you will have to purchase the license to use an image. Clicking on actual results will show a larger view of image in a lightbox with links to download image in different sizes. It will also show you a link that you can insert in your post to attribute the image.

4. WikiMedia Commons

WikiMedia Commons free image library

A project of Wikimedia Foundation, WikiMedia Commons is a large library of images, audio, and video files that can be freely used. Library can be browsed by media type such as images, photographs, drawings, illustrations or by file type like audio, video, image, etc. Images can also be browsed based on license. A large number of images on Wikimedia Commons are in public domain which means you are free to use them without any attribution. Some images may have a creative commons license requiring attribution. Make sure you check the license information below each image.

5. StockPhotosforFree.com

Stock Photos For Free

StockPhotosforFree is another free stock photo website. They have a very nice interface and a neatly organized library with a good collection of still images. Most of these images are still shots taken from HD quality videos. They require everyone to register before downloading any images.

6. OpenClipArt Library

Open Clip Art - Free Clip Art library

If you are looking for a vector image, an icon, or clip art to use on your WordPress site, then Open Clip Art library is the best place to look for free clipart. All the clip art available in the library is in public domain, so you are free to use, modify, and build upon those images. A lot of them are available in SVG vector graphic format as well as PNG. Clip art is organized in tags, categories and collections so it is easy to browse.

Once you have found the image that you are looking for, you can crop and edit those images using your favorite image editing program. You can also add additional image sizes in WordPress to automatically generate the right size when you upload the image. If you want to organize your media library efficiently, then you can tag images in WordPress.

We hope that this article helped you find royalty free images to use on your website. Let us know which website you prefer to search for getting free images for your site?


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • rojelio

    does this mean that i can use ROYALTY FREE pictures for free on my template that i want to SELL ??? …cause i just read the usage options on SXC and while a picture is royalty free…in the UO it’s written that if i want to use that royalty free picture in a template that i want to sell, so that i need to ask for permission…what in conclusion means that you can use a royalty free picture ONLY if you want to use it for your only one website, blog whatever, that you will not sell but right when you want to use the same picture for selling purposes, lets say in WP THEME/TEMPLATE, you immediately have to ask for permission !! … is this right ??? :))
    …thanx anyway !! :)

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Royalty free images can have different licenses. Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons can be good place to find images that you can use commercially.

  • Olli Eleven

    Thanks for these links!

  • elaine pinkerton coleman

    Having so much information, valuable resources I’ve needed for months, is simply fantastic!
    Your site is an oasis in the desert!

  • Shannon

    Wow. That is a fantastic post. Thank you.

  • M Asif Rahman

    Thats an really useful article. Thanks!

  • Peter Shanks

    My favourite is http://flickrcc.net, which searches flickr for Creative Commons licensed images and also has an online image editor on images that allow for modification in their license

  • Rajesh Magar

    Nice as always Syed,

    But I have one question to clear out. Can we use images from big/paid repository websites like shutterstock, dreamstime to embedded in our blog post without purchasing the same and in favor of return just mentioned credit link (Backlink) on the page for them?. Like the one we always watching on big brand blog sites like TNW, Searchengineland and all. Thanks!

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Those large sites have a deal with Shutterstock where shutterstock offer them free rights to its library in exchange for backlinks.

    • Colin McKie

      If you do, you may find what a DMCA takedown notice looks like. As a photographer who depends on sales from those sites for a living, I have to tell you that our local supermarket doesn’t accept backlinks at the checkout.

    • Elizabeth

      You cannot use ANY image without paying for it unless it meets one of the following criteria:

      1. You took the picture. (Therefore, you own the rights to use it.)
      2. You have the owner’s express permission. (The person that took the photo or owns the photo rights gave you permission to use it.)

      If you find a cute imaqe online, or like a photo on someone else’s blog, etc. you CANNOT use it without getting permission. Most of the time, getting permission involves paying for it.

      • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

        Yes you are right, you can not just use pictures from any website. However, the websites mentioned in the article, offer royalty free stock photos. Each photo and image has licensing information on the download page with permission to use the images in your own projects.