Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

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.

Finding royalty free images for WordPress blog posts

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 them in your website as well as your presentations. 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. Pixabay


Pixabay is popular destination to find royalty free CC-0 licensed images. The website offers a large collection of images sorted into categories and tags.

The website has an advanced search feature which allows you to narrow down your search. You can search by prominent color in images.

3. Unsplash


A well-known destination for high quality royalty free, CC-0 Licensed, and public domain photos. Unsplash releases 10 photos every 10 days.

Unsplash has has a good enough search feature, that can be used to find images matching certain themes like nature, office, work, etc.

The website also offers a Google Chrome extension which shows a random image in the background when you open a new tab. You can then download that image on your computer.

4. 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.

5. Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures has a large collection of royalty free images and photographs. You can find images by using the search feature, or browse through categories.

6. New Old Stock

New Old Stock

This beautifully curated website features vintage photographs that are now in public domain. The photographs are uniquely interesting as they give you a look into the past.

7. Pickup Image

Pickup Image

Pickup Image offers a large collection of royalty free photographs, images, and clipart. The site offers an easy to use search feature. Images are also sorted into categories and tags for easier browsing.

8. Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive offers high quality royalty free stock photos. The site offers a mix of both modern and vintage photographs. You can browse through images using categories or use the search feature.

9. SplitShire


SplitShire is a collection of photographs by Daniel Nanescu released under CC0 license. You can browse the site by using tags filter, or view images in mosaic view. New photos are uploaded to the site regularly.

10. LibreShot


11. Skitterphoto


Skitterphoto offers high resolution royalty free photographs. All images on the website are licensed under CC-0 public domain. The site features works of theirs own photographers so you will find less used and unique photographs.


A beautifully curated and easy to use website for royalty free photographs and CC0 Licensed images. allows you to browse images in categories and tags. You can also use the search feature.

13. WikiMedia Commons

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.

14. PDPics


PDPics offers a large collection of thousands of public domain images. At first look the site may look very basic but it has images neatly curated into categories and tags.

15. ShutterStock


Shutterstock is not free, but it’s definitely worth a mention here. Their library of photos, vectors, and illustrations are just phenomenal.

We’re a paying customer of Shutterstock and can vouch for the quality of images.

Once you have found the image that you are looking for, you can crop and edit those images using your favorite image editing program. Don’t forget to save your images optimized for web because it will help speed up your site.

We hope this article helped you find royalty free images for your WordPress blog. You may also want to check out our article how to create responsive image galleries in WordPress with Envira.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

39 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. ShutterStock is definitely the better source but their rates are ridiculous. It starts at $30/ month for 10 pics, then $100 for 50 pics… For pics they pay almost nothing for. No amateur blogger is paying this. Not saying it’s right but it’s not surprising why people download their pics for free then crop them…

  2. Thanks a lot for this post!
    1. Should one give the credit when these pictures are used in a blog?
    2. Where can I find terms and conditions or any other things I need to know before using pictures from the above mentioned sites?

  3. Excellent post, really good work. This is the third post which I am reading on your website today. Well connected post. Good Job and thank you for explaining things so nicely. Keep it up..!

  4. My site has Adsense and Amazon affiliate ads. Is it allowed to embed or use Wikimedia Commons images with attribution? When asked permission to republish Wikihow articles, they said it is allowed only for Blogs which do not earn money.

  5. Thanks for this exhaustive article prepared with so much details.Those who are writing blogs or making videos would really like to know including myself
    Which are those websites with no added strings who give away the images for nay use including commercial to add strength to the website developers and to remake,modify and resell and make a living or for the benefit of all the spectators.

  6. Is there a place to buy photos (cheaply) for use on my web and blog posts?

    Like requesting a specific idea for the photo and buying a fresh (non-stock-looking) photo for a few dollars.

  7. That was the great list, would be very helpful for my blog posts.

    Glad you shared..thanks

  8. Just wanted to say thank you! Every time I google something to do with blogging I inevitably end up back on your site :) Great resource!

  9. I wonder what the position is with facebook? Where images are distributed freely.. also if you put up a share button and the image is in your page… are you not actually asking that it is shared??

    Just wondering, as I have big problems trying to source images I need for content… usually I write and then don’t put up the image.

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

  11. I’ve tried them all and found nothing I could use. I wanted something on self-confidence and found none of the high quality images I wanted. They are all hopeless, unless you want to pay money and get decent photos, which I can’t afford.

    Useless. All of them.

    • Useless to you… not to me. I’ve only been to six ofthe sites, but I found quite a few pics I can use. Useless?


  12. Thanks for the article.

    1)Can these royalty free images be used to make slide show and video to share on line?

    2) creative commons images have HTML codes. if we want to use them for video, where can we give them credit?

    Thank you

  13. If all these websites are about Public domain & CC0 images then why are you calling them Royalty free??

  14. When you say royalty free, what do you mean by that?

    Are you talking about public domain images available for free use with CC0 license?

    Check this author’s thoughts () on royalty free images.

  15. iStock seems to want money for just about everything I have looked up; so many free is a misnomer.

  16. 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 !! :)

      • This is a really great post on free pics. This information is very informative, and very pocket friendly.
        You guys Rock, with a capital R..

        True Story…

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

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

  19. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.


Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.