If you have a website, you will surely know how important it is to choose the right image and the most captivating graphic element to insert on your pages and in the various sections of your site.
Selecting an image that is irrelevant or of low quality could even drive visitors away from your site and this certainly cannot be your goal!
On the contrary, to attract the attention of visitors and potential customers, you need to do your best in research and leave nothing to chance.
The selection of images must prefer those that are both captivating and of high quality , as well as coherent with the inserted texts and with the other surrounding elements.
In general, it is unlikely that you will already have images that meet these requirements and, consequently, you will be “obliged” to download them from the web, choosing from the free or paid ones.
Obviously when I use the term “obligated” I don’t mean it in a literal sense.
There are other solutions at your disposal: you can, for example, take pictures yourself if you have a good camera and, above all, if you have the skills to make a quality product.
Alternatively, you could also hire a professional photographer who will do the job according to your needs.
However, web search offers indisputable advantages :
- It allows you to choose from a series of already completed creations , so that you can immediately check whether the item you purchase suits your needs;
- Offers you to buy at very competitive prices . Contacting a professional allows you to have a unique and tailor-made product for you, but it is certainly more expensive. Ask yourself if, in relation to the characteristics of your business, it is really worth it (e.g. if you are an interior designer and you need to create a portfolio with your ingenious works, resorting to a photographer seems to me advisable to best enhance your professionalism ; in most other cases on the web you will be able to find everything you need)
- Allows you to find images in short times. The images are already available in the online catalog. You can log in at any time of the day, select the image you like and make the purchase.
Usually the paid ones have a considerably larger image archive and therefore offer a greater possibility of choice.
Furthermore, I personally believe that the sites from which the photos can be downloaded for a fee offer (almost always) a greater guarantee of quality .
However. the choice of each one in one direction or another will certainly be weighted on the basis of two criteria directions:
- The budget available
In the initial phase of a project it can be decided that it is a priority to invest most of the available budget in other (graphics, plug-ins, copywriting, seo, etc.) and to devote a secondary role to images.
In this case, the archives that offer free images represent valid alternatives, especially in order to save.
- The object of the searched images
The more the desired images concern broad and common concepts, the more likely it is to find them for free (eg home).
On the contrary, the more niche the object sought will be and the more details that are sought, the more difficult it will be to find the suitable image in a free catalog (e.g. waterproofing system for a home).
- So buying the photograph becomes an almost obligatory choice.
Below we provide you with a list of online image archives, distinguishing between the free and the paid ones.
Paid image catalogs
- https://it.fotolia.com/ gives you access to an online catalog that includes 66 million images.
Here you can search for the image you need by entering a keyword in the search tool
or, by scrolling down the home page and identifying the category to which it belongs
In the footer of the page you can also find a section dedicated to free images
Another valid and extensive catalog of images.
It works roughly like fotolia.com. and also has a editor that allows you to modify images using filters or customize them by inserting logos or texts.
123rf.com, like the two previously mentioned catalogs, offers the possibility to search for images both by keyword and by category.
Here too you will find a list of free images and an editor to edit images.
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Free image catalogs
Pixabay.com is a catalog of free images. The search is available both by keyword and by category.
It is certainly not a huge catalog at the moment, but it is still free images that can be copied, modified, distributed and also used for commercial purposes.
Archive created in 1996, is based on a community within which professionals and amateur photographers exchange photos, which can be downloaded and reused even for commercial use.
Here too you will find images all licensed Creative Commons Zero (CC0).
As in most of the catalogs of this kind, the only limit on the license issued by this archive is the prohibition of reusing the images to replicate a similar or competing service.
Another valid archive of free images supported by the CC0 license.
Like almost all the other archives mentioned in this article, the images present therein can be used without the need to mention the author (even if they are keen to emphasize that this would obviously be quite welcome).
N.B.: I always recommend, before purchasing or downloading any image for free, to carefully read the conditions of use given archive may have undergone changes) in order not to incur any violation of copyright.