The images on your site introduce a user to your brand within seconds. For this reason, having good quality, on-brand imagery is very important, whatever the purpose of your site.
If your website is also a source of revenue, overall site appearance is even more important. Our recent researched showed that 95% of people said that the overall look of a website has a significant effect on their final purchasing decision.
Not everyone has the time, space or funding to create bespoke imagery and that’s where stock images come in.
‘Free Stock Images’ can feel like a dirty word when it comes to designing a website and often this search term returns unconvincing generic scenarios
The truth today is that if you want high quality images, you don’t have to pay big bucks for them. This guide shows that it is entirely possible to make a stunning site, with high quality stock images that won’t break the bank.
The Best Free Online Image Libraries
There are thousands of stock image libraries out there for you to chose from; here are our top picks.
Probably one of the highest quality free image download sites in the world right now. Unsplash has secured a reputation for curating amazing landscape and nature photography. Be prepared for slightly less choice when it comes to commercial or business-related imagery but this shouldn't cause an issue if you can afford to be a little abstract.
The Unsplash Chrome extension is a great way to stay inspired on the fly. After installing the extension, a random image from their library will appear in your browser window each time you open a new tab.
Pexels is a great, free, all-round image library. There are plenty of business, nature and abstract photos to choose from. One of the best features on Pexels is the ability to download an image in any size you require, so there is no need to go through an additional resizing step to prepare images for your site.
Makerbook is a tool that gathers images from over 30 free stock image libraries into one place. Makerbook was created especially for startups and young companies so the imagery is often commercial and tech focused. With an incredibly simple and user friendly interface, images are sorted by tags including ‘business’, ‘people’, ‘smartwatch’ and ‘technology’.
Choosing the Right Image
With 100,000s of images to choose from, how do you know which ones to pick?
The answer depends heavily on your brand. Choose the images that best represent your company - both the products you sell and the company ethos.
Good Versus Bad Stock Image Examples
For any young tech startups creating a new website, you naturally don’t want images of highly corporate employees wearing suits in an uninspiring office space. In this scenario, imagery should appeal to you target market, showcasing sleek technology and a casual working environment.
Similarly, if your company sells B2B office supplies to an established, corporate clientele, don’t fill your site with abstract images of raindrops on leaves. This does not however, mean that you can’t still have awesome, relevant imagery.