I’ve been sued for over $100,000 for image copyright infringement… twice. It was a painful and expensive learning experience, but fortunately, there’s a growing amount of royalty free sites that give you the full rights to use awesome images.
Learn from my past mistakes – never ever grab a random image from the web and use it on your site. Predatorial lawyers are always ready to pounce.
However, it’s really important to use imagery. It helps the flow of your article, breaks up the text, and people just really like looking at pretty things.
Here are 22 websites with free icons, photos, and illustrations that you can use freely and legally to make your articles better. Lawyers probably hate them.
Table of Contents
- The 11 Best Sites For Free Icons
- The 11 Best Sites For Free Photos
The 11 Best Sites For Free Icons
While I’m guilty of not doing this, adding icons or even emojis to your content not only just makes it look better, but it helps focus the reader on important points.
👍If you just want to incorporate emojis, there are WordPress plugins or just copy and paste them from GetEmoji.com.
Another great site to pull simple but effective text icons from is MadeInText.com. Honestly, as far as icons go, those two sites should be enough to make your content pop.
But if you want to take your icons and images to another level, here are a couple of resources with paid plans.
In addition to icons, Icons8 has photos and other illustrations you can use. Lower resolution versions are mostly free, but if you want higher quality, you’ll have to subscribe to one of their plans. It’s still a really inexpensive way to spruce up your site.
Similar to Icons8, there’s IconScout which boasts nearly 5 million assets. With such an incredible library, you can assume they’re not all free. But for around $15 per month, you get completely unlimited access. It’s worth the money.
More (Sometimes) Free Icons
Check out a few others that might appeal to you as well.
The 11 Best Sites For Free Photos
Even more importantly than icons and emojis, you really need to use photos in your content. The absolute best source of photos is, without a doubt, you!
If your site is covering something related to your personal work (ex: how to fix cars, how to bake cakes), then just take your own photos. You’ll always own the rights, and it’ll be unique to you.
However, that’s not always possible depending on your content. So let’s go through some royalty free, quality photo usage sites.
Note: always check the photographer’s attribution requirements.
Discovering Unsplash.com years ago was a literal gamechanger. I kept wondering, “what’s the catch?” But it turned out there really wasn’t one and some photographers are just incredibly generous. You can find photos of pretty much anything imaginable on Unsplash, and use it on your site without paying.
Many of them require an attribution link, but that should just be standard anyway.
Pexels isn’t much different from Unsplash really. Use them too!
And then there’s Pixabay, which is yet another great source of free stock photos.
More Free Photos For Your Site
You should probably save all of these incredible resources for royalty free photos. Additionally, some do offer paid plans that are worth considering. You don’t cheap out on your text content, so don’t cheap out on images either.
Incorporating beautiful images and engaging icons into your content will improve readability, retain users for longer, and be the perfect supplement to text. So use the 22 resources above when you can’t provide your own photographs.
If you have any others you use and would like to share, feel free to send me an email with the link.