I want to look at where to find images you can legally use on your website or blog. Of course Google is the first place that comes in mind when you are trying to find anything on the internet, but it is not always the best choice for website images. Yes, you can filter images based on usage rights, but then you don’t have many images to choose from. In this post I am going to provide you with three other sources for images.
Searching for images using Google Advanced Search and filtering images based on usage rights normally returns a large amount of images from Flickr. Flickr is a great source for creative commons images. Images licensed under creative commons can fall in one of the six categories. Each license has its own set of restrictions and requirements. Not all images on Flickr are licensed under creative commons, so always make sure you check before you use someone else’s images. If you want to learn more about creative commons, you can go to Flickr.com, scroll down to the footer, and click on creative commons, or you can go to creativecommons.org.
Flickr is a good source of images, but my favorite source of free website images is
sxc.hu www.freeimages.com . If I search for lion, the first row of images at the top and the last row of images at the bottom are from iStock photos. We don’t want to look at those now. The images we can use for free on your website are the ones in the middle.
Sometimes, you can find some really great images to use on your website. You will want to click on the image to get access to the download version of the image. Before you download an image you should read the availability. The availability section provides you with the requirements for using the image.
You will notice in the picture above it says “standard restrictions apply and the author must be notified and credited when using the photo for any public work.” That means that if you download this image and use it on your website, you just come here and you leave a comment basically telling them, “Hey, great image. I used it on such-and-such website.” Then, in your caption or somewhere on that page where you used it, give the creator credit.
If you are unable to find images that meet your needs from Flickr or Stock.xchng you can purchase stock images. iStockphoto , is my favorite place to purchase images for websites. Sometimes I even start my quest for an image at iStockphoto.
So I hope this post has given you a few sources of images that you can use on your website or blog. Just remember to always check the licensing and restrictions before you use an image. If you know of any other good sources of images let me know by leaving a comment below.
Screen shots from sxc.hu