Where to Find the Best Images for Your Website, Easily

Be it a blog or website, wonderful photos are needed. Needed to accompany the words, to elucidate the points made, as proof of what you are writing and to do what words can never do sufficiently, to express visual beauty, to announce aesthetics. You can write thousands of words about the beaches of Mauritius but can you really make the reader realise how blue the ocean is or how the white sand spreads for miles….unless, of course, you use a photo or two?

This point being established, the question arises, where to get the photos. A good start would be to grab your camera and go photographing, however, this is easier said than done. Often this is simply not possible. You can also try editing your own photos, especially for technical write ups, but that would require you to have professional photo editing skills. Now, who would want to go there and do that if his or her expertise is something else, completely.

So the easy way would be, yes, you guessed it right, to go to GOOGLE!! You can search for anything and Google would find you hundreds of thousands of images, instantly. You can easily use them in your blog or on your website. WRONG! While we tend to indiscriminately use images, it is not only morally wrong, it is punishable as well, due to the copyright protection acts, such as DMCA. You can not simply lift a photo and use it. You would be violating the copyright of the owner. Indeed, someone put efforts in creating that photo and you are simply using it, doesn't make moral sense either.

If the morality doesn't bother you, know these things. Firstly, the original owner of the image can easily sue you and he would win the case, as you are directly violating the website. Secondly, he can complain to Google and other search engines (yes, people do search on Bing and DuckDuckGo etc.) that your site is using his copyrighted images without any permission. Trust me, Google takes copyright violation very seriously. The best case scenario would be instant manual penalty of lowering the rank of your website. This would lead to loss of traffic and you certainly don't want that as traffic translates into revenue, for any website. The worst case scenario would be Google removing you completely, from the search results, which is almost doomsday. We would never want any of these happening to our websites, would we!

What would be the workaround? You can actually Google for photos and use those. However, you need to be careful. First search for the images of whatever you need. Then, click on TOOLs, which is located just under the search box. Then click on usage right, then select the third option which says, labelled for reuse. These are the images which you can use freely on your website or blog.

Advantage:

  • Free
  • Easiest searching
  • Large repository

Disadvantage:

  • Very limited image labelled for reuse.
  • Not unique, which means anyone can use those images, making your website lose any uniqueness.

While Google is the panacea, there are far more dedicated websites for photography and images. Flickr is the most known name among all and indeed it has the highest collection of image available on any particular site. However, again, not all images are for indiscriminate reuse. You need to check which images are allowed for commercial reuse.

To do that, search for the images you require, after signing in (recommended). Once the search results appear, click on Any licence and then select commercial use allowed. If you find something which fits your bill, you are in luck. Else, from the same drop-down, select no known copyright restrictions. You will see the search results changing and only selected images appearing after you choose either of these filters.  If you are in luck, you can probably find the image you are looking for.

Advantage:

  • Free
  • 13 billion photos in total
  • Easy search.

Disadvantage:

  • Very limited image labelled for reuse.
  • Not unique, which means anyone can use those images, making your website lose any uniqueness.

Flickr also suffers from what Google generic search suffers. Either the images are not for commercial reuse, or, these images are everybody's property, which means, anyone can use those. Do you wish to use those for your website and look like an amateur?

Final option would be for you to go to a paid professional photo buying website like depositphotos.com. These website have a large collection and they are all professionally captured, high definition images. The images are completely royalty-free and you can search for any topic you wish and these sites have that covered. You can find dozens of images for every topic and every photo is there for reuse, with modification, if you wish.

Advantages:

  • Large collection of photos on every topic.
  • Professional, high definition photo.
  • Vector images available.
  • HD video clips are available.
  • Reuse allowed, with or without modification.
  • Easy search.

Disadvantage:

Ok it is not free BUT, the fee is not exorbitant and I believe that you get what you pay for. You don't have to search hours for copyright-free images on Google or Flickr, you don't have to deal with low quality images or camera captures of the amateurs. If you are serious about the blog or website you are building, these images are certainly worthy of the investment. As not everyone is willing to pay for photos, your images are rather exclusive as well.

Considering everything, I would say, every serious website or blog owner should use these professional image selling websites like depositphotos.com if they want to flourish in the long run.

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