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When creating a website, carefully selected, beautiful images will help draw attention to your content. But what to do when you don't have a personal selection of images available? Luckily, there are various royalty-free stock photography databases out there that are updated daily.

What does royalty-free mean?

Royalty-free refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.

Therefore, you can use images on your site without having to notify the author nor pay them for using their contributed work. What you should consider, however, is the fact that there are a lot of people out there that may be using the same image on their website. Even then it's still a small price to pay for someone's original work.

Our suggestions for free stock photography

Unsplash was created in 2013 as a simple tool for creators. See their manifesto to learn what their community is all about.

Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through their discover pages.

StockSnap.io selects nothing but the highest quality, highest resolution pictures and adds them to their database on a daily basis. You can also have new images delivered to your e-mail.

Guidelines for uploading images to your website

Before you upload images to your website, check if they are compressed to load quickly on all internet connections. A small file size will guarantee that people visiting your site with a slow connection will also be able to see all of the images without a significant loading time.

There are multiple tools out there that help compress images without losing visual quality. For example, check out compressor.io — they provide four file formats and two compression options. This is already enough to save you from hassling with large files and you'll save your file server some space.


Please try to keep image file sizes under 1 megabyte for quick loading purposes — statistically, most visitors are probably on a mobile connection. To cover most screen sizes, try to keep your images at least 1500-2500 pixels wide. Ideally, you should create multiple sizes of the same image to be served for different devices and screen sizes.

For Voog users, when you upload an image, our system will automatically generate different versions of that image in the background — the larger the original image, the more versions are generated. Now, when you use that image in a content area, the most suitable version is served to the visitor, depending on their device and screen size. We take optimizing seriously and hope that this is something that everyone can make use of, without having to worry about it.

In conclusion

There are a lot of amazing free photography resources out there, we've listed just a few. And keep in mind not uploading large files — they will ruin the first impression of your site by taking a lot of time to load. Other than that, browse away!
About the author

Mathias-Erik Tempel

Mathias-Erik stands behind our marketing plans. He is also the general manager of the team and handles customer relationships.
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