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The Ultimate Collection of Free Image Resource Websites, Tools & Plugins for Designers and Bloggers

Mockplus Team 24843 Views www.linkedin.com

Photography has been an indispensable part of web design, and a great image can do wonders for capturing a reader’s attention or setting up your business’s credibility. However, most of us have been accustomed to seeing crappy stock images as lots of stock photos online are uninspired and a huge portion of them even cost money.

Lucky for you, there is a growing wealth of websites offering beautiful and high-resolution stock photos, without any hassle or significant cost. Those listed image resource websites have large stocks of imagery available as well as good coverage in terms of subject matter. In the case that you need professional photography, visit Getty Images or Shutterstock who may charge $20 or more for one single photo.

A Quick Note About License

Before moving on, we need to clarify one major caveat — that’s being called “Copyright”. If you want to use an image without any cost, you need an image that is free from copyright restrictions or has a “Creative Commons” license or enters the “Public Domain” already. Also, some photos may be free to use commercially but require attribution.

I have done my best to identify which license they fall under but still advice you to do some research before determining which images to use. With that out of the way, let’s see the top picks for free image resources.

Free Image Resources to Get Started

Having got the perfect image in your head, you just need to locate it and those website resources are here to help:

1. Flickr

Website: https://www.flickr.com/

Flickr, the industry-leading photo and video sharing platform, has had its ups and downs since Yahoo bought it 10 years ago. It is not just a place where you can upload, manage and backup your high-resolution images as well as smartphone shots, but it’s where to engage in a huge community of both professional and amateur photographers. Most recently, they have updated with advanced search options, and you’re allowed to select keyword, shape, color(s) and minimum size, etc.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Sometimes

High Resolution: Yes

2. Pexels

Website: https://www.pexels.com/

As a search engine for CC0 (creative commons zero) images, Pexels comes bundled with fashionable categories, such as vintage, tech and abstract. It’s a real treat for your eyes while browsing through such a wide range of themes and styles. It’s possible to scroll randomly or do filter by categories like most “Popular Photos” or “Newest Photos”.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

3. Pixabay

Website: https://pixabay.com/

This Google-image search doesn’t provide as many images as in Flickr but makes up for it with restriction-free licensing. All of images are released under a CC0 license, which means you can use a pretty cool image without infringing on the creator’s rights. The drop-down menu lets you sort from “Editor’s Choice”, “Images”, “Videos”, “Photographers” and “Cameras” as well.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

4. Free Stock Textures

Website: https://freestocktextures.com/

Visual elements placed in the background of websites as well as textures would be a great way to add another layer of design, without complicating the overall look. Free Stock Textures is such a platform where you can discover free stock photos for personal, educational and non-commercial purpose. Hundreds of free textures, images and illustrations are added every week.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Sometimes

High Resolution: Yes

5. Unsplash

Website: https://unsplash.com/

This website has been gaining popularity among designers, developers, bloggers and website owners alike, with incomparable variety and quality of their high-resolution images. It features numerous pics in various styles, from landscapes to product images. All images are licensed under Creative Commons, and 10 new photos are uploaded regularly every 10 days.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

6. Freepik

Website: http://www.freepik.com/free-vectors/graphics

Since the first presence in 2010, Freepik has grown into a top performing free image website. It helps find free photos, vectors, PSD files as well as illustrations and is a great choice for making decorating. Note that, it’s now open to contributors and requires you to give contribution to the creator.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Yes

High Resolution: Yes

7. Gratisography

Website: http://www.gratisography.com/

Built by Ryan McGuire, an artist and web designer, Gratisography endows incredible collection of the most evocative images on the web, requiring no attribution whatsoever. It’s the place to go if you want to add a bit of fun to your site. New images are added every week.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

8. Picjumbo

Website: https://picjumbo.com/

As a personal favorite of mine, this website offers easy navigation and a huge collection of high-quality photos for both personal and commercial project. There is a category listing, which makes it much easier to filter the type of photos you’re searching for. It’s a perfect fit for anyone wishing to run a restaurant or nutrition-themed startup, with a selection of food shots.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: Sometimes

High Resolution: Yes

9. Freeimages

Website: http://www.freeimages.com/

In short, this website is a repository for Wikimedia, Flickr, Pixabay and Google Custom Search. It offers a diverse set of pictures, varying from “Army and Weapon” to “Animals and Wildlife”. Search cannot be much easier there, but be careful about using Google Custom Search as some photos may not be free of copyright.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Sometimes

High Resolution: Yes

10. New Old Stock

Website: http://nos.twnsnd.co/

A retro repository built by Cole Townsend, offering a collection of real vintage photos taken by government agencies or discovered in estate sales. It’s completely free of copyright restrictions and half quirky.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

11. Free Digital Photos

Website: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

This houses a number of free images, which are categorized and searchable for personal, business and educational use. Most images are small-sized, and larger versions require your purchase. Before using those free images, you need to give a credit to the author.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: Yes

High Resolution: Yes

12. Superfamous Studios

Website: http://superfamous.com/

This is the place the go if you like geography and nature, such as rocks, water and mountains. All of the work can be used for both personal and commercial use, as long as a tiny contribution is provided. It’s a Los Angeles-based studio.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

13. Jay Mantri

Website: http://jaymantri.com/

Curated by Jay Mantri, one of Southern California’s finest designers, this website features a collection of free and inspiring photos released every Thursday under CC0 license. From here, you can find whatever kind of images you’d like, no matter lonely, spacious or moody.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

14. Albumarium

Website: http://albumarium.com/

A highlight of Albumarium could be its organization. They are arranged into “Albums” and tend to be small to some degree. Here is how its image looks like as below:

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

15. Death to Stock Photo

Website: http://deathtothestockphoto.com/

The mission of this website is to bring a variety of options used for your mockups, social media and blog posts. It is membership-based photo library, which requires you to input your email and then wait for images coming to your inbox once a month. It use an exclusive license which can be read on the webpage.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Yes

High Resolution: Yes

16. DesignersPics

Website: http://www.designerspics.com/

The photos on DesignersPics are free of copyright by web designer, photographer and developer named Jeshu John. Attribution is requested but not required out there.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: No

High Resolution: Yes

17. IM Free

Website: http://www.imcreator.com/free

This is a small library of premium-quality free photos, all for commercial use. As those photos are collected from various resources, attribution is required there.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: No

Attribution Required: Yes

High Resolution: Yes

18. Little Visuals

Website: http://littlevisuals.co/

They offer seven high-resolution images every week, and lots of moody, textures and atmosphere images can be found there. Sign up for its email list and you will receive 7 pictures via a zip file on a regular basis.

Searchable: Yes

Membership Required: Yes

Attribution Required: Yes

High Resolution: Yes

Free Design & Editing Tools

It may not be enough to have a good-looking photo sometimes, and that’s where design tools comes in handy here. Following are well-selected tools that help you manipulate photos into what you need.

1. Canva

Website: https://www.canva.com/

It’s kind of free design tool, aiming at both beginners and professional alike. As is advertised, it may bring much-needed simplicity to design process and help you create new images via the use of free stock photography.

2. Hubspot CTAs

Website: http://www.hubspot.com/free-marketing-resources

Usually a set of tips and tricks are released to help marketers improve their efforts. It requires a quick sign-up and stores free marketing resources which are extremely important for brand development and exposure.

3. Pictaculous

Website: http://www.pictaculous.com/

This is a wonderful tool for anyone who want to create custom images with preferred color palette. Just use the web interface and Pictaculous will report back with a color palette, on the basis of your uploaded picture.

4. BeFunky

Website: https://www.befunky.com/

As a online editing application, BeFunky gives your stock photos some personalization, such as sizing, color effects, borders, layering and touch-ups as well.

Best Prototyping & Wireframing Tools Recommended

Wireframing tools make the process of how to create an app or website fundamentally easier, by stripping the product down and letting whom concerned focus purely user interactivity and functions. With more options to choose from than ever, we’ve selected the pick of the bunch, in no particular order.

1. Web-based prototyping/wireframing tools:

InVision — It’s a perfect fit for clickable prototypes, real-time collaboration and sharing. The combination of InVision and Sketch, or InVision and Adobe would be a great help for those looking for high-end product.

Proto.io — This tool supports touch style and gestures, including slide, press, zoom, touch, and so on. Developers can use it create interactive prototypes for both iOS and Android.

UXPin — Prototypes created with UXPin can run on different resolutions and devices, allowing version control and file upload from Photoshop and Sketch.

Marvel — A code-free design tool that lets you import images also from Photoshop and Sketch for several different devices.

2. Desktop-based prototyping/wireframing tools:

Axure RP (Mac & Win)— A robust tool that enables designers create, test and share prototypes with ease. It’s an ideal choice for professionals wanting to make sophisticated prototypes.

Justinmind (Mac & Win) — It’s a flexible tool to create high-fidelity site wireframes and app prototypes. But there is a steep learning curve especially for new starters.

Mockplus (Mac & Win)— An all-in-one rapid prototyping tool to make interactive prototypes on mainstream platforms, including mobile device, desktop and website. Its ready-made components and visualized interactions make it a perfect choice for designers of all levels to produce high-quality product.

Balsamiq (Win) — This tool aims to those who want to make prototypes faster and easier in a hand-drawn style. It focuses more on low-fidelity prototypes.

3. Mobile-based prototyping/wireframing tools:

POP (iOS & Android) — A light-weight app to make screen mockups and sketches on mobile phones. You need to upload mockups and then add gestures to make interactions.

Tapcase (iOS) — This allows you to create app prototypes with interactive elements, such as hotspots, transition animations, and so on.

Mockplus App (iOS & Android) — A prototype player to view completed prototypes on mobile device, by scanning the generated QR code or inputting the view code from the cloud end.

Justinmind Prototyper (iOS & Android) — The exclusive prototype viewer for prototypes created within Justinmind.

Free Plugins Recommended for WordPress Websites

With all things clear up, now it’s time to set your website up with plugins that will make the integration of images into your design much easier. Following are top-rated plugins that can work well on WordPress-based websites.

1. Pixabay Images Plugin

It’s at your option to persue the gallery of images that are available on the web, or use this plugin to find Pixabay public domain images from within WordPress. Once installed, this plugin lets you filter search results by image type and vertical/horizontal orientation. It’s possible to upload photos directly to the media library with one click.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/pixabay-images/

Active Installs: 10,000+

Compatible up to: 4.4.4

2. Unsplash WP Plugin

If you prefer stock photos from Unsplash, then you cannot go pass this plugin which allows file uploading from Unsplash directly into WordPress media library. It’s great for rapid prototyping and development, with full compatible for several browsers as well.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/unsplash-stock-photo-library/

Active Installs: 1,000+

Compatible up to: 4.5.3

3. WordPress Flickr Embed Plugin

If you have a reserve of images on Flickr and would like to use on the website, this plugin can easily integrate your Flickr images into the visual editor toolbar inside WordPress. You have the option to sort search results by date posted or date taken.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-flickr-embed/

Active Installs: 3,000+

Compatible up to: 3.9.13

4. Getty Images Plugin

With this plugin, you can browse through millions of free embeddable images, vectors and illustrations from WordPress dashboard, integrating seemlessly with WordPress 3.5+ media manager. Also you can download and preview comp images before posting.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/getty-images/

Active Installs: 2,000+

Compatible up to: 3.9 or higher

5. WP Smush

With lots of high-resolution images on your website, image load time may slow down. WP Smush is such a useful tool to shrink down your file sizes without compromising with image quality. You are allowed to set a max width and height as those images are being compressed.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/

Active Installs: 400,000+

Compatible up to: 3.5 or higher

6. Portfolio

This is a super eays portfolio grid plugin that provides all necessary features to showcase your portfolio items, clients as well as team members. It has 3 layout styles, 100 hover styles with responsive design.

Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/portfolio-wp/

Active Installs: 4,000+

Compatible up to: 4.0 or higher

Wrapping Up

Do you use any of the resources, tools or plugins listed above? Did we miss your favorite? Either way, I’d like to hear about them in the comments below.

STILL HUNGRY FOR THE DESIGN?

_____

Mockplus is a desktop-based tool for prototyping mobile, web and desktop apps easily and quickly. Create interactions by simple drag-and-drop and your teamwork will be time-efficient with the collaboration features.

Free Trial

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