Top 5 websites for royalty-free images

Technology and social media platforms, today, have given us ample opportunities to reach out to a larger audience and share our work. But all that glitters is not gold! Since the work is available to the public at large, it usually gets copied that too without any permission from the creator. Images are the most copied and downloaded thing from the internet. Though many big brands like Shutterstock try to protect their images users somehow manage to use them and display them as an original image from their end. In fact, most of the images available online are copyrighted.

Most people usually skip to the images after searching for something because they find it engaging and time-saving. Having visuals in the content is useful in not just attracting search engines but also customers or target audience. Even a blogger needs an attractive image in his/her blog which is both eye-catching as well as relevant to the context.

So using the right image, no doubt is necessary, but using one that is permitted is also very necessary. Thus this issue of copyright often hinders one’s learning since many of the beginners don’t have enough resources to pay the royalty fee or to create from scratch. So most of us usually end up using what is available to us online,  but very few of us are aware of the fact that downloading someone’s work and using it without authorised access can attract legal action.

What can we do then?

People often wonder if there are any ways to use the images available online without getting into this copyright trap. Yes! You need to look for images that have the Creative Commons CC0 License, which allows the user to download, copy, edit, share and also use the image for not just personal but commercial use as well. Thus all you have to do is to look for the required images on the websites that have images with CC0 license and you are good to go.

What’s the Best?

Though there are many websites out there but here are top five websites that can be used for royalty free images:


Image courtesy- Bruce Mars/ is the most widely used website for images as all the images are under the CC0 license. It has different categories for easy navigation, with beautiful and high quality images in each category. Thousands of fresh images are added every week leaving the user with numerous options and more than just satisfied.

2. Unsplash

Image courtesy- Amin Hasani, Unsplash

Visit Unsplash and guaranteed you will be awestruck. Thousands of beautiful photos in all the categories, a showcase of work by people, photo of the day credit, and allowance to freely use the images makes Unsplash one of the best websites. Forbes, Medium, Entrepreneur Magazine and few more have cited Unsplash as one of the leading photography websites in the world.

3. Pixabay

 Image courtsey- Peggychoucair, Pixabay

This is one of the most used websites and has more than 1.8 million photos that are absolutely stunning and royalty free. With filters like orientation, category, size, colour etc., it becomes very easy to find an image of your choice and of course you can use it freely for all sort of purposes.

4. Pexels

Image courtesy- Rafael Serafim/ pexels

Founded in 2014, Pexels comes with a simple aim of helping people to create amazing content and grow by using photos provided by it. Pexels has a huge library of photos both from its own end and also from other website that are also in the business of providing high quality images to the users.

5. Canva

   Image courtesy-  Canva

Though still growing, Canva is not just a platform for some beautiful royalty free images, it also allows to create social media graphics, posters, banners and some other visual content. It provides its users all the tools to create a design of their own. It enables one to design blog banners, Facebook covers, animated social media, resumes, Instagram stories, cards and many other things. All the images and templates are absolutely free which makes it one of the favourites.

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