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Free Photos and Website Resources

Updated on October 16, 2015
Morguefile has many beautiful photos.
Morguefile has many beautiful photos.

Great graphics are critical to make your website stand out from the crowd, and attract your target market. If you are making a website or video or anything else for commercial use, you need to make sure that you have permission to use the photos and other graphics you've chosen. Just because an image is on the internet doesn't mean it is free for the taking.

There are a lot of sites online that offer free photos and clipart, but many of these graphics can only be used for personal use. However, there are several great sites that offer completely free resources for commercial use. Generally, commercial use means not only websites, but also videos, flyers, banners, and even handmade items for sale. Some exclude Print-on-Demand sites such as Zazzle, or have other restrictions, so be sure to check the particular terms of use for each website and image you want to use. Another thing to watch out for is whether or not the site requires attribution or a link back to their site when using the images. I tried to specify which sites require attribution, but on some sites, it varies by image, so always double check.

I've scoured the web looking for the best sites that offer free photos, vectors, music, and more. Here is a list of sites that offer free website resources for commercial use. Due to Hubpages rules, I didn't include actual links to the sites, but for the most part they are dot coms, and they should be easy to find with a simple internet search.

This lighthouse image is from RGB Stock.
This lighthouse image is from RGB Stock.

Free Photos

Morgue File – This is my favorite free photo website. They have a large library of images, all completely free for personal or commercial use, without attribution. An added benefit is that they don't require attribution.

Pixabay – Pixabay is another great site that offers high-quality photos and vectors posted under the Creative Commons license CC0, which basically means public domain. Thus, these images can be used and modified without attribution, for commercial use. A free account is needed to download the larger image sizes.

Unsplash – This is a simple site which has completely free high resolution images. It is another CC0 licensed site so no attribution is required, even for commercial use.

ABS Free Pic This site offers high resolution absolutely free stock photos in the public domain. All uses are OK.

Free Images – They offer images which are free for personal and commercial use in websites and printed promotional materials. Some images have restrictions, so be sure to check for any terms specific to the particular image you want to use.

Public Domain Pictures dot net – This site provides high quality public domain images for personal or commercial use.

Stock Free Images – Powered by Dreamstime, a stock photo site, this site offers a great selection of images with a standard Royalty Free License.

RGB Stock – They offer a large selection of stock photos for personal or limited commercial use, on websites and printed materials, but not for resale or distribution.

Free Stock Photos dot biz – All images on this site are free to download and use, but commercial licenses for the individual images vary, and some may require attribution. Just make sure to check the individual image before using.

Burning Well - This site is a depository for public domain photos, so they can be used for commercial use without attribution. To download an image, just right-click and save.

Photo Rack - Another great free stock photo site, Photo Rack allows commercial use without link-back.

A few other sites that offer free images for download, but require attribution for commercial use, include: Free Digital Photos, Big Foto, Free Pixels, and Open Photo.

OpenClipArt has a wide selection of good quality clipart.
OpenClipArt has a wide selection of good quality clipart.

Free Clip Art

Besides Pixabay, there are several dedicated sites that offer free clip art for commercial use.

Open Clip Art – All clip art from this site is released into the public domain, meaning that it is free for unlimited commercial use. This is usually my go-to clip art site. They have a very large selection of good-quality clip art, and many files are highly detailed.

Clker – This is another great site for free public domain clipart.

Hassle Free Clip Art – This site, like its name suggests, provides free clip art with no strings attached.

Free Clip Art 4 dot Me – They offer a selection of free clip art, and a premium membership with a lot more royalty free resources. (I actually upgraded to the premium membership, because for one small lifetime membership fee, you get thousands of fonts, clip art, images, website templates, and more.)

Pixabay has both photos and vector graphics.
Pixabay has both photos and vector graphics.

Vectors and Graphics Freebies

Here are some great free resources for designers using Photoshop, Illustrator, or other graphics programs.

Pixabay - This site that I mentioned above not only has free photos, but free vector graphics as well.

Free Photoshop dot org – I use this site a lot, because they have no restrictions of use, and no credit is required for commercial or personal use of their materials. They offer a large selections of brushes, styles, shapes, patterns, textures, etc for Photoshop. These are especially useful for designing headlines with fancy text.

Photoshop Backgrounds – No credit is needed to use the files they provide, but you do need to sign up for a free account to download.

Free 4 Illustrator – This site offers many downloadable files for Photoshop and Illustrator, royalty free photos, and more. Generally, the images and files are free for commercial use, but some do have restrictions, so always check the terms for the particular file you need.

Vector Vaco – No attribution is required for commercial use. The site has a limited selection of free vectors, but they are high quality, and more files are added daily.

CG Textures – Here is a site with a large selection of high-quality textures. They allow personal and commercial use with no attribution, but no reselling is allowed.

Free Vectors dot org – This site offers thousands of free vector graphics, as well as premium vectors for a price. Their standard free license covers personal and commercial use, but not resale.

Free Vectors dot me – They offer a variety of vector files. Some require attribution, some do not, so be sure to check the individual file before downloading.

Other sites that offer great free graphics files for commercial use but require attribution include: Free Pik, Free Design File, Vecteezy, Q Vectors.

One of the many free icons available on IconsEtc.
One of the many free icons available on IconsEtc.

Free Icons/ Buttons

There are a lot of sites that offer free web and mobile icons, but most of them require link back or attribution. Again, always check the particular terms of use for the pack you want to download.

IconMonstr – This is a great site, with thousands of free icons for personal and commercial use, no attribution required. The icons can also be modified and manipulated for your particular needs.

Icons Etc – The terms of this site are very simple – everything on the site is free for commercial and personal use, even on POD sites. No attribution is required, and files can be modified even for resale. (icons.mysitemyway.com)

Nibble Icons – A simple site offering a few completely free icon sets for commercial/ personal use, no attribution required.

These sites require link-back: Free Website Buttons, Icon Archive, Soft Icons, Dry Icons.

IconsETC has both free and pro icons. When searching click the "Free" tab.
IconsETC has both free and pro icons. When searching click the "Free" tab.
A few of the many fonts offered by Font Squirrel.
A few of the many fonts offered by Font Squirrel.

Free Fonts

A great website needs great fonts, and often you will want something besides the run of the mill selection that comes with the computer. Not all fonts are free for the taking. Here is a list of sites that offer free fonts for commercial use.

Font Squirrel – This is the first site I check when looking for free fonts. All their fonts can be used for commercial projects.

A to Z Fonts – As far as I can tell, these fonts are free for personal and commercial use for graphic design projects.

1001 Fonts – Not all the fonts on this site are free for commercial use, although they offer thousands of free fonts. Make sure you use the link for “free fonts for commercial use.”

Font Feest dot nl – The site has a limited number of fonts, but they are 100% free for commercial use.

Free Music and Sound Effects

If you need music or sound effects for free commercial use in promotional web videos, check out these sites.

DL Sounds – This site offers free seamless audio loops, music tracks, and more, totally free for commercial and personal use.

Sound Jay – Free Royalty free sound effects and music tracks for commercial and personal use. Credit is appreciated but not required.

Free Stock Music – This great site offers a wide variety of royalty free productions music, completely free. They are linked to a paid stock music site, so you will see a lot of ads asking you to join the paid site.

Midnight Cassette System – Offers 55 hours of public domain music.

Free Sound – Freesound offers many different sound effects, but not all are for commercial use, and they require attribution.

Incompetech – This site has royalty free music, but requires attribution.

Audio Micro – They sell stock music and effects, but they do offer a free selection of sound effects as well.

Open Music Archive – This site offers old music which has fallen out of copyright. They have a very limited selection, but no attribution is required.

Muse Open – This site offers mostly classical public domain music.

Free Stock Footage

Here are a few good sites that offer free stock video footage (clips) for personal and commercial use.

Videvo – This site has over 2700 HD clips that are completely free for any project. Registration is required.

Stock Footage 4 Free – Powered by Video Blocks, this site offers a lot of free video footage, but registration is required to download the clips, and they are constantly trying to push the Video Blocks site.

Footage Crate – They have a variety of free video footage. Attribution is required.

Vidsplay – Here is another site that offers completely free HD royalty-free video footage.

From ABS Free Pic.
From ABS Free Pic.

This article lists some of the more popular sites that offer free photos and other free website and video resources. While some of these sites allow for instant downloading, most of them require a free account to be set up. I haven't personally used all the sites, although I have tried out a lot of them. Mostly they seem to be pretty straightforward and reliable. You will sometimes find sites that have in-your-face advertising, but the free resources make suffering the minor annoyance worth it. Also, before using any site, double check the terms. I checked all the terms of use before posting these sites, and I've tried to specify which ones require attribution or have other restrictions, but the terms do change from time to time.

While most of the sites listed here do not require attribution, they always appreciate it when credit is given. It is a nice little gesture of gratitude that doesn't cost anything.

A note about Print-On-Demand (POD) sites is important. Not all sites offering Royalty-free commercial usage, allow POD use. Usually they specify if they do not allow it, but not always. The safest license for such use is generally public domain, but always check the specific licensing terms of each site.

If you know of any other good free resource sites, please let me know. I'm always on the lookout for more.

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    • Connie120 profile image
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      Connie120 2 years ago

      Thanks, I hope you find it useful.

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      Aida Garcia 2 years ago

      Excellent resource.