Images are definitely an essential part of any website. They serve multiple purposes, the first is making your site visually interesting and the second is drawing your customer’s attention. It’s paramount to use high-quality images to achieve this, especially if you are running an e-commerce store and selling products. Basically, you should ensure that your website looks professional as it increases your brand’s image.
Even if you currently don’t own high-quality and professional images or don’t have the money to hire a professional photographer, there are still websites you can use to obtain professional photos. That is why we decided to compose a list of the best 5 stock image websites you can use to improve your media quality.
As a short introduction, if you don’t know what stock image websites are, they are sites with large collections of professional images, graphics, and videos you can use for free. Most of them are royalty-free, meaning they are free for use without needing to credit anybody, and you can edit them however you want.
There are free and premium stock image sites. Free stock image sites are as the name suggests free and especially useful if you’re are on a budget. Premium stock image websites are of higher quality, and their collections are usually larger, but they come at a price.
So, let’s get started.
Depositphotos has been around since 2009. It continues to grow and expands its collections. Currently, it hosts more than 100 million high-quality royalty-free images (it is around 187 million, which is a lot if you ask us). They are divided into several categories: photos, illustrations, vector art, backgrounds, editorial, and news images.
Some major brands and companies use Depositphotos for their visuals, such as TripAdvisor, Forbes, Subaru, Bosch, WB, and many more. Most customers love Depositphotos because it’s easy to use, has a variety of visuals, and great customer service.
When it comes to cost, there are a few options. The cheapest one is $19 per month for 30 images, which translates to $0.63 per image. It goes up to $159 per month for 750 images. However, you can also subscribe to a demand plan. This lets you have more freedom, especially if you don’t need to use this website that often. It starts at $39 for 10 images and goes up to $239 for 100 images.
2. Burst by Shopify
Burst by Shopify is a free stock image website. It’s clean with a modern design and an easy to use the search bar. The best feature of this site is the business idea section, which is perfect for e-commerce entrepreneurs. There, you can find images and categories that are dedicated to a single or a specific product type. In short, the website comes with a pretty big choice of images, even if you are specializing in a niche industry.
You can search for images by popular categories, such as Black Friday, Fall, or Thanksgiving, or you can enter the desired keyword into the search bar. It’s simple, easy to use, and offers a wide selection. However, there is a small problem you may encounter if you choose this site. Since it is free, the images’ quality and resolution might not always be 100% there.
Pexels is another free stock image website. As is the case with most such sites, it comes with a large library of royalty-free images you can use. The most notable thing about this site is that even though it’s free, the quality of the photos you’ll find is always top-notch. Another important thing to mention is, the images offered on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license.
The website is also incredibly user-friendly. Just type in the keyword, browse through the list of images, and click on the download sign next to the ones you like. You can also search for videos and images under popular categories, as well as upload your own, as part of different challenges and competitions.
EyeEm is a premium stock image website. It’s unique for its extensive community of people buying and selling photographs. There, you can find images uploaded by other users, and if you are interested in using one of them, you can buy the full rights to the image, meaning, it’s now yours. You can edit it to oblivion and use it anywhere you’d like.
You can choose to join this site in two different ways, as a business or a photographer. As a photographer, you can get hired, join the community, and sell your photos. As a business, you get access to image licensing, photo and video production, as well as different pricing plans.
The plans start at €29 per photo, if you like to save your coin, you can get them in packs; 5 photos for €130 or 10 photos for €230. There is also a premium plan for extremely high-quality photos that comes around to €199 per photo. Considering there are both premium and regular membership photos, EyeEm has search filters to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for.
Shutterstock is probably one of the most popular and most successful premium stock image websites with more than 340 million royalty-free images. It offers free registration, and commissions start at 25%. Its library has millions of photos, illustrations, and graphics. Also, they add over ten thousand new high-resolution photos every day. The site itself comes with a built-in editing tool, which really makes it stand out. After purchasing an image of your choice, you can edit, resize, style, mess with it in every way imaginable without even leaving the site. Many big brands use Shutterstock for their images and visuals, such as Google, AOL, BuzzFeed, Marvel, and Capital One.
Keeping all of these fantastic features in mind, it’s safe to assume that photos purchased from here can be a bit expensive, especially if they are bought individually. However, there is a solution to this if Shutterstock is your absolute website of choice, images become more affordable if you buy them in bundles.
When it comes to pricing, there are several plans that you can choose from, $29 per month for 10 images, $75 per month for 50 images, $119 for 350 images, and $149 for 750 images. You can also get a free trial to make sure you like it enough before deciding to purchase a plan. There are also on-demand packs, so you can get photos when you need them, without a monthly subscription. These come at the cost of $29 for 5 images or $139 for 25 images.
Now you’ve been introduced to a few stock image websites, both free and premium ones, so there are choices for folks on a budget as well. Improving your website’s image quality is vital and does more than just enhance the aesthetics. When you look at the analytics, improving your media quality ultimately leads to increased conversions and more revenue.
There are many other stock image websites, such as Bigstock, Stocksy, iStock, and Getty images. However, we think the most versatile option is Depositphotos. It’s constantly upgrading and adding new images, not to mention it comes with great customer support.