The 5 Best Free Stock Image Sites

The overall catalog of some is so extensive that you will probably never have to pay for an image again.
Created by
October 24, 2018
Having an online business is challenging enough. There are so many variables that one must be on top off. One of which is making sure that the images you have on your website are free to use and distribute and not in violation of any copyright law. This probably means that you will have to pay for your images to avoid being prosecuted. The good news for websites (especially small new ones) is that there are plenty of websites out there that host free stock images.

The question still is, “how good are free stock image websites?” the truth is, they are outstanding. The overall catalog of some is so extensive that you will probably never have to pay for an image again. Some offer high-quality, unique experiences that are almost unmatched by paid counterparts. Let's take a look at our five most favorite free stock websites.


Unsplash has quickly become one of the most popular stock photo websites of late. The website offers terrific high-resolution pictures that are expertly curated by the Unsplash team. This leaves for a highly unique experience that is unmatched by most of the other free stock websites that have tried to keep up with Unsplash.

Unsplash screenshot

Source: Unsplash

Where Unsplash excels is in their highly stylized take on the world of stock photography. Instead of offering pictures of general office meetings and computer equipment, Unsplash deliveries these images in the most creative way possible. An office meeting picture in Unsplash will most likely be in a high quality black and white silhouette format. Something geared more towards websites and brands that focus on design and great artwork.

This is perfect if you are a website that loves using creative photography throughout your blog posts. However, generic pictures may be necessary for some, and this is what Unsplash is lacking. The images on Unsplash are probably the best in the business when it comes to desktop and mobile wallpapers. The style of most of the pictures will perfectly compliment your smartphone or laptop.

There are plenty of high-resolution portrait images that are meant for mobile. If you plan to use laptops and smartphones in a video, then Unsplash images as wallpapers for these devices are the way to go. is another popular stock image website that offers excellent free lifestyle images. They can be seen as a decent alternative to Unsplash. The pictures that you will find on are unique and enticing. However, the photos don't seem to be as high quality as Unsplash.

Stocksnap screenshot

Source: Stocksnap offers a pure experience of good quality generic and lifestyle images that are suited for all kinds of websites and projects. You will find plenty of unique photos that are exclusive to this platform. This is a huge help, especially if you plan to create a unique experience by using good stock images on your website or blog.


Pexels is a stock image curation platform that specializes in selecting only the best stock images from a host of different sources. Pexels’ greatest asset is their insanely massive library of all kinds of images. Unlike the Unsplash and, Pexels doesn't mind stocking generic and familiar images. Because of this, Pexels doesn't have an unusual or unique vibe going for them.

Pexels -screenshot

Source: Pexels

However, all is not lost, because Pexels library of content is so vast and well curated and tagged, you will most certainly always find what you are looking for. If you open up three different free stock websites and type in search queries, it is more than likely that Pexels will come up with the most befitting results.

New Old Stock

New Old Stock is a free stock image website that is home to vintage black and white pictures. The images are courtesy of the public archive via Flickr Commons. Navigating New Old Stock to find the pictures that you want isn't like the other websites. This website is hosted by Tumblr and has a relatively simple template and layout.

Newoldstock -screenshot

Source: Newoldstock

The majority of the pictures that you find here at New Old Stock are amazing, vintage images. Both in color and black and white. As far as the licensing goes, you can download and use the photos for personal and non-commercial use. It even states that images from New Old Stock are ideal for those looking for pictures for Medium articles, personal blogs, and projects and hero images on 404 pages.


Pixabay is another crowd favorite that is very similar to Pexels regarding variety and availability of content. Pexels may still pull up more relevant images to match your search, but Pixabay will find more unusual content. The website will probably even find other content apart from images, such as vectors and illustrations.

Pixabay screenshot

Source: Pixabay

Pixabay is a good place to start if you are a blogger looking for great content to place within your articles. The images that you will find on Pixabay will help you transform your blog into an excellent website that is filled with unique and intriguing content.


  • Unsplash - High-resolution stock wallpaper images. Unique and artistic.
  • - Unique wallpaper that can set your blog apart from other websites.
  • Pexels - Large catalog of just the right sort of everyday images. A one-stop shop for all of your stock image needs.
  • New Old Stock - Wonderful vintage images that can help you stylize your website or blog.
  • Pixabay - A solid performer regarding quality free images. More than 780 thousand images on offer.

So to round off things. Unsplash is still a huge favorite as they are the leaders in free stock image creation and curation. The quality and uniqueness of their images are unmatched. Pexels has always been a go-to website for free stock images. Some of the reasons for this are their easy to navigate website and abundance of relevant content that is sure to suit your needs. If you are starting to look for great free images, then Pexels should be your starting point.

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