A short guide to some of the best free and low price stock photography web sites - a useful resource for any web designer.
The importance of selecting the right stock images to use on your website is often not fully appreciated. The difference between good and bad stock photos and images can be vast and are a vital factor in good web design. A picture can say a thousand words after all, so careful selection of quality and relevant stock images is important.
There are a large number of free (or very cheap) stock photography web sites out there and while it may take more effort to find the correct image (compared to using the large expensive sites) if you are on a tight budget then it is definitely worth it.
Here is a short list of some of the more popular free (or very cheap) stock photography websites.
- stock.xchng - Probably the best free stock image website and one I use regularly.
- Stockxpert - A chargeable service from the makers of stock.xchng. Lots of useful images at low prices.
- iStockphoto - Another very cheap but professional stock photography website that is one of the major players in the industry. Its business template has been copied by many other stock photography websites.
- Big Stock Photo - Another excellent site to rival iStockphoto.
- Microsoft Office Clip Art and Media - A range of more than 150,000 free images and sounds from Microsoft.
- Wikimedia Commons - A large range of images that very widely in quality.
- Photos.com - A slightly more expensive service but useful as a tool to compare the range of images and quality available. If you require large amounts of stock photographs then a subscription to a site such as this may save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
- Best of the rest