The best advice I can give anyone starting out in website or a client looking to set up a website is to NOT use free stock image websites. I’ve talked before about the dangers of using copyrighted images from the internet but this is a stylistic matter rather than a legal one.
The quality of free images is usually terrible
You can find images on the internet that you are legally allowed to use on your website for free but they are often either low resolution, poor quality or both. Many of these websites also insist that you provide a link to them on every page that uses an image. Also I have found the number of images you can choose from to be very small.
Good images cost less than you think
Don’t get me wrong, stock images can be expensive if you a resolution suitable for print work. However, for websites you rarely need massive images for anything and the cost is more reasonable. For example, the site I use www.123rf.com charges £11 (GBP) for 15 credits. 1 credit will get you an image that is 400 x 270 pixels, 2 credits will get you it at 850 x 570 pixels and for 3 credits you get a massive 2500 x 1670 pixels. Larger sizes are available.
So far I haven’t needed to spend more than 2 credits on an image for a website and as 1 credit works out at less than 75p you can see it doesn’t exactly break the bank! They also have better deals for larger amounts of credits.
You have to pay for quality75p isn’t much but it makes all the difference when it comes to quality. I’ve seen some awful free images but I’ve been really impressed with the range and the quality of images from paid stock sites. It also makes the process far quicker and easier if I can go to one place and I know I’ll get the image I need.
Here are a few sites to try: