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The Best Stock Photo Sites

Cheap Stock PhotosHaving the right graphics is an integral part of your website. They are part of your menus, website layout, product descriptions and help deliver the overall impression you want your prospects and customers to get from your website.

Choosing your photo stock images and web page graphics is easiest if you have a concept in mind. If you have a site about bicycles, perhaps a stock photo of people having a great time riding the type of bike you sell would add some life to your design. For an Internet marketer, your best photo stock choices would be images of people, money or expensive things.

There are a wide variety of opinions regarding what makes a good website design. But one thing professional designers agree on is that well placed, quality stock photos can really make a website pop. That professional look can mean the difference between a bookmark or a sale and a visitor clicking the back button.

So where do you get these professional stock photos? There are a number of excellent stock photo sites where you can get cheap stock photos, royalty free images and professional digital stock photographs. There are even places where you can get free stock photos for use on your website – personal AND commercial.

The Best Stock Photo Sites (An iStockPhoto Review)

iStockPhotoThe best stock photo site in existence is iStockPhoto. They offer the largest collection of stock photos, vector illustrations, stock video footage, audio tracks and Flash® files on the web. The images are all high quality, royalty free and come with a legal guarantee that you can use them within your license without worrying about infringing on anybody’s copyright.

The stock images at iStockPhoto cover just about any subject you can think of. Their website is easy to use too. All images are associated with relevant keywords. That means you just search for your subject and you will see tons of great images that fit your search perfectly. The same goes for their stock videos, vector images, audio and Flash® files. With more than 70,000 artists from all over the world contributing their artwork to iStockPhoto, you are sure to find what you need to give your website the exact look you desire.

So what about the price? iStockPhoto has many ways to buy stock photos – all of which offer affordable and very competitive pricing. The price depends on the size of the stock photo. For most websites, you don’t need huge images like you would for print ads and presentations. That means you can get top quality images on the cheap. They even have a dollar bin!

We use iStockPhoto for all of our stock photo needs. Every time we need a stock photo, we easily find the image that fits our concept perfectly. If you have not had the opportunity to visit iStockPhoto definitely check them out and sign up. Visit iStockPhoto today and get the best stock photos for your website.

Where to Find Free Stock Photos

There are quite a few places on the web where you can get free stock photos. You can also find website graphics for free, but they’re usually outdated or not professional looking. So, we are going to stick to free stock photo sites in this section.

While there is an abundance of free images out there, you do get what you pay for. When you search these sites, they will have example images from paid sites (like iStockPhoto) above your search results. You will instantly be able to identify the quality differences. That’s not to say free stock photography is bad, some of it is actually of quite high quality. What we are saying is that the sites where you buy stock photos have images that more closely represent the concept you are searching for and have more professional looking photographs and illustrations.

One thing that we can’t stress enough when discussing free stock photos is this:

  • When downloading free stock photos always read the license and terms of use!

Just because they are free does not mean you can do anything you want with them. Some are free for non-commercial use only, others cannot be used in logos or as product endorsements. Image misuse or a license terms violation could put you in hot water, so read that license.

Here is a list of sites where you can get free stock photos and web graphics:

  • Wikimedia Commons – A searchable repository of millions of freely available media files under various licenses.
  • Freerange Stock – A decent free stock photo site with images that are OK for commercial use.
  • SXC: Stock.XCHNG – Probably the best free stock photo website on the Internet. Fully searchable with thousands of photos and some great web graphics, icons and buttons
  • morgueFile – Free images use in your creative work, be it commercial or not.
  • Web Photo Mart – The second best free stock photographs site. Over 9000 free images. Just be sure to read the license for each image because they vary.

There are also public domain images available for free. Here are a few sites where you can find them:

  • Public Domain Photos – A collection of over 5000 public domain stock photos.
  • Public Domain Pictures.net – Royalty free stock photos. All pictures are free for commercial & personal use.
  • Public Domain Image.com
  • U.S. Government Photos and Images – Most of these images and graphics are available for use in the public domain, and they may be used and reproduced without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license. We strongly recommend you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use.

 

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