A User Roadmap to Free Photo Websites

As a blogger, I like to keep things interesting by adding relevant images to my posts that engage you. Walls of text on their own will just make your eyes glaze over, so a bit of colour is no bad thing. Help is at hand in the form of User Roadmap that provides reviews to 95 – yes, I did just say 95, count ’em – Free Photo Websites.

Free images are a Good Thing™. Not merely free as in beer, although who wants to pay when you can get stuff for nothing? However, you also want to use images that are free as in speech; that is even more important than not having to pay for them in the first place.

Pretty, isn't it?

One of the many CC0+ Curated images available from Pexels.

Why is that so important? OK, let me put it like this; see that pretty photo just above this paragraph? Would you like to get sued for using it? For thousands of pounds or dollars? No, nor me oddly enough, but that is exactly what can happen if you don’t have permission from the copyright holder to use said image, or breach the license of the image… or if you really put your foot in it, both at once. I am not a lawyer, so if you’re unsure about this sort of stuff, you can read the section on their website that answers the question “What are licenses and why should I care about them?”

The main part of the site is the “Shop” except you’re paying zip for access and nothing for the images you use. Perhaps “Directory” would be a better term, but that’s just linguistic quibbling. The default listing is in alphabetical order by site name, but you can switch to popularity and newness (whether that’s of the content or of the site itself, I’m unsure), You can also filter by License, resolution, Attribution requirements, sign-in required, if they use a search box (eighteen don’t, which just boggles me) and if they provide image releases. There’s even a handy reset button once you’ve utterly confused matters by trying every filter at the same time – hey, don’t judge me, I’m a software tester too, remember?

I must confess I’ve not heard of most of the websites listed here so this is a real treasure trove for me. The breadth and depth of available content is impressive. There is a huge range of subjects and the sheer number of images is staggering. As an example, the image I’m using in this post comes from Pexels, which has about 30,000 images on it; that puts it at the smaller end of the spectrum compared to some others listed on User Roadmap. Safe to say I will be happy to use this resource for years to come. 🙂


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