How To Find and Get Free Images For Your Website

When an artist or writer creates a work, often they will select or gather images that pertain to the specific idea in which they are writing.

Gaining the attention of a potential browser is one of the most critical points to selling an idea or production. The visual senses of all people are attracted by beautiful pictures, especially when they pertain to something of interest. If a writer or content publisher can grab the attention of someone passing by they are much more likely to turn them into a customer.

When appealing images are placed within a website or blog it is a good practice to name the images according to what they represent. This will help the search engines find the content and index it faster and will even bring a few extra visits through image search results. The images should be captivating if at all possible. A website that simply posts useless and meaningless images is just as bad as a website that does not use images.

Where to find free images

Digital camera technology has enabled even the most novice photographer to capture images in stunning detail and clarity. The most obvious source for free images is simply using a personal digital camera. Not everyone has access or the means to use a digital SLR camera, but pocket size cameras can easily capture high resolution images for use in any media project. One consideration that should be kept in mind is to avoid trademarks and proprietary logos that could appear in an image.

Another great source and probably one of the best, is Wikimedia commons. This media resource can be used to find images for free, according to creative commons licensing. Image content is categorized into many sections such as topic, location, type, author, license, and source.

Flickr is another source to find images for free, which is literally inexhaustible. Millions of people share images on this social network every day and many are often personal images which have no commercial royalty implications. Flickr has recently implemented a licensing option for images. The license is clearly stated by creative commons in order to avoid any confusion. If there is a question regarding the license of an image, a messaging tool allows users to send messages; and most photographers will allow their images to be used at no cost if credit is given for their work.

The Image search feature on Google images produces millions of results for nearly any image query. However, it is critical that consideration is given to the license of the images as many are copyrighted rather than free. The image search does allow for a query to be made for free images only, It is recommended when searching with this tool that the option is used to search only for free or creative commons license types. The Creative commons license type must be observed for free images because there may be additional terms described by the license which will be discussed later in the article.

Copy images to a website

No one single method can be applied for all types of communications. Publishing images to websites and blogs can require completely different procedures than publishing an image in a magazine or advertising brochure. If these processes are considered prior to beginning a project then time, space and cost can be controlled to a minimum.

Some of these basic processes are demonstrated briefly in the video titled “images for free”. Hotlinks, downloads and other methods should be considered. Once the various methods are learned then they will become second nature and the process is much more efficient.

However, some website administrators consider hotlinking to be bandwidth theft, especially if their website cost is determined by the amount of bandwidth used each month. Copying images to a social blog or bulletin board post is very simple for websites that have implemented a hotlink code method. These websites will often display a share or post feature. HTML and/or BBcode are two of the typical options that allow for easy hotlinking of freely shared images.

Displaying a free hotlinked image on a blog, website or bulletin board could not be easier. When a hotlinked image is utilized this will offload the bandwidth from the website being displayed. To use an image as a hotlink it is best to find a site that generates this code already, then the code can be used as a template to utilize this for other free images from sites that do not generate the code. Typically code will be generated for Bulletin Board (BBCode) or pure Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). This code can then simply be copied from the site and pasted directly into a form for a bulletin board post or into a websites html page by content management system (CMS) tool etc.

Derivative Works with Free Images

Static documents such as brochures, greeting cards, magazines and other physically printed medium are designed using images that are manipulated and edited on a local PC. Although this process is more involved it does allow for great customization and changes to be made to a royalty free images for commercial use that has been downloaded from the internet. Again, creative commons intellectual property rights licensing must be observed. Some license types allow for derivative works to be created as long as the original author is credited but then again some do not allow their work to be changed.


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