So, your business has hit the ground running with a great product or service? Fantastic! Now you’re looking to make a bigger splash with your online presence. The best websites create ripple effects with attractive websites. Not quite a tidal wave, but something to make users relaxed as they use it.
But what makes a website attractive? It may be beautiful photography, a clean layout, creative icons, or unique fonts. Websites that combine these ideals are often ahead of the pack and generate enough traffic to make the streets of Los Angeles pale in comparison.
The best part? Site owners don’t need to fork over hundreds of precious dollars to get such high-quality visual appeal. Stock photography or free fonts don’t have to look cheap.
There are plenty of sites that offer eye-catching photography, buttons, and fonts free of charge. Here are 60 sites you can use to improve the visual quality on your website without spending a dime.
These are the photography sites that get a lot of attention from web designers. All of them provide stunning photos to users, free of charge.
Flickr: Their huge archive contains millions of images that are free of charge or attribution, along with millions of others that require some sort of attribution or fee.
Unsplash: This site is a personal favorite. Their photography is incredible, interesting, and inexpensive.
PixaBay: They’ve got everything from normal photos to clip art. And it all looks dang good.
Freerange: Well-stocked with beautiful stock images. A login is all you need to get started.
SplitShire: Nothing like the shire from The Lord of the Rings, except for stunning visuals.
Kaboompics: Tons of high-quality images on a clean, minimalist website. They know what they’re doing.
Pexels: A great library of high-definition images, along with images pulled from other top-notch sites. No attribution required.
Startup Stock Photos: The name says it all. An outlet for startups (and everyone else) to find quality photography for free.
LibreShot: As their motto states, “Beautiful Photos. Totally Free.”
Life of Pix: This “LEEROY” (the ad agency that runs the site) guy certainly has a solid team of photographers.
FancyCrave: Photographer Igor Ovsyannykov was one of many who decided the world needed better stock images. He now publishes two daily for all to use.
Negative Space: Beautiful, free, high-resolution photos with no restrictions. Boom.
ISO Republic: Free stock photos for creatives, including small business owners!
Death to Stock Photo: This freemium service delivers the photo goods to your inbox on a monthly basis. The free stuff gets you the pictures, the premium stuff will help fund more creative projects.
Superfamous: The images provided by the crew at Superfamous Studios are unique and awe-inspiring. They are also free when attributing the source.
Picjumbo: Oh boy, these images look good. All are searchable and even attribution free.
Gratisography: Images are added weekly by photographer Ryan McGuire and are free of copyright restrictions.
Magdeleine: Beautiful landscapes and unique shots are all available at their intuitive site.
JayMantri: Another great spot for landscapes and beautiful shots in nature. As it says on the site, “Make magic.”
These might not get the notoriety of the websites above, but they still have high-quality, slightly more traditional stock photography.
SkitterPhoto: Photos from all over the world—all free of charge and attribution.
Freedigitalphotos.net: They have free stock images in smaller sizes with attribution required.
Stockphotosforfree: Their name is straight and to the point. Their images? Beautiful.
Stokpic: According to their site, you can do basically anything except for redistributing. They’ll send you 10 new photos every two weeks as well.
Freeimages: They’ve got plenty of abstract and not-so-abstract images, all free for use when crediting the source.
StockSnap: Hundreds of high resolution images added weekly. Free from copyright restrictions.
FindAPhoto: A conglomerate of images under the Creative Commons agreement.
MMT Stock: Photographer Jeffrey Betts has some great shots for any and all to use. Small business owners and others can use that same expertise to bring in viewers to their respective sites.
Picalls: Use their website to discover free images from great artists without having to hassle with copyrights.
HubSpot: What don’t they do at HubSpot? Among many other things, this online-marketing giant is also engaged in providing small businesses with great stock images.
Barn Images: Great images capturing architecture, city life, people and food. Signing up for their email list gets you visual marketing tips along with new images.
For those of you totally overwhelmed by all of these options (the paradox of choice, we get it), you can bypass them all with a search engine that looks for the best images from a few dozen of the best free websites.
LibreStock/a>: LibreStock uses places like UnSplash, Boss Fight, and 45 other sites to provide searchers with their preferred image.
Veezzle: Tons of images are available from Flickr, Wikimedia, and others. Make sure to look out for any copyright issues as not all are royalty-free.
Every Stock Photo: Users can search through collections from NASA, Library of Congress and others. All of the images are available in the public domain.
PicFindr: Searches through some obscure sites (and not just Flickr, like many others do) for royalty-free images. Just don’t get bogged down in the advanced search features.
Compfight: Locate the visual inspiration you need through this search engine. Make sure to check on attribution requirements.
Instead of using old-school or raster (pixel) graphics, vector graphics use math equations and a hefty helping of geometry to create images that can be scaled infinitely. That means good-looking pictures scaled any way you want without any loss in quality or fidelity to the original.
For the rest of us that can’t remember everything from geometry class, programs like Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw can do the vectoring for you. Here are some sites that provide awesome vector images for free.
Freedesignfile: A website dedicated to vector lovers who want to share their graphics. Most graphics are totally free, though some need attribution of some sort.
Vexels: Tons of great graphics to help with logos or backgrounds for websites. Small business owners can use the graphics as long as they attribute to the author.
Free Vintage Vectors: These images are cool. Like, straight-out-of-a-classic-science-book cool. All are free and scalable to any size.
Vector.me: The crew at Vector.me have made their logos and icons easily searchable. Just make sure to avoid the premium content if you want it for free.
Flaticon: Awesome vector-style icons for any and all small businesses to make their websites pop. Attribute the author and you’re on your way.
Fudge Graphics: They have textures, vectors and brushes to keep your content fresh and unique. Did we mention that it’s free?
Freepik: Users can take any of the amazing logos and tags created by Freepik to get that clean, professional look. All you need is to credit the author.
Dry Icons: Does dry have to mean bland? Not with Dry Icons. There are a boatload of sweet images ready to use for websites. Make sure to attribute!
VectorPortal: They’ve been at the top of their game since 2005, so you know the vectors they have are top-notch. Most of the images are available for commercial use without attribution.
Here are some of the websites that deal in unique or vintage images. Some even allow users to edit their image. Did we mention these websites are free too?
Unrestricted Stock: Tons of hand-drawn images along with buttons and anything else necessary to get a website off the ground.
Clker: Users can upload and vectorize images as well as download attribution-free clip-art.
Vecteezy: They’ve got vector art, icons, and patterns. They even have an editor to help make each vector fully customizable.
Viintage: This site has plenty of old-school images available in the public domain.
New Old Stock: Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions.
Vintage Stock Photos: Just create an account on their website and a plethora of old and often hilarious images are available for use.
These are just a few search engine options that look for images in the Creative Commons or royalty-free images. They are great to use when looking for standard stock photography.
Google: Of course, we don’t want to forget good ole Google. Unsurprisingly, they have a great search engine to help small business owners find the royalty-free images they need.
Wikimedia Commons A great starting point for a basic search of relevant images. They may not be the most breathtaking, but they might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Fotor: 335 million free stock photos. 220 million of those are attribution free under the Creative Commons license. Dang.
Creative Commons: A host of search engines with images that don’t require any royalties or attribution.
The importance of fonts can’t be overstated. School taught us that 12-point, Times New Roman was the god of fonts. Resumes must have clean and professional fonts for HR to forward them on. If you want no one to take you seriously, use a font like Comic Sans.
For business owners, it’s just like a resume—keep it clean and keep it professional. Here are some free font website options to make your website stand out against the competition.
FontSpace: They love fonts, especially free ones. We love them for it.
FontSquirrel: You can search this site to get the font look you want. There are a ton of options, and they’re all free.
UrbanFonts: One of many in the freemium category. This crew has a great selection of fonts that make us want to type a little more.
Creative Bloq: Nothing like writer’s block, we promise. They’ve curated 50 of the best fonts out there for you to try on your website or blog.
1001 Fonts: Well over 1,001 fonts at your disposal. However, not all of them are available for commercial use.
Free Font Utopia: Free fonts have met their match. Free Font Utopia does all of the heavy lifting to find the best fonts to create a unique and eye-catching look for your site.
Brad Hanks is in charge of Growth at ZipBooks.