You already know my stance on how awesome creative commons licensing is. The only way to one up that is to have resources that don’t require citation. In other words, royalty free or public domain products such as images. Pixabay is a site where volunteer photographers, subsisting on donations, upload royalty-free images for free download.
It doesn’t have an enormous collection of the proportions of Google images or Flickr, but it does an excellent job of just getting you what you want. Here are the main highlights of the site.
- Advertisements are minimal and non-existent if you contribute 10 images of your own.
- If you sign up for an account, you can download as many as you want with no capcha. When not logged in, you must enter a capcha to download and can’t download maxresolution images.
- The site’s design and theme are very clean. Unlike many free image sites, Pixabay actually looks good.
- Browse by category, image type, orientation, transparency, and color – reasonable filtering to find what you need.
- No annoying premium account requests – Uploaders make money through donations
- Almost all images are royalty-free which means no attribution required.
Here are a few examples of Images I’ve used from Pixabay on this site alone
As you can see, where Pixabay excels is at stock photography. There are many images that are actually high quality and can serve as pretty good featured images for your posts. That’s been the main way that I’ve been using them. One problem with featured images and creative commons is that most themes don’t let you attribute the featured image in the caption. That means, to legally use a creative commons image as your featured image, you have to attribute the image elsewhere like your pages body or a custom field. With Pixabay, you can literally just upload and publish. If you need an image resource for your blog, for your news site, or constructing YouTube thumbnails then I would strongly recommend giving the site a try.