Are you trying to up your game when it comes to graphics for your website? Here’s a list of the best free resources for creating great graphics!
Great graphics start with great backgrounds. Here are my favorite places to find high-quality images in the public domain (CC0). As long as you’re using the images legally, you don’t have to credit the artist.
Pixabay.com has all of the features that I value in a stock image site. First off, it is searchable. Images can be tagged so the results are pretty accurate to your search terms. Pixabay also returns search results as a tight grid, so you can quickly glance through the results and find what you’re looking for. They also return the top results from Shutterstock that you can purchase if you absolutely can’t find what you need in the public domain. One of Pixabay’s more unique features is the ability to sort by image type. They have categories for vector graphics, illustrations, photos and videos.
Gratisography.com pulls out all the stops. One thing I like about Gratisography is that its grid for viewing photos is a bit bigger than Pixabay’s. You can still get through the photos very quickly when searching, but also see a bit more detail. Gratisography also categorizes its photos into a few large groups (animals, nature, people, objects, etc.) to help narrow your search.
This is another awesome site. Stocksnap.io offers some unique search options. You can see trending photos, sort by date, views or downloads, and you can also do a regular keyword search. There’s also an option to look through categories in the Popular Searches area. Their results display in a grid format where you can see photo details and also scroll quickly.
Pexels.com is one of my honorable mentions. It works almost exactly the same way as Pixabay, but has a smaller database. It’s searchable, tagged, grid format, and you can see popular searches and categories. The only downside is that there isn’t as much selection as other stock photo sites
Unsplash.com is another honorable mention. It is a searchable database that comes through in grid or list format. You can see the newest photos in the collection, and you can see popular categories that are frequently searched. A unique feature that I love about Unsplash is their artist-curated collections. Different artists and contributors can create collections of their favorite images and make them available to users in the same section of the site as popular searches.
While pictures themselves speak a thousand words, sometimes you need to add some actual words to make sure you get your point across. Great graphics combine pictures and words to make people take another look. These free editing tools are my favorite for adding titles, overlays, and other effects to boost your brand.
PicMonkey.com does a great job. It has a simple interface that tells you exactly what you’re doing. No mysterious symbols or difficult navigation. It’s easy to undo things if necessary, and you can even create layers. They have several available fonts and you can also upload your own. You can also choose different levels of quality to save your creation in, just in case you need have smaller file sizes.
Canva.com has the edge when it comes to templates! They have just about every size template you could need. Any social media channel, posters, book covers, computer desktops, you name it. You can also create your own size image. In addition to different sizes, they have several available images, fonts, and ready-to-go graphics that you can use if you choose not to upload your own.
Fotor.com is awesome, and very similar to PicMonkey. There are numerous options for editing tools and it can get a tad overwhelming, but you can pin features to a favorites menu so that they appear at the top of your selection. Add overlays, text, filters, layers and almost anything else you can imagine!
Pablo by Buffer is excellent if you’re just working with your main social media channels. This site is built for making Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest graphics, and does it quickly. A big positive for Pablo is its integration with a stock photo database. This saves you a step, since you wouldn’t have to find and upload the image somewhere else before you start editing it!
There you have it! Now you can make the graphics you’ve always envied on other people’s sites. Pick a couple sites and start playing around. Good luck!