Adding an image to your blog post or website page can add a significant impact to attracting visitors. Not only will the article be more appealing but even Search Engines will index the image and serve it up in their Image Results when it matches the keywords searched for. This will boost your overall search ranking for those particular keywords. However, it is not always easy to find the right images for your article. It is even more difficult to find the right images, which are royalty-free or which can be used freely for commercial purposes. Using images which are copyright protected or for which you do not have an appropriate license, may lead you into some trouble or maybe even a legal mess. This article helps you with sourcing some clipart and images which you can use in your WordPress blog or website for free, even for commercial or business use.
Many webmaster have heard of Creative Commons and have seen images tagged with it on Wikipedia. However, very few people know that there is a huge library of such images, which are in the public domain and are free to use in your website or blog. These images are contributed by a variety of websites and their users. The creative commons website allows you to search for creative commons images based on a keyword, across websites which have such images on offer.
Wikimedia Commons is also similar to the Creative Commons Database. The welcome page of Wikimedia Commons lists the most appropriate explanation of what it really is:
“Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers.”
Another interesting place to look at for your image needs is Microsoft Office ClipArt in the Microsoft Office Program. As per the EULA of the Office Program, you can use these images in any document or for any work as long as you are not distributing only the image. Microsoft also allows access to its huge database of quality clipart and graphics at office.com. These images are of high resolution and some are even in vector format. You can download images and use them in your website or blog without a hassle. The Office.com Terms also mention that you can use these images in any document, even if it is for commercial purposes.
As their website mentions, “Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.” Flickr is a major source of image for the open source community and helps in promoting the unfettered exchange of information over the internet. The WP Plugin called Wp-Inject assists you in searching for images on flickr and then adding them to your articles in a jiffy.
Pixabay’s description of themselves is pointed and very clear. No technical jargon or fancy words to let you know that they offer free images. Their website says “Finding free images of high quality is a tedious task – due to copyright issues, attribution requirements, or simply the lack of quality. This inspired us to create Pixabay – a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings and free photos. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.”
To make things simpler, there is also a WordPress plugin available for Pixabay, which will allow you to directly search and add image from Pixabay without having to upload / download or do a jig.
If you are still hungry for more images, why not try out OpenClipart. It also has the same advantage as Pixabay i.e. there is a WordPress plugin available which will allow you to pull images into your blog post or page, directly from OpenClipart’s website.