Have you ever wondered why your website struggles with engagement and conversion rates? Despite crafting brilliantly written content, chances are you overlook a crucial ingredient for success in this digital era – visuals!

Humans are visual learners as our eyes process 36000 visual messages per hour. Notable, isn’t it? What’s more astonishing is that 90% of the information sent to our brain is visual, and we process it 60,000 times quicker than text! Therefore, incorporating visual content strategy is essential if you want your website’s visitors to remain interested till the end.

Images are a type of visual content that increases the engagement of your web page. Not only do they add depth and dimension to your brand, but they also resonate with the consumer personally. However, finding good quality and suitable photos for your website is a challenging task. 

Custom photos are undeniably a great way to make your website content look visually appealing. However, stock photos can save the day if your brand is not in a position to come up with these due to time or money constraints. They are the best way to access millions of images and vectors that spice up your otherwise bland content.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 9 top-notch paid and free stock photo sites of 2022 that will help you find the perfect images for your website. Let’s begin!

  1. Adobe Stock — Paid 

If you are a digital marketer or a graphic designer, you must be familiar with Adobe Suite. It is a terrific editing tool that can help elevate your website’s visual appeal. Adobe Stock, a branch of the giant design software Adobe, is a high-end stock photography website. It provides millions of curated stock photos, images, music, art, vectors, illustrations, and even templates to create eye-catching inspirational content. It satisfies your monstrous hunger for creativity effortlessly. 

Also, this stock photo site is fantastic for people who already use Adobe software. As a member, you can use other tools like Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator to create unique customized photos for your web page. With a 30-day free trial period and ten images to start with, it allows its users to get familiar with the site. If convinced, you can check out its affordable pricing plan and kickstart your creative projects. 

Why choose Adobe Stock? 

  • Innovative and robust search engine.
  • It has multiple categories with fantastic content.
  • Subscribers can contribute to the image library. 
  • Allows users to earn passive income by selling their photography on the website. 
  • The database is renewed daily with high-quality trending photos, videos, and audio to provide users with a premium visual digital experience. 
  1. Unsplash – Free

Unsplash was launched in 2013, and since then, it’s been one of the most popular websites for stock photography. It’s completely free, so you can get access to as many photos as you want without having the hassle of navigating through copyrights and licensing issues. With more than four million photos by over 300000+ pro and semi-pro photographers, it is a hub of modern, unique, and fresh images. 

Its search engine is incredibly robust. With a visual search option now available, finding images for your website has become easier than ever. What’s more impressive is that you can find imagery, wallpaper, textures, and designs related to popular topics and trends from the sidebar. You can also type your keyword and get access to a plethora of vivid, colorful images that suit your basic content needs. 

Moreover, it has a collections feature that sorts photos according to themes such as shadow play, rainy days, double exposure, and so much more. The blog feature on this website benefits users by guiding and updating them with the latest tips and tricks regarding stock photography. 

 Why choose Unsplash? 

  • Contains high-resolution photos. 
  • User-friendly mobile application. 
  • The website is updated with new images every day. 
  • It is well-integrated with many popular tools. 
  • Its current events sections keep you in touch and let you share newsworthy material on your sites to maintain their popularity. 
  1. Stock Photo Secrets Shop — Paid

Stock Photo Secrets Shop is your go-to website for finding photos, fonts, videos, and vectors with ultimate ease. It is a paid website that offers subscriptions based on plans and image packs. Also, its licensing differs if you plan to resale the images as it requires purchasing an extended license compared to the standard. 

Its search engine is fast, with visual and refined search options. The latter search feature entails the user filtering the image based on orientation, search type, and much more. You can also find the best results according to the sorting criteria; relevance, newest, curated, and popularity. 

With the top categories section, you can find themes straight away, thus saving time and effort in finding the perfect image for your web page. Plus, the search settings option on the top right corner allows you to choose your preferred thumbnail size and number of results per page. 

Why choose Stock Photo Secrets Shop? 

  • Aesthetic and appealing user interface.
  • Search tips guide you to make the most of this site.
  • It has a safe search option that levels up your security game.
  • It has a free EPS Converter to convert your EPS files to PNG, PDF, and JPG.
  1. Pixabay — Free

Pixabay has a substantial library of stunning and royalty-free stock images. It also has a diverse range of videos, illustrations, vectors, GIFs, music, and sound effects. The great thing about this stock photography site is that it contains over 2.7 million curated stock assets – all free!

Its layout and search engine are easy to navigate, allowing you to access desired photos with a few simple clicks. But, if you are struggling to find something or don’t have a specific idea, you can check out its Editor’s choice section. It highlights the best images chosen by the website’s dedicated team. So whatever your needs are, with this vast library, you will easily find content that relates to your brand and supplements the written text beautifully. 

Why choose Pixabay? 

  • It has a wide range of premium graphical content. 
  • Its blog keeps its users up-to-date with the latest trends. 
  • With Pixabay, there are no worries about licensing or unexpected copyright issues. 
  • The website has a simple interface with no learning curve allowing users of all knowledge backgrounds to navigate easily.
  1. Stockphotos — Paid 

If you are searching for a one-stop shop for stock photography and image editing, Stockphotos is the right place. With a growing library of 8 million photos, its media constantly updates with high-quality images that cover almost every niche. It’s also integrated with an AI Image Upscaler that allows you to resize the photo according to your desired resolution without compromising the quality of the picture.

If this was not impressive enough, it’s linked with Canva Pro – the best image editing tool. The website interface is simple and easy to navigate. Also, it features a blog page that updates the customers regarding other stock imagery sites and provides many additional helpful insights. 

Why choose Stock Photos? 

  • It is one of the most affordable, top-notch stock photography sites. 
  • It provides users with discounts and coupons from platforms like iStock and Shutterstock. 
  • The website offers access to free stock photos from many other famous brands as well. 
  1. Vecteezy — Free + Paid 

Vecteezy has an extensive library of stunning stock images and much more to help you design your web pages beautifully. Its landing page is attractive, with a robust search engine that filters the content effortlessly. Also, it has free and pro plans depending on your budget needs. 

The thing that sets it apart from other stock photo sites is its extensive filter element. You can narrow your search according to licensing, hex color code, orientation, image style, number of people, and age to get the best match. Plus, the quality of imagery is unbeatable as Vecteezy’s team reviews every photo to ensure it meets their high-quality standards. 

Why choose Vecteezy? 

  • The trending feature helps find popular images.
  • Easy to tell apart free and paid images. 
  • Access to millions of photos, vectors, and videos. 
  1. Depositphotos – Paid 

With over 234 million royalty-free images, Depositphotos is home to high-resolution photos, vectors, illustrations, videos, SFX, and even music. This vast collection helps you to find a unique picture for your webpage. Also, the comfortable design of this website enables users to access desired content without fuss. You can filter the results according to color, size, and other specifications. 

This stock photo site also has a diverse range of tools to enhance images, such as reverse image search logo maker, free background remover, and more. Moreover, you can find a limited amount of free photos in its 7-day free trial period. If convinced, you can opt for its on-demand or other subscription plans per your needs. 

Why choose Depositphotos?

  • The visual content is fantastic and contemporary.
  • It offers live customer support 24/7 in 20 languages. 
  • The Depositphotos blog keeps you in the loop with all the latest trends. 
  • It is an excellent platform to add your photos and collection for future use. 
  1. Shutterstock — Paid 

Did you know Shutterstock is one of the most premium stock photography sites, with an average of 336,000 active subscribers in 2021? In the same year, they also generated annual revenue of about $773.4 million. Impressive, isn’t it? This stock imagery site has one of the largest databases of royalty-free photos, videos, vectors, 3D models, illustrations, and sounds. This website is famous and a favorite among content creators for its versatile collection and constantly updated media. 

Plus, it offers professional quality templates that you can customize according to your company’s needs. It also has seamless integration with many image editor tools such as collage maker, image resizer, color palette, and photo editor to craft and customize visually appealing images for your website. 

Why choose Shutterstock? 

  • The website boasts around 415 million images, videos, and more. 
  • It helps you to keep up with trends with its curated and offset collection. 
  • Provides ultimate deals and discounts to its users. 
  • The website offers individual packages and team/enterprise accounts at an affordable price. 
  • It has introduced a new catalog feature with a free login that allows users to access and manage the content in one place. This feature is fantastic as you don’t have to worry about data loss and can give your systems a breath of space. 
  1. iStock — Paid 

No stock photography article is complete without mentioning this iconic low-cost but high-on-quality website – iStock. It contains millions of stock photos, illustrations, music, video, and vector content that suit your creative project needs. The website also offers multiple image editing tools to enhance the image’s visual appeal. 

Its interface is relatively straightforward to navigate, with a comprehensive search engine function. The explore option enables users to search and filter trendy content according to regions, industry, and time. It doesn’t have a free trial. But it does provide its registered users with a weekly dose of three photos and illustrations, and videos for free inspiration each month.

Why choose iStock? 

  • It offers affordable pricing plans. 
  • Many HD and 4K video clips are available. 
  • Provides visual GPS insights that let you understand user interest. 
  • The website has Exclusive graphical content from incredibly talented photographers.
  • It offers promo codes and various discounts to its users. 
  • The website has a partnership with popular brands across the globe. 

Final Thoughts

Stock photos are essential to enhance the visual appeal of your website. If you are a content designer, visit these websites and check out their unique, fresh content. However, if you need clarification about the dynamics of creating visually aesthetic content, it’s best to trust a professional web design and marketing agency. They have access to premium stock photography sites along with a skilled team. You can talk to them about your brand ideology and mutually decide what themes and images to go with to craft a unique, eye-catching website for your online business.