376 Super-Useful Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain Websites

72 amazing comments

Want some “free” resources? Here’s a massive list of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain websites where you can find photos, images, sounds, music, backgrounds, fonts, icons, logos and more.

When you run a blog or website it can be a little difficult to find the resources you need without paying a fortune for them.

Lucky for us, there are hundreds of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain websites that provide all sorts of goodies that you can use on your blog (and sometimes without a credit!).

Hit Ctrl-B (Windows) or Command-B (Mac OS) to bookmark this post for later!

What do Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain mean? Is it all free? Do I need to add a credit? Help!

As you might know, you can’t just find an image, photo, song, etc. on Google and use it on your blog like it’s your own.

Pretty much anything that has been “created” has copyright protection and using it without permission, payment and/or a credit can land you in trouble unless the creator has expressly said “Do whatever you want without a credit!“.

Let’s have a quick look at the main types of licenses we want to keep an eye out for when using different items like photos and videos on our blogs:

  • Royalty Free – This is usually where you pay a one-time fee to the owner and they grant you a license to use their copyrighted item in certain situations. You usually can’t resell it or use it as a logo, branding, etc. Most stock photo sites use some version of this, for example. Learn more.
  • Creative Commons – These are a series of licenses where an otherwise copyrighted work is made freely available to distribute under certain conditions. There are several types of CC license such as Non-Commercial and Zero which all have different ways they can and can’t be used. Learn More.
  • Public Domain – This generally refers to a resource that falls outside of copyright and intellectual property laws and doesn’t belong to any one artist but actually belongs to the public at large. Learn more.

When going through the websites mentioned in this post it’s very important to do your own research and pay attention to the type of license it is under and what restrictions that places you under.

You might need to give a credit, pay a fee, or you might have to do none of that. But make sure you check! Sometimes the rules vary from country to country and I am not a lawyer so you’ll have to read the terms on each site as you go.

A huge list of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain websites

Okay, now that all of that stuff is out of the way, let’s get right in to the complete list of sites we could find broken down into sections of photos and images, backgrounds and textures, videos and motion backgrounds, music and sound effects, icons and logos, and, lastly, fonts and typography.

Websites with Photos and Images

When you run a blog or website one of the most difficult issues can be finding consistently beautiful photos and images to use in articles, eBooks and other forms of content.

Everyone is a bit bored of corporate stock photos and wants something a bit more interesting, but sometimes it can be hard to find nice stuff that you’re actually allowed to use without that same photo also being on every other blog.

What follows is a huge list of websites that publish photos under Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and/or Public Domain licenses that have millions of photos and images that you can use on your blog. Again, make sure you read through all the terms and conditions before throwing an image up on your site to make sure you understand how it should be correctly used.

Pexels // Old Book Illustrations // Gratisography // Wikimedia Commons // Unsplash // LibreShot // Dreamstime // NASA // Morguefile // Freerange // Flickr Commons // FreeStocks.org // Public Domain Pictures // Pixabay // Magdeleine // ISO Republic // Public Domain Vectors // FancyCrave // 1 Million Free Pictures // Camarama // CreativeCommons.Photos // Crow the Stone // Epicantus // FindA.Photo // Free Stock Photos // Jay Mantri // Realistic Shots // Reusable Art // Skitterphoto // Medical Heritage Library // Europeana Collection // Free Media Goo // Free Nature Stock // Free Stock Image Point // FreeImages.Pictures // FreePhotosBank // StockSnap.io // Startup Stock Photos // The British Library // The Public Domain Review // Viintage // Public Domain Archive // Pic4Learning // Photogen // ABS Free Pic // Image*After // Publicdomainfiles // ShotStash // JESHOOTS // DesignerPics.com // Everystockphoto.com // Negative Space // Death to the Stock Photo // SpaceX // Stockvault // Foodies Feed // FreeImages // Fancy Crave // FreeImages.red // From Old Books // FreePhotos.se // Pic Pac // PDPics // Picdrome // Burst // UPICM // Yale University Art Gallery // Unrestricted Stock // The U.S Department of State // Trunklog.com // BARA Art // U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library // The Defense Visual Information Center // DrStockPhoto // Makerbook // Fotoscopy // FreeUse.io // Skuawk // FreeQration // US Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library // NOAA Photo Library // A Digital Dreamer // Abstract Influence // USDA Agricultural Research Service // PolarFox // Photo Rack // stokpic // Focus Fitness // Large Photos // Iwaria // Oliur Rahman // Stocka // Shutteroo // Creative Vix // Barn Images // Snapwire Snaps // Snappy Goat // Little Visuals // Visual Hunt // Phototeria // Public C Photo // Photos-public-domain // 4 Free Photos // Clker.com // Image After // Stock.XCHNG // Yeah! Stock Photos // The Stocks // Freetems // Google LIFE // MMT // Raumrot // re:splashed // RGBStock // Paul Jarvis // Stock Up // Stockpic // Smithsonian // StockSnap.io // NOBL Web // Snapographic // TurboPhoto // PicJumbo // Pickup Image // Cupcake // Bossfight // Freely Photos // New Old Stock // SplitShire // Picography // Travel Coffee Book // Tookapic // Moveeast // Moni’s Photo // Splashbase // PicMelon // PLiXS // Glyphs.co // My Stock Photos // Slon // nappy // Soul Photos // Nomad Pictures // StyledStock // Lensicle // PixZoyd // Avopix //OneLeft Media // Duion // Topers Photos // MarblePics // DavAlign // The Famous Artists // Totally Free Images // Free Vintage Illustrations // My Public Domain Pictures // National Archives // Images in the Public Domain // Online Archive of California // Realgraphy // FreeImages.red // Pickle Jar // Street Will // Life of Pix

Websites with Backgrounds and textures

When you run a blog it can be really useful to differentiate it by using a different background. Similarly, you might have an opt-in form that has a bit of text and a button on it that could be made a bit more interesting with a texture or some kind of pattern behind it.

Here are a few websites that give you backgrounds and textures that you can use in various formats and on things like blogs, websites, eBooks, promotions, and more. Again, make sure you check the license before you use it, especially if it’s a commercial use.

Lost and Taken // The Pattern Library // Mayang’s Free Texture // Free Stock Textures // WebTreats // Webdesignerlab // TextureZoom // Textures.com // Photoshop.cc

Websites with Videos and Motion Backgrounds

There is a big trend at the moment where people have a video as the background on the header of their homepage. This is usually done to make a good first impression and to encourage people to see their work or get an email sign up.

The next set of sites that we have for you are related to videos and motion backgrounds which can be super useful for fancy header areas and making your blog or website come to life. Just make sure that your website doesn’t get slowed down too much because some of these files can be really large.

Mazwai // Pixabay // Pexels Videos // Vimeo // Motion Elements //Videezy // NASA // Life of Vids // Videvo // Coverr // Distill // Dissolve // IM Free // Flickr Creative Commons // Footage Crate // Free HD Footage // Free Loops // XStockVideo // Stock Footage for Free // Vimeo Free HD Stock Footage // Cute Stock Footage // Alex Free Stock Video // Archive.org // Pond5 // Clip Canvas // Detonation Films // Hollywood Camera Work // Ignite Motion // Open Images // orangeHD // The Tanuri Experiment // The NewsMarket // Wikimedia Commons // Fancy Footage Club // Clipcanvas // Motion Elements // Motion Background // IgniteHD

Websites with Music and sound effects

Have you ever listened to a podcast like NPR or This American Life and noticed how well produced it sounds? Often that is because they incorporate sounds effects and background music that really brings the content to life.

While I don’t really recommend adding music to your blog (it’s a bit annoying) you might have some other uses for sounds effects like on YouTube videos, video intros and other more visual items.

Take a look at this list of Royalty Free, Creative Commons and Public Domain websites and see if anything could be useful in making your sound or video production a little more entertaining and professional.

Jamendo // AudionautiX // Josh Woodward // TeknoAXE // PacDV // Music for Makers // Bensound // Incompetech // Free Soundtrack Music // Musopen // Twin Musicom // TimBeek // Our Music Box // McFarland BEATS // FXhome // Free to Use Sounds // Zapsplat // Sound Bible // The Motion Monkey // Sound Image // SoundGator // 99sounds

Icons, logos and vector images

Here’s a bunch of websites that provide free logos, clip arts and icons which you can use on your site or for creating graphics.

A lot of them have specific icon-sets of objects, social media icons, animals and niche-specific content. So you can use them even in eBooks, infographics or other illustration purposes.

Icons are really great for bringing a site to life and can often increase conversions on buttons and other downloadable items by drawing attention to the fact that your link isn’t just an ordinary one, and your button isn’t just an image.

Smashing Magazine // Flat Icon // MrIcons // Pixeden // Vecteezy // Material Design Icons // Glyphsearch // Endless Icons // IconBug // Perfect Icons // Soft Icons // Free Clipart Now // Webweaver // Freerange Stock // Logodust // Freepik // Gravual // WPClipart // Behance // Free Vectors // Vector4Free // Web Design Freebies // Captainicon // Good Stuff No Nonsense // DeviantArt // Dribble // Best PSD Freebies // Iconfinder // GraphicBurger // Designbeep // Oxygenna // Dafont // Free Goodies for Designers // FreebiesBug // Iconmelon // PixelsMarket // GraphicsFuel // Fribly // Icojam // Blurgraphic // Public Domain Vectors // Icons Shock // CSS Author // Creative Tail // All Free Download // Ego Icons // AlienValley // Aiconica // Public Domain Clip Art // Dreamstale // DuckFiles // Open Clipart Library // Clker // Open Photo // 1001 Free Downloads // All Silhouettes // GraphicsBay // NounProject // Iconmonstr // Fusionplate // Dryicons // Glyphicons // Entypo // Endless Icons // Iconic // Icons8 // IcoMoon // Vectorish // Vector Goods // Fontello // IconArchive // Iconathon // Entypo // Pixabay // Cool Vectors // Spread // Free Vector Maps // Vector Portal // Vectors for All // 123freevectors // Vector EPS // Squid Ink // Blugraphic // Vector.me // Qvectors // Lightstock // For Designer // Vectorian // Web Design Hot // Vecto2000 // Freevectors.me // All Vectors // Vector Junky // Vector Open Stock // Logo Open Stock // Magic People // Digimadmedia // Scalablegfx // 365psd // Openclipart

Fonts and Typography

The font that you use one your blog or website is super important because it can have an effect on how easily it is to read your posts, how beautiful your site looks, and how well your brand is expressed visually. Here are a bunch of websites where you can find all sorts of fonts to use.

Take a look at a site like Google Fonts first because it will help you match fonts to your brand and see which ones work together. It will also show you how to incorporate them with your website through various coding options so as to make sure that your site looks nice but doesn’t get slowed down by the file.

Smashing Magazine // Public Domain Files // Behance // Font Squirrel // 1001 Fonts // Open Font Library // Font Library // Google Fonts // Wild Type // The League of Movable Type // Font Fabric // My Fonts // All Free Download // DaFont // Artimasa // Ten by Twenty // Fontcab // Neogrey

Conclusion

I’d like to give a big thank you to Vishal for all his help on this post. I really hope this collection of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain websites has been useful to you and helps you to find some niche free stuff to use on your blogs. Please let me know if you think anything is missing from the list and I’ll make sure to add it.

Top photo © Daniel Villeneuve.

Ramsay from Blog Tyrant

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72 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Ian Clifford

    That’s a killer list Ramsay. Bookmarked, shared and printed! No doubt I’ll come back to it time and again.

    Thanks for putting it together.

    Ian


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps! Although I hope the printing paper was recycled. 😉


      1. Ian Clifford

        For sure! I don’t print much but I have a mighty reference folder and being old I find paper is sometimes better to have to hand for my brain!

        Fully recycling though – of course.

        Ian


  • Oyekan

    This is ‘insanely cool post.this is hard work here. This is like a manual post for me.and shared on Facebook. great work here.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you!


  • Shamim

    Thanks a lot Ramsay.

    It will be really helpful for me and my students who need a lot of images ahead. 🙂

    Thanks,


    1. Ramsay

      Oh that is great to hear!


  • Pradeep Chaudhary

    Amazing collection! Thanks for this kind of details. I’m damn sure that I will need this things in future. Bookmarked and saved as an important article!


    1. Ramsay

      That’s what I like to hear!


  • Gabrielle Bergan

    Thanks SO much for sharing this with us, Ramsay!! 🙂

    You’re amazing!!

    Big hug
    from Gabrielle 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      You are most welcome. Do let me know how you use them.


  • Soumen Ghosh

    Another helpful post Ramsay! Hope newbies and others would make good use of it!


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome!


  • Istiak Rayhan

    That’s huge!

    Pexels and Pixaby are my personal favorite. I’ll check others too. I have just bookmarked it.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing list.


  • Laura Routh

    This is awesome, Ramsay! Thank you for putting this list together. I’ll be referencing it often. I’ve used openclipart. org in the past. Do you think it’s OK? It offers much more than clip art, now.


    1. Ramsay

      I’ve never used it, personally. I’m really trying to make my own images as much as possible now.


  • Melvin Hollenberg

    Thanks, Ramsay! I use Unsplash all the time for my featured images. I’m going to check the others out 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, it’s so good. The only reason I would be careful with it is because so many people know about it now, I sometimes worry that Google will consider some of the images duplicate content!


      1. Melvin Hollenberg

        I don’t think Google penalizes a featured image (or any picture as long as you don’t use 200) because that doesn’t qualify as “substantive blocks of content” as they call it. Especially if you change the alt text.
        That wouldn’t be fair to the people buying stock photos and webshops with the same products. That woman with the headset would be out of a job 😉


        1. Ramsay

          I agree except that if there are two identical posts, would they rank the one with the stock images or the original graphics? I can’t help but think it plays a small role.


    2. Jennifer Waddle

      Outstanding, Ramsay. Truly outstanding.

      I’m fortunate to have access to my daughter’s professional photos and look forward to helping her build her brand. AND, I have a goal this year to start taking my own pics. Just got a new camera that is supposed to be the bomb dot com.

      I started to say I miss your photo of you on the couch, but just saw it on your New? Start Here page. Can’t beat that one!


      1. Ramsay

        I really wanted to remove myself from the site totally but it seems like Google SEO won’t allow that these days.


        1. Jennifer Waddle

          Don’t do it. You are the humblest super-blogger I know, but we all appreciate seeing you from time to time.


  • Vishal Ostwal

    Ramsay,

    Feels like this post solved a major blogging problem forever.

    As a beginner, I didn’t know much about where I could find free images. And I had a hard time understanding the terms and conditions.

    When I wanted to create infographics or images for social media, I couldn’t icons and fonts for the same, either.

    So I feel this post is going to serve a lot of creators (i.e. bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and other internet business enthusiasts).

    They won’t need to pay or constantly worry about getting sued. They won’t need to waste hours searching for a handful of websites, either.

    That’s quite a big deal!

    PS. Forever thankful, for the mention and all that you do for us.


    1. Ramsay

      You’re a legend! Very glad you stumbled upon this site all those years ago.


  • Linda

    Hi Ramsay,
    Another amazingly great post, thank you for sharing.
    I tend to be stuck on Pixabay because I always find the pics I need there, but every so often I see a website that uses a familiar pic I saw on Pixabay and I thought many times I should look at other sites for pics too. Like I said in my post – You can read minds ;-D.
    Plus I didn’t really find the vector images there that I was looking for. I’m going to take a look at all the ones you shared to see if I find what I’m looking for.

    But like you said, in the end, it’s actually better to use our own images.
    Blessings
    Linda


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Linda. Pixabay really is amazing.


  • Alex

    This is huge!!!

    Thanks for posting. Bookmarked.


    1. Ramsay

      Nice!


  • teena

    Thanks for producing this list and sharing with everyone.


    1. Ramsay

      You’re welcome.


  • Venus

    Thank a lot. This is very helpful.


    1. Ramsay

      I’m very glad to hear!


  • Truston Ailende

    Thank you for this excellent list and the work you put into it.

    In my own opinion, this is the most complete list of free resources on the web.

    Will bookmark this list for future reference


    1. Ramsay

      I’m glad you like it Truston.


  • Philip V Ariel

    Hi Ramsay,
    What Mammoth list!
    No doubt this will be a great reference to internet users, especially for the bloggers.
    I just bookmarked it for my further use.
    I will make mention of this in one of my upcoming posts.

    Thanks a lot for this great treasure.

    Keep writing.
    Keep sharing.
    Have a great week ahead.
    Best
    Philip


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you Philip!


  • Rina

    Hi Ramsay,

    Is it OK if I translate to Bahasa Indonesia, but i will mention your blog as a source off course…

    Thanks,
    Rina


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Rina.

      Thank you very much for asking first. I really appreciate that. Unfortunately we’d prefer it if it wasn’t duplicated anywhere else as a lot of work went in to creating it for this site.

      Again, thank you for checking first.


  • Rick Rouse

    Wow, what a list!

    I have a couple of sources that I typically go to when I need a great image, but I’ll sure keep this list handy because I occasionally need another source for a hard-to-find image.

    Thanks Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps!


  • Ian Stanford

    Hi Ramsay,

    Brilliant.
    I am in the process of creating an ebook and this will be very valuable for me.
    I am one of your quiet majority who reads your posts but does not leave comments.
    Many thanks. You are the best.

    Cheers
    Ian


    1. Ramsay

      Nice to see you commenting, Ian! 🙂


  • Jack

    Great post. I usually stick to Pexels and Unsplash, but definitely going to try out some of these other sites. I’m always so grateful of the talented photographers and designers who put their time into giving us all these free resources.


    1. Ramsay

      Great point. There are a lot of amazing photographers out there.


  • Susie Lindau

    Thanks so much for this list, Ramsay!

    I use my own images, but once in a while need something I don’t have in my stockpile like in my How to be Discovered post.

    I might have missed it, but Canva has a lot of great images too.

    My personal photos have been ripped off so many times and I have a copyright on my blog. If they don’t ask for permission or link up the post, I ask the blogger to take them down. With this exhaustive list, no one should steal them!

    I’m definitely sharing this and will include Flipboard.
    Thanks again!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for the share!


  • Tomas Teixeira

    I’m crying. GREAT GREAT GUIDE sir!


  • Scotty B

    Adding this link as a resource on my site. Thanks for constructing such a great list!

    I do have a question about SEO and a post like this. I once read that having a web page with more than 100 links could be perceived by Google as spam.

    I had a page with a little over a hundred links and changed it to two pages. Now I’m thinking one is better.

    Bryant, Do you have any thoughts on that?


    1. Ramsay

      I think the 100 links limit is a little bit out dated now, but I have to admit that I didn’t really think about how this many links might look to Google. Here’s hoping! 😐


  • Freddy G. Cabrera

    Hey Ramsay!

    WOW! I tip my hat off to you Sir. This is a super helpful list of resources. I’m definitely bookmarking this.

    It’s amazing how much resources you can find online. The internet is full of useful content, we just need to find it and get super creative with it, right!

    Thank you so much for putting all of this super helpful information together!

    Best regards! 😀


    1. Ramsay

      You’re welcome!


  • Kathy Van Pelt

    Wow…awesome! Thank you so much.


    1. Ramsay

      You are most welcome.


  • Shakti

    Wow and Thank you Ramsay!
    I am looking for background images for collage. I treasure this post. Thank you again!

    Shakti


  • Rahul Taneja

    Thanks Ramsay for an Awesome list.
    It is amazing to know so many resources available online.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you enjoyed it.


  • Apon Babu

    Thanks a lot Ramsay!
    This will be very helpful to me. now i can easily download the resources for free.
    Yeeeeeah thanks once again.


    1. Ramsay

      Make sure you read the terms on each site. 🙂


  • Jina

    All of the sites are amazing, really even i was looking for few site which is really working better for graphics and you mentioned in the article. Warm thanks for this informative article.


  • James

    Hi Ramsay – excellent list.
    Which websites are the best ones?

    From my experience many website that offer free images are there to make an affiliate commission. Many of them have very small number of free images and most of them are low quality. Also their search is mostly useless.

    For example try to search “apple cider vinegar” in pexels and you’ll get unrelated images.

    Pixabay is the best that I could find
    Wikimedia common is useful


  • Max Greene

    Another excellent post, Ramsay. Burst is one of my favourites at the moment – they’ve got a lot of original images that aren’t found on Pexels and Unsplash!


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome!


  • Apoorv Malik

    Ramsay. has post the most amazing article ..
    I really enjoyed your post !! Thanks a lot for sharing most valuable information.


    1. Ramsay

      You’re welcome.


  • Lorea Sam

    Amazing, many few people would have known about this. Thanks for sharing it. Obviously, bookmarked your article, would come to read again. By the way, did you happen to read Renae Gregoire’s blog on ineedcopy.com. She also has amazing content, Your reminded me of her. Anyways thanks for posting!


  • Yasar Ali

    That’s really a huge list of amazing websites.
    I just found many of them quite useful and AMAZING!
    Thanks a lot!
    ~Yasar


  • Santanu Debnath

    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome list. 🙂


  • Backlink Sniper

    This is incredible! Thank you!


  • Adithya Shetty

    Hi Ramsay,

    Very resourceful post. It must have taken some time for you to research and list all these sites!

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Rezan @ Xillionaire

    Wow! This is a loaded blog post with so many options to choose from. I knew some of these, but this is a powerful resource to have for businesses, so you always have plenty of options and you save so much money.

    Thank you for putting the effort to find all of these!


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you like it!


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