How to get Free Images without leaving WordPress? We all know that images are essential for blogs and businesses. Ideally, you would want to take photographs for your blog yourself or hire a professional photographer. But, that is by no means a cost-effective or time-saving solution.
About 10 years ago, it wasn’t easy to find many places to get stock images online, but now you certainly have a lot of options to choose from. WordPress is one of the best blogging platforms. Unfortunately, WordPress users usually have to download these images, optimize and resize, and then upload them to their WordPress site.
The juggling between WordPress, the stock photo site, and optimizing tools can add up time to your already busy schedule. So, is there a solution? There certainly is. It’s a WordPress plugin called “Instant Images.” Before I dive in, let’s look at a few details you should know about using free photos.
Is it Safe to Use Free Stock Photos?
If you are a beginner looking to start a new blog, you may not have the budget to purchase royalty-free images. And even if you have the budget, downloading free photos from a website can be quite tempting. Who doesn’t like something free, right?
However, using free photos can be more dangerous than you think. They may work for small blogs, but if you are looking to use these images for commercial purposes, you need to be very careful. They may create legal problems later on.
Can You Use Images From Google?
This is a big mistake you do not want to make. Google simply shows images from various sources on the internet. They do not hold copyrights of these images, so they cannot give you the right to use them.
Also, whenever you look for an image using google search, the first images displayed are usually paid adverts by professional stock photography websites. They are under license, and using google images without permission can lead to all sorts of issues.
The Problem with Free Photo Websites
Downloading photos from stock photo sites that are entirely free of cost appears to be quite harmless. However, there is a catch.
These photos usually have a license such as Creative Commons, but if the legal background of the images has not been checked, then it can land you into trouble. For example, an amateur photographer may steal an image and upload it to a free photo website. And the site may not verify the image source.
Also, a photographer can capture an image with people in it and may upload it to a free photo website. Now, if the consent of the people in that image was not taken, using the image may lead to legal issues.
What is the Creative Commons (CC) License?
Creative Commons is an organization that created various types of licenses for intellectual property. Under these licenses, artists, including photographers, can allow people to use their work for free, but with some regulations.
There are six variations of the Creative Commons license. The one used by Free Stock Image websites has the fewest restrictions, and under this license, you are using these photos with the permission of the owner.
Risk of CC License
You might be thinking that if the images on free stock photo websites are under the CC license, you can use them without worrying, right?
The problem is that the photos can only be used if the copyright holder grants permission. And many free stock image websites do not verify if the image is from the copyright holder. In other words, someone may upload another person’s work on the free photo website. And if you end up using it for commercial purposes, it may land you in trouble.
Now that you know the risks associated with free images let’s look at details of the Instant Images plugin.
Instant Images: Free Images for your Blog
“Instant images” is a fantastic plugin that allows you to upload high-quality photos from Unsplash to your WordPress media library.
In case you are not familiar with Unsplash, they have a collection of free photos from various photographers.
You can download and use these images for commercial purposes as well without attributing the photographers (although they appreciate it if you can credit the photographer)
You can modify and distribute the photos for free under the Unsplash license. You should keep in mind that the Unsplash license does not include the following:
- Images in which people are recognizable
- Images of trademarks, brands or logos that appear in photos
- Works of art or authorship appearing in photos
Let’s look at the top features of this really awesome plugin.
- Easy to Use – Add an image to your media library with just one click
- Edit MetaData – You can easily edit the filename and alt text of the image, prior to uploading on your library
- Save Time – Upload images without having to leave WordPress
- Settings – Use the Instant Images settings panel to set the image height and width before uploading
Adding the best possible photos to your blog can be time-consuming and frustrating. If you have to find and add images to more than one blog, it can take hours. You need to search for the image, download and optimize it and then add to the WordPress library before finally posting it on the page. With Instant Images, you can save a lot of time and effort and conveniently add free images to your blog. You can search, upload, and add photos to your blog, all in one place.
How to Use the “Instant Images” Plugin
Let’s look at the step by step process to add images to your WordPress media using Instant Images.
Step1: Install & Activate the Plugin
Go to Plugins-> Add New for from your WordPress dashboard. Search for “Instant Images”. Then Install and Activate the Plugins.
Step 2: Go to Installed Plugins and click Upload Photos
Step 3: Search for Images
You can select images directly from the three categories provided on the left. Also, you have the option to search for the type of image you want from the search bar (shown on the right).
Step 4: Edit Image Settings and Upload
You can edit the image details by clicking the “settings” icon on the bottom right of an image. Then all you have to do is click on the image to upload it to your media library.
Quite easy, isn’t it?
To sum it up, “instant images” is an excellent plugin to upload free high-quality Unsplash images to your website. Unsplash may not be completely safe to utilize free images, but it certainly holds a higher degree of trust as compared to most other free image websites.