Visuals are the first interaction between a website and its visitors. They can hook the prospects and push them into the conversion pipeline or force them to quit.

Put yourself in the shoes of an ordinary customer. What is the first thing you notice on a website? Do you go through lengthy content chunks or check the photos to determine the site’s potential?

Skyward Research discovered that if your content includes powerful images, you will get 94% higher views than your competitors. Whether an industry hotshot or a new venture, you must embed photos to make an immediate impact.

But, finding that perfect image that reflects your brand is an uphill battle. A bland, low-quality image could dent your brand reputation. In contrast, a powerful image can take your profits through the roof. A study by Google+ revealed that images play a role in providing visual cues to grab consumers’ attention.

Inevitably, outsourced or custom photography can consume a substantial budget. Stock images are your best friend if you are struggling with finances and wish to keep your visual game strong.

What are stock photos?

Stock images are general photos, illustrations, and icons created without a specific project in mind. Then, they are licensed, usually for a fee, to the individuals and marketers for use on websites, social media platforms, product packages, and more.

The license fee pays the artist who captured that image in the first place and the agency that manages the sales of photos to the customers.

5 best stock photo websites in 2022

Stock photo websites provide users with a vast library of creative content that can be utilized for commercial and editorial purposes. Read on as we list the 5 top-rated stock photo websites of 2022, their features, and what makes them stand apart!


1. Shutterstock

Anticipate an endless supply of beautiful and professional photos when using Shutterstock. It has more than 396 million images in its database, and around 200 thousand new ones are added weekly. It started as a subscription-only website in 2003, which remained the most popular buying option, providing fair licensing terms and pocket-friendly price ranges.

Here are some notable features of this stock image platform:

  • Multiple purchase options (from subscribing to a specific number of visuals to unlimited downloads)
  • Offers a 10-day trial period where users can download ten images for free
  • Royalty-free licensing has two categories – standard and enhanced (extended)
  • A 24/7 support team is available via emails, live chat, and phone
  • Good WordPress plugin to save time

The versatile features of this platform make it a suitable choice for all. Notably, small to mid-sized corporations, businesses, and graphic designers will find it within their range and fulfilling all their creative needs.

Adobe Stock

2. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is an excellent resource for finding illustrations, stock images, and videos. It is a stock photo service integrated into its Creative Cloud platform. Currently, this platform offers 60 million high-quality images accessible through its stand-alone website. You can also use the library feature on other Creative Cloud applications, including design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

Following are some perks it brings to the table:

  • Flexible credits and cheap subscription plans
  • Offers a free trial where you can download 10 to 40 images for free
  • Images are divided into “standard” and “premium” categories
  • Intelligent search technology to find right images through keywords, image recognition, and machine learning
  • All tasks happen in the app interface, which makes operations easier

Designers using Creative Cloud can make the most out of this platform. It offers a faster workflow and instant access to the stock photo collection. They can test and edit the pictures to use in their designs.

Getty Images

3. Getty Images

Getty Images is the place to head if you’re looking for exclusive, premium-quality photos. It is one of the well-known stock image libraries which holds an unparalleled image in media circles. The platform is connected with some of the world’s top photographers. It boasts over 197 million editorial images, including vintage and modern collections.

A few notable features of Getty Images are as follows:

  • Price plans are expensive compared to other alternatives
  • Doesn’t offer any free trial or rights-managed license
  • Sells images in packs that cause some price reduction
  • Also offers exclusivity on some photos if users are willing to pay

Getty Images holds the reputation of being a platform where you can find exactly what you’re looking for. This platform covers all categories, including an exclusive shot of celebrities on a red carpet or an image from war-torn countries. Its expensive price plans make it a better fit for giant media companies and wealthy individual clients.

Stock Photos

4. Stock Photos

Stock Photos is a good starting point if you wish to empower your creativity with compelling visuals without burning holes in your pockets. Professionally-crafted photos are immediately available via this platform and licensed under some convenient terms. It has over 8 million resources, and 100K are added monthly.

Below, we enlist some superb features of this stock image library:

  • Offers 50% off on premium media
  • A helpful support team is readily available
  • Allows purchasing and keeping licence forever
  • 100% security against malicious entities
  • Shares expert tips and resources to help users

Stock Photos is a trusted site that brings millions of photos with a solid commercial appeal. What makes it distinct from other providers are its budget-friendly price plans. Therefore, it is your ultimate source to curate impeccable content with catchy imagery.

Canva Pro

5. Canva Pro

Experts often recommend Canva to beginners in graphic and web design circles. It offers a budget-friendly workflow solution with a broad spectrum of stock images (around 8 million currently).

A few distinct elements of this design platform are:

  • A simple drag-and-drop editor allows easy editing
  • Offers a 30-day free trial and a free account with limited functionalities
  • Brings around 500K built-in templates to create professional designs
  • Multiple tools to add text, shapes, and images

The brainchild of Melanie Perkins, Canva is widely used by small businesses and major corporations. Its embedded tools and resources allow users to create stunning visuals within minutes. Enhancing the aesthetics of a website was never this easy before!


Hiring a photographer or a graphic designer to create images tailored to your website will consume time and money. As you just learned, stock photos are instantly available and pretty tempting. The licence and subscription plans may vary from one website to another.

Start by figuring out your needs and comparing them with the existing options. Go for the library that works for your budget and seems promising for your design needs. 

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We make digital simple. Our purpose is to simplify your frustrations in digital and solve the challenges you face to help make you more money and progressively grow your business or organisation.

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