Custom Imagery vs Stock Imagery: Which is better?

When it comes to designing a website, there are plenty of things which need to be considered, but none so more important than the imagery you use. Admittedly, the way the page is laid out, and the simplicity and slickness of design are both important too; but it is imagery which gives a website a unique character to help it stand out.

The best way to get the perfect image for your project is of course to create your own, but as is often the case with web design, budget and timescales can be unwanted obstacles which prevent you from doing this. So what other options are there? Well stock imagery sites offer a really good alternative. There are an abundance of sites to choose from, all with thousands of images just waiting to be utilised. To help you decide which one to use, we’ve picked out 3 of our favourites.

istock – istock is one of the best known stock imagery sites, and as soon as you use it it’s easy to understand why. istock offers users access to millions of images which are high in quality and unique in style; making it ideal for finding images to display on homepages. It has a really good search system and ‘browse by category’ function too, which makes hunting the perfect image a straightforward task.

Pexels – Pexels is another one of our favourite sites for finding images, and much like istock, its super easy to use search functionality is a big strength. Every image on the site has been handpicked from a wide range of sources, which means finding one which will grab the attention of your audience shouldn’t be too difficult.

Unsplash- If you’re looking for high resolution images, Unsplash really is the ‘go to’ site. Not only are there plenty to choose from, but the uniqueness of each one means you will be hard pressed to find any of the awful generic photos which other sites are guilty of having. Every image on the site is under the ‘creative commons public domain license’ as well, which gives you the freedom to copy and modify the images without permission. And in the unlikely event that you don’t find a suitable image, it’s worth noting that Unsplash upload 10 new images every 10 days- so keep a look out, there might be one you like soon.

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