Only recently have I come to know about the wonders of Creative Commons Zero. When I used to be in to photography and wanted to give up some of my imagery to the public domain, I found the Creative Commons licenses a bit restrictive, because even the most lax license required that the user at least provide attribution to the author.
However, in 2009, Creative Commons announced its Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that the author has waived all rights to the work and is providing it for the public to use completely at will. Since then, it has picked up steam and in the past year, I have come to know about a few sites which curate some of the best images that have been released under CC0, such as Unsplash and Pexels.
These have been an excellent resource so far: they provide 5-10 new images a day and the photos are very high quality and very high resolution, enabling you to really add a professional look to your site (or to find some stock photography to build out a demo site).
But it gets better. I recently came across a WordPress plugin called Pixabay, which brings these images right into your WordPress editor. Pixabay scours the internet (including sites like Unsplash and Pexels) to find the very best CC0 imagery. Their current library includes nearly 300,000 images.
Once installed, you can either search for CC0 images using the new Pixabay button next to the “Add Media” button, or select “Pixabay Images” from the media uploader modal.
You can then search for the term that you want, find the perfect image, choose the right size for your needs and add it in to your content as you normally would with an uploaded image.
Now, you have access to a whole library of professional quality, free images, so there’s no more needing to fret over finding that perfect image for your needs (and no need to steal people’s copyrighted work).