Whether you run a blog, are trying to build a professional website, or simply want some awesome images for your social media, image banks are an extremely good option. You can avoid arranging your own photos or images, get exactly what you’re looking for, and depending on your needs, you can often get it for free.

Below, you can learn more about image banks and how to use them, as well as get some inspiration on how others use them. You will also find a few examples of both free and paid options available in the market.

Comprehensive Guide to Online Image Banks

How Image Banks Came About

Image banks were the answer to the enormous demand for images that arose when the internet became popular. Millions of people and companies around the world need more images than ever, and it becomes too expensive to hire photographers or graphic designers for every small project.

Journalists already had image banks where they could find stock photos for articles. Our modern image banks are a modern development of these. There is a significant amount of money to be made from images, and for photographers, both amateurs and professionals, it’s a great opportunity to showcase their work and get their name out there.

Why Image Banks Are Used

There are several reasons why you need images for your websites, blogs, and social media. To rank your content in search engines, you need images to help search engines categorize and understand your content better.

For readers and viewers, images are important because a picture is worth a thousand words and is easier on the eyes. It’s also quicker to glance at an image than to read paragraphs of text. However, it can be challenging to create your own images.

That’s where image banks come in. You can find high-quality images and photos for a variety of purposes. The range of themes and subjects is nearly endless, so no matter what topic you’re working on, you can use an image bank to enhance your material.

Digital Businesses Using Image Banks

Many companies already use image banks, especially digital businesses that operate entirely online. An example is online casinos, which often use stock images. Additionally, online casinos frequently advertise on other sites, such as with sponsored articles, and they often use professional images from image banks.

Other businesses that use these are digital marketers, who need a lot of images to make their websites and projects look more professional. This is where these images come in handy, and in many cases, even businesses and entrepreneurs can make do with a free image bank.

Largest Online Image Banks

There are quite a few image banks out there, and most of them are really good. Below, you can read about three excellent and well-known options. Two of them are free, and one costs money. The advantage of paid image banks is that fewer people use the same images, and the quality of the images is often higher. You can also find photos of the same quality as those on professional news sites and corporate pages, so for those seeking the very best, it may be worth paying for some images.

For smaller projects, however, free options are better, and you rarely need anything else. What can happen, though, is that you may have to look at more than one image bank to find exactly what you’re looking for.


Pixabay is one of the world’s largest free image banks, offering more than a million images, photos, and graphics. You can also find videos that you can use for your websites, social media, or your own videos.

Almost everything you need is on this image bank, and it works for most purposes. After all, it’s one of the world’s largest image banks. You don’t need to pay for anything, and you don’t even need to credit the photographer when using the image; you are free to use the images as much as you want.


Unsplash is another one of the largest options and focuses primarily on high-quality photos. In total, over 200,000 photographers worldwide have shared their work on the platform, and you can find almost anything here. There are more than 2 million photos on the image bank, so you’ll definitely find almost anything you need in terms of photos.


Shutterstock is one of the world’s most famous image banks, with more than 350 million images, and over 100,000 images are added daily. That’s why it’s the absolute best option on the market, but unfortunately, this image bank also comes at a cost. The price of using Shutterstock depends entirely on your needs.

You can try the site for free and get ten free images. After that, the site costs around 30 dollars per month and upwards; it can become quite expensive for individuals with a tight budget. Therefore, it’s seldom a good option for those with limited resources.