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What're the Best Alternatives to Pexels?

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Sep 02, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

Sites like Pexels provide you with royalty-free images to include in your messages to further their impact. Although Pexels is a great resource for royalty-free photos and animations, it is not without its limitations. Here is a list of Pexels alternatives for you to consider when creating content. It includes reasons why the sites are suitable alternatives and brief guides on how to get started on them.

In this article
  1. Part1: What are the best alternatives to Pexels?
    1. No.1 Unsplash
    2. No.2 Shutterstock
    3. No.3 Filmstock [Editor's Choices]
    4. No.4 Getty Images
    5. No.5 iStock
    6. No.6 Flickr
    7. No.7 Pixabay
    8. No.8 Adobe Stock
    9. No.9 Vista Create
    10. No.10 LibreStock
    11. No.11 StockSnap
  2. Part2: FAQs

Part1: What are the best alternatives to Pexels?

There are several factors to consider when selecting a suitable image resource for your messaging. For example, you may consider a site favorable to another because of its intuitive user interface, or you may consider another because it has no pesky advertisements. Taking this into consideration, here is a list of the three best Pexels alternatives worth checking out for your next project.

No.1 Unsplash


Unsplash is a stock photo-sharing website run by Getty Images. According to recent reports, the site hosts over 265,000 photographers contributing to a library of over 3.5 million photos. Initially, all photos were under a creative commons license zero, meaning you could distribute the photos without restriction. However, following lobbying from some creators, all photos are now under the Unsplash license.

This means you can still copy, modify, share, and download images for free. However, under the new licensing terms, you cannot use unedited copies of the images for commercial purposes such as T-Shirt printing or branding and using the photos on a similar or competing service.

Most Unsplash users praise it for the following features:

  • The library contains tons of high-resolution photos.
  • You can access the site through your web browser or the app available on Android and iOS devices.
  • There are no download limits to the photos, and everything is free.
  • Unsplash is a plugin for various content editing software such as Filmora 11, Adobe XD, and Figma.

Despite all the positives, here are a few improvements to make Unsplash even better.

  • The website lacks a free HD video library, which would be a great addition for aspiring content creators.
  • In addition, the search algorithm is not as accurate, and you may struggle to find suitable images for your subject matter.

No.2 Shutterstock

Another Pexels alternative to consider is Shutterstock. It is an online resource where individuals and businesses can access high-quality, licensed photos, videos, illustrations, vectors, and music for their content creation.


Unlike Unsplash above, you need to create an account to access Shutterstock services. In addition, the website offers different pricing models for each user, depending on your unique requirements. For example, you can subscribe to an image-only subscription that allows you ten image downloads monthly for $29. Alternatively, you can purchase the Mix and Match subscription that offers you 25 credits monthly to download different media from the site.

Currently, the website boasts a collection of over 200 million royalty-free images and over 10 million video clips. In addition, the company also offers a percentage-based compensation model to contributors, with first-timers earning up to 15% of content sales. Furthermore, the site continues to populate its library through the acquisition of different companies in a similar space. Some of its notable acquisitions include Turbosquid, Bigstock, Rex Features, and BEImages.

No.3 Filmstock [Editor's Choices]


Filmstock is an online library of different editing resources for filmmakers. Some of the resources you can obtain are effects, elements, titles, and audio. In addition, Filmstock is the most recent version of the formerly known Filmora Effects Store. Regardless of the close association with Filmora Video Editing Software, you can still use these resources in your creations on other programs.

Filmstock currently offers its services in three categories. They are:

  • A Free package that allows you unlimited downloads of media effects and resources under a royalty-free license. However, any resource you download from the site comes with a Filmora tag.
  • The Standard subscription will cost you $9.99 per month and includes free technical support as an additional feature to those available in the free package.
  • Finally, the Premium subscription gives you access to the premium library that contains an exclusive selection of the contributors' commercial work. The package will cost you $32.99 monthly and also includes all the features in the previous subscription models.

Kindly note that you must register for a Filmstock or Wondershare account to use the service. In addition, you will need to purchase a separate license to use the service with Filmora Video Editing software.

No.4 Getty Images

getty images

Getty Images is an online supplier of media resources for media, creative, and corporate clients. It boasts a resource library of over 477 million entries. Access to the site requires you to create a user account. In addition, some of the prints you will find on the site will require you to make a purchase, depending on the size and quality.

No.5 iStock


iStock is an online library of creative resources, including music, videos, illustrations, and images. In addition, the site offers access to its exclusive stock-image library through different subscription models. Some of the platforms appealing features include the following:

  • An AI-powered search engine that provides more accurate results than Pexels.
  • Preset templates for easier creation of videos and social media posts.

No.6 Flickr


Flickr is another alternative to Pexels worth considering. This is because it offers you free and paid access to one of the internet's largest creative libraries. In addition, you can select from several licenses, including creative commons and U.S. Government works licenses for your assets, something other similar sites lack in their offering.

No.7 Pixabay


Pixabay gives you access to over 1 million creative assets in different categories, including videos, music, and sound effects. In addition, the site offers its content under the creative commons zero licenses, meaning you can use all stock photos without fear of backlash. Although the site's search function requires work on its accuracy, the numerous categories make it easier to pinpoint your desired image.

No.8 Adobe Stock

adobe stock

Another site like Pexels is Adobe Stock, where you can access millions of creative assets for your content. Depending on your licensing options, the site offers free and paid access to its services. For example, you can increase your creativity by subscribing to the different Adobe design assets, including Adobe Stock Vector and Adobe Stock Illustrations.

No.9 Vista Create

vista create

Vista Create is an online free photo and image website like Pexels that also includes design tools to alter the images to your liking. In addition, you have plenty of templates to suit different platform requirements, including social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, Vista Creare also boasts a wide collection of vectors, which you can customize in three easy steps.

No.10 LibreStock


Unlike the ones above, LIbreStock is an aggregator site that combines stock photo databases in a single platform. As such, it is arguably the largest provider of royalty-free images on the web. In addition, it automatically filters out poor-quality images, guaranteeing you excellence each time.

Most LibreStock users name the website's search function as its best feature. This is because it also utilizes search tags when scanning through different databases. As such, you can easily find unique stock photos for your creation, regardless of how outrageous the search tag is. Finally, LibreStock provides its content under the creative commons zero licenses, meaning you can use the assets for personal and commercial work.

No.11 StockSnap


StockSnap operates similarly to Pexels, as it also offers a variety of free stock photos and images. However, a few tweaks to how you receive these creative assets make it slightly better. For example, StockSnap allows you to download ten free images from Shutterstock if what you need is unavailable in their library.

In addition, the platform also displays the most recent additions to their library in the top search results. As such, you are guaranteed to receive unique pictures without significant overuse.

Part2: FAQs

What is better than Pexels?

From the above information, Unsplash ranks as the best alternative to Pexels. This is because of its user-friendly interface, availability across web-based and smartphones, and compatibility with different video editing software such as Adobe XD and Filmora. As such, its versatility allows you to always create on the go.

Can I use Pexels on YouTube?

Yes, you can use Pexels on YouTube, provided you apply the creative assets to your material. In addition, you will need to make alterations to Pexels images and videos before using them to avoid violating your license agreement.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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