How To Access And Use The WordPress Free Photo Library

If you don’t know anything about the WordPress free photo library, it contains thousands of free images that can be used by all WordPress users.

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The WordPress Free Photo Library

I’ve been using the feature ever since it first became available. I can’t remember when WordPress first launched it, but it was certainly more than 18 months ago. 

I’ve been surprised by the number of WordPress users who didn’t know about the WordPress free photo library.

It got me wondering why they hadn’t found it. I think the main problem may have been that to access the library, you had to know where to look for it. 

Now, ever since WordPress mentioned it on the new ‘My Home‘ page we all see on our blogs, it’s become a lot more visible.

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See it on the home page of your blog

Not only does the photo library include hundreds of free photos, it’s also easy to use.

And when you factor in that a blog post that contains images is 70% more likely to get read, it makes sense why WordPress created a free photo library for all its users.  

Here’s how to access and use it. 

In the draft post below, I want to insert an image of a dog between the first and second lines of the post.

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This is a draft post on the WordPress blogging platform

Click the ‘+‘ add block symbol and click on the ‘image block.’

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Finding the image block

You can also use the ‘search for a block‘ bar to find the image block.

Inside the image block, click on ‘Media Library.’

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The Media Library

In your media library, click on the box in the top left corner (just above the ‘Add New box

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The WordPress Media library

On the small dropdown menu that opens, click on ‘Free photo library.

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Free Photo Library

You will now have access to the WordPress free photo library.

In the search bar of the library, type in ‘dogs.’

As you type, images will start appearing.

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Type in a word associated with the images you are searching for

Select the image you want to add to your blog post and click on the ‘copy to media library‘ button (in the bottom right corner). In the image below, I’ve selected a photo of a corgi. 

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Select the image you want to use and click on the ‘copy to media library’ button

The image now appears in your media library.

Make any edits to the image before adding it to your blog post. 

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Click the edit button to edit an image

Edits include –

Alternative text for the image.

Adding a title to the image (to make finding it easier).

A description for the image (so it’s easy for you to find).

Checking and editing the dimensions of the image. Click here to find out why and how to resize the dimensions of an image to help save storage space in your media library.

Once you’re happy with everything, click on the ‘Insert button.‘ 

The image will appear on the post. 

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The image you selected will now appear on your blog post

Any credits are also added just underneath the image. This means you don’t need to worry about not giving credit to any owners of the images you are using. WordPress takes care of this for you when you use their free photo library.

Remember – you should always give credit to the owners of any images you use in your blog posts. Failure to do so could result in you being prosecuted and/or fined for copyright infringement.

Where I can, I prefer to use my own images on my blog posts. However, where I do not have a suitable image to use, the WordPress free photo library is a fantastic source for finding that perfect image to help compliment my post.

What about you?

  • Did you know the WordPress free photo library existed?
  • Are you using the WordPress free photo library?
  • Do you find it easy to use?
  • Have you encountered any problems using it?

Join the discussion by leaving your comments.

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137 thoughts on “How To Access And Use The WordPress Free Photo Library

  1. Wow! But then I’m always adding my own new media, so haven’t had to look at the drop-down. Next thought – is it there for .org users or only .com users? I’ll check that out myself!
    Thanks for the heads-up, Hugh. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Jemima. I believe the free WordPress photo library is only available to .com users, but if you’re using WordPress as your host for your self-hosted blog, then it may be available. It would be helpful if you let us know what you found out.

  2. I discovered the WP free photograph library yesterday, Hugh. Isn’t that amazing. I came across it by accident because I have been revamping my blog and deleting a lot of old photographs and posts to free up space on my blog. I can do this while I sit in virtual meetings as it doesn’t require a lot of concentration although I did delete some photographs are hadn’t intended to and had to redo all the widgets on my blog.

    1. Yes, be careful when deleting items from your media library, Robbie. I’ve deleted images (thinking they were not attached to any blog posts) only to discover that a post then has an error message on it saying that the image is no longer available. Another great way of freeing up space in your media library is to delete old posts that you may have reblogged from other blogs and then removing the images from the reblog out of your media library. Many bloggers don’t realise that when they reblog somebody else’s blog post, all the images from those posts are downloaded into the media library.

    1. Yes, the WordPress free photo library acts as an excellent backup for images when you’re writing about a subject that you have no images for, Aimer. I don’t use it a lot, but it’s always my first port of call when I’m looking for an image I don’t have in my own photo library.

  3. It is a little wild that so many of us didn’t know this existed. It’s hard to be too critical of WordPress in this instance, but one would think they would publicize it more if they wanted us to use it. I’ve gotten most of my free images from Pixabay.

    1. I only knew about it from an email I had from WordPress when they first launched it, Pete. They’ve tucked it away for far too long, so it was good to see them mention it on the new home page of the dashboard of my blog.

      I use Pixabay too. They’re great for when you’re looking for illustrations rather than an actual photo of something.

  4. Count me as one who had no idea these free images were available. I use my own images 98% of the time, but every once in a while, I don’t have what I need. I think you use the new editor, I still use the classic one… I assume it works with that too?

    1. Yes, the WordPress free photo library is available to all WordPress users. I’m glad to hear that you are somebody else who also mostly uses their own images. I think that’s the best plan.

  5. A great and helpful post, Hugh! I often enter WordPress though my admin dashboard and have to look for those images. Although I run a photo challenge and use my OWN images (kind of the point), I do look for images related to fitness for those posts. It’s about time WordPress made images available. Before this, I used free images from Unsplash, another great source for really FREE pics. You can edit to your liking, too! Thanks for helping us bloggers learn new skills! That corgi is a cutie, but not as cute as yours 🙂

    1. I tend to use Pixabay more than I do Unsplash, Terri. I’ve found that Pixabay is excellent for illustrations when I’m looking for something that isn’t actually a photo. Nonetheless, there are lots of sites out there offering free images, although I love the fact that with the WordPress library, credits of the image are automatically added. I sometimes forget to add credits and then have to go back and find them. Now I don’t need to worry about that when using the WordPress library.

      I couldn’t resist using the photo of the corgi. It kinda shouted out at me as soon as the images all appeared.

      1. To be honest, I forget about it because I am used to go to pixabay … lol! The own photos are still the best ones 😁

  6. Hi, Hugh – I truly thought that I had been keeping up on all things WordPress. But…apparently not!
    I had no idea that this feature existed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Very timesaving and very cool!

    1. It’s a great way to find suitable images for the subject of a blog post that you may not have in your own photo library, Donna. For example, if I was writing a post about lion cubs, I’d have no photos of my own, so that’s where this free photo library comes in really useful.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing the post with your readers, Frank. I hope it comes in useful for many of them. It’s a great little tool that many WordPress users don’t seem to know about.

  7. Reblogged this on Frank Parker's author site and commented:
    Here’s something I didn’t know about WordPress. Did you? I’m grateful to Hugh Robverts for this information which I’m sure could have saved me a lot of time in the past. I’ll certainly use it in the future.

  8. This is great Hugh, I’m still using an old wordpress format, but I found the media button and the images after a rummage around under site settings.

  9. I didn’t know these existed, so thank you! I’ll give it a try! I have been using my own. I either include a photo or make a text image using a Facebook background. ❤️😉

    1. I think using your own images is the best course of action, but if there does come a time when you simply can’t find anything, the WordPress free photo library is the perfect place to look.

  10. I’ve always thought about using images in my posts but didn’t want to waste hours going through other sites, which are fine but just require extra navigation. I had no idea WP makes these available to us! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome. Now you have free images to use at your fingertips. It’s straightforward to use, but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions about using it. I’m always happy to help.

    1. It seems a lot of people never knew it existed. I’m glad to have bought it to the attention of you all. It’s a great feature from WordPress. Comes in handy when you don’t have an image of something that will suit the subject of the post you’re writing.

      1. Oh yes, I definitely agree with you on that point. It’s one of the reasons I also really like Canva too, for the social media side of blogging. Just one less thing to have to think about in place of creating content.

    1. You’re welcome, Michael. I’m glad to have cleared up what the WordPress photo library was all about and how to use it. It’s a great tool that is available to all users.

      Stay safe.

  11. Thanks Hugh; when I first started on WordPress I didn’t realise you could put pictures in! Then I got rather carried away and filled up the gallery with my own photos. Much as I enjoy finding pictures of my own that fit the theme there are pictures that I am unlikely to have – such as most of the world and wild animals!

    1. It took me a while to learn the art of inserting images to blog posts, Janet. I think I learned how to create a pingback well before I started to add pictures to my blog posts. Now, I’m able to add pingbacks to images. It gets better and better.

      I agree. The WordPress free photo library is a fantastic source for finding images of subjects you don’t have yourself.

  12. Brilliant, as always Hugh. I’ve seen it there in media but never thought to use it. I’m off to take a look 😉 Oh, and I love that they do the credit for you – thanks Hugh. Caz 🙂

    1. Yes, the fact that WordPress inserts the credit underneath any photos you use from their free photo library is a big bonus, Caz. It’s why I always check the WordPress free photo library first for an image before going anywhere else.

  13. Thanks for sharing this.. free pictures are nice but if you like to SEO your website you should keep in mind that only original content will get ranked well in the search engines. Although using free pics can offer a solution if you need professional snapshots original content is still king.

    1. Hi Debby, thanks for the tip about SEO. Do you know how an SEO can tell the difference between an image that is your own and one that is from another source? I’m just curious. Perhaps it’s something to do with the credit underneath an image?

      Likewise, I much prefer using my own images. What I do like most about the WordPress free photo library is that any credits for the image are displayed automatically when you insert it on to a blog post.

      1. Hi Hugh, the WordPress free photo library is indeed very nice, but using it frequently will prevent your organic SEO traffic from reaching its full potential. Original images are indexed quickly by Google because of pingbacks, tracking code and chrome browsers, so when you publish a new post it is only a matter of minutes before the Google bot will stop by. It will have a look around to see what’s new and compare your content with the existing content in their database. If you have original images than they will count as backlinks when indexed in Google’s image search, and backlinks increase site relevancy considerably. So original images are responsible for a considerable amount of traffic.

        But to answer your question on how to check whether or not an image is original , you don’t have to be an SEO expert and it’s really easy. Just visit Google Image Search and upload the photo you wish to check. Google will automatically return exact matches and similar photos that have been previously indexed in their database (it’s pretty good at that with new AI technology). With Google and partners having tracking code installed on almost every website on the internet, and with Google checking frequently on websites that are constantly producing original content, they are super quick at finding out who is first to publish what. They don’t need credits to know where the image was first found, but in case a website has multiple authors it does help when images have proper credits and descriptions.

        Hope this helps 😉

        1. That’s of great help, thanks so much, Debby. Where I can, I always use my own images, but I may now cut down on the number of other sources where I get free images from because of what you said about original images and how they work with SEOs in bringing traffic to a blog.

          Thanks again.

  14. Thanks, Hugh, I had no idea such an image library existed – and it’s good to know it’s there but I think I still prefer using my own images. PS What a surprise you chose an image of a corgi! Hope all your boys are well 🙂

    1. I know, what a surprise I chose a picture of a corgi, right? I couldn’t resist, Ruth.

      Likewise, I much prefer using my own images, but sometimes I just don’t have a photo of a lion or sheep playing on a child’s roundabout in a playground. This is where the free library comes in very handy.

      We’re all doing well, Ruth. Staying at home and staying safe. Likewise, I hope all is well with you in Scotland. Stay safe.

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