Pixabay is a really great photography website to find incredible images and graphics. I love Pixabay for its eclectic selection of great images, animation, and unique graphics. But is Pixabay safe to download from?
Is Pixabay safe to download pictures from? Pixabay is 100% safe to download pictures from. You aren’t required to give any authorship credit nor do you have to worry about royalty payments, author compensation, or commercial rights violation. You are free to use all content downloaded from Pixabay anyway you’d like.
Pixabay is one of many web-based image repositories to download images from. Like all web catalogues, there are a few rules you want to keep in mind. We are here to lay out all the rules and best practices for you.
Is Pixabay safe to download images?
Pixabay is definitely safe to download images and Graphics from. Pixabay is a huge site with a reputable brand and a lot of social credibility, especially when it comes to viruses and malware. I have not personally come across any images on Pixabay that alerted me with virus activity.
You can definitely feel safe downloading content from Pixabay.
Most of the concern regarding using images from Pixabay is whether or not you can use it for commercial purposes. And this a valid concern. After all, you don’t want to create awesome web content only to be sued a few months later by a disgruntled photographer.
Pixabay states that you can copy, modify, distribute, and use the image in any way you see fit. They make special note that you can use their images for commercial uses and you don’t have to give permission or credit to the artist. This is a pretty big safety net for blogs and websites that are looking to use great images without worrying about trademarks or copyright infringement issues.
It appears you have the green light to use images any way you’d like.
Are there any restrictions to using Pixabay image?
Based on the Pixabay licensing information on their website, you can use content on Pixabay for both commercial and non-commercial use in both print and digital media. You did not have to worry about giving the author credit as stated above, but we do think it’s always a positive thing to give credit back to great photographers and graphic artists who produce incredible work.
With that being said, there are a few things that you can’t do with Pixabay:
- You can’t resell pixabay images or videos. You didn’t create them and they’re not yours to sell.
- You absolutely cannot sell the exact copy of an image in a poster, print, or any physical product. Again, you are not the artist and you do not have the rights to resell this as your own.
- You cannot manipulate identifiable characters, people, or brands in a negative or offensive way. For example, if you find a Paypal image, you can’t edit the image to create a negative persona around Paypal brand.
- If you do use an image of a recognizable brand, you cannot mischaracterize or mislead people into an association you have with the brand.
As long as you follow these rules, you can’t go wrong. There are thousands of pictures on Pixabay that are free for you to edit and use until your heart’s content. We have truly found some gems on this website that have significantly added to our website design and our client portfolios.
Does Pixabay have more than photography and stock-images?
Pixabay is stocked with incredible graphic content beyond images. Not only do they have world-class downloadable photography content, but they also have vector content, illustrations, and video content.
And, it’s all free!
We’ve used Pixabay videos, illustrations, and vectors time and time again. Many of the videos are 4k (which is incredible), and their vectors are great if you are looking for some creative vibes.
What is a vector graphic?
A vector is a graphic file that is made up of individual colored blocks which enable you to modify every part of it. Don’t get too caught up in the technical jargon, just know that vectors are created in a design studio whereas photographs are moments caught in time.
If you’ve ever created something in Adobe photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Coral, then you’ve created a vector file.
A photograph is not a vector file. If you a take a picture of a mountain, you can’t easily change the color of the trees or remove the mountain top. Everything is one unified, flat image.
But if you create a vector mountain in a design suite, you could manipulate it anyway you want. Turn the trees purple? No problem. Turn the grass blue? No sweat. Vectors are great for logos, animated images, and business graphic design.
Here is an example of Pixabay vector files found in their search:
Are Pixabay videos really free?
Yes! Pixabay has thousands of videos for you to download. Many of the videos are in HD-4k quality and have multiple size formats. Pixabay videos are really great for business websites, Youtube video additions, or b-roll video.
Pixabay videos have the same free-usage rights as their image content. Feel free to use the videos in your content in any way you’d like—abiding by the rules set above of course.
Pro tip: If you find a video you’d like and want to use it on your website, you can always upload it to vimeo or youtube and then link it to your WordPress widget. That way, you aren’t hosting the video and taking up bandwidth or space. Simple!
Here is an example of using a video on your website background. You can do this really easily with Astra Pro Theme.
Can I upload my own images to Pixabay?
You can definitely upload your own content to Pixabay whether it’s images or videos. However, you should be aware that you’re granting Pixabay irrevocable rights to world-wide, non-exclusive, royalty free rights to you work.
Are you okay with anyone doing anything they want to your work? Are you more hippie than isolationist? If so, Pixabay is perfect.
The idea behind Pixabay is to create an image repository for creatives to quickly download images without worrying about infringement issues. And they’ve done a remarkable job along with a few other great free photography resources.
We wrote an in depth guide to the best free images on the web for website creators. Yes, Pixabay made the cut 😜!
When uploading your images to Pixabay, you have to keep in mind that the community is driven by charitable contributions from content creators, photographers, and creatives. You will be joining a community of “givers”. If you want to become part of this community, upload away and share your gift with the wider world.
You do need to own All Rights to the content you upload and ensure that there are no infringement, copyrights, are trademarks attached to your work. So, if in the past you have legal rights attached to your content, you probably shouldn’t upload it. If you’ve used the content in client work, you shouldn’t upload it.
You also need to be well aware that the work you upload can become something completely different by other creatives who are downloading your work on Pixabay. Pixabay does a pretty good job with their legal language to try and prevent known brands from being completely destroyed, but let’s be honest, there is really no good way to police what happens after people download your content from Pixabay.
Pixabay isn’t in the business of ensuring that your artistry is protected, they are in the business of affiliate revenue from companies like Shutterstock.
Can I just link the images from Pixabay to my website without downloading them?
The short answer is no. The technical term is called hotlinking, and Pixabay does not support hotlinking to external websites.
You will always have to download images from Pixabay and then upload them to your website server in order to place them into your website. I think this is a good thing because it gives you full creative control over the content that you’re downloading from Pixabay and the content you’re uploading to your website.
The other benefit of downloading the content from Pixabay is that you can control the size, creative changes, and compression on all of your content. You can also control the file names, all texts, and descriptions within the content. These are all positive things when it comes to SEO.
Keep in mind, when you use Pixabay images on your website, you’ll want to compress them down to size. You can use a plugin like this one to compress your images. If you want to compress your images for print content or email content, use this one.
Are Shutterstock images safe to download on Pixabay?
As you spend more and more time on Pixabay to look for great photography, you will no doubt encounter beautiful images from a company called Shutterstock. Shutterstock is a Content website that charges per image fees or monthly membership fees to download their content.
Shutterstock is one of the biggest digital content resellers in the world. It’s very clear that Pixabay is choosing to exclusively use Shutterstock as their affiliate revenue generation partner. If you click on any photo from the Shutterstock ads on Pixabay, you will surely be taken to Shutterstock’s website to purchase the image and or a membership to Shutterstock.
While the images are beautiful, you don’t need to pay for beautiful photography for your website. There are far too many great resources out there as we’ve already discussed in other blogs.
Is Pixabay the best website for free photography? There probably isn’t a “best” website for free images, at least one that we know of, but Pixabay is probably the most diverse in their selection. I can find images of cartoon rhino’s and then search for a beautiful mountain vista a second later.
I’ve used Pixabay for really crazy images that work out great for this blog. I’ve also used other image websites when I need a bit more refinement in my imagery.
Can I use Pixabay on my social media website? Yes. You can use Pixabay in your social media profiles, posts, images, and advertising. You can also use Pixabay on any social media platform. Feel free to get socially creative!