+1 (229) 800-6565

Stock Images vs. Real Images: Which is Better for Your Website?

Stock Images vs. Real Images: Which is Better for Your Website?

Share this Article:

When choosing images for your website, there are two main options:

  • Stock
  • Real images.

While both can be effective, they each have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, one can make your website design quick and less costly, while another might benefit your customers more.

This blog post will explore the differences between stock and real images and how one decides which images are better for their website. 

What are Stock Images?

Stock images are pre-made photographs, illustrations, or graphics from websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Getty Images. They were created by professional photographers and designers and are licensed commercially.

Advantages of Stock Images:


Stock images are often more affordable than hiring a professional photographer or illustrator to create custom images for your website.


Stock images are readily available and can be downloaded instantly. You don’t have to wait for a photographer to take and edit photos or an illustrator to create graphics and then charge you for each revision (Bitter truth!).

This is particularly useful for businesses that need images urgently and without spending a fortune on high-end photographers. Yes, stock images are just as professional!

Wide Variety:

Millions of stock images are available online, covering various topics and themes. This means you can easily find an image that fits your needs, no matter your industry.

Disadvantages of Stock Images:

Lack of Originality:

 Since stock images are available to everyone, they can be overused and need more originality. Your website may look like many other websites using the same stock images.

Low Authenticity:

Stock images can sometimes look staged or artificial, lacking real images’ authenticity. This can make it challenging to connect with your audience personally.

Limited Customization:

While you can make minor adjustments to stock images using photo editing software, you can’t customize them to fit your specific needs. The photos may not perfectly match your brand or website design.

What are Real Images?

Real images are photographs or graphics that are created specifically for your website. They can be taken by a professional photographer or created by an illustrator or graphic designer.

Real images are unique and customized to fit your brand and website design. Websites often use real images for e-commerce stores to build more trust.

Advantages of Real Images:


Real images capture authentic moments and emotions, which can help you connect with your audience personally. They can also help build trust and credibility with your audience.


Since real images are created specifically for your website, they can be customized to fit your brand and design. This means that they will perfectly match your website’s aesthetic.


Real images are unique to your website and can help your website have a distinct and more authentic look to it. They can also help you avoid using the same photos other websites use, thus making your website and products more trustworthy.

Disadvantages of Real Images:


Hiring a professional photographer or illustrator to create custom images can be expensive, especially if you need many images for your website.


Creating custom images takes time, which can challenge businesses that need images quickly.

Limited Variety: 

Real images are limited to what you can create or capture. This means you may need help finding an image that perfectly fits your needs.

Which is Better for Your Website?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when choosing between stock images and real images. 

It depends on your budget and the purpose of your website.

If you’re low on budget and need images quickly, stock images may be the best option. However, real images may be better if you want to build trust with your audience and have the budget to hire a professional. Especially if you are running an e-commerce store, real images are your best bet.

Ideally, you can use a combination of both stock images and real images to create a unique and visually appealing website. For example, you can use stock images for blog posts or social media posts while using real images on your homepage or about page.


In conclusion, both stock and real images have their pros and cons. It’s important to consider your specific needs when choosing which type of image to use on your website. 

You can purchase stock images and increase your website credibility with authentic content and positive visitor reviews. You can also use real images to make users think twice before doubting your website or product’s credibility. 

But the result depends on the overall performance of your website, so if you have a tight budget, don’t hesitate to contact us to get more insights.