Creating beautiful WordPress header images for free – legally

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Personally, I like using the official themes as they always seem to look professional and clean. Moreover, they are very unlikely to contain bugs or compatibility issues like I’ve seen in the past with various other themes I tried. Consequently, I recently updated my blog’s theme to Twenty Sixteen. To my surprise though, no header image was included (it is included in other WordPress themes) and the top section seemed a little barren.

A quick web search for free WordPress header images turned up a few sites that did have some nice photos, but required you to link back to them which is a bit cumbersome. Fortunately, I realized there was a better way.

Enter Freeimages. This neat site contains almost 400,000 free images – many of them free even for commercial use (if you have ads on your site, it is considered commercial). You can also usually modify the image (so cropping it to fit your theme should be OK), and for the most part not even attribution is necessary! Of course, you should always check the license on each image to be sure.

So in a nutshell, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Search for some pictures you might like for your header
  2. Pick the one you like the most (or several, if you’d like to rotate them)
  3. Download a high-res copy so that WordPress only has to crop it and/or scale it down (rather than scale it up / stretch it)
  4. Make sure you abide by the license
  5. Upload and crop the image (via the WordPress theme customizer)

If you don’t find an image you fancy in that particular site, there are many others you can browse. See if you can spot the image you’re currently seeing at the top of this page 😉

Happy hunting!

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