Integrating Pexels and Pixabay into Bootstrap Studio for Effortless Image Incorporation

Hey Bootstrap Studio community,

I wanted to start a discussion about the potential benefits of integrating platforms like Pexels and Pixabay directly into Bootstrap Studio. These two resources are incredible for finding high-quality free images, and having seamless access to them within the design environment could greatly enhance our workflow. Here’s why I believe this integration would be a fantastic addition:

  1. Time and Efficiency: Incorporating images from external sources can be time-consuming. With Pexels and Pixabay integration, we could skip the process of manually downloading images and then importing them. Instead, a direct search and import feature would save us valuable time, allowing us to focus more on the creative aspects of our projects.

  2. Vast Collection of Free Images: Both Pexels and Pixabay host an extensive library of images spanning a wide range of subjects. Having this diverse pool of visuals directly accessible in Bootstrap Studio would provide us with an abundance of options to choose from, enhancing the visual appeal of our designs.

  3. Consistency and Quality: One of the challenges we often face is maintaining a consistent level of quality throughout our designs. By offering curated images from reputable sources like Pexels and Pixabay, Bootstrap Studio could help ensure that the images we use are of high quality and align with the overall aesthetic of our projects.

  4. Simplified Licensing: Navigating image licensing can be a headache, especially when working on commercial projects. Pexels and Pixabay predominantly offer images under licenses that permit free use, including for commercial purposes. Having this integration could potentially simplify the process of finding and confirming the appropriate licensing for our chosen images.

  5. Inspiration On-the-Go: Sometimes, a project might call for a particular image to spark creativity. By having Pexels and Pixabay at our fingertips within Bootstrap Studio, we could easily search for images that align with our vision, even while working offline.

  6. Catering to Various Design Needs: Whether we’re building websites, applications, or other digital projects, images play a vital role in capturing users’ attention. Integrating Pexels and Pixabay would cater to a wide array of design needs, ensuring that we can find relevant visuals for any type of project.

Incorporating Pexels and Pixabay into Bootstrap Studio seems like a logical step forward, streamlining our design process and enhancing our creative capabilities. They both have an API to allow for the integration. What do you all think about this idea? Would you find it valuable to have quick access to these image repositories within the Bootstrap Studio environment?

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I’d consider it a totally unnecessary feature, and a waste of the developer’s resources.


At any given time I have a web browser open on one of my monitors, and can access stock photo websites with the click of a button. 99.99% of the time, any kind of image I use on a website is first brought into a photo editor like Photoshop for cropping, resizing, color correction, etc.

So for me personally, I would never add a photo to a site via an integrated stock photo website browser.


There has been historic legal issues too using stock images like Unsplash. Where the original photo owner didn’t upload the image to the service and people have been sued. Lots of fun.

Have to be careful even with stock.


After some thoughtful consideration, I’ve decided to expand on the idea by delving into the potential challenges that may arise during implementation, along with proposed solutions.

Challenge 1: Licensing and Attribution

  • Challenge: Images on Pexels and Pixabay often come with specific licensing requirements and attributions. Integrating them seamlessly while respecting these licences can be tricky.
  • Solution: Bootstrap Studio could include a feature that automatically generates proper attributions when an image is imported. Additionally, users might benefit from a licensing filter to search for only those images that fit their project’s licensing requirements.

Challenge 2: Consistency in Image Style

  • Challenge: Maintaining a consistent design style across a project can be difficult when using images from multiple sources.
  • Solution: Bootstrap Studio could offer style filters that allow users to search for images with specific characteristics, like colour schemes or themes, helping to ensure a cohesive design.

Challenge 3: Offline Accessibility

  • Challenge: What happens when we’re working on a project without internet access? Integrating Pexels and Pixabay should ideally address this scenario.
  • Solution: Bootstrap Studio could implement a caching mechanism that stores previously downloaded images for offline use. Users would still need an internet connection to fetch new images, but can access their cached library offline.
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I also wanted to mention that I’ve recently joined this vibrant community and have been thoroughly impressed by the creativity and forward-thinking that abounds here. While I’m relatively new, I’ve been brainstorming this idea that I think could benefit many of us.

Your enthusiasm is admirable, but I still fail to see what the big advantage is to having access to these stock photo websites from within BSS.

If I want a stock photo of a lake from Pexels, I open a new browser tab, click the bookmark for Pexels, and have all the search and filter features of their website at my fingertips in less than 5 seconds. I search for “lake”, find the picture I want and download it. Done. I have never once used a stock photo without first doing some kind of editing to it, so I would never import a stock photo directly into a website. I think this is probably true for the vast majority of web developers.

Caching the contents of these websites is totally impractical. They have millions of photos and videos that require many terabytes of storage. You can’t just “cache” millions of photos on the fly. It would take days (weeks?) to copy the complete contents of Pexels and Pixabay’s databases. And then the Bootstrap Studio developers would have to store all the photos on servers of their own in order to offer cached content. Basically, they’d be recreating these websites soup to nuts, and then BSS would just act as a stand-in for the existing UI’s of these websites. Why reinvent the wheel?

I can think of many other features I’d rather see added to BSS before something like integrated image searching of third-party stock photo sites, but maybe I’m in the minority? Anyone else think this would be a good feature?

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Your perspective contributes to a well-rounded discussion, and it’s possible that many others share similar sentiments. While the process you describe for accessing stock photos from Pexels using a web browser is certainly efficient and works well for many web developers, it’s important to consider that not all users have the same workflows or preferences. Here are some counterarguments against the notion that an integrated stock photo feature within Bootstrap Studio is unnecessary:

  1. Streamlined Workflow: While opening a new browser tab and navigating to Pexels might take less than 5 seconds, integrating stock photo access directly into Bootstrap Studio can potentially save even more time by eliminating the need to switch between different applications. This can be especially beneficial when working on complex web development projects that require frequent access to stock photos.

  2. Reduced Distraction: Switching between tabs or applications can sometimes be distracting and disrupt the flow of work. Having stock photo search and selection integrated within Bootstrap Studio could help users stay focused on their design and development tasks.

  3. Consistency and Familiarity: For users who prefer a unified environment for their web development work, having stock photo access within the same software can create a more consistent and familiar experience. They don’t need to remember to open a separate browser tab or application.

  4. Reduced Risk of Loss: In some cases, browser tabs may accidentally get closed, or computer resources might be limited, causing tabs to reload. An integrated solution could reduce the risk of losing work progress or search results.

  5. In-App Editing: While you mentioned that you always edit stock photos before using them, an integrated solution could potentially offer basic image editing features right within Bootstrap Studio, making it even more convenient for users who prefer to make quick adjustments before using stock images (this could be integrated with the optimise screen when an image is imported).

  6. User Diversity: It’s important to recognize that web developers have diverse needs and preferences. What works for one developer may not work for another. Offering features like integrated stock photo access can cater to a wider range of users, accommodating those who find it beneficial.

  7. Selective Caching: Bootstrap Studio could implement selective caching strategies that prioritize frequently used or popular stock photos. This approach would avoid the need to cache the entire database and instead focus on the images that users are most likely to access.

  8. On-Demand Caching: Rather than pre-caching all images, Bootstrap Studio could employ an on-demand caching system. Images would only be cached when a user searches for and selects a particular photo. This would minimize storage requirements and allow for a more efficient use of resources.

  9. Compression and Optimization: The software could employ compression and optimization techniques to reduce the storage footprint of cached images, ensuring that even a large number of images doesn’t require an impractical amount of storage space.

In summary, while accessing stock photos through a web browser works well for many web developers, there are valid reasons why some users might appreciate the convenience of an integrated solution within Bootstrap Studio. It’s about providing options and flexibility to cater to the varied needs of the user base.

I would be quite happy to see an integration of stock photos into BSS, I keep meaning to save some stock photos on to my PC as I very often find myself in the position of needing to get a stock photo but find it quite the set back having to then go online and search for some to throw in place of what I need.

The solution I have just now is to use Placehold for placeholder images.

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A number of your suggestions are impractical/impossible from a programmatic pov. Caching even small collections of full resolution images for offline access could easily consume hundreds of megs (or gigs) of storage on a user’s computer. The images on Pexels and Pixabay are already optimized for size. Non-destructive compression would not save much space, use up a lot of processing power and slow the system down. It’s just not realistic.

Browsers have histories in case you close a tab by mistake. In 14 years of web development, I’ve never lost data due to exceeding system resources.

The program already allows you to double-click an image, open it in an editor of your choice, and save it directly back to BSS. This works perfectly, so built-in tools aren’t really needed.

Here’s a thought… what happens if the BSS developers do invest all this time, money and effort into adding this feature, and two years from now, Pexels or Pixabay sell out to Adobe Stock, or Getty Images, and they decide to roll all the free images into their paid collections? Or what if they just go out of business?

Stuff like this happens all the time in big-tech.This is why it’s risky for a small company to develop significant software features based on the expected continued existence of third-party companies or services.

I can appreciate how this feature may offer convenience to some users, but in the eyes of the developers, it really boils down to the amount of time, work and money they’d have to invest vs the number of potential future customers who would consider this a selling feature.

I’d be interested to hear @martin’s thoughts.

Thank you for starting this discussion, @SRX! I see how this could be useful to people looking to make a quick design and not wanting to go through the process of searching in the browser, downloading and importing.

We will investigate what it would take to integrate this in our future releases, and if these services provide suitable APIs. We will keep the implementation simple, so no caching, filtering by image properties or inserting attribution etc. As I see it, they will just be extra tabs in the image browser dialog.

The services disappearing or restricting their APIs in the future is a real risk, but if we integrate more than a couple at least some will remain available.


Both of the big free stock photo sites (Pexels and Pixabay) have APIs.