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Updated August 10, 2008

How to Find Great Wallpapers

Filed under: Wallpapers — subpic @ 7:48 pm

Some common wallpaper sources are mentioned: image search engines, art galleries, wallpaper sites. These are compared based on several factors. The best way to find them is provided below.

Search engines

In the first place you could search for images on Google. But it won’t get you too far.

Search engines index large collections of images. They give relevant results for the keywords you search for. But, that’s not the real problem here, it’s the rating. PageRank, what Google uses, might work well for web-pages, but when it comes to images things change. A highly ranked page may have images from various categories, most of them not displayed for aesthetics.

Art galleries

There are lots of image directories, community reviewed mainly. The most popular that also have a good ranking in-place are presented below. All the characteristics have been established based on the “top ratings” listing on each site. Here’s a table with the caracteristics of several sites.
After careful consideration the best wallpapers you can find are on on deviantart.com. They don’t always come in the best sizes but at least you get a nice experience from viewing beautiful pictures.

Imperfect ranking

On art-galleries an image’s quality is decided first by its thumbnail, than viewed at a medium size and only after that it’s judged by its full size. A low percentage of the users get to see that. This is why even with many votes the rating is not perfect for the full size of the image. This problem is more visible when an image has fewer reviews. It happens especially on flickr where an all-time ranking is not available.

Wallpaper sites

These don’t generally have many images to choose from compared to the previously mentioned sites. Even if the pictures are ranked as best as they could (and this is not the case) there would still be a lack of very good quality images. See here some examples of anime wallpaper sites.

Searching for a wallpaper has it’s trade-offs. You cannot find keyword relevant, good quality, diverse and perfect sized wallpapers all in one source.

Found a beautiful image? See how to resize a wallpaper online with the online image resizer from Reshade.

Other wallpaper sources:

a list of free wallpaper sites
top 5 free desktop wallpaper sites

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