Your choice of desktop wallpaper says a lot about who you are. On the one hand, it’s not good to make judgments and assumptions about people from such a small data set, but on the other hand, wallpapers that display expensive cars, fantasy art, scantily clad women, landscapes, or even solid blocks of color can speak volumes. Your wallpaper is an expression of who you are, so where can you find wallpapers that fit you?
Within the past decade or so, there’s been a surge in wallpaper sites that allow users to upload and share their wallpaper creations for download. Non-social wallpaper sites have, for the most part, fallen by the wayside, but there are still a few good ones out there. Which of the available sites are the best? Which ones have the most variety or the largest gallery? Here are what I consider to be the best wallpaper sites available today.
Whenever I have the urge to binge on new wallpapers, Wallbase is the first site I visit. The interface is modern, fast, smooth, and intuitively designed for ease of use. Wallbase’s community of active members is large enough that you’ll find wallpapers of many types, even those that fall into niche genres. I’ve never been disappointed by this site and I don’t think you will be either.
You can browse their offerings in a few ways: Random, which is pretty self-explanatory; Toplist, which shows you the most popular wallpapers at the time; and New Walls, which shows you the most recently added ones. You can further narrow down your choices by category (general, high-res, and anime), by purity (SFW, sketchy, and NSFW), and by resolution (there are plenty of options here).
4walled is a scraping site that scans 4chan for images that can be used as wallpapers, then adds them to the greater database for users to browse and download. Despite it being related to 4chan — one of many sites that will suck away your time — you have nothing to fear here. The site is tame and you can filter your wallpaper search according to your preferences.
Like Wallbase, you can filter by category (general, high-res, and anime), by purity (SFW, borderline, NSFW, unrated), and by resolution (tons of options). Also, you can let 4walled throw up a random selection of wallpapers if you aren’t searching for anything specific. Overall, I prefer Wallbase to 4walled, but 4walled can be great as an auxiliary site since the content between the two sites is different.
For those of you who still aren’t familiar with Reddit, you should check out our wonderful Reddit introduction guide. There are plenty of cool reasons to use Reddit, but I particularly like it for the way anyone can create a community about any topic and lead that community however they see fit. That alone is the reason why so many cool subreddits even exist, among them /r/wallpaper and /r/wallpapers.
Those two subreddits accomplish the same goal: they provide a place for users to submit their wallpapers for others to use. Why are there two subreddits? I don’t know. However, both are active to this day, though /r/wallpapers has the larger community. It’s hard to search and browse the wallpapers here, but if you like to have a steady stream of new and interesting wallpapers, this is a great place for that.
For those of you who have images that you want turned into wallpapers, you could try /r/wallpaperrequests!
GoodFon is another wallpaper site that thrives on user submissions. I find that this one is good if you just want to browse through lists and lists of wallpapers, but their search and refinement filters aren’t as powerful as I’d like. They have a few dozen categories and there are new wallpapers being uploaded every day, so you always have something new to check out.
The quality of wallpapers on this site is pretty good overall. My favorite types tend to be abstract backgrounds and I found a good number of them here that were pleasing to me. The largest categories are Girls, Cars, and Landscapes, but the smaller ones still have good content, such as Music, Food, Fantasy, and Rendering. Overall, worth a look.
SimpleDesktops is slightly different from the rest of the websites here. The wallpapers are still created by a variety of designers, but the whole list is curated by one person. This is awesome because the quality control is high and there’s an overall consistency that you don’t really find elsewhere. The tradeoff is a smaller gallery, but it’s regularly updated so it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
What I like best about SimpleDesktops, though, is that there’s a clear stylistic choice in the wallpapers curated by the owner. The owner describes it as a collection that is free of bling, drop shadows, and gradients. As a result, you get wallpapers that are flat, artistic, yet pleasantly minimalistic. If that fits with your tastes, you’ll love this site.
Did you find something you like? There are thousands and thousands of wallpapers to explore between the five sites list above, and there are wallpapers for all resolutions: CRT monitors, widescreen monitors, dual monitors, mobile phone screens, etc. Take some time to personalize your devices and show off who you are. Once you have it, here are some tips to improve your wallpaper!
Which wallpapers sites do you use? If you know of any that weren’t listed here, we’d appreciate it if you shared them with us in the comments!
Image Credits: Computer corner Via Flickr