Here is the first follow-up to my last post, 3 Steps to an Organized Desktop. Once you freed your desktop from all the clutter, it’s time to decorate it with a kick-ass pretty wallpaper.
There are at least a million sites that offer superb free wallpapers and I bet no matter how many I put in my list, you will find a few dozen equally awesome ones and list them in the comments. Please go ahead and do just that, we don’t want to miss out!
So here they are, my personal favourites…
Top 10 Wallpaper Resources:
Web 2.0 is ubiquitous and thus we have here an interactive community that engages in classifying, ranking, and distributing high resolution images for use as wallpapers. For a start you can pick a rough format – standard, widescreen, dual monitor, all or random. On the following page the filter can be fine-tuned to sort by most or least recent, highest or lowest rated, most or least popular items or by random. Overall you’ll find some of the hottest wallpapers on the web on this site. To rate an item click the green upturned arrow if you like it or the red downturned arrow if you don’t like it. Currently no sign-up is required.
(2) Foto Community
This is one of the largest archives for high quality photography with thousands of images and almost all of them qualify as wallpapers. You can browse by these categories: subjects, special, people, nude, nature, digi-art, youth, world, contest or gallery. The gallery contains the best photos as determined by user votes. To leave comments or vote, you need to register (free), however pictures can be downloaded without being a member (for private use only). Being a member, you can upload your own photos and see how others rate them.
The wallpaper visible in the screenshot of my desktop was Bluedrops from this amazing site.
Yet another web 2.0-ish site. This time a wallpaper search engine. Straight forward, simple, little you can tweak but therefore extremely easy to handle. Enter a search term, pick how many wallpapers you want to see – 20, 40 or 100 and then go.
(4) Wallpapers @ Customize.org
The most prominent feature of this site is the color-based search. Just pick a color from the random wallpaper color picker and all matching images will be listed. Alternatively the site offers search popular tags (or tag cloud).
Oldie but goldie. I’m sure most everyone here has visited deviantART before. It’s THE archive for all sorts of images – 50 million and counting and thus it’s nearly impossible not to find something you like. Best of all is the easy to use Categories menu. Browse through the large tree of sub-categories and quickly go back if you decide to view all sub-categories.
(6) N.Design Studio
This site does not have a huge selection, however they offer nothing but incredibly innovative and cool cartoonish wallpapers. Glitz and style for your desktop guaranteed!
(7) Pixelgirl Presents
This girl is all over the web to find the best and present it to you. Wallpapers can be browsed by category, resolution or featured artist, although there are many more artists represented than those listed as featured. Pixelgirl also presents some iPhone wallpapers.
The site describes itself as an exhibition, a showcase of nature themed desktop wallpapers created by designers worldwide. Currently, three exhibitions (years) with 10, 25 and 40 images respectively were released. A small but exclusive collection. Deskography uses a flash-based interface and wallpapers are downloaded as zip files containing all available resolutions. I’m impressed with both the site design and the picture quality.
All wallpapers are the works of a single designer. Subsequently they are sorted by year. Since last year no less than eight different resolutions starting from as small as 320 x 480 (iPhone) and up to 1920 x 1200 pixel are available for every single new design. To download images an account needs to be registered with the site.
Currently over 450 unique wallpapers were made for this project by Russian digital artist Vlad Gerasimov. So take some time to dig through this wonderful archive. Images are available in low and high quality from 800 x 600 up to 1600 x 1200 pixel, as well as widescreen up to 2560 x 1600 pixel or dual-monitor up to 1680 x 1050 pixel. Thus virtually every screen will find a matching wallpaper. Additionally files can be downloaded for mobile phones, sent as e-card, bought as poster, and some are available to go with wallpaper clock software. Lower-quality images are free while quality-lossless and signature-free images cost from $8.99 for three months up to $29.99 for lifetime.
After browsing through all of these sites you will likely come back with at least a few dozen wallpapers you like. What to do? Download all your favorite wallpapers into a single folder and use a tool to change your wallpaper automatically!
Top 3 Wallpaper Switching Tools
(1)– This is the tool with the most features. It gives you total control over your wallpapers.
- search & add all jpg, bmp, png and gif files to wallpaper list
- rearrange items in any way you like
- manage multiple wallpaper lists
- apply selected item from the list
- auto change desktop wallpaper after time, on startup, daily, never
- change login wallpaper
- resize wallpaper, only if deformation exceeds given percentage
- auto tile wallpaper, if smaller than given fraction
- auto-check screen resolution on startup or before changing
- auto-determine best background and icon color
- customize desktop icons
(2) ScrollWall – A plain simple alternative to Wallpaper Changer. Less options, less confusion, less possibilities to mess up and the tool I am using. ;)
- add images from various locations
- supports gif, jpg, bmp and png files
- define stretch, center or tile for each wallpaper separately
- change wallpaper after time or on every startup
- apply selected image by double-clicking it
- manually switch wallpaper by left-clicking tray icon
(3) Wallpaper Juggler – This is Linda’s recommendation. An intermediate of the first two tools.
- add wallpapers by folder or file from various locations
- supports jpg, bmp, gif, png and wmf files
- change wallpaper after time (15 minutes to 24 hours) or never
- stretch to fit desktop
- instantly set selected image as wallpaper
And this concludes the wallpaper special. In the coming posts I will cover more tools to enhance your desktop experience, so stay tuned!
In the meantime I would still like to see what your desktop looks like. Where did you find your wallpaper(s) and which tool(s) do you use on your desktop? Post a comment or mail me a screenshot. The coolest desktops will be featured on MUO.