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The Top 8 Placeholder Services for Web Designers

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Read Time: 4 mins

In the last year, there's been a wave of helpful placeholder services. What's a placeholder? Well, when you're working on a new website, isn't it a waste of time to use stock images, cropped to the right dimensions? A placeholder service allows you to automatically use a random image at the desired dimensions with minimal effort.

In the last week, I've compiled a list - in no particular order - of what I consider to be the most useful and flexible placeholder services on the web. Certainly, for most of you, you'll end up picking one or two of the following to use in your own projects.

There are also placeholder services available on Envato Market, such as SimpleImagePlaceHolder, a quick and simple image placeholder service that allows you to automatically use a random image at the desired dimensions, background color, text color and text with minimal effort.

1 - PlaceKitten


A quick and simple service for getting pictures of kittens for use as placeholders in your designs or code. Just put your image size (width & height) after our URL and you'll get a placeholder.


Follow the placekitten.com url with your desired dimensions. For example, if I needed a 450 x 300 placeholder image, I'd set the source attribute of an image tag to: http://placekitten.com/450/300.

2 - Placehold.it


A quick and simple image placeholder service.


Note that, with this service, you set your dimensions more traditionally, rather than separating the widths and heights into segments.

Placehold.it is a bit different in that, rather than using photos for placeholders, it instead uses more traditional solid color images, which might be more appealing to some designers.

3 - SheenHolders


Add some Sheen to your designs and prototypes with Charlie Sheen placeholder pictures. Simply change the width and height in the URL to get your custom placeholder.


If you want your web designs to be winning, then you need the Sheen!

4 - FlickHoldr


Get placeholders related to the site you are developing, by pulling images from flickr based on tags.


FlickrHolder is helpful in that, in addition to using Flickr photos as the placeholders, it also allows you to choose a desired tag as the third segment. You can even choose to display photos in black and white.

5 - LoremPixum

Placeholder Images for every case. Webdesign or Print. It's simple and absolutely free!


6 - PlaceDog


Dogs are so superior to felines. Just choose your dimensions in the pathname and share the doggie love on your projects.


7 - DummyImage



DummyImage is particularly nice, when compared to some of its competitors, in that it offers a great deal of flexibility. Let's take a look at some of the available options.

8 - Griddle.it


A clean and simple way to help align your layouts. No complex grid frameworks necessary.

Certainly, Griddle.it is unique compared to its peers because its focus is on creating grid images, which can then be applied to the background of your web design during production. View a live demo here.


Applying a background grid requires the following format: http://griddle.it/[total width]-[number of columns]-[gutter size].


So yeah - they're all rather similar to one another. At this point, you only need to choose one or two that you find to be the easiest to remember. But one thing is for sure: these definitely save a lot of time!

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