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KartRocket, managing high quality e-commerce sites

Dec 15, 2014 by Orly Bogler
KartRocket case study
Every once in a while we choose to present a case study of one of our customers and share it with our community. This is a good chance to show the different ways Cloudinary can be integrated, and the various types of customers we have. Today we would like to share a case study of KartRocket
 
 

About KartRocket

KartRocket is a SaaS based e-commerce platform that offers a transparent and complete e-commerce ecosystem that helps SMBs to create their online store in a few steps.
 
KartRocket logoKartRocket offers responsive design templates, marketplace integration, over 15 payment gateway integrations, fully automated shipping and fulfillment, and more than 150 features and apps to support an e-commerce website. Currently, they have more than 2,000 e-commerce stores and 2 million images on their platform.
 
KartRocket illustration
 

Unique Challenge

KartRocket had initially started with storing original and cached (derived) images on their server directly. Very soon they realized that disk space is not scalable across web servers and presents a severe problem at scale. The team then decided to host their images on Amazon S3. While the new solution worked, it created a new problem - one of derived images.
 
For the PHP application to generate 4 or 5 resized versions of an image, it would first need to download the original image to disk, make the resized images, send them back to S3 and then delete the locally created images. Sounds pretty straight forward? At scale, this didn't work well at all. KartRocket immediately realized they needed a more robust solution - and found Cloudinary. 

Not only did Cloudinary help solve the problem of image resizing at scale, it added many benefits as well:
 
  1. Delivered by Akamai, the only CDN in India with around 90 point-of-presence (POP) locations. The nearest competitor is AWS Cloudfront, with only two. You can only imagine the benefit this has had on page load times and end-user experience.
  2. The quality of the images being rendered can now be dynamically controlled, passing a simple parameter "q_x" into the URL, and modifying the rendering quality for small thumbnails, large banner images and main product images. This dynamism has led to crisper and better quality images
 
As Saahil Goel, KartRocket's Co-Founder said: "Being a SaaS platform ourselves, we were initially very hesitant to 'outsource' a key piece of our product - but very quickly realized the obvious benefits. Cloudinary offers superior support and service, Akamai as a CDN and is clearly the most well established in the market."

KartRocket currently host over 2 million images with Cloudinary and "couldn't be happier".
 
KartRocket products
 

Benefits of Cloudinary For KartRocket Clients

Keeping in mind the need and importance of high quality images with faster load time, KartRocket’s clients enjoy Cloudinary’s superior benefits and capabilities, like dynamic image resizing services for free. With Cloudinary, KartRocket's customers experienced a 100x increase in response time for their image loading times
 
We are happy to have KartRocket as our clients, and even happier that we managed to simplify and improve their user experience so dramatically. 
Does your company also have an interesting use case of Cloudinary and would like to be featured? Drop us a line, we would be happy to hear! 
 

Introducing a complete and modern UI widget for cloud based image uploading

Cloudinary's upload widget Many websites and mobile applications support user uploaded images and other files. This requires a service to receive and process the uploads, store them safely, manipulate them to match the website or app’s design, and deliver them to your users. This also requires a user interface within your site or app that allows users to easily upload images.  

At Cloudinary, we have been taking care of the entire image management pipeline from the time our service was launched: from an upload API, to cloud storage via our rich set of image manipulation capabilities, to optimized CDN delivery.

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How-to generate thumbnails for Office documents using Cloudinary and Aspose

Nov 13, 2014 by Nadav Soferman

Many websites and mobile applications with user generated content allow you to upload all kinds of files. Images, PDFs, and Microsoft Office files, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all common types of uploads.

Web or mobile developers may want to build   applications that allow users to download PDFs, support document previews, or embed image thumbnails of Office files. However, implementing these types of capabilities can be quite a challenging task.

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Our free plan quota just got 500% bigger

Nov 05, 2014 by Orly Bogler
Tags: General, Startups
Free plan is biggerWe know what it's like to launch a new venture and what it takes to succeed as a company with bootstrapped origins.
 
Cloudinary was extremely fortunate to grow and become an established brand with an amazing customer base, and we never lost sight of our entrepreneurial spirit and love to the startup-y way of thought.
 
Images are a huge hassle and we'd love for everyone, both big and small to enjoy Cloudinary to the fullest and this is the motivation behind our free plan. We want to offer all companies the opportunity to try out our service, free of charge, without a time limit or hidden terms. And now, our Free plan has gotten even sweeter, because we've dramatically increased its quota, 500% its original size! Check it out:
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10 Startups that manage their images in the cloud - Part 5

Oct 22, 2014 by Orly Bogler
Often developers these days realize that they may be "re-implementing the wheel" building in-house technical solutions that are external to their core proposition. To solve this problem, they are looking for the best off-the-shelf SaaS solutions that will help them focus, get to market sooner, with better products, for lower overall costs.
Often developers these days realize that they may be "re-implementing the wheel" building in-house technical solutions that are external to their core proposition. To solve this problem, they are looking for the best off-the-shelf SaaS solutions that will help them focus, get to market sooner, with better products, for lower overall costs.
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JPEG-XR conversion with auto browser detection, optimize images for IE users

JPEG-XR Post Sites and apps are including more and more high-quality images. The more you can compress images to reduce their size in bytes, the smaller your bandwidth, the faster your site will load and the happier your users will be. But when compressing images, you need to make sure you maintain high visual quality.

Most web sites and mobile apps use the popular JPEG format to display their images and user uploaded photos. The JPEG format has efficient built-in compression that reduces image size while maintaining a reasonable visual quality. But you can reach much better results using more modern image file formats.

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Reduce size of animated GIFs, automatically convert to WebM and MP4

Animated GIF to WebM and MP4

Short animated GIF-based video sequences seem to be spreading like wildfire around the web.

Media and news sites display short video segments, social apps allow their users to share animated GIFs with their friends, and while the dated animated GIF format is very useful for this purpose, it has one significant disadvantage - its huge file size.

Animated GIFs are not optimized for captured videos, resulting in large files, heavy bandwidth utilization, slow loading times, and sub-optimal user experience. Also, resizing and manipulating animated GIFs to match the graphic design of your site or app might be a lengthy, cpu-intensive process, as it consists of dozens or even hundreds of frames being manipulated individually.

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How to automatically adapt website images to Retina and HiDPI devices

Jul 24, 2014 by Nadav Soferman

DPR Post Web development was much simpler only a few years ago, when we were building HTML pages that included images and photos, and all elements shared the same resolution units. If for example, you aimed at a standard 1024x768 screen, you knew these were exactly the number of pixels available for displaying HTML elements and images.

In 2010, Apple introduced the iPhone 4 with Retina display. In order to simplify things for developers, the logical screen resolution remained the same as previous iPhone models (640x960) while the physical screen resolution was exactly doubled (1280x1920). This means that if, for example, you embed an image tag in your HTML page with width of 200 pixels and height of 300 pixels, and you display a double-size image of 400x600 pixels, the Retina display shows all pixels of the larger image, resulting in a much clearer visual result and without performing browser-side down-scaling.

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Automatic image moderation, removing adult or inappropriate photos using WebPurify and Cloudinary

Jul 22, 2014 by Nadav Soferman

WebPurify moderation add-on If your web or mobile application involves user-generated content, you may encounter users who upload inappropriate photos or images to your application. These could be images which offend other users - adult content, violent photos, etc. - or images which cause your site to violate laws or regulations.

There are two ways to identify and remove such images: you can either require approval of each image before it is displayed to your users, or display images immediately after upload, and then quickly remove them from your site as soon as a moderator has found them to be inappropriate.

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Direct upload made easy, from browser or mobile app to the cloud

Jul 16, 2014 by Nadav Soferman

Unsigned upload Handling user uploaded images on your website can be a time consuming task. In this post, we'll show how Cloudinary's cloud-based image management service can help you turn user uploading into a lightweight operation that bypasses your servers altogether.

How do you handle user uploads today? If images are uploaded directly to your servers, this requires some heavy server-side processing, bandwidth and storage space. One way to offload images is to transfer them to cloud storage. But if you're handling the upload operation on your own servers (and then transferring them to the cloud), this is still wasteful of server resources.

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