Cloudinary Blog

Archive for 2016
Learn about AdonisJs and how to set up a CMS with it

What happened to Convention Over Configuration?

While Node is simple, it requires you to make a lot of decisions, which ultimately causes confusion because it leaves you with several options. Languages like PHP, Ruby, C# and Python have one or more Molde-View-Controller (MVC) frameworks, such as Laravel, Rails, ASP.Net and Django. These help developers to achieve structure and write maintainable code with these languages. That was not the case for Node until AdonisJs was introduced.

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Cloud-based image filter transformations for developers

A few years ago, post-processing a digital image generally required a high level of skill and expensive software such as PhotoShop. But in recent years, popular photo sharing apps such as Instagram, Flickr, and Snapchat started offering built-in filters. Professionals take advantage of filters to make subtle corrections or adjustments. Casual users often apply more prominent filters that add their own unique touch or just make their images more fun.

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Optimized media delivery with multi-CDN solutions
This article originally appeared on Venture Beat Magazine and is reprinted with permission.
 
As we all know, content that takes forever to load will increase your site’s bounce rates, decrease your conversions, and undeniably scar your bottom line. And by “forever” I mean more than a few seconds. A recent study by KISS Metrics found that page abandonment rates increase drastically after a load time of just four seconds or more.
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Image and Video Management using Serverless Computing

Nowadays, developers everywhere are introduced to an application development trend called serverless computing. The trend isn’t new but rather an evolution culminating from a number of development methodologies, including service-oriented architecture (SOA), distributed cloud computing, Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Containers/Microservices. A key defining element of serverless computing is the serverless application’s logic that combines custom-developed code and 3rd-party service functionality. 

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Responsive Images Guide, Part 1: What does it mean for an image to be “responsive”?

“Responsive.” Where did that term come from, anyways?

In his sea-changing essay, Responsive Web Design, Ethan Marcotte explained:

Recently, an emergent discipline called “responsive architecture” has begun asking how physical spaces can respond to the presence of people passing through them. Through a combination of embedded robotics and tensile materials, architects are experimenting with art installations and wall structures that bend, flex, and expand as crowds approach them. … rather than creating immutable, unchanging spaces … inhabitant and structure can—and should—mutually influence each other.

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Automatically deliver the best image format to the browser

One of the main optimization challenges for website and mobile developers is how to display sufficiently high quality images to their visitors while minimizing the image file size. A smaller image file size can lead to faster load times, reduced bandwidth costs and an improved user experience. The problem is that reducing the file size too much may lead to a lower image quality and could harm visitor satisfaction. Delivering an optimized image with just the right balance between size and quality can be quite tricky.

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Three different ways to do progressive JPEG encoding

There are two different kinds of JPEG images: progressive JPEGs and non-progressive JPEGs. These categories have nothing to do with the JPEGs’ political beliefs. They’re all about the order in which they’ve been encoded.

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Using smart-cropping for automatic art direction

Note: this article was originally published in Smashing Magazine.

Four years ago, Jason Grigsby asked a surprisingly difficult question: How do you pick responsive images breakpoints? A year later, he had an answer: ideally, we’d set responsive image performance budgets to achieve “sensible jumps in file size”. Cloudinary built a tool that implemented this idea, and the response from the community was universal: “Great! Now – what else can it do?” Today, we have an answer: art direction!

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As video use and requirements grow - so do the challenges
Video is an increasingly important component for websites and apps, as consumer demand for and consumption of video content is growing. It’s not only for wired devices, though. More and more, consumers are accessing video where they want it, when they want it, on whatever device that happens to be nearby.
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An interview with Jason Grigsby about Responsive Images

In the conclusion of this three-part interview the Jason Grigsby, we examine what the future may hold for images on the web. Previously: Part 1, Part 2.

EP: I want to go back to the idea that we started with, that images are fundamentally complicated; that they’ll always present us with problems. What do you think we are going to be working on and talking about in five-to-10 years with regard to images?

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Improve user experience with responsive websites and applications
This article originally appeared on Inc. Magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Back in the day, responsive website design wasn't the business imperative that it is now. In fact, just having a functioning website was all that it took to set you apart, and if it had images that loaded correctly within a few minutes, then that was a nice bonus. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, those days are long gone.
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What to consider when developing media rich websites and apps
Websites have evolved greatly over the past few years. Once text-heavy websites have become more eye-catching with prominent images and video. But the addition of richer media isn’t the only change impacting websites. Consumer behavior also factors into this evolution, as web access has moved from the desktop realm to a variety of different devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches and TVs – with different dimensions and resolutions. And consumers want to be able to access web content anytime and from any location.
 
To ensure that website performance is optimized, bandwidth usage is minimized and users have a top-notch experience, we will need to address many challenges.

High resolution images and videos

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, it’s no surprise that website owners are using images and videos as powerful tools on their websites to engage visitors. High-resolution images look best, but these files are so big that they cause websites to load slowly and use excessive bandwidth. These problems frustrate visitors, and potentially decrease their incentive to  engage further on the website.
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Plugin for automatic responsive images in Jekyll-generated sites

This is a guest post by Nicolas Hoizey, co-founder of Clever Age and creator of the Jekyll Cloudinary plugin. Nicolas’ plugin leverages Cloudinary’s image storage, optimization, resizing, and delivery infrastructures to automate responsive images in Jekyll-generated static sites. We think it’s the bee’s knees, and invited Nicolas to write a bit about the process and motivation behind it. Without further ado, here’s Nicolas.

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Cloudinary now delivers images and videos over HTTP/2

Even though websites have changed dramatically over the years – from simple text-based pages to advanced in-browser apps full of images and videos – the underlying HTTP protocol really hasn’t changed - until recently, with the approval of the HTTP/2 protocol by the IETF. Today Cloudinary is proud to announce, as part of a CDN infrastructure upgrade, general availability of HTTP/2 support in our image and video management solution. This will help you optimize the user experience on your app or website even more.

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HTML5 video player with cloud based video transcoding

Once upon a time, in long forgotten browser versions, getting a video into a website required creating and embedding Flash resources. But these days, all modern browsers support HTML5, including the HTML5 <video> tag, which means you’ve got a built-in video player that anyone can use.

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Deliver optimally sized, high quality images automatically

One of the most important things to know about compressing image files is that a smaller file size comes at the cost of a lower image quality. How much lower, and whether low enough to make a difference visually, depends on the image. Compression can be very effective at reducing the size of the image, and besides lowering the costs of storage space and bandwidth, a reduced image size goes a long way to retaining your users’ attention with faster, smaller downloads.

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10 Great jQuery Sliders & Create Your Own | Cloudinary Blog
Cloudinary offers a cloud-based image and video management solution to help developers manage and optimize their images. Because images are important to you and to us, we wanted to share our thoughts on a popular trend that highlights rotating images at the top of a website homepage - image sliders.
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Compressing a single-color image in various formats

In part one (One pixel is worth three thousand words) of this turned-to-be-two-part blog post, I discussed one-pixel images and how well different image formats “compress” these images. I was surprised how much there is to be said about the matter. This was supposed to be a short blog post, describing one-pixel images and how they compress, and instead it became a glorious monster (and also a two part blog post…).

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How various image formats compress one-pixel images

A couple of months ago while taking a break from implementing cool new features like q_auto and g_auto, I was joking in our team chat about how well various image formats “compress” one-pixel images. In response, Orly — who runs the blog — asked me if I’d write a post about single-pixel images. I said: "Sure, why not. But it will be a very short blog post. After all, there’s not much you can say about a single pixel."

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New interactive web development demo with code samples
Developing a great website and maintaining it can be a challenging and time-consuming task, even for the most talented developer. You need to meet graphic design requirements for any device according to the latest design trends, and constantly find ways to optimize your website performance, for any browser. 
We can save you a lot of time and effort. Cloudinary takes care of the entire image management pipeline: image upload, a rich set of manipulation and optimization capabilities, cloud storage, administration and super-fast CDN delivery. 
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Optimize your website and app for maximum user engagement
Patience is not a virtue for website visitors and online shoppers. Every fraction of a second counts when it comes to keeping – or losing – a visitor to your website.  
 
Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment, according to an infographic on the Kissmetrics blog using statistics from Akamai and Gomez. Because the average web visitor has no patience for a page that takes too long to load, abandonment increases as a percentage with every second of load time. Nearly 40 percent of users will abandon a page after 3 seconds, the blog noted. Mobile Internet users probably experience the most frustration with this issue –  73 percent noted that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load. 
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Is your website offering the best user experience?
 
The most common frustrations voiced by people when visiting a website are the time it takes for pages to load and the amount of bandwidth some sites eat from their monthly mobile plans. 
 
What these users might not realize is that, in many cases, the culprit is the same: website image performance. Ensuring images are optimized is particularly important to businesses who manage these sites since they account for the majority of the downloaded bytes on a web page, and can slow down load times considerably. 
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Improve your site with content personalization & A/B testing

Personalization of web content is becoming increasingly important for businesses to gain – and maintain – their competitive advantage. Web personalization is key to increasing conversion rates and return rates, as well as boosting retention, time-on-site, and page views, according to a December 2015 VentureBeat study, which noted that 87 percent of companies have seen a lift of at least 5 percent in their most important metrics as a result of personalization. 
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Dynamic ZIP files generation with a single line of code

As a developer, you want to allow your users to download multiple files in a single click. An easy way to download multiple files and share them is to generate a ZIP file. When images are involved, you may also want to normalize the original images before including them in the ZIP file, by scaling them down to the same maximum resolution or converting them to the same format.

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How mindbodygreen reduce costs & save development time

mindbodygreen is a digital media brand dedicated to health and wellness. The company’s website bring together leaders in the wellness world, best-selling authors, fitness experts, trusted healers, pioneering doctors, top chefs, celebrities and top-tier journalists to provide readers fresh, expert content and tools to help them live healthy, happy lives. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y. 
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Why JPEG is like a photocopier (generation loss)

If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, the quality will deteriorate with every ‘generation’. This problem is called ‘generation loss’. It is not difficult to understand why this happens with actual copier machines. Scanning and printing are not perfect, being based on noisy sensors and physical paper and ink, and the resulting noise will tend to accumulate.

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Apply conditions to dynamically manipulate images.

It's great to have the capability to manipulate images on the fly by using dynamic URLs to customize the images to fit the graphic design of your site or mobile application. However, what if you want to manipulate an image depending on a specific image characteristic (like its width or aspect ratio) or its contents (does it contain a face?). What you need is a way to apply a transformation to an image only if a specific condition is met. Take for example a situation where you have allocated space on your page for a user uploaded image with a width and height of 200 pixels. Furthermore, if the image contains a face you would like to zoom in and focus on the face itself, otherwise you would like to fit the entire image into the available space:

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