Cloudinary Blog

Keep.com, releasing the image processing bottleneck

Cloudinary is passionate about its users. We built our cloud-based image management features around real-world pain points, and it's gratifying to see our customers use those features to solve major business challenges.

One example is Keep.com, an innovative online commerce startup, which the Huffington Post has called "the only fashion app worth getting". We wanted to share the story of how Keep used Cloudinary to remove a major bottleneck in the development of their website and business.

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Using WebP file format selectively to boost site speed
One of the hardest optimization goals when showing images to your website (and mobile application's) visitors, is to minimize the image file size while maintaining high enough display quality.
 
Smaller image file sizes directly translate to faster load times, reduced bandwidth costs and improved user browsing experience. But small file sizes directly translate to lower image quality and may harm visitor satisfaction. Maintaining just the right balance is both crucial and hard.
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More and more developers are getting to know the power of the cloud. In today's web application development world you can leverage the cloud to build large scale applications so quickly and easily that it's simply mind-boggling that you get all of this while still keeping on a very reasonable budget. 
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Back in the 1990s, websites mainly comprised of static textual pages dashed with a few images to make them slightly more appealing. You could even disable image downloading in your browser to make pages load faster, quite unthinkable in today's websites.
 
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When we first started developing web apps with Ruby on Rails, some six years ago, we struggled with finding a good IDE. We settled for Eclipse with RadRails (still developing on PCs at that time...), but kept our eyes open for new and promising IDEs. At late 2007, a very surprising contender caught our eyes, it was called ‘Heroku’ and it offered an amazing concept - a fully featured IDE for Ruby-on-Rails that was completely online, available through your favorite browser.

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Several years ago, a good friend of mine showed me a cool graphic design concept for his new web-based startup company. It looked pretty great. What really caught my eye was the designer’s unique use of visitor profile photos. You see, when a visitor registered to the service and uploaded his photo, the designer envisioned a large, faded, B&W, slightly rotated version of the same profile photo being used as the background image for the visitor’s personal home page. I thought for a minute and told my friend to let this one go. 
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As web developers, we closely monitor the shifts in today's modern web applications architecture stack. We find the client vs. server-side HTML rendering debate particularly interesting.
 
In the past several years, we’ve witnessed the enormous rise in popularity of client-side JS/CoffeeScript MVC & MVVM solutions. From popular libraries such as Backbone.js that strive to add basic structure to client-side apps, all the way to feature-rich libraries that manage your entire client-side stack, with data-binding, client-server model sync, dependency tracking, templates and more. The involvement of high-profile companies and individuals in this market is also fascinating, between KnockoutJS contributions from Microsoft, the Google-backed Angular and Yehuda Katz's Ember, the heat is definitely on. 
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