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Delivering all your websites’ images through a CDN

Apr 27, 2012 by Tal Lev-Ami
If you take a look at the top 100 blogs you will notice that almost all of them deliver their assets (images, JS, CSS, etc.) through state-of-the-art CDNs and utilize online resizing technologies. With faster, off-site access, they greatly improve their users’ browsing experience, while reducing load on their servers.
 
Using Cloudinary you can use these same technologies today, in your website or blog, without any hassle. Simply direct all your images to Cloudinary and they would be delivered to your visitors through Amazon’s powerful CDN network. You can even add alternative dimensions to your images’ URL and get your pictures in any desired size or perspective. All of this with minimum changes on your side.
 
How it’s done? Simply prefix all your images with:
 
http://res.cloudinary.com/<your cloudinary cloud name>/image/fetch/

 
Here's a quick example:
Jennifer Lawrence

Both URLs return the exact same image, only the second one is cached and delivered through fast, localized CDNs and not via your local web server. Better experience to your users. Lower load on your server. Lower hosting costs.
 
Note: that 'demo' in all the URLs should be replaced with your Cloudinary’s cloud name. Click here to set up one in seconds.
 
You can use this method to create different sized thumbnails for the same photo. For example, creating a 150x150 crop focused on Jennifer’s face ('g_face') and with rounded corners of 20 pixels ('r_20') generates the following beautiful image:
 

150x150 Jennifer Lawrence
 
Nice, isn’t it :) see our docs of image transformations for plenty more options.
 
If you are a developer, you can do the same from code. For example, in Ruby on Rails:
 
cl_image_tag("http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/" +
                       "Jennifer_Lawrence_at_the_83rd_Academy_Awards.jpg",
                       :type => :fetch, :width => 150, :height => 150,
                       :crop => :thumb, :gravity => :face, :radius => 20)
 
Note that if the image behind the original URL changes, Cloudinary will automatically update the images embedded in your site and all its resized versions.
 
To summarize, any blogger and any website owner can now deliver its website’s images through a CDN and seamlessly create smartly resized and cropped images in any dimension. All that by just adding the Cloudinary resource URL as a prefix to all images.
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