Cloudinary Blog

How Mediavine handled image load in a 50M+ page-views Rails site

 
We are often asked to share our customer stories with the rest of the Cloudinary community. Whether it's for learning about others experiences managing images with Cloudinary, or just to reaffirm Cloudinary's solution - we love to hear your stories and we're happy to share them.
 
Today, we wanted to introduce you to Mediavine Inc., one of the largest online entertainment networks on the web, and how they utilized Cloudinary to solve their image management needs.
 
 

The customer

Mediavine, Inc. owns and operates some of the web's largest entertainment and lifestyle properties. Mediavine's network of sites include:

       TV Fanatic

     
        Movie Fanatic
         
       Food Fanatic
         

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Combined, these websites garner a traffic of nearly 50 million page views a month. 
As modern media outlets go, Mediavine's websites are incredibly image rich. 
 

The challenge

Mediavine's sites run on a custom Ruby on Rails CMS hosted on Heroku. Like many other Rails sites, they started off using the Carrierwave and mini_magick gems to handle their image needs. 
 
However, as their page views and image processing needs grew, they quickly ran into performance problems
 
"No matter how much we optimized image uploads - including moving all version processing to background workers - uploading several high resolution files was just not going to be possible through the dyno manifold." Says Eric Hochberger, founder and head of development at Mediavine. "We knew we needed to go directly to our image store, S3. We looked into rolling out our own solutions, such as carrierwave_direct, but they were far too complex after way too many hours of struggling. And they would still require additional image processing!"
 
 
 

The solution

We asked Eric if he could share his experience with Cloudinary: 
 
"With Cloudinary we got direct upload to the cloud working within minutes. But it didn't just stop there. Cloudinary solved our timeout issue, while greatly speeding up our uploading process, thanks to its easy-to-implement javascript upload." Eric said.
 
"Cloudinary did more than that though. It helped us solve problems we had previously never thought were fixable," Eric added. "Scaling animated gifs worked perfectly without any of our previous imagemagick glitches. As for face detection we thought only the geniuses at Facebook could possess?  Yeah. We have it now. Full ITPC data?  Just try getting that out of mini_magick. Now we can pull locations out of images."
 
What about the integration with Cloudinary? "This all came in ridiculously easy fashion. Really, when it comes to any headaches with dealing with images, Cloudinary has solved them all. Its URLs even solve CDN cache busting. Working with Cloudinary's gem and carrierwave implementation has been a programmer's dream."
 

Recommendation

"It's rare when you can outsource a problem and save money but somehow Cloudinary managed to do that." says Eric. "We were able to knock our direct image hosting costs in half from S3/CloudFront, thanks to Cloudinary's generous pricing and optimization. Even better, we were able to significantly reduce Heroku usage, courtesy of seriously reducing worker dynos with outsourcing thumbnail and version generation. Talk about a win-win."
 
"Even if you have a 'working' solution," continues Eric, "we promise Cloudinary will do it better. Don't worry if you have to migrate from an existing system. They even come with code to help you do that. We had our hundreds of thousands of images migrated in less than an hour. And thanks to the fact they support carrierwave, we had minimal code changes."
 
 

Final words

We were very impressed by just how fast Mediavine managed to wrap their heads around the Cloudinary service, migrate their images and complete the full integration. 
 
We are extremely excited to have Mediavine using Cloudinary, and wanted to thank Eric for taking the time and sharing his experience.
 
Cloudinary users - let us know if you want to share your own unique experience using Cloudinary. We'd love to feature your services here and we're sure that all of Cloudinary's customers will find your insights helpful.
 
Mediavine case study

Recent Blog Posts

React.js Tutorial: How to develop a React library

Developing a library requires a different approach from developing an application. You must consider the use of the library in someone else’s application and design for it. React is well suited for this purpose. And if the library you are creating is an adapter to another library, you can dynamically generate the component's properties definition to ensure they are forward compatible. There is however more than one way to achieve the same goal, with some conventions to follow and others to cautiously not follow. In particular, I chose to use the context function even though it is an experimental feature because it is useful when you don’t know, or can’t dictate, the way your library's components will be utilized.

Read more
Learn about AdonisJs and how to set up a CMS with it

Even though Node is fun, easy and cheap to work with, we spend a lot of time writing boilerplate codes because structure and organization is missing.

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.

Read more
Cloud-based image filter transformations for developers

Every picture has a story to tell. But the story it tells can change when you change the color tone, saturation, contrast, or other elements of a photo.

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.

Read more
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.
Read more