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PNG optimization - saving bandwidth on transparent PNGs with dynamic underlay

Apr 01, 2014 by Nadav Soferman
Transparent background PNG optimizationThere are many ways to optimize PNG files, but one optimization which is commonly overlooked involves the PNG's transparent background. If you’ve chosen to use PNGs instead of a more compact format like JPG, mainly for the PNG's support of a transparent background (alpha channel), read on and see how dynamic underlays can reduce your file size by as much as 1:5.
 
Graphic designers of sites and apps sometimes wish to display clipped photos on top of a certain background. A common example is a news site that shows a head shot of the author, or a figure mentioned in the article. Typically, the images are clipped using photo editing software like Photoshop, and then they can then be placed above background colors, patterns and between text paragraphs. 
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Website screenshot creation and manipulation with URL2PNG and Cloudinary

Mar 25, 2014 by Nadav Soferman
URL2PNG Add-onThumbnails of website screenshots are a common visual design element. Search engines, such as Google, display webpage screenshots in their search results. Social news sites, such as DZone, embed screenshot thumbnails of shared pages. Bloggers and technology news sites embed screenshots of company websites and online services they discuss in their posts. Development companies embed screenshots of websites they helped develop.
 
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How to automatically migrate all your images to the cloud

Mar 13, 2014 by Nadav Soferman
Automatic image uploadsWebsite developers and administrators today tend to find themselves managing quite a few files, images and other media assets. Whether you upload content to your web application yourself, allow your users to upload files or have files imported from content partners, you'll need to handle the upload process, storage, and possibly thumbnail creation required to showcase your assets online.
 
Many website developers consider moving their assets from hosted storage to cloud-based storage solutions. While somewhat costlier, these modern storage services offer nearly limitless scale and close to 100% uptime.
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Powerful image processing services fully integrated as cloud-based Cloudinary add-ons

Mar 05, 2014 by Nadav Soferman
The modern world of mobile applications and dynamic websites is incredibly rich with images. 
 
Major online newspapers are overhauling their UI design with wall to wall photographs. Social network feeds are chock-full of shared pictures, and e-commerce solutions are constantly improving their viewing widgets with additional product images.
 
As end-users, we enjoy sophisticated image capabilities on a daily basis. We capture images using our mobile devices leveraging face detection and recognition, apply filters and effects, instantly share with friends with ease, and more. We rarely take time to appreciate the powerful image technologies working behind the scenes to allow all this magic to take place. 
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On-the-fly image manipulations secured with signed URLs

Jan 20, 2014 by Nadav Soferman
Signed URLModern web sites and mobile applications frequently showcase a rich set of images with various sizes and dimensions. Such services can even have their graphics, image resolutions and overall look & feel vary between different devices (desktop, mobile, etc.), and may change dramatically with constant upgrades.
 
One of our key requirements with Cloudinary was to help make image modifications as easy, intuitive and flexible as possible. Using our dynamic URLs, you can indeed resize, crop, alter shape and apply effects using simple URL parameters. New images are transformed on-the-fly in the cloud and the resulting thumbnails are optimized and delivered via a fast CDN. As a result, viewing different derived images of a single hi-res source is a snap. Here's an example of a dynamic image manipulation URL in action:
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How to analyze your website's images, improve loading speed and reduce bandwidth costs

Nov 19, 2013 by Nadav Soferman
Insights & ReportsWebsite owners and application developers know that analytics and usage monitoring tools play a major role in growing their products and making them effective, and highly tuned to their customers needs.
 
We all use Google Analytics (or similar tools) to check how our visitors use our site, the path they follow while using our app and the conversion flows that help monetize our business. You might also be monitoring your hosting provider's storage space, CPU utilization and traffic statistics across your production systems.
 
But how do you analyze the usage of your media files? 
 
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Transparent WebP format CDN delivery based on visitors' browsers

Cloud-based WebP DeliveryOne 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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How to create ad banners dynamically for A/B testing and better audience targeting

Aug 29, 2013 by Nadav Soferman
Online advertising is one of the most popular tools to drive traffic to your website and mobile application in a consistent and cost-effective manner. Online text ads play a very big role in this strategy. 
 
Building an effective ad campaign usually involves the write-up of different textual content to perfectly target your audience based on their currently viewed content (or search keywords), demography, and other relevant metrics. For textual ads, the marketing expert can use existing online tools to create and maintain many different ads and experiment with different wordings to optimize the expected conversion rates.
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Display Instagram and Google+ profile pictures in your website and mobile app

Aug 22, 2013 by Nadav Soferman
Instagram and Google+Many modern web and mobile applications include integral social aspects as parts of their online solution. 
 
Users can sign-in to these services and be identified by their chosen social identity. This is made quite straightforward by leveraging single sign-on services such as Facebook Connect, Twitter, Google+ and others. After signing in, activities in the service and user generated content can be accompanied with the real name of the users as well as their profile pictures.
 
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How to support WebP images, save bandwidth and improve user experience

Modern image compression techniques have had a large impact on our lifestyle. Digital cameras can save thousands of high-quality photos on a single memory card, smartphones can quickly share high resolution images on-the-fly, and websites and mobile apps can show rich media quickly. All of this just couldn,t have worked if image data was stored at its original, raw form. 
 
Through our apps, browsers and devices, we all use the JPEG lossy format to manage photos efficiently and the PNG lossless format to deliver graphics, icons and drawings.
 
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