PHP integration


Cloudinary is a cloud-based service that provides an end-to-end image and video management solution including uploads, storage, manipulations, optimizations and delivery.

With Cloudinary you can easily upload your media assets to the cloud and automatically perform smart image and video manipulations without installing any complex software. All your media resources are then seamlessly delivered through a fast CDN, optimized and using industry best practices. Cloudinary offers comprehensive APIs and administration capabilities and is easy to integrate with new and existing web and mobile applications.

Quick example

Take a look at the following Cloudinary URL that generates the image below:

Simply accessing the above URL told Cloudinary to transform an uploaded image, create a 150x150px thumbnail using face detection based cropping, round the image's corners, add a sepia effect, convert it to a transparent PNG format, add a watermark layer, rotate the image by 10 degrees and ultimately delivered the resulting image through a fast CDN using smart caching techniques.

PHP Library Features

Cloudinary provides an open source PHP library for further simplifying the integration:

  • Build URLs for transformation & manipulation.
  • PHP view helper methods for embedding and transforming.
  • API wrappers: upload, administration, sprite generation and more.
  • Direct uploading from the browser using a jQuery plugin.

The library was tested with PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4. Cloudinary's PHP library is based on a generic code that can be used with PHP frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Zend, Symfony and others.

PHP - Getting started guide


Cloudinary's PHP integration library is available as an open-source PHP code. You can download the latest sources from the following link:

Copy all files from the src folder into your PHP project and include Cloudinary's PHP classes in your code:

require 'Cloudinary.php';
require 'Uploader.php';
require 'Api.php';

If you use Composer to manage your PHP library dependency, you can install Cloudinary's PHP library directly from the Packagist repository. Update your composer.json file as follows:

  "require": {
    "cloudinary/cloudinary_php": "dev-master"

Automatically install dependencies including Cloudinary's PHP package:

php composer.phar install


Your cloud_name account parameter is required to build URLs for your media assets. api_key and api_secret are further needed to perform secure API calls to Cloudinary (e.g., image and video uploads). See Account and API setup for more details.

Setting the configuration parameters can be done either programmatically in each call to a Cloudinary method or globally using an environment variable or the config method.

You can find your configuration parameters in the dashboard of our Management Console.

Here's an example of setting configuration parameters globally in your PHP application:

  "cloud_name" => "sample", 
  "api_key" => "874837483274837", 
  "api_secret" => "a676b67565c6767a6767d6767f676fe1" 

See Configuration Options for more details and additional configuration methods.

3Upload media assets

You can upload images, videos or any other files from your PHP server. Uploading is done over HTTPS using a secure protocol based on the api_key and api_secret parameters you provide.

The following command uploads a local file to Cloudinary:


Alternatively, you can a specify a local path, a public HTTP URL, an S3 URL or an actual resource file's data. For example:


Each resource uploaded to Cloudinary is assigned a unique Public ID and is available for immediate delivery and transformation. The upload method returns an associative array with content similar to that shown in the following example:

    [public_id] => sample
    [version] => 1312461204
    [width] => 864
    [height] => 576
    [format] => jpg
    [bytes] => 120253
    [url] =>
    [secure_url] =>

As you can see in the following example, with a single call you can define your own Public ID, apply an incoming transformation before storing the resource file in the cloud, generate derived versions of the resource eagerly and assign tags to uploaded resources:

       "public_id" => "sample_id",
       "crop" => "limit", "width" => "2000", "height" => "2000",
       "eager" => array(
         array( "width" => 200, "height" => 200, 
                "crop" => "thumb", "gravity" => "face",
                "radius" => 20, "effect" => "sepia" ),
         array( "width" => 100, "height" => 150, 
                "crop" => "fit", "format" => "png" )
       "tags" => array( "special", "for_homepage" )

Many more upload options as well as direct uploading from the browser are detailed here: PHP image upload and PHP video upload.

4Display and manipulate images and video

Adding images and video to your PHP view is quite straightforward. Just use the cl_image_tag or cl_video_tag helper method. This method generates the full source URL based on the given parameters and adds the image to your HTML code:

For example, displaying the uploaded image with the sample public ID, while providing an alternate text:

<?php echo cl_image_tag("sample.jpg", array( "alt" => "Sample Image" )); ?>
864x576 JPG (Scaled down)

Now, let's say that you wish to display a small thumbnail of this uploaded image. Simply add the transformation instructions to your call. For example, displaying the 'sample' image transformed to fill a 100x150 rectangle:

<?php echo cl_image_tag("sample.jpg", 
                        array( "width" => 100, "height" => 150, "crop" => "fill" )); ?>
100x150 JPG

This is equivalent to:

<img src=',h_150,w_100/sample.jpg' 
     width='100' height='150' />

Using simple parameters you can perform powerful manipulations. The PHP library builds Cloudinary URLs that you can embed in your web and mobile views for dynamically transforming your uploaded resources in the cloud and delivering the results through a fast CDN with advanced caching.

You can easily convert formats, resize, perform face detection-based image cropping, apply effects and filters, append textual layers or watermarks and more.

The following command, for example, embeds a JPG thumbnail of a profile photo fetched from Facebook in real-time, crops it to a circle, applies a sepia effect and delivers it optimized through a CDN:

<?php echo facebook_profile_image_tag("billclinton.jpg", 
               "width" => 90, "height" => 98, 
               "crop" => "fill", "gravity" => "face",
               "radius" => "max", "effect" => "sepia"
             )); ?>
90x98 JPG

For more information about supported transformations and their usage, refer to Image transformations and Video manipulation and delivery.

For more details about Cloudinary's image transformation and manipulation in PHP, see PHP image manipulation and PHP video manipulation.

5Sample projects

To find additional useful code samples and learn how to integrate Cloudinary with your PHP applications, take a look at our Sample Projects.

Basic PHP sample: Uploading local and remote images to Cloudinary and generating various transformation URLs.

PHP Photo Album: A fully working web application that allows you to uploads photos, maintain a database with references to them, list them with their metadata, and display them using various cloud-based transformations. Image uploading is performed both from the server side and directly from the browser using a jQuery plugin.

6What's next

Sign up for a free account if you haven't done so already. Follow the steps above and try Cloudinary out. Finished all steps? That's just an example of what Cloudinary can offer. Here's some additional reading material to help you get the best out of Cloudinary:

Learn more about PHP image upload and PHP video upload.

Explore powerful PHP image manipulation and PHP video manipulation features and see our Image transformations and Video manipulation and delivery docs.

Browse additional PHP integration topics: configuration, Admin API, etc.

Stay tuned for updates, tips and tutorials: Blog, Twitter, Facebook.