So, your boss comes to you in a panic: he's just heard about Google's Core Web Vitals initiative and needs you to optimize the company website right now! "No problem," you say, hiding your fear that it's not something that can be done overnight. Just taking the first metric, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), how can you possibly identify all the large elements - most likely images or video posters - of the many hundreds of pages that make up your site? There are already thousands of high-resolution (read massive) media files stored away, which marketing could use any time. How are you going to make sure they're all compressed to a size small enough to be delivered within the threshold? Not to mention all the new images and videos that will be created over time...
I think we can all agree images and videos, ubiquitous on today’s websites and mobile apps, are a core component of our digital life. They are no longer just important elements of the visual web story; they are that story. Equally crucial are interactive experiences, such as social discovery, 3D modeling, live shoppable videos, and even artificial or virtual reality.
Although bringing products to life with high-quality video started as a nice-to-have feature, video has become a key part of e-commerce. Consumers expect to see product videos before making purchasing decisions, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented them from browsing products in person, significantly expanding the e-commerce market.
I still remember well my first week as a DevOps at Cloudinary. The year was 2017. Everything was new to me—people, laptop, processes—all of which to become familiar with in short order. A mantra often repeated to me in those days was that, Cloudinary being a SaaS, continuous service uptime is its most important goal.
Transforming images with Cloudinary is simple, right? You find the ones you want and add them to your URL, building them up and trying them out until they’re perfect. You can then save the transformations that you created as named transformations for reuse. That final step sounds straightforward, but up until now has been a little tricky. With Cloudinary’s slick and new UI, creating and managing transformations through the Management Console just got even simpler. That UI now includes—
Slideshows. Though sometimes boring, they are an essential cog in the corporate wheel, having served for decades as the medium for presentations. For a more lively display, consider combining various media types into a single video slideshow, which could serve as compelling, personalized, and engaging content for your users. Additionally, you can apply sophisticated transition configurations and Cloudinary’s many transformation capabilities.
I can be quite passionate about image codecs. A “codec battle” is brewing, and I’m not the only one to have opinions about that. Obviously, as the chair of the JPEG XL ad hoc group in the JPEG Committee, I’m firmly in the camp of the codec I’ve been working on for years. Here in this post, however, I’ll strive to be fair and neutral.
AVIF is a new image format for the web. Before I tell you all about it, let me show you what AVIF can do.
One way to compare image codecs is to encode the same image in different formats at matched file sizes and then compare the visual quality of the resulting images. For example, I rendered the AVIF below with a
q_50 quality transformation. It weighs 12.3 KB and, compared to the lossless original it looks pretty good subjectively.
It’s no wonder retail and e-commerce companies understand it essential to provide shoppers with a truly immersive and engaging online experience. And visuals—delivered quickly and flawlessly—are at the heart of this experience. From homepage to checkout.