Cloudinary Blog

Delivering all your websites’ images through a CDN

CDN for Images - Optimize and Deliver Images Faster
Most leading blogs 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 media assets 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.
 
UPDATE - March 2013: All Cloudinary media assets are delivered via the leading worldwide CDN of Akamai.

UPDATE - November 2016: Customers of the higher Cloudinary plans can choose between Akamai, CloudFront, or Fastly, or even take advantage of smart CDN selection or dynamic multi-CDN switching. For more details, see the multi-CDN blog post.
 
How it’s done? Simply prefix all your images with:
 
https://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 and videos 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 and videos.
 
You can also refer to this Visual Web resource for Image Delivery and CDN.

Recent Blog Posts

CoreMedia Adds Cloudinary to its CoreMedia Studio Platform

Today we’re pleased to announce a new technology partnership with CoreMedia, a leading Content Experience Platform provider. CoreMedia users can now leverage Cloudinary’s web-based digital asset management (DAM) solution to organize, search, manage and optimize their media assets, including images and videos, and to orchestrate, preview and deliver digital experiences consistently and optimized across all channels and browsers. The official press release is available here.

Read more
Facial-Surveillance System for Restricted Zones

In Africa, where Internet access and bandwidth are limited, it’s not cost-effective or feasible to establish and maintain a connectivity for security and surveillance applications. That challenge makes it almost impossible to build a service that detects, with facial-recognition technology, if someone entering a building is authorized to do so. To meet the final-year research requirement for my undergraduate studies, I developed a facial-surveillance system. Armed with a background in computer vision, I decided to push the limits and see if I could build a surveillance system that does not require recording long video footage.

Read more
Complex Networks Case Study

Complex Networks has been using Cloudinary since 2014 to manage and optimize images across seven websites and two mobile apps, making editorial workflow more efficient, improving page performance and load time, and increasing user engagement. Cloudinary was instrumental in enabling Complex Networks to redesign its web properties. Without the flexibility that Cloudinary offers to both creative and development teams, it would not have been possible for Complex Networks to achieve such a fast time to market.

Read more
Automate Placeholder Generation and Accelerate Page Loads

If you run a Google search on LQIP you’ll see very few relevant articles, very little guidance, and definitely no Wikipedia articles. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the feedback on LQIP we have gathered from the community and suggest and open for conversation a few approaches based on the built-in capabilities of the Cloudinary service. Specifically, we’ll explain what LQIP are, where they are best used, and how you can leverage them to accelerate page loads and optimize user experience.

Read more
Best Practices for Optimizing Web Page Speed

If you're like most consumers today, you engage more with pictures or videos on a website than text. The stats don't lie - four times as many visitors would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and sites with compelling images average twice as many views as text-heavy ones.

Read more
A day of fun with Girls Who Code and Cloudinary

During both my computer science studies and work in the tech field, there have not been a lot of women present. While our ranks have grown, women still make up only a small percentage. In many ways, I think the traditionally male-dominated world can be intimidating to women and girls who may be interested in pursuing these types of tech careers.

Read more