Cloudinary Blog

Blog posts of 'Features and Add-ons' tag
More and more developers are getting to know the power of the cloud. In today's web application development world you can leverage the cloud to build large scale applications so quickly and easily that it's simply mind-boggling that you get all of this while still keeping on a very reasonable budget. 
 
For many developers, it took quite some time to overcome the natural not-invented-here syndrome and start trusting cloud services over the traditional in-house solutions. But it seems that we've already pass this hurdle and most recent web and mobile apps are counting heavily on cloud services to deliver them great solutions that cover important features, save crucial dev & support time, reduce dev costs and remove unnecessary development challenges.
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Modifying an image opacity so the image is semi-transparent is a common requirement when implementing modern graphics design. Reducing image opacity allows background images to feel less dominant. Reducing opacity also allows layering of multiple images one on top of the other, an important step when adding watermarks, badges and textual overlays to images.
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In a previous post we've shown how you can easily manage your Ruby on Rails image uploads with CarrierWave and Cloudinary. Many of our Rails readers found this very useful, as it depicted a powerful image management solution that is trivial to integrate - use the popular CarrierWave GEM together with the Cloudinary GEM, add a single 'include' line to your code and that's it. All your images are automatically uploaded to the cloud and delivered through a fast CDN. Better yet, all image transformations defined in your CarrierWave uploader class are generated in the cloud by Cloudinary. No need to install and setup any image processing library (goodbye RMagick, ImageMagick, GraphicsMagick, MiniMagick, etc.). You also don't need to worry any more about CPU power, storage space, image syncing between multiple servers, backup and scale.
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Graphic designers often contemplate whether to add borders to their website elements. The decision of whether to add borders around frames, buttons and text elements really depends on the feeling the designer is trying to convey through the design. 
 
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When images are involved, web developers have a large set of relevant tools at their disposal. You can display images in your web sites and mobile applications. You can manipulate and transform such images using image editing and manipulation software or cloud-based solutions like Cloudinary. But there are other types of data embedded in image files that can add unique semantic information to the images and are hardly ever used.
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Back in the 1990s, websites mainly comprised of static textual pages dashed with a few images to make them slightly more appealing. You could even disable image downloading in your browser to make pages load faster, quite unthinkable in today's websites.
 
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Different online services, websites and mobile applications have very different image management requirements. Despite the differences, the image management pipeline boils down to the same basic formula - upload the images, normalize them, store them and manipulate them to create derivatives (thumbnails, effects, watermarks, etc.). Afterwards, prepare them for delivery and make sure they are accessible to your users quickly and efficiently when browsing your website or using your mobile app.
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Different web applications have very different requirements when images are involved. A dating website will focus its image-related attention on normalizing and delivering his user uploaded snapshots. A pinterest style service is focused on retrieving external images from around the web and fitting them to its cool layout. An eCommerce website is focused on the effective delivery of the many product thumbnails it depicts.
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Where do you host all of your website's assets - still on your own web servers? 
 
In modern websites, images alone contribute to more than 50% of a website’s load time, and recent studies show that even a 1 second delay in a page's load speed can result in more than 5% loss in conversion. The impact of correctly delivering your website's images to your viewers is staggering. Luckily, Cloudinary offers a simple way to offload your website's images to the cloud, automatically transform them according to your needs and deliver them optimized through a fast CDN employing industry best practices.
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