Cloudinary Blog

Why We Integrated Cloudinary at Forestry.io

Integrating Cloudinary with Forestry’s Media Library

At Forestry, we believe that there is a bright future for static HTML sites built with tools like Jekyll and Hugo. These tools can create sites that run well, and are easy to host and maintain, because they don’t require any server-side code.

One drawback of static sites is that they don’t provide a user-friendly content management interface when compared to popular blogging platforms, like WordPress. For this reason, we sought to create the best possible content management engine that integrates easily with static site generators. Developers that use Forestry can connect the Git repository containing their static site and start editing their content in our UI right away. When users save changes to their content, Forestry will update the appropriate files and commit them back to the repository.

Our Git-Backed Media Library

Our Git-Backed Media Library

A major component of Forestry’s interface is its media library. It enables you to upload images and insert them into your content, as well as into front matter fields. Until recently, a user’s only option for storing these uploads was to have the files committed back to their Git repository with the rest of their content.

This has worked pretty well. Storing media in Git is great because it means your images are always available wherever your content is, and accidentally deleting images can easily be reversed by pulling them out of the commit history.

While using Git for images has its advantages, it is not ideal for users who have a large number of images on their site. The larger your Git repo, the slower it is to use. Developers cloning and working on the repo will feel this performance degradation. In addition to increasing development time, a large number of images in your repository will also slow down the building and deployment of your website.

We still offer the option of storing media in the Git repo by default. It’s a great option that requires no additional configuration by our users. Those concerned with scalability and performance, however, needed something better.

Moving the Media Library to Cloudinary

When it came time to explore other persistence options for our media library, we looked to Cloudinary. We were already using Cloudinary to optimize the asset delivery on our own website, though we achieved this by storing the assets in our repository and uploading them to Cloudinary during deployment. By integrating Cloudinary with Forestry’s media library, we could make it much easier for our users to take advantage of its features.

Cloudinary’s image upload API made it easy to implement this integration. When users choose to upload images to their Cloudinary account instead of storing them in their Git repo, the media library UI will display their Cloudinary images instead of the uploads stored in Git. Uploading images through the Forestry UI will send them to Cloudinary; but users also can upload files using Cloudinary’s dashboard and the images will appear in their Forestry media library.

Our early iterations of the feature included an interface to apply some basic image transformations. We later discarded this idea, because Cloudinary has a rich and well-documented image transformation API that you can access by manipulating the image URL. We felt that by enabling developers to insert their own URL transformations in their layouts, it would give them maximum flexibility without requiring us to keep pace with all of Cloudinary’s image transformation options.

Forestry + Cloudinary = heart

Cloudinary support was a highly anticipated feature for us. We are thrilled to offer this option to our users to ease their media storage issues and make it easy for them to deliver optimized assets. If you’d like to know more about how to use Cloudinary with Forestry, check out our blog post on using Cloudinary’s URL transformations with a static site. If you’re interested in seeing what Forestry’s all about, create a free account and try out our demo site.

Recent Blog Posts

Create Lightweight Sites With Low-Code and No-Code Technology

Consumers expect modern websites to be mainly visual. But, the more compelling and complex the related media is, the more data is involved, compounding the site’s weight. In today’s content-craving world, delivering unoptimized media can cost you because it leads to sluggish page loads, resulting in visitors abandoning your site in search of a faster alternative. In fact, a page load that takes more than three seconds can cause as many as 40% of your visitors to bounce. Given this competitive, digital-first environment, you can’t afford to lose page views, for time is of the essence.

Read more
A Blueprint for AWS-Secured Webhook Listeners for Cloudinary

tl;dr: An AWS-secured and optimized Cloudinary webhook listener for extending the Cloudinary service

Code: Github

A webhook is a communication medium for sending notifications from one platform to another about events that occurred. In place are user-defined HTTP callbacks that are triggered by specific events. When a triggered event takes place on the source site, the webhook listens to the event, collects the data, and sends it to the URL you specified in the form of an HTTP request.

Read more
New Accessibility Features for Cloudinary’s Product Gallery Widget

Cloudinary’s Product Gallery widget, which launched in 2019, has enabled many brands to effectively and efficiently showcase their products in a sleek and captivating manner, saving countless hours of development time and accelerating release cycles. By adding Cloudinary’s Product Gallery widget with its customizable UI to their product page, retailers reap numerous benefits, often turning visitors into customers in short order.

Read more
Why Successful Businesses Engage With and Convert Audiences With Visual Media

Most business buyers prefer to research purchase options online, as do many shoppers. No wonder online retail sales in the U.S. rose by 32.4% in 2020—an impressive gain of $105 billion.

For B2B and B2C businesses, text-heavy websites are no longer adequate in attracting shoppers. Instead, engaging visual media—spin images, videos, 3D models, augmented reality—are becoming a must for conveying eye-catching details and differentiators about products or services.

Read more
Making User-Generated Content (UGC) Shoppable With Cloudinary

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful marketing tool. Not only does video complement marketing efforts for e-commerce by enabling customers to explore products in greater detail, but UGC also adds an element of trust. As a bonus, user-generated video is an exceptional opportunity for e-businesses to attract website traffic without their marketing team having to create promotional videos from scratch. User-generated content drives conversions and brand loyalty as a direct result of authentic interaction.

Read more