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

Techniques for Image Enhancement With Cloudinary

Indisputably, visual presentations of events, places, people, and even intangible things make deeper impressions and linger in our minds for longer than words or any other communication medium, hence the meteoric rise through the ages of transmitting ideas and promoting brands in the business sector through images. The recent discovery of the first image of a black hole has generated calls for techniques for enhancing digital images. Specifically, the clamor is for quality-oriented tweaks that would result in optimal display and increased visibility of slightly hidden yet important content.

Read more
Video Manipulations and Delivery for Angular Video Apps

On social media, videos posted by users constitute a significant amount of the content appeal on those platforms. From upload to manipulation to delivery, a smooth, efficient, and effective pipeline for the posting process is mandatory to ensure consistent user sessions and their steadily increasing volume. However, building such an infrastructure is a complex, labor-intensive, and problem-prone undertaking.

Read more
Green Screen Queen: Dynamic Video Transparency Fit For Royalty

If you were reading your social media or news feeds on or around June 11 this year, no doubt you came across your fair share of posts about Queen Elizabeth and her outfit-color faux pas. For her 90th birthday, she chose a solid neon green suit, and it didn't take long for Photoshop fanatics to suggest alternative designs for the Queen's green-screen threads.

Read more
Content-Aware Automatic Cropping for Video

Delivering videos according to the aspect ratios defined by social media for multiple devices and platforms is a growing challenge. The continuously rising volume of vertical videos and the corresponding increase in video traffic on mobile devices (now up to 57% of online videos watched) have only exacerbated the situation, with no letup in sight.

Read more
Use a custom function in the image delivery pipeline

Cloudinary offers a wide array of image manipulations and effects to apply to images as part of our image-processing pipeline, helping to ensure that your images fit the graphic design of your website or mobile application. Cloudinary is an open platform, and you can use our APIs, Widgets and UI to build the media management flow that matches your needs.

Read more