Programmable Media

PHP migration guide

Last updated: Dec-18-2023


The latest major version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK is designed to provide a simpler and more enhanced developer experience. This guide will explain how to migrate from your existing legacy PHP SDK version, including the changes you'll need to make to your code and any other considerations.

Key improvements in the latest PHP SDK version:

  • A new action-based syntax, designed to make building delivery URLs and transformations more logical and discoverable.
    • When compiled to the final delivery URL, each action (including any action qualifiers) represents a different component (separated by a '/'), for example: /c_scale,w_400/f_auto/q_auto/, rather than /c_scale,f_auto,q_auto,w_400/.
  • Newly added autocomplete to list options and parameters and ensure only those that are supported can be used together.

Things to know before migrating to the latest SDK

The action-based syntax used in the latest version of the SDK may cause URLs to be formed differently from those generated by the legacy version of SDK.

For example:

  • URL generated with legacy SDK:,f_auto,q_auto,w_400/sample.jpg
  • URL generated with latest SDK:,w_400/f_auto/q_auto/sample.jpg

Even if the delivered media file looks and behaves identically, changes to URLs can have the following implications:

  • You may see a one-time increase in transformation counts
  • You may see a one-time increase in storage usage for the new derived assets
  • You may see a one-time increase in add-on usage when add-on transformation parameters are used in the URL
  • CDN caches may need to be warmed with the new derived assets
  • If strict transformations are enabled for your your product environment (in the Security page of your Console Settings), you need to allow the new transformations
  • If you require transformations to be generated eagerly, for example long videos, you need to regenerate these via the latest SDK, using the eager parameter of the explicit method.

To reduce the impact of all of the above, we recommend using the fromParams method for your existing transformation URLs, especially if your existing app delivers a large number of transformed assets. This maintains the formations of the transformations, so the URLs remain the same.

For all new transformation URLs that you add to your application, we recommend using the new action-based SDK syntax offered by the latest version of the SDK.

For full documentation on the latest version of the PHP SDK, see the PHP SDK guide.


Before installing the SDK ensure you have removed the existing legacy SDK dependency from your application.


Install the SDK using composer in the same way as your existing version, specifying the new version you want to install.

For example:

You can also install manually by downloading the package from the GitHub repository and it including it in your project.


As part of migrating from the legacy version to the latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK, you will need to update your code in order to retain your existing functionality and allow you to take advantage of the new functionality. The main difference between the latest version and the older versions is the way your media is delivered. The latest version provides a new syntax for building your delivery URLs, designed to make it simpler and more logical. You may also need to update the way you set your global configuration. There is also a small change to the way you access upload and administration methods, this will require minor refactoring.


If you currently set your configuration using the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable, you will not need to make a change to this. If you set your configuration globally, you will need to update this to be compatible with the latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK.

You can set your configuration using an instance of the Configuration class:

Alternatively, if you require multiple instances, you can use the Cloudinary object, for example:


The upload method in the latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK is no longer a static method. To upload assets to Cloudinary you will now need to use the UploadApi class.

Update all instances of the upload method to use the method from the UploadApi class, rather than the Cloudinary Uploader.

For example, to upload the image "my_image":


You can find more detailed documentation in the PHP SDK guide.


Similar to upload, the admin methods are now accessed from the AdminApi class.

For example, to get details of an asset using the assets method (resources in the legacy version):


You can find more detailed documentation in the PHP SDK guide.


The latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK uses a new syntax for creating Cloudinary delivery URLs and media tags, so to fully update your code, you would need to replace the old syntax with the correct new syntax. However, to make the initial migration as easy as possible, the latest SDK provides a fromParams helper method that takes the original transformations in the old syntax as a parameter. This allows you to wrap your existing transformation syntax and maintain the structure of the generated transformation URLs.

If you have a large number of assets, we recommend you migrate using the fromParams method. If you replace your existing transformations using the new SDK transformation syntax, you may find your URLs are generated in a slightly different way. See Things to know before migrating to the latest SDK, for the implications of these changes to transformation URLs.

You will need to update any instance of:

  • cloudinary_url
  • cl_image_tag
  • cl_video_tag

Cloudinary URLs

To migrate your Cloudinary URLs from the legacy version of the SDK to the latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK, you will need to replace the cloudinary_url helper method with a new media instance and use the fromParams helper method.

For example:


Cloudinary image and video tags

For image and video tags, replace cl_image_tag and cl_video_tag with ImageTag and VideoTag respectively and include the fromParams helper method.

For example:


Additional types

When an image is delivered from a video or vice versa, you need to identify the delivery type and use the correct delivery method.

For example, to deliver a thumbnail image from a video, with the legacy SDK you could use cl_image_tag and set the resource_type to "video":

For the latest version of the Cloudinary PHP SDK you need to deliver the correct media type. In this example you would use VideoThumbnailTag:

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