Cloudinary is a cloud-based service that provides an end-to-end image and video management solution. The PHP library provides simple, yet comprehensive image and video manipulation, optimization, and delivery capabilities that you can implement using code that integrates seamlessly with your existing PHP application.

The library was tested with PHP 5.4 and is based on generic code that can be used with PHP frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Zend, Symfony and others.

Quick example: Transformations

The following Cloudinary URL and corresponding PHP SDK code delivers the image below in an https delivery URL, including all of the following transformations:

  • Thumbnail crop to a size of 150x150 pixels using face detection gravity to automatically determine the location for the crop
  • Rounded corners with a 20 pixel radius
  • Sepia effect
  • Overlay of the Cloudinary logo on the southeast corner (with a slight offset). The logo is scaled down to a 50 pixel width, with increased brightness, and partial transparency (opacity = 60%)
  • Rotated by 10 degrees
  • Converted to and delivered in PNG format (the originally uploaded image was a JPG)

cl_image_tag("front_face.png", array("secure"=>true, "transformation"=>array(
  array("width"=>150, "height"=>150, "gravity"=>"face", "radius"=>20, "effect"=>"sepia", "crop"=>"thumb"),
  array("overlay"=>"cloudinary_icon", "gravity"=>"south_east", "x"=>5, "y"=>5, "width"=>50, "opacity"=>60, "effect"=>"brightness:200"),
sample transformation

Quick example: File upload

The following PHP code uploads the dog.mp4 video to the specified account sub-folder using the public_id, my_dog. The video will overwrite the existing my_dog video if it exists. When the video upload is complete, the specified notification URL will receive details about the uploaded media asset.

  array("folder" => "my_folder/my_sub_folder/", "public_id" => "my_dog", "overwrite" => TRUE, 
  "notification_url" => "", "resource_type" => "video"))

PHP library features

  • Build URLs for image and video manipulations
  • PHP view helper tags for embedding and transforming images
  • API wrappers: file upload, administration, sprite generation and more
  • Server-side file upload + direct unsigned file upload from the browser using the jQuery plugin

PHP capitalization and data type guidelines

When using the PHP SDK, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Parameter names: snake_case. For example: public_id
  • Classes: PascalCase. For example: CloudinaryField
  • Methods: snake_case. For example: cl_image_upload_tag
  • Pass parameter data as: array


Composer installation

Use Composer to manage your PHP library dependency, and install Cloudinary's PHP library directly from the Packagist repository.

  1. Update your composer.json file as follows:

      "require": {
        "cloudinary/cloudinary_php": "dev-master"
  2. Automatically install dependencies including Cloudinary's PHP package:

    php composer.phar install

Manual installation

Although Composer is the recommended method for installing the PHP library, if necessary you can also manually install the library as follows:

  1. Download the latest sources from:
  2. Copy the src folder and the autoload.php file into your PHP project and then include Cloudinary's PHP classes in your code:

    require 'autoload.php';
    require 'Helpers.php'; //optional for using the cl_image_tag and cl_video_tag helper methods


To use the Cloudinary PHP library, you have to configure at least your cloud_name. Your api_key and api_secret are also needed for secure API calls to Cloudinary (e.g., image and video uploads). You can additionally define a number of optional configuration parameters if relevant. You can find your account-specific configuration credentials in the dashboard of our Management Console.

Setting the configuration parameters can be done either programmatically in each call to a Cloudinary method or you can set them globally using either an environment variable or the config method.

Here's an example of setting configuration parameters globally in your PHP application:

  "cloud_name" => "my_cloud_name", 
  "api_key" => "my_key", 
  "api_secret" => "my_secret" 

Another configuration option allows you to dynamically configure the cloud_name, api_key, and api_secret by defining the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable. The configuration URL is also available in the Management Console dashboard. When using Cloudinary through a PaaS add-on (e.g., AppFog), this environment variable is automatically defined in your deployment environment:


Sample projects

For additional useful code samples and to learn how to integrate Cloudinary with your PHP applications, take a look at our Sample Projects.

  • Basic PHP sample: Uploading local and remote images to Cloudinary and generating various transformation URLs.
  • PHP Photo Album: A fully working web application that allows you to upload photos, maintain a database with references, list images with their metadata, and display them using various cloud-based transformations. Image uploading is performed both from the server side and directly from the browser using a jQuery plugin.

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