Programmable Media


Last updated: Jul-19-2024

This page provides an in-depth introduction to the PHP SDK.

If you're ready to get coding, jump straight to our quick start.
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Cloudinary's PHP SDK provides simple, yet comprehensive image and video upload, transformation, optimization, and delivery capabilities that you can implement using code that integrates seamlessly with your existing PHP application.

Related topics
This guide relates to the current release of the Cloudinary PHP SDK v2.x.
  • For information on the previous major release of the PHP SDK, see the PHP SDK 1.x documentation. See the PHP SDK Migration guide for more information on migrating from version 1.x to version 2.x of the PHP SDK.
  • For details on all new features and fixes from previous releases of version 2.x, see the CHANGELOG.
  • By default, URLs generated with this SDK include an appended SDK-usage query parameter. Cloudinary tracks aggregated data from this parameter to improve future SDK versions and no individual data is collected. If needed, you can disable the analytics configuration option. Learn more.

Quick example: Transformations

Take a look at the following transformation code and the image it delivers:

sample transformation

This relatively simple code performs all of the following on the original front_face.jpg image before delivering it:

  • Crop to a 150x150 thumbnail using face-detection gravity to automatically determine the location for the crop
  • Round the corners with a 20 pixel radius
  • Apply a sepia effect
  • Overlay the Cloudinary logo on the southeast corner of the image (with a slight offset). The logo is scaled down to a 50 pixel width, with increased brightness and partial transparency (opacity = 60%)
  • Rotate the resulting image (including the overlay) by 10 degrees
  • Convert and deliver the image in PNG format (the originally uploaded image was a JPG)

And here's the URL that would be included in the image tag that's automatically generated from the above code:

In a similar way, you can transform a video.

Learn more about transformations

Quick example: File upload

The following PHP code uploads the dog.mp4 video to the specified folder, and 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.

PHP library features

PHP capitalization and data type guidelines

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

  • Properties names: camelCase. For example: publicId
  • Classes: PascalCase. For example: ImageTag
  • 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:

  2. Automatically install dependencies including Cloudinary's PHP package:

    (If you dont have the necessary permissions you can run the file itself: php composer.phar install)

Make sure that the composer autoload.php is required in any file that will include Cloudinary code, for example: require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';


To use the Cloudinary PHP library, you have to configure at least your cloud_name. An api_key and api_secret are also needed for secure API calls to Cloudinary (e.g., image and video uploads). You can find your product environment configuration credentials in the API Keys page of the Cloudinary Console.

In addition to the required configuration parameters, you can define a number of optional configuration parameters if relevant.

Setting the configuration parameters can be done globally, using either an environment variable or the Configuration::instance method, or programmatically in each call to a Cloudinary method. Parameters set in a call to a Cloudinary method override globally set parameters.

Setting the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable

You can configure the required cloud_name, api_key, and api_secret by defining the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable. Copy the API environment variable format from the API Keys page of the Cloudinary Console Settings. Replace <your_api_key> and <your_api_secret> with your actual values, while your cloud name is already correctly included in the format. When using Cloudinary through a PaaS add-on (e.g., Heroku or AppFog), this environment variable is automatically defined in your deployment environment. For example:

Set additional parameters, for example upload_prefix and secure_distribution, to the environment variable:

Setting parameters globally

Here's an example of setting configuration parameters globally in your PHP application using an instance of the Configuration class:

If you require multiple instances, you can use the Cloudinary object to configure each instance, for example:

You can also configure parameters for an instance via environment variable, for example:

You also need to include the classes you use in your code, although your IDE should warn you when you need to include a class. All available namespaces and classes are found in the src folder of the PHP SDK, and in the PHP reference guide.

Related topics

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