Cloudinary - Possibly the last digital resource manager you will ever need
January 18, 2019

Cloudinary - Possibly the last digital resource manager you will ever need

Joel Tanzi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Cloudinary

Most high-quality stock images have dense resolutions which translate into large file sizes, which when used on a website can mean a major drag on performance as your users have to wait for their browser to pull them down. Cloudinary solves this problem for you by allowing you to host your images on their servers while you simply link to them from your site, and allowing your site to load far more quickly as a result. If that was all they did it would be a major help, but they take that hosting to the next level by offering a powerful API through which you can transform your images as they come down. Getting an image as a thumbnail, scaling it up or down, giving it a sepia filter, giving it a watercolor feel, all of it can be done on the fly by sending the right parameters through their API. I've never worked with anything else like it.
  • It is super-fast at serving images, which takes the load off your web services and saves you big-time on file storage space.
  • A powerful and feature-rich API that allows you to transform your images on the fly as they are served up, which could hardly be easier to use.
  • Automatic backup of all your media on your Cloudinary account, allowing you to rest easy that your image and video files are safe.
  • Their API does require URLs that can get quite lengthy and not always easy to parse on sight.
  • Documentation on how transformations work and what they actually do to your image could be clearer (what does force_strip actually mean?).
  • Although a free tier exists and is quite generous, should you need to acquire a premium plan for your needs the pricing at scale can climb quickly.
  • Cloudinary has saved me hundreds of dollars on my small business each year by allowing me to avoid in site hosting fees for additional space for large image files to be stored internally.
  • I've saved hours by not having to run each image through an editing tool myself to reduce the resolution and file size, or crop and scale images.
  • My websites load much more quickly as a result and their guaranteed uptime has meant I've never seen my images fail to load, creating client confidence and resulting in additional revenue opportunities.
My experience with AEM has been limited to interacting with it through others, and so this information should be taken with that in mind, but my impressions from talking with the service engineers managing this system in our enterprise (in a previous role) was that it could be challenging to integrate effectively into a large-scale organization with demands on security. The biggest reason I selected Cloudinary was price-based; their free plan serves my needs as a freelancer quite well.
Cloudinary is ideal for situations where you need to save on storage space for your site or web application, whether you're operating a large-scale e-commerce site or just need to show images on your fly-fishing blog. It will allow you to easily scale and transform your images in a variety of ways without having to learn Photoshop or other image editing tools, and its speedy image serving will take the load off your web server and result in a much more responsive, fast-loading site than you would get trying to handle all that yourself.

Cloudinary would not be appropriate for situations where you need to secure sensitive images (such as those relating to components or technology covered by a patent) or where you would want more control over how others in your organization could access and manipulate images being served.