Optimize and Host WordPress Images With The Free Cloudinary CDN

Announcing a free CDN on the web is very similar to shouting “Free Beer!” and that’s exactly what the folks at Cloudinary are up to. The Cloudinary image management service has just released a WordPress plugin that lets you tap into their free cloud storage for your images and take advantage of caching, optimization, image effects and much more.

Cloudinary Image Management in WordPress

WordPress runs approximately 15% of the web, so it’s only natural that Cloudinary would put their efforts into making it easy for WordPress sites to host images. Cloudinary works just like your media library within your dashboard, so you never need to leave WordPress to add images to your cloud library.

Cloudinary Media Library in the WordPress dashboard
Besides hosting your images and delivering them through a super fast CDN, Cloudinary also packs in a host of optimization features:

  • Images are smartly cached for performance optimization
  • Images are automatically optimized and compressed so they are delivered faster to your visitors
  • Meta data is stripped out

Basic and advanced Cloudinary image controls
The really unique thing about this CDN is that it offers all kinds of image manipulations and transformations on-the-fly. Basic sizing and rotation can be done with sliding controls. More advanced image manipulations can be done directly in the dashboard with a live preview, including:

  • Image formats – easily convert image formats and modify image quality.
  • Apply effects & filters – sharpen, sepia, saturation, grayscale, black & white, hue, brightness, oil paint, pixelate, vignette, add borders.
  • Overlays & Text – add watermarks, add image overlay and underlay, add text to the image.
  • Face detection – face detection based cropping, thumbnail, multiple faces detection, pixelate faces.
  • Rotates & flips – Image rotation (90 degrees), arbitrary rotation, exif-based automatic rotation, vertical & horizontal flips
  • Shape alteration – add rounded corners, crop to ellipses and circles.
  • Resize & crop – scale, fill, fit, pad, crop, limit, custom coordinates.
  • PDF Processing – extract pages, convert to images.

In order to use the CDN, you’ll need to register for a free account. Cloudinary offers a generous, fully-featured free plan which includes:

  • 500 MB Storage
  • 50,000 Images
  • 1 GB Monthly Bandwidth

This is more than enough to accommodate your average blogger and add a little performance boost. All your photos are automatically backed-up through the Cloudinary service and include revision tracking. Sites that require more can expand to a PRO account for higher usage limits with practically limitless scale.

If your WordPress website slows down while trying to load images, then you have a serious problem on your hands. The Cloudinary CDN will take a load off your server and give you more creative control over your images in the dashboard. Get signed up for your free account and install the new Cloudinary image management plugin.