A typical website contains hundreds, if not thousands, of images: from static visuals to all kinds of user-generated content. Whether it’s product pictures or profile photos, developers need to tweak those images to fit the design of the website and deliver them in the correct format to each device while ensuring perfect visual quality and fast page load. Sounds tough, right? But it doesn’t have to be tough.
In this post, we’ll review and compare regular approaches to image manipulations, and then tell you about the easiest way, which allows you to scale, align, crop, resize and do all kinds of image manipulations on the fly, without a ton of code, using only URL parameters.
The most obvious solution that comes to mind when you need to resize or shrink your images to fit your website is to add some CSS and code and call it a day. This method is easy, but it has several problems:
First off, the more code you write, the more difficult it becomes to make sense of it and maintain it, and the more data-heavy your website gets. We all know the rule: if there’s a reasonable way to use less code, do it.
When you resize images with CSS, your website displays a resized version, but users still download the full-size image when they enter the page, which slows down page load time, especially on mobile.
If you want to resize images for mobile using CSS, you’ll need to store several versions of the same image, which also increases your website or app’s total data load.
If your website for some reason contains just a few images, resizing and shrinking images with CSS might be sufficient for you. But if it’s an eCommerce website, social media platform, or blog with lots of visual content, page load times will suffer significantly, and this approach might cause more problems than it solves.
This approach’s drawbacks are pretty much the same: every plugin adds more data load to your website, which harms its performance. And why would you want to make your website more complex if there’s a way to avoid it?
Another problem is that ready-made plugins usually don’t fit your app perfectly: they could have redundant features, or might be missing some necessary ones. If you need an automated cropping or resizing plugin, you’ll probably find what you need. But when it comes to more complicated features like face recognition or responsive images, finding the right fit may become problematic.
This option might be the best for large companies with image-heavy websites or apps. For Facebook, Netflix, and Youtube, content delivery is a key function that brings them money. That’s why they often have their own in-house CDNs and build their image manipulation solutions internally.
When it comes to an eCommerce website or blog, building everything from scratch might be too expensive and time consuming. For small projects, a reliable third-party system will always be a better choice.
First, you need to sign up and set up your Uploadcare account.
After that, you’ll be able to create your first project from the dashboard. From the Files tab, you can start uploading your images. Every image uploaded to Uploadcare Storage gets cached by the CDN and can be safely and reliably delivered across 288K servers in 136+ countries and nearly 1,500 networks.
Uploading your images to Uploadcare CDN
Once a file gets uploaded, you receive a CDN link with its unique identifier, or UUID. From here, you can crop, align, resize, and enhance these images by simply adding different URL parameters. For example:
Whether your website supports user-generated content, you display images from social media or deliver static images, you need to find a reliable method to store and manipulate those images without weighing down your website and slowing down its page load times.
If your website or app deals with lots of visual content, regular methods like CSS or plugins might be the wrong choice for you, because you risk making your website data-heavy and slow.
Uploadcare’s image manipulation feature is what can help you get around all those page load issues. It gives you the ability to upload images to a reliable CDN and implement all the manipulations to your images by simply adding URL parameters. This method doesn’t add any additional data weight to your website or app, and is quick and easy to configure.