Far more than a blog publishing tool, WordPress has become one of the most popular platforms to use to create a website. Its versatility and functionality, helped by a wealth of plugins and easily integratable themes, is what has pushed WordPress past the post. Blair Williams sums up the awesome power of WordPress with one sentence, “WordPress is the basis for thousands of high-traffic websites and is now a refined, well-tuned app for creating websites. It’s more solid than anything that a developer could create on a first try because it’s been in the “wild” for years and has gone through many iterations.”
In Creative Freedom’s previous post, we spoke about the best fonts to use on your site – now let’s take a look at fonts to use in WordPress. Almost all websites now feature pre-installed web-safe fonts, but many of you will be using Google Fonts for your site, nearing 650 designs, it leads the way as a collaborative open source project. It’s important to remember the difference between web-safe fonts and web fonts, as the latter (if not optimised properly) can seriously slow the loading time of your site. In Kinsta, John Penland writes on ways to optimise your Google Fonts, “All Google Fonts are compressed and delivered over Google’s CDN which will provide the fastest delivery possible. Even though Google Fonts do include these built-in optimizations, it’s still worth doing what you can to speed up the delivery of fonts by being selective. When selecting Google Fonts, don’t select all available styles and character sets just in case. Think carefully about the styles and character sets you will actually need and only add those specific styles and subsets. Keep in mind that you don’t have to select every (or any) variation of italic and bold fonts. Browsers will approximate these styles if the appropriate font is not available.”
One of the most useful plugins you can use is the Google Font Optimizer. The plugin’s author explains its genius, “Your website asks for all these different fonts in different requests because there hasn’t been a way to automatically find all these font requests and optimize them. There’s a way to do this automagically, and that’s where Google Web Font Optimizer helps your site. Google Web Font Optimizer finds every Google Fonts request, bulks them all together so your website only asks Google once for the fonts, instead of multiple times.”
Now that your fonts are optimised and raring to go, it’s time to think about the amount of fonts to use. Remember that less is more. As Jamie, at Engage, aptly describes – “While there aren’t really any definitive rules, it’s best to keep that third font out of the picture and stick to two. Can you really justify introducing another font into the mix for your sub headings? Probably not but sometimes. Now I’m not going to go away and cry in a corner if you use three, but you should really try to stick to two. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, or that it’s ok. Every decision should have a rationale behind it.”
Keep it simple
The best sites are those that have a minimalist consistency to their design. Moreover, using too many fonts, or linking to all the characters when you don’t need to, creates more overheads for the web browser.
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