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Can I use special web fonts in my website?

Some of the questions we get on a regular basis while designing a website are related to web fonts.

  • Can I use a different web font?
  • Can we make all the page text a different font from the page title?
  • Can I use a custom font my designer created?

In order to clear things up, let's outline what we recommend for everyone.

First off, we only use Google Fonts on our websites. If you're looking to add fonts to your website, please search Google Fonts for a font you like and pass that on to our designer when you're starting your project. However, we recommend very easy to read fonts with no over the top cursive, loops, or styles that make the font very hard to read. Your website users will appreciate a simple, clean font that's easy to read on any device.

We don't use any custom fonts, or any other font libraries as we've found Google to be the most reliable and easiest to implement with our websites. We want to keep your site clean and fast with speedy page load times, and this is the best way to ensure that.

As for HOW we use web fonts, the key word is "sparingly", and this is for a number of reasons.

  • Web fonts can be hard to read, especially in mobile.
  • They cause much slower page loads if used for all text, because the entire page depends on the remote server that's feeding the web font.
  • Mobile devices handle them differently across the board.
  • If the source of the web font is having server issues, none of your content will be readable.

To summarize, we use web fonts to simply highlight headlines, header buttons, navigation, and page headers. This is to ensure the best possible experience for all your users no matter what device they use, or how good their eyesight is. Remember, not everyone can read fancy script very well, so they won't use your site for long if they can't read anything in the navigation or content.

To ensure speedy load times, easily readable content, and a great overall mobile experience, we use basic browser fonts for all content, and highlight your page header titles, navigation, and headlines with a clean, easy to read web font. We welcome your suggestions for the design, but please trust us on which ones are good to use, and how they are used in the site.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact your 3plains account manager, or give us a call anytime.

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