What are web friendly fonts?
Read time: 5 minutes
Web friendly fonts, also known as web safe fonts, are fonts that are responsive on different devices and different web browsers, i.e. they always look the same, no matter where a user is viewing them. Web friendly fonts are pre-installed in many devices so that they appear without any issues.
If you use a font that isn’t web friendly and someone opens your website on a device that cannot load that font, the font will automatically change to a web friendly font so the user can still read your content. We recommend always choosing web friendly fonts so that you can maintain control over how your content looks on your website against your other branding elements.
Commonly used web safe fonts
Common web safe fonts that you may already know include:
- Times New Roman
These fonts are classic, easy to read and installed on all devices and web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge etc.).
What are the benefits in using web friendly fonts?
Easy to read
Web safe fonts are very easy to read. Many of these fonts are sans-serif (no flicks at the end of each letter) and/or monospace (each letter takes up the same width). As a result, these fonts are easy on the eye which is great for user experience.
As the web safe font is already on the user’s device, the font does not need to download when a web page is loaded, reducing the overall load time. Since loading speed influences your search engine optimisation (SEO) performance, using a web safe font can help make your website rank higher on Google.
Custom and unique fonts can be costly. Many fonts require you to purchase a commercial license to use them. On the other hand, web friendly fonts can be used freely across your site.
Can I use fonts that are not web safe on my website?
Many businesses use customised fonts on their website. Customised fonts can help lift the look of your brand and add to the overall look of your website. There are also an increasing number of devices that support a greater variety of fonts, reducing the risk of loading issues.
However, as we mentioned before, when using customised fonts, devices load the browser’s default web friendly font if there are loading issues. These default fonts can completely change the branding of your site which may not look good for your brand or business.
If you still want to use a custom font, you can use the web fonts technique to minimise the risk of default web friendly fonts clashing with your branding. The web fonts technique allows you to choose a ‘fallback’ font, so you can have control over which web friendly font appears when your custom font doesn’t load on a user’s device. Talk to your web developer when building your website about choosing a fallback font.
We hope this blog helped you understand what web friendly fonts are and helped you choose a font for your own website!
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