While modern tools make building a website and getting it online easier than ever before, those tools cannot make all the decisions for you. Whether you are building your very first website, redesigning an existing online property or creating your 100th site, choosing the right font is as important as ever.
The font you choose will impact everything from the readability of your online content to the emotional reactions your readers have been accessing that content. Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect font for your website.
If you already have a company logo and that logo appears on your website, choose a font that works well with that existing design. You do not have to match the font exactly, but the overall look should be one of consistency.
Be Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendly design is more important than ever before. Responsive web design allows publishers to design pages that look just as good on a smartphone screen as they do on a full-size PC, and choosing mobile friendly fonts will make your pages look even better. Fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and MS San Serif are all good choices for mobile friendly web pages, as are fonts like Courier and Verdana.
Be Mindful of File Size
Modern web browsers are able to support a greater variety of fonts than ever before, and that gives you additional flexibility when designing and publishing your web pages. While many webmasters still like to keep things simple, using fancy fonts to grab the viewer’s attention can be a smart move. If you do include fancy fonts on your website, pay careful attention to the file size. Larger and heavier web pages will take longer to load, especially for viewers with slow connections. That slow loading page could cause viewers to abandon your page before they even see what you have to offer.
Always Test Your Fonts
No matter which fonts you choose, constant testing is important. You need to know how the websites you design will look on all kinds of devices, from a tiny 3″ smartphone screen, through tablets like the iPad and Kindle to the super-size screens of desktop computers and web TV devices. The web pages you publish should be just as viewable on the tiniest screen as they are on the largest. The only way to know how your website really looks is to view it from as many different kinds of devices as possible.
Keep Up with the Changes
Web browsers are constantly changing and evolving, and that can impact the types of fonts that will work best on your website. Keep abreast of changes to popular websites like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and the new Microsoft Edge. If you keep your design simple and choose fonts that display well on a variety of devices, chances are you will not have to make many changes. Even so, knowing where the most popular web browsers are going will make your job as webmaster a lot easier.
Choosing the right font is not always easy, but it is important to get it right. You might not think that something as simple as font choice would make a difference, but selecting the right font will enhance readability and give your readers a better experience.