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Webfonts And Performance


Webfonts are difficult to get right. An often overlooked and disruptive piece of web performance, webfonts can slow down your site and leave your visitors confused and agitated. No one wants agitated visitors.

Webfonts Are not Rocket Science

Recorded at our special web performance themed SmashingConf in Myrtle Beach, Zach Leatherman demystifies webfonts in order that we can avoid font-related performance issues. He takes us through a detailed guide to best practices when using webfonts, so you can use beautiful fonts without sacrificing performance. If you have ever asked, “What is the best way to load webfonts?” then you need to hear this talk. Zach breaks down the various approaches in a straightforward way, so you should feel able to make the best decisions for your own use of webfonts.

In addition to this video, you can take a look at Zach’s “Comprehensive Guide To Font Loading Strategies,” and subscribe to his newsletter

Fontastic Web Performance

Another great introduction to font loading was made by Monica Dinculescu at SmashingConf Barcelona. She spoke about which new platform features are here to help us deliver pretty (but also!) fast experiences to everyone.

In her talk, Monica also mentions the following resources — in addition to Zach’s work:

  • “Type is Your Right,” by Helen Holmes
  • “Minimising Font Downloads,” by Jake Archibald
  • Type With Pride
  • Axis Praxis
  • Fontastic

We also find Monca’s Font Style Matcher tool really useful, helping you find a font that matches your webfont closely to prevent a jarring shift between the sizes.

Enjoyed listening to these talks? There are many more SmashingConf videos on Vimeo, and we’re getting ready for the upcoming SmashingConf in New York — see you there? 😉

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