One of the hardest aspects of creating a website can be deciding which font to use, and with thousands of options the choices can be overwhelming. However, this can be a straight forward process, with the first step being a decision between a serif font (each letter has small strokes/lines from the ends) or a sans serif font (simple and straight forward letters – like what you are reading now).
After deciding which type of font you would like, the next step is to identify the most common fonts which work on all browsers. There is no point picking a very rare font which nobody has installed on their computer as most browsers will default to show them a common font. Some of the most common fonts that are installed on both Macs & PCs are:
- Serif – Times New Roman, Georgia, Courier New
- Sans serif – Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Impact
If you do not want to use a common font, the other option is to make your website visitor to download the font whilst your web page is loading. The best free font provider is Google, who have over 620 font families which you can choose from and install on your website. To install on your site, you simply find the right font here, grab the code they provide and put it on your site.
There are also plenty of tools available to help you in the font selection process with two of the best being:
- TypeWonder – If you already have a website and are thinking of changing fonts this tool lets you enter your URL and shows you exactly what your website will look like with hundreds of different fonts – this saves a lot of time and ensures you are happy with your decision.
- WhatTheFont – If you have seen a font you love in an image, or even on an offline source it can be hard to pinpoint and find the actual source used. What The Font simplifies this and lets you upload the image and can scan a database of fonts to find the one that you are looking for.
The copy on your website is one of the most important parts which will sell the user on your service or offering, therefore it is extremely important the font stands out on the page, is legible and works with whatever browser your visitor is using. If you keep these points in mind while picking a font, you cant go wrong.