It has suddenly gotten very easy to have your own Self-Hosted Google Fonts on your website. Back in the old days, web site developers had to be satisfied with whatever font was set by the browser and also available on the browser’s PC. The choices were limited, to say the least. Google changed all that in 2010 when they began offering the Google Fonts service, allowing developers to add a link in the header to Google’s servers that easily allowed us to place a wide variety of fonts on our websites. There are currently over 800 fonts available using Google.
Lots of WordPress theme developers now build in options to select fonts directly from the Google repository and automatically update the back-end links to use any of Googles fonts in WordPress.
But what if you want to host a font on your own site? One reason to self-host is website load time. There are times when various page speed tests will show that it takes a bit of extra time to access the off-site font and retrieve it for your website.
About a year ago, Google made all of their fonts available for download. That’s really great but there are still some hurdles to overcome to set the links in your header or stylesheet.
Also last year, developer Mario Ranftl published a nifty little service, simply named google-webfonts-helper. His web service makes it very easy to take whichever font you are currently pulling from Google’s servers and host them on your own site. The service also provides the correct descriptions so that you can keep using the same css descriptions you’re already using. Self-Hosted Google Fonts provide a little extra peace of mind because Google does sometimes have a way of changing the availability of various services they offer freely without providing a whole lot of notice.
Font Squirrel ups the ante by providing a service to upload and covert any font you’ve got stashed away or a font style that you’ve already been using in marketing materials. However, you do have to double check the EULA for the font you want to use to be sure that you’ve got a license for the font that allows for web display. The nice thing about Google’s 800+ fonts is that they’re already licensed under various open source agreements.