Website Design And Hosting


Web Design Basics: What are Web Safe Fonts?


Every OS has a default set of fonts installed in their program. While there are a lot of free downloadable fonts in the internet today, know that using this unique and rather cool fonts for your web design may not be the best idea when it comes to guaranteed functionality. This is why it is highly unadvisable to use new fonts to design your website as the chances of internet users not having the appropriate font installed are very high. This will cause your website to not be displayed properly or not be displayed at all on user’s browsers. This will lead to loss of web traffic and dive down the rankings.

The best way, and really, the simplest way to avoid this is by using standard or web safe fonts to use for your website. While what we consider web safe today may not completely cover the older computers, the chances of encountering visitors with near obsolete computer OS is slim to none.


Is Web Safe Fonts Mandatory?

It’s the basics of web designing actually. Using a safe web font is very important for the integrity of your web design. This ensures that a huge percentage of internet users can read your website with no problem whatsoever. However, there may be some occasions that will require you to use special fonts but we’ll talk about those instances later. So to answer the question about if web safe fonts are mandatory, the answer is yes, definitely.

In the instance that the visitor’s computer cannot display your font correctly, the browser will then be forced to use a backup font to replace yours. Results may vary but chances are that these fonts will appear ungainly and out of place with your website. What’s worse is that it can make your content unreadable to the internet user and a website with an unreadable content is useless.

Using a web safe font is one of the key factors in web design because this affects your website’s functionality profoundly. You should never give users difficulty when browsing your site, as a web designer it is your responsibility to make sure that not only does a website look professional but also make sure to minimize or completely remove any bug or glitches that can affect the visitor’s experience.

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Where are the Ideal Places to Use Web Safe Fonts?

Essentially, all of your text should be web safe fonts. If you plan on using text for designs then use web safe fonts. The only exception of using unique and special fonts is if you will use it on an image file, this makes sure that the special font will be readable as it is not really in text form. But as I’ve stated before in some articles regarding the use of images as a substitute for links, this will not help your website’s rankings as search engines will ignore texts in image form. If you will use images for links then try to use them in as few instances as possible to avoid any negative effect on your website.


What examples of Web Safe Fonts?

Well, safe web fonts are the default and standard fonts in your computer. Fonts like Arial are the most common for Windows OS and Helvetica for Apple users. Using Arial and Helvetica fonts are extremely similar which makes Arial and Helvetica fonts the perfect fonts for web design as you will have no problem if one font is incompatible with certain OS as it will choose the appropriate first choice of that OS.

Here are more web safe fonts for you to consider:

  1. Serif
  2. Sans Serif
  3. Monospace
  4. Cursive


Is There a Way to Work Around the Use of Special Fonts?

Yes, actually there is a way to use special fonts in your website if you really desire it; cooperation with the user is needed however. This is giving a download link of the font ready in your website for the visitor to install. Make sure to put the download link front and center in your website and use image or safe web fonts as your text.
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