In my previous post I talked about using server-side fonts to help give your website a facelift. Here’s a little explanation about the pros and cons of using these server-based fonts to help you decide whether you should use these fonts on your website.


  • With larger font collections to work from, your site can look more unique and more creative.
  • By using a ‘pretty’ custom font you don’t have to flatten type into a graphic, which will help with your search engine optimization, and will also improve the usability of the site for anyone with screen readers.
  • If you use a particular font throughout your brand, you can likely find a similar free font, or purchase a commercial license to use that font on the web, which will strengthen your brand presence online.


  • In order for fonts to work correctly, you need to have several different file formats for different browsers and devices.
  • You have to be very careful when looking for free fonts to make sure they are available for commercial use – check the license carefully!
  •  If the server the font is hosted on is taken down, your font will be too (unless you are able to host the files yourself.)
  • If someone is using an outdated browser or device that does not support your file formats, their browser will resort to your next default font, which can change the look and layout of the site.

Here’s what it comes down to: Do you have the time and the know-how to implement a custom font? Most of these cons can be avoided by providing various file formats for the font, taking a close look at the font license, and making sure that your website still looks formatted correctly when the backup font is being used. If you’ve got these covered, a server-side font might just take your website from OK to awesome!