In today’s world, having a website is not enough – you need to make it look good, and design it in a way that will allow your visitors to have a great user experience. Most business owners that have websites hire designers that take care of everything for them. However, this is something that you can also do yourself.
When it comes to web design, most of it comes to the images you decide to use and the fonts. There are many tools that give you access to fonts that are not usually found on the computer, giving your website a new and fresh look. While this is without a doubt a helpful tool, there’s one downside to it – those fonts are usually not web-safe.
What Does a Web Safe Font Mean and Why Does It Matter?
As experts from Edge Online notice, “Half the struggle of establishing higher rankings on Google is ensuring all aspects of your website are optimized for the best possible success.” That includes the font, which is something many people seem to overlook.
You might be wondering – why is that? Why does it matter what kind of font I use?
Well, the most important reason for that is the website’s readability. The wrong font can affect the user’s experience – you probably want the people visiting your website to interact with it and share it with others. If they have a difficult time reading it, the chances of recommending it to other people drop significantly, even if your content is very informative and pleasant to read.
There’s one important thing you need to remember – just because you have access to a specific font doesn’t mean that others have it as well. Each device has a pre-installed list of fonts, which might differ depending on what type of operating system it uses. For example, Windows users might not have the same fonts as MacOS users or Android users.
A ‘web-safe’ font means a font that is available on all operating systems. This is something considered as ‘Plan B’ in case the font that you choose initially is not available on your visitor’s device – by doing this, you can make sure that the people visiting your website will not see a font that doesn’t match the design at all. You can choose one that will be at least close to the one you chose in the beginning.
So, now that we established what it means and why it matters let’s look into the seven best web-safe HTML and CSS fonts.
Arial is probably one of the most used fonts out there, not only when it comes to web design, but also in writing documents, academic papers, etc. It belongs to the sans-serif font family, which includes the fonts that have no little curls at the end of each letter. Arial is best used for headings.
Times New Roman
Just like Arial, Times New Roman is of the most used fonts. However, it belongs to the serif family. As the name might suggest, this is a new variation of the ‘Times’ font. If you are looking for the most suitable font for longer pieces of content, then this is your way to go, as it keeps the readers hooked.
Since we mentioned Times New Roman, we obviously couldn’t forget about Times – the most popular font for newspapers and prints, as well as one of the most recognizable fonts in the world. It is often used for websites that involve a lot of reading, as it is quite simple, which means that the reader’s attention is not on the font per se, but on the content written with it.
Just like Times New Roman, this is a variation of an OG font – Courier. If you want to keep the design of your website simple, then this is your best bet. Contrary to serif and sans serif fonts above, this one is a monospaced font – this means that each letter occupies the same amount of space.
Courier, the inspiration for Courier New, is a font widely used as a default for email providers and computer computing and coding. Available on almost every device and operating system.
This is one of the more ‘stylish’ fonts for your website and works best with pages that can be read on low resolution. Keep in mind that this font should not be paired with other serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, as it might make it look minuscule.
Despite being released almost 25 years ago, in 1996, Trebuchet MS is still one of the most widely used fonts out there. Named after a medieval siege machine, it belongs to the sans serif font family and is mostly used by web designers for Body Copy.
The Bottom Line
One of the things that make a good website is a carefully selected font. However, there is one major problem when it comes to fonts – not every device has the same selection of fonts. This means that even if you choose a font that looks beautiful from your device, on someone else’s, it might not load correctly – this will lead to your website reverting the font on the other device to a generic one, often making it unreadable.
This is why it’s important to choose a web-safe font – a font that will be used if the original one will not load properly or is not available on your visitor’s device. While they might not look the same, there are enough options that you should be able to find one that at least resembles the original one. Good luck!