How to Choose the Best Website Font For You
By Top10 Staff
It may seem like a small decision, but choosing a website font is a crucial element of your overall DIY website design. Website typography will affect the whole look and feel of your site. This is certainly a decision that you must get right, as most visitors make a snap decision within seconds of landing on your home page.
Your readers are busy. Not only that, but recent studies have shown attention spans are actually getting smaller. If your font isn't easy to both read and skim, you're unlikely to draw attention to the actual content it's providing.
I'm going for DIY website design. What should I look for when choosing a font?
The first key element to be considered when choosing a website font is its readability. This may seem obvious, but many people settle for style over readability, making accessing your content a little too much like hard work for many new visitors. Not only should the website typeface look pleasing to the eye when written in a document, but you should also give thought to how it appears when used with color.
Also think about the different pages. A type setting which shows off well when the font color is black on a white background may not look nearly as readable when you start mixing in reds, blues, yellows and greens. Consider your websites entire layout, before making a final decision.
Another factor is whether your website will look different when accessed from different browsers or devices, like smartphones and tablets. Many websites are designed using responsive templates, which means they change to fit all common browsers and devices, but some backgrounds or settings may be slightly different. Be sure to check some of the most popular browsers to ensure the typography you are choosing is clear and readable.
Once you've chosen your font, don't forget to think about font size. Too small, and while it may look neat it may be awkward to read, or be difficult for older visitors or those who are short-sighted. Too large, and you run the risk of it looking garish or taking over the screen. Commonly, font size on most websites is between 11 and 14 point type. This range is generally accepted to be the most readable.
You may also want to consider your layout. Will you be including headings or titles which need a larger font? Does the typeface still look good once it has been enlarged? Perhaps you need to include footnotes or small print. Check your font choice to make sure it is still readable and attractive at each size you will need.
If you are unhappy with your font choice at a larger size, another choice is to pick more than one typeface that complement each other around the website. It is important to print these next to one another and make sure they have a common feel about them. You may love Comic Sans and Verdana by themselves, but putting them on the same page would give a confusing feel to the design. Once you have chosen your fonts, play around a little with how you use them. Maybe use a main type for the body text (which is the most important), but also a different font altogether for the title or headline and maybe even a third for the various headings and sub-headings.
That's a lot of information. Is there a most important bottom line in DIY web design?
The most important thing to remember is your audience. Everything you decide on should be done with them in mind. Who do you want visiting this website? Will they like how it looks, or is it too dull or too out of the box? Is it easy to read for older viewers, or too in your face for the visitors you are trying to attract? Whatever you decide on, have fun with it, DIY website design can bring an amazing sense of accomplishment when you're done, and start raking in those views!
Have you chosen your color scheme yet? Try our top tips for the best DIY color choices around.