Updating WordPress fonts can be a nightmare when your chosen theme does not offer the options that you need. It is also a sad reality that most themes (even if they do have such options) only offer the most basic web fonts.
The truth is that if you really want to differentiate your website from the throusands of others out there the fonts you choose can say a lot about the professionalism of your company, or at the very least help you get your design portraying the right image in a way that is pleasant to the eye.
Ever since the beginning of the typeface revolution sometime in late 2009 we have seen browsers capabilities evolve, and with them the number and quality of typographic styled fonts.
There are now a number of web font services available that have been specially created to help designers get that right look and feel when it is required, but traditionally these services have been difficult for non coders to implement into their WordPress themes, well not anymore!
Below I have listed 4 font services that can be easily implemented with custome WordPress plugins either provided for free in the WordPress plugins directory, or provided for free from the web font services website itself. Depending on which font service you use, and the font you choose a fee may be applicable.
WebINK is a font service that is brought to use by Extensis, a company primarily known for its graphic designs.
This font service charges a fee based on the number of unique visitors your website receives per month. Account creation is free, and for those in the process of developing a website there is a free 10 unique visitor per day included – which means there are no yearly costs until your website is ready to receive visitors. Prices than vary from $20 (up to 20,000 unique visitors per month) to $120 (200,000 unique vistors per month) per year.
What makes WebINK great for WordPress development is that they provide ther own free easy to use plugin for easy font control.
Typekit is arguably the most popular web font service and is owned and managed by Adobe. This service has received more positive reviews than I really have the time to go into here, but for clarity’s sake here is one example from Brian Gardner of Studiopress.
The pricing structure is similar (if not just slightly more expensive) than those offered by WebINK with the main difference being that Typekit charge on a pageview basis rather than by unique vistor. The free trial offers 25,000 pageviews per month for free (a maximum of 1 website and 2 fonts) but you must install the Typekit badge on your website. Other options include 50,000 pageviews for $24.99 per year, and 500,000 pageviews for $49.99 per years).
It is easy to implement your new Typekit fonts using the Typekit Fonts for WordPress plugin that can be downloaded from the WordPress plugins gallery here.
Fondeck is another font service that has proved exceptionally popular. This is an independent service, and one that offers exclusive fonts that cannot be found anywhere else. This service was originally brought to the market by Clearleft and OmniTL in June 2010, after approximately a year in beta.
Fontdeck offers a slightly different pricing model than the others I have already mention in this post, they charge from $2.50 (with the average cost being $7.50) per font per year. The initial purchase will also include 1,000,000 page views per month, with higher numbers available for an extra fee. This service lets you test their fonts for free.
To use the fonts offered by Fontdeck on your WordPress website easily, you should sign up for an account and download the official fontdeck plugin from the WordPress plugins directory here.
Perhaps one of the most widely used font services available on the web, and probably not just because it is run bu the Google machin – but instead because the fonts are free.
Many WordPress themes are now implementing these fonts into their themes as their are no special licences required. This article by Brian Gardner of Studiopress (the same article as linked to above) probably explains the reasons why better, and in more detail than I ever could.
There are probably about a dozen WordPress plugins within the plugin directory that can help you use the fonts available, here is a link to one.
There you have it some fantastic new fonts for your next WordPress project, and some plugins for easy installation.
If you know of any better font services, or plugins that will help those needing that extra something please leave a comment below 🙂