When the internet is flooded with websites, it’s hard to overstate the importance of every minute detail of website design. Despite having the most beautiful design imaginable, your WordPress website or blog can fall short, if it lacks a readable font. In contrast, the right font pairing – depending on your business or niche – can help you captivate your audience and stand out from your competitors.
At first, let me straighten out that it is not unnatural being puzzled over fonts if you are new in the field of web design. There is a vast array of fonts and as a newbie, or someone with little experience, it may feel like being a kid at a candy store. You can mix and match all sorts of fonts together and try to make a decision based on your gut feeling. But, at times, it may not work so well. This article aims to help you out with certain guidelines that would allow you to have a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing website with a perfect combination of different font styles.
But before we jump into the domain of fonts, let’s try to understand what’s the role of fonts when we are designing a website.
Fonts are there to be read. So, you should fancy an easy-to-read one. However, you may also go for something unreadable, on purpose, if you are up to creating a website with a cool and grungy appearance. But in most cases, readability should be the prime concern when it comes to fonts for a website.
Once we narrow down our options in terms of readability, it’s time to focus on what do we want to communicate using the font. So, what’s the process of going through that? You have to ask yourself a few questions.
The first one is – does it have to be a classic or old-time favorite that it has been proven before or does it have to be new? Let me explain why I think this is an important question. The font you choose needs to reflect the purpose, products, or services of your website. You may go for the font that is established and recognizable or you may also choose something new and funky. There is nothing wrong with any of these two approaches but you must come up with a decision based on your website niche.
If you are targeting B2B businesses or industries related to real estate and financial institutes, it’s probably better to go for the font that is recognizable and established. On the other hand, it could be better to opt for a new and groovy one, if you want to stand-out and differentiate your website from other competitors. You need to make a judgment call depending on your goals. Understanding this question leads you to where you’re going to look for when you’re exploring fonts.
If your font has to be classic and recognizable, it’s pretty easy to find. You can google or check out this article that gives you a list of the 25 most-used classic fonts. You can go for one of those classic fonts or a combination of those fonts and still create an amazing website as these are never out of fashion.
Then again, if you want your website to look new and different, you should probably go for fonts that haven’t been used by so many people. There are many online resources where you can go and look for new fonts that are curated well enough to pass the readability test. You can look for free fonts if you have a limited budget. If you’re on tight budget, we recommend trying out Google Fonts for a wide variety of options. Or, you can also opt for high-quality premium fonts, if the free alternatives fail to live up to your expectations.
Here are a few things you need to take into consideration while choosing ideal fonts for your WordPress Website.
Let’s begin from the scratch
When it comes to website fonts, there are many things to take into account that may seem overwhelming at the beginning. That’s why it’s better to start from the very basics before going any further.
What to choose – Serif or Sans Serif?
These are the two primary types of fonts. Yes, there are hundreds of fonts but they typically fall under two main categories – Serif and Sans Serif.
Serif typefaces come with a decorative stroke at the end of the vertical and horizontal strokes of the letters. The fonts – that fall under this category – are the most traditional alternatives around and also considered as one of the most trusted font styles. Some of the popular serif fonts include The Times New Roman, Georgia, and Baskerville. You can’t go wrong with choosing fonts like The Times New Roman, as these are super readable and have been around for a long time.
Sans Serif typefaces, on the other hand, come with a more modern and clean design without any decorative or sharp stroke on letters. Helvetica, Futura, and Arial are a few examples of most-used Sans Serif fonts.
The type of font you choose should largely depend on your target audience and what mood you want to evoke through your website. Serif typefaces are typically used with an intent to create a more formal and elegant tone. Although fonts that fall into this category are often used in magazines and within the fashion industry to create an alternative look.
Sans Serif is known for its minimalism and simplicity. A Sans Serif font also comes with immense flexibility that allows you to mix it up with an old-style typeface and create a more traditional vibe. Most of the websites, nowadays, prefer Sans Serif fonts for a cleaner and modern appearance.
Keep an eye on Kerning, Leading, and Tracking
These are design elements relevant to the overall appearance of your typeface. These methods are applied to ensure visually pleasing and readable texts. Kerning is used for the space between two letters, leading for the space between two lines, and tracking is the space between groups of letters.
Don’t Ignore the Importance of Contrast
Experts – in the field of web design – use contrast to highlight different parts of the texts. With fonts, you can actually achieve contrast through a few different ways. You can achieve contrast through size, weight, spacing, style, and also through color. You can make certain parts of your texts appear bold, you can apply different colors to make one or multiple words highlighted, and you can even achieve contrast by mixing different typefaces. A good combination of two to three fonts or typefaces – also known as font pairing – can help you stand out and create more engagement with your target audience.
Align your texts to ensure a smooth reading experience
You have options to align your texts to the left, right, or center. You can also leave your texts ragged on the right or make it justified.
The texts aligned to the left are typically easier to read. Fully justified texts are appropriate for a formal look; ragged texts, on the contrary, give a more informal and friendly vibe. Apart from space limitations, you need to think about the nature of your target audience and their expectations, before you set your text alignment. You can also add images to make your texts appear less dull and wrap up the text around the images for a cleaner look.
Line Length – the space between the left and right side of the text block – is another area that needs your attention. You can measure the line length by average characters per line. According to experts, the optimal line length lies between 45 to 80 characters, including spaces.
Your typeface should reflect the purpose of your website
There are tons of typefaces on the web and there is virtually no limit in terms of font choices. No matter how good it is to have loads of options, sometimes it makes choosing the right typeface or font more complicated. That’s why it is crucial for you to consider the purpose of your WordPress website and the audience you want to target before you jump into the available alternatives on the web. Prior to choosing a typeface or font, you need to carefully consider whether it reflects the personality or message you or your brand wants to promote.
You probably want to avoid the typeface you used for your portfolio when you’re working on an e-commerce website. Keeping these issues in mind will certainly make it easier to decide which is going to work for your current project and which is not.
Let’s talk about consistency
Consistency is key when it comes to font pairing. Although I mentioned about achieving contrast through mixing up different typefaces, you also still want to be consistent. I strongly recommend not to use multiple types of fonts with each other. In most cases, using only a couple of different fonts would help you get the best result. You may have a header in one font style and the body text in another font.
What about font combinations
When pairing fonts, you need to consider a few things. Different fonts can actually emulate different moods. Mixing up multiple font styles of different “moods” isn’t going to be of any help when it comes to engaging your website visitors with the content you have on the page. On the contrary, a combination of two fonts with different moods might do the trick. You can combine a blunt font type with a neutral one – the former goes well with the headlines, while the latter is always a better alternative for body texts. For being on the safe side, I recommend you to go for a combination of Serif and Sans Serif. Creating contrast is the sole purpose of pairing fonts and a combination of Serif and Sans Serif will certainly help you to achieve that with a subtle but distinct difference.
If you’re still uncertain, choosing two fonts from the same font family is always a safe bet. After all, they were designed to go together.
Despite the outburst of graphic design elements in the world of web design, more than 90% of the information on the web is in the form of typography. The stats demonstrate how important it is to choose the best fonts for your WordPress Website. At first, determine the purpose of your website, and then start browsing for font combination that works well with what you are about to put on your site. There is virtually no limit when it comes to the number of fonts or typefaces on the web, so you’ll certainly find the ideal fonts for your WordPress website.