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Monday, April 12, 2021

Adding Google Fonts to Your Website With a Plugin (Review of Google Fonts Typography Plugin)

Home » pests » Adding Google Fonts to Your Website With a Plugin (Review of Google Fonts Typography Plugin)

Google Fonts offers a wide choice of fonts to add style to your website typography. The premium themes I like to use enqueue Google Fonts by default. However, I recently used a free theme on a project and found that it did not use Google Fonts.

Some people would see this as a bonus! Loading Google Fonts adds at least a bit of extra time to your page speed. That is unless you download the fonts and host them locally. But having Google Fonts available widens your choice for fonts — so much so that you may have decision paralysis.

While it’s possible to enqueue Google Fonts without a plugin, it’s easier to do so using a plugin and Google Fonts Typography is the one most widely used. I had a chance to try it out recently. Here’s what I thought.

Installing the Plugin

The base plugin is free and you can install it easily enough directly from your WordPress admin.

Once you’ve installed it, you’ll find all of the settings in the customizer:

And it has dropdowns that let you select site-wide fonts and individual fonts for various heading levels, header and footer, etc.

Free vs. Premium Version

Of course, the free version we’re reviewing here has a premium counterpart which costs $29-59 for a single website license. The free version will enqueue all 998 fonts. However, it will take the pro version if you want to host them locally, not load particular font weights, or be able to easily configure colors and styles. Of course, other free plugins exist that can let you optimize Google fonts or host them locally; I haven’t tried them out yet with this one to see if they’re compatible. And you can always use custom CSS to style your font colors, sizes, etc.

Still, one thing I wished that the free version would do is to customize all fonts. The site I’m trying it on uses a pagebuilder in a few areas and changing the heading fonts in the plugin did not targe the heading fonts for the page builder. And no fonts were available in the pagebuilder. This may be an issue with the pagebuilder, not this fonts plugin. I had to style those few fonts with CSS.

One nice touch in this plugin is the addition of a Google Fonts block in the block editor. I use a theme that enqueues Google fonts and for most posts I use ONE font. But, occasionally, I want to make something about typography and having an additional block to add custom fonts in, say, the cover block is considerably easier than styling each block with custom CSS classes.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this free plugin has worked without issue (so far, I’ll update this review if I have any problems) and was incredibly easy to configure. It’s one I’d recommend if you want to load Google fonts onto your website quickly.

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Cheryl is a former Occupational Therapist and WordPress enthusiast who became a writer in some parallel universe and occasionally, but infrequently, publishes things in this one. She writes two blogs (or is it three) which she won't quit because she knows that blogs, in her case, are like a hydra and if she cuts one off two more will take its place. When she's not doing that, she enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking (formerly fast, now ebike), messing around with Adobe illustrator, making assorted things, meditating (though she wouldn't call that "like," and reading. She normally doesn't speak about herself in the third person, but she sometimes uses "we" in the royal sense while writing this blog. She lives in Poulsbo, WA with her spouse, her youngest adult daughter, a very old mutt, and a Siamese cat.
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