Sebastian De Deyne

Self-hosting Google Fonts

∙ 1 min. read ∙ #css #webfonts #performance #privacy

I haven’t used Google Fonts in production for a long time. I use the service for development, and strip out all references to Google before going live. I do this for performance, and my visitors' privacy.

The current performance recommendation is to self-host web fonts to reduce DNS lookups. When self-hosting, you can also add preload links to make sure critical fonts are loaded as soon as possible. For more about this, read Simon Hearne’s excellent essay on avoiding layout shifts caused by web fonts.

Google has a vague privacy statement surrounding Google Fonts. When it comes to collecting data, I’m rather safe than sorry with Google. More importantly, I don’t want to impose this on my site’s visitors.

To self-host, you need to download the fonts and write the appropriate @font-face CSS rules. Instead of doing this myself, I came across an excellent tool to streamline this process: google-fonts-helper. It holds the entire Google Fonts catalog. You can find your font, choose your styles, and generate a CSS snippet and font files to add to your site.


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