In this post, we'll quickly review a list of web-safe fonts you can use for your website. But FIRST, we'll answer the basic questions. What does "web safe" mean? "Web safe" means that most computers have this font pre-installed. In other words, it's a standard font that's been around for a while, and, chances are, 99% of people will be able to see this font if it's used on your website. Each website is coded with a stylesheet that tells your browser which font to use and when. Let's say you want to use an easy-to-read, clean, modern font for your body text, and your two favorites are Arial and Helvetica. In your stylesheet, your fonts would be listed as follows for body text: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif. When a user opens your website, their browser will first look for Arial. If for some unknown reason the user does not have Arial on their computer, the browser will move on to Helvetica. If that font is not installed, then the browser will simply display another sans-serif font. Here's a visual:
What is the difference between sans-serif and serif? Without getting into the intricacies of typography, we'll just say that a serif is the little detail attached to the tips of letters. In general, people think of serif typefaces as more traditional and more widely used in print (e.g., in books with a lot of words). A serif font, therefore, is a font that has letters with the fancy doohickeys on the ends. A sans-serif font is, literally, "a font without serifs." To stereotype, serif fonts have a more vintage, academic, formal, elegant, feminine feel to them while sans serif fonts are seen as more modern, minimalist, and masculine. Obviously, women use sans-serif fonts and men use serif fonts, so don't go taking that the wrong way. When choosing fonts for your website, think about your brand and your target market and choose accordingly.
Each list of "web-safe" fonts varies slightly, but these are the options available to our WordPress clients:
WEB-SAFE SANS-SERIF FONTS
WEB-SAFE SERIF FONTS
Also available to our WordPress clients is access to Google Web Fonts. Use these fonts to spice up your site titles, headlines, and more. (We recommend using a web-safe font for the bulk of your text, but Google Web Fonts offer more creativity for your custom look.)