Bookmark: "Should you self-host Google Fonts?"

Sebastian Greger


To answer the question in the title of this post: yes it’s better to self-host as the performance gains are substantial.

This extensive and thorough analysis of the benefits of self-hosting Google Fonts (but also addressing some of the potential shortcomings) is written chiefly from a performance perspective, but privacy concerns are inevitably mentioned as well:

That leads nicely into the privacy implications of using third-party CDNs. You have no idea what sort of tracking they are doing to your users by using them, rather than self-hosting. And recent legislation means a lot of sites have to explicitly list all the cookies used on the site, which gets more complicated when using a third-party.

I have long advocated for self-hosting fonts and avoiding third-party dependencies in the frontend whenever possible. With Barry Pollard’s detailed research under the belt, arguing for this move is no longer difficult at all.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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