CloudFlare launches online font service to replace Google Fonts
Prominent internet service provider CloudFlare announced the launch of CloudFlare Fonts, a service designed as an alternative to Google Fonts. Google Fonts, a suite of typefaces provided by Google, uses the tech giant’s CDN to achieve rapid global loading and is currently employed by millions of websites.
However, there are notable concerns associated with the utilization of Google Fonts. Firstly, there’s a matter of privacy. When users access sites that invoke Google Fonts, requests are dispatched to Google’s servers, enabling the tech behemoth to log data such as the user’s IP address, browser type, and operating system. Secondly, due to the inherent architectural design of Google Fonts, its loading speed is somewhat languid, posing a bottleneck for sites striving for optimal loading efficiency.
In a bid to ameliorate these issues, CloudFlare has introduced its Fonts service. According to official documentation, when invoking CloudFlare Fonts, the website’s own domain will be utilized for loading rather than relying on CloudFlare’s domain. This implies that the pertinent data remains exclusively under the purview of the website administrators.
From a technical architecture perspective, CloudFlare asserts that the Google Fonts loading process necessitates eight round trips between the browser and Google’s servers. The cumulative effect of these multiple round trips is a protracted loading time. Conversely, CloudFlare Fonts requires a singular round trip to accomplish font loading, thereby significantly truncating the loading duration. This enables websites to render and present content to users expeditiously, as opposed to browsers idly spinning or displaying blank waiting screens.
Beginning in October, CloudFlare will commence the provision of its Fonts service to clients. This service is anticipated to be complimentary. However, a potential stipulation might be that websites must be hosted on CloudFlare to avail of this feature.
Moreover, given CloudFlare’s loading speed challenges within domestic territories, it is recommended that local websites leverage their own servers for font loading to circumvent potential website speed degradation.