The goal of every website is to get people to the site and keep them there. There are thousands of reasons why people may leave the site, but font should never be one of them. Here are some ways that font can actually cause people to leave your site:
* The font won’t display on the user’s computer. Not every computer is installed with every font. If someone visits your site and their browser isn’t able to read the kind of font you used, the person simply won’t be able to read anything on your site.
* The font doesn’t convey the right message. If you’re selling pillows, you shouldn’t use a rigid, square-ish font where the letters have sharp corners. If you’re a neurosurgeon, there shouldn’t be tilted letters and wacky symbols.
* The font is serif when it should be sans-serif. In almost every case of displaying large chunks of text, you should use a sans-serif font. A serif font includes little “feet” on the bottom of some letters, and if a computer’s resolution isn’t high enough, it can cause letters to blend together – like making “rn” look like “m.”
* The site has too much/not enough variety. Using the same font for everything – headings, subheadings, body, etc. – can be boring. And of course, using a wildly different font for each and every aspect of the site can be confusing. Make enough font changes, but make them subtle as well.
* The font is too big or too small. Again, this will depend on if the font is being used for a headline or the general text, but keep in mind that the wrong size can turn off a visitor to your site.
* The font’s color makes it unreadable. The font color needs to compliment the other colors on the site. There shouldn’t be anything too abrasive (no neon green on black), and the font should be able to stand out from any background colors (no grey on light grey).
* The font is wrong for your target audience. If your site is geared for children, don’t include cursive; even most high school kids can’t read cursive. If it’s gear for seniors, don’t do anything too extreme. Simply put, always keep your end user in mind when making decisions.
* The font makes the site ugly. Yes, this can be subjective, and it may take some trial and error, but your website should be attractive.
* The font is too common or too rare. Yes, you want to stand out from other sites, but you don’t want to give people headaches from straining to understand what the text is saying. There are enough common and well-designed fonts out there that you should be able to create a unique, yet appropriate, site.
* The font is Comic Sans. The only time Comic Sans should ever be used is ironically or in a what-not-to-do moment. Otherwise, Comic Sans should never be used. Ever.
Learn more about how to build an effective website and drive traffic to it.