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Smashing Book 5: Real-Life Responsive Web Design by Smashing Magazine

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Web Fonts Performance

By Bram Stein

The rapid adoption of web fonts has enriched typographic diversity on the web but also created a new and major bottleneck in terms of performance. Browsers that block rendering while downloading web fonts add a significant and unnecessary delay to displaying a webpage even though the DOM and CSSOM may already be available. Users should be presented with readable text as soon as possible instead of having to stare at a blank or partially rendered page while fonts are downloading.

The only way to make content accessible as soon as possible is by treating web fonts as a progressive enhancement. This doesn’t mean web font performance is not an issue. You still need to load web fonts as quickly as possible so that ...

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