Managing Fonts in WordPress Block Themes | CSS-Tips

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Fonts are a defining attribute of the design of any web site. That features WordPress themes, the place it’s widespread for theme builders to combine a service like Google Fonts into the WordPress Customizer settings for a “traditional” PHP-based theme. That hasn’t fairly been the case for WordPress block themes. Whereas integrating Google Fonts into traditional themes is well-documented, there’s nothing presently obtainable for block themes within the WordPress Theme Handbook.

That’s what we’re going to have a look at on this article. Block themes can certainly use Google Fonts, however the course of for registering them is method completely different than what you may need accomplished earlier than in traditional themes.

What we already know

As I stated, there’s little for us to go on so far as getting began. The Twenty Twenty-Two theme is the primary block-based default WordPress theme, and it demonstrates how we will use downloaded font recordsdata as belongings within the theme. Nevertheless it’s fairly unwieldy as a result of it includes a few steps: (1) register the recordsdata within the features.php file and (2) outline the bundled fonts within the theme.json file.

Since Twenty Twenty-Two was launched, although, the method has gotten easier. Bundled fonts can now be outlined with out registering them, as proven within the Twenty Twenty-Three theme. Nevertheless, the method nonetheless requires us to manually obtain font recordsdata and bundle them into the themes. That’s a hindrance that type of defeats the aim of easy, drop-in, hosted fonts which are served on a speedy CDN.

What’s new

In the event you didn’t already know, the Gutenberg undertaking is an experimental plugin the place options being developed for the WordPress Block and Web site Editor can be found for early use and testing. In a latest Theme Shaper article, Gutenberg undertaking lead architect Matias Ventura discusses how Google Fonts — or another downloaded fonts, for that matter — might be added to dam themes utilizing the Create Block Theme plugin.

This quick video at Be taught WordPress gives an excellent overview of the Create Block Theme plugin and the way it works. However the backside line is that it does what it says on the tin: it creates block themes. Nevertheless it does it by offering controls within the WordPress UI that permit you to create a whole theme, youngster theme, or a theme type variation with out writing any code or ever having to the touch template recordsdata.

I’ve given it a attempt! And since Create Block Theme is authored and maintained by the WordPress.org staff, I’d say it’s one of the best route we’ve got for integrating Google Fonts right into a theme. That stated, it’s positively price noting that the plugin is in energetic growth. Which means issues may change fairly rapidly.

Earlier than I get to the way it all works, let’s first briefly refresh ourselves with the “conventional” course of for including Google Fonts to traditional WordPress themes.

The way it was accomplished

This ThemeShaper article from 2014 gives a superb instance of how we used to do that in traditional PHP themes, as is this newer Cloudways article by Ibad Ur Rehman.

To refresh our reminiscence, right here is an instance from the default Twenty Seventeen theme exhibiting how Google fonts are enqueued within the features.php file.

operate twentyseventeen_fonts_url() {
  $fonts_url="";
  /**
   * Translators: If there are characters in your language that aren't
   * supported by Libre Franklin, translate this to 'off'. Don't translate
   * into your personal language.
   */
  $libre_franklin = _x( 'on', 'libre_franklin font: on or off', 'twentyseventeen' );
  if ( 'off' !== $libre_franklin ) ', $font_families ) ),
      'subset' => urlencode( 'latin,latin-ext' ),
    );
    $fonts_url = add_query_arg( $query_args, 'https://fonts.googleapis.com/css' );
  
  return esc_url_raw( $fonts_url );
}

Then Google Fonts is pre-connected to the theme like this:

operate twentyseventeen_resource_hints( $urls, $relation_type ) {
  if ( wp_style_is( 'twentyseventeen-fonts', 'queue' ) && 'preconnect' === $relation_type ) {
    $urls[] = array(
      'href' => 'https://fonts.gstatic.com',
      'crossorigin',
    );
  }
  return $urls;
}
add_filter( 'wp_resource_hints', 'twentyseventeen_resource_hints', 10, 2 );

What’s incorrect with the normal method

Nice, proper? There’s a hitch, nonetheless. In January 2022, a German regional courtroom imposed a positive on a web site proprietor for violating Europe’s GDPR necessities. The problem? Enqueuing Google Fonts on the positioning uncovered a customer’s IP handle, jeopardizing person privateness. CSS-Tips lined this some time again.

The Create Block Theme plugin satisfies GDPR privateness necessities, because it leverages the Google Fonts API to serve solely as a proxy for the native vendor. The fonts are served to the person on the identical web site quite than on Google’s servers, defending privateness. WP Tavern discusses the German courtroom ruling and contains hyperlinks to guides for self-hosting Google Fonts.

How you can use Google Fonts with block themes

This brings us to at this time’s “trendy” method of utilizing Google Fonts with WordPress block themes. First, let’s arrange a neighborhood check web site. I take advantage of Flywheel’s Native app for native growth. You should utilize that or no matter you favor, then use the Theme Check Information plugin by the WordPress Themes Group to work with dummy content material. And, after all, you’ll need the Create Block Theme plugin in there as effectively.

Have you ever put in and activated these plugins? In that case, navigate to LookHandle theme fonts from the WordPress admin menu.

Manage Theme Fonts screen with type samples for Space Mono.
Supply: WordPress Theme Listing

The “Handle theme fonts” display screen shows a listing of any fonts already outlined within the theme’s theme.json file. There are additionally two choices on the prime of the display screen:

  • Add Google fonts. This feature provides Google Fonts on to the theme from the Google fonts API.
  • Add native fonts. This feature provides downloaded font recordsdata to the theme.

I’m utilizing a very clean theme by WordPress known as Emptytheme. You’re welcome to roll together with your personal theme, however I needed to name out that I’ve renamed Emptytheme to “EMPTY-BLANK” and modified it, so there aren’t any predefined fonts and types in any respect.

Themes screen showing Empty Theme as the active selection with no screenshot preview.

I believed I’d share a screenshot of my theme’s file construction and theme.json file to point out that there are actually no types or configurations happening.

VS Code file explorer on the left and an open theme.json file on the right.
File construction of Emptytheme (left) and theme.json file (proper)

Let’s click on the “Add Google Fonts” button. It takes us to a brand new web page with choices to decide on any obtainable font from the present Google Fonts API.

Add Google Fonts to your theme screen with the select font menu open showing a list of available fonts.

For this demo, I chosen Inter from the menu of choices and chosen the 300, Common, and 900 weights from the preview display screen:

Add Google Fonts to your theme screen with Inter selected and type samples below it of the various weight variations.

As soon as I’ve saved my choices, the Inter font types I chosen are routinely downloaded and saved within the theme’s belongings/fonts folder:

VS Code file explorer on the left showing Inter font files; theme.json on the right showing Inter references.

Discover, too, how these choices have been routinely written to the theme.json file in that screenshot. The Create Block Theme plugin even provides the trail to the font recordsdata.

View the complete theme.json code
{
  "model": 2,
  "settings": {
    "appearanceTools": true,
    "format": {
      "contentSize": "840px",
      "wideSize": "1100px"
    },
    "typography": {
      "fontFamilies": [
        {
          "fontFamily": "Inter",
          "slug": "inter",
          "fontFace": [
            {
              "fontFamily": "Inter",
              "fontStyle": "normal",
              "fontWeight": "300",
              "src": [
                "file:./assets/fonts/inter_300.ttf"
              ]
            },
            {
              "fontFamily": "Inter",
              "fontStyle": "regular",
              "fontWeight": "900",
              "src": [
                "file:./assets/fonts/inter_900.ttf"
              ]
            },
            {
              "fontFamily": "Inter",
              "fontStyle": "regular",
              "fontWeight": "400",
              "src": [
                "file:./assets/fonts/inter_regular.ttf"
              ]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

If we go to the Create Block Theme’s major display screen and click on the Handle theme fonts button once more, we’ll see Inter’s 300, 400 (Common), and 900 weight variants displayed within the preview panel.

Manage Theme Fonts screen with a button to Add Google Font highlighted in red.

A demo textual content preview field on the prime even permits you to preview the chosen fonts throughout the sentence, header, and paragraph with the font dimension choice slider. You’ll be able to take a look at this new function in motion in this GitHub video.

The chosen font(s) are additionally obtainable within the Web site Editor World Types (LookEditor), particularly within the Design panel.

Wordpress Site Editor screen with navigation panel open and highlighting the Edit button.

From right here, navigate to TemplatesIndex and click on the blue Edit button to edit the index.html template. We wish to open the World Types settings, that are represented as a distinction icon positioned on the top-right of the display screen. After we click on the Textual content settings and open the Font menu within the Typography part… we see Inter!

Open template file in the Site Editor with an arrow pointing out the Global Styles settings button.

Identical factor, however with native fonts

We might as effectively have a look at including native fonts to a theme because the Create Block Theme plugin gives that choice. The profit is that you should use any font file you need from no matter font service you favor.

With out the plugin, we’d need to seize our font recordsdata, drop them someplace within the theme folder, then resort to the normal PHP route of enqueuing them within the features.php file. However we will let WordPress carry that burden for us by importing the font file on the Add native fonts display screen utilizing the Create Block Theme interface. As soon as a file is chosen to add, font face definitions bins are stuffed routinely.

Add local fonts to your theme screen with options to upload a font file and set its name, style, and weight.

Though we will use any .ttf, .woff, or .woff2 file, I merely downloaded Open Sans font recordsdata from Google Fonts for this train. I snatched two weight variations, common and 800.

The identical auto-magical file administration and theme.json replace we noticed with the Google Fonts choice occurs as soon as once more after we add the font recordsdata (that are accomplished one after the other). Try the place the fonts landed in my theme folder and the way they’re added to theme.json:

VS Code showing the font files and the theme.json file references to the font.

Eradicating fonts

The plugin additionally permits us to take away font recordsdata from a block theme from the WordPress admin. Let’s delete one of many Open Sans variants we put in within the final part to see how that works.

The interface for removing a font from the theme.

Clicking the Take away hyperlinks triggers a warning so that you can verify the deletion. We’ll click on OK to proceed.

Modal confirming the font deletion.

Let’s open our theme folder and test the theme.json file. Certain sufficient, the Open Sans 800 file we deleted on the plugin display screen eliminated the font file from the theme folder, and the reference to it’s lengthy gone in theme.json.

Updated theme.json file showing the font references have been removed.

There’s ongoing work taking place

There’s speak happening including this “Font Supervisor” function to WordPress Core quite than needing a separate plugin.

An preliminary iteration of the function is out there within the repo, and it makes use of the very same method we used on this article. It must be GDPR-compliant, too. The function is scheduled to land with WordPress 6.3 launch later this yr.

Wrapping up

The Create Block Theme plugin considerably enhances the person expertise in relation to dealing with fonts in WordPress block themes. The plugin permits us so as to add or delete any fonts whereas respecting GDPR necessities.

We noticed how choosing a Google Font or importing a neighborhood font file routinely locations the font within the theme folder and registers it within the theme.json file. We additionally noticed how the font is an obtainable choice within the World Types settings within the Web site Editor. And if we have to take away a font? The plugin completely takes care of that as effectively — with out touching theme recordsdata or code.

Thanks for studying! You probably have any feedback or recommendations, share them within the feedback. I’d like to know what you consider this potential route for font administration in WordPress.

Extra assets

I relied on a whole lot of analysis to put in writing this text and thought I’d share the articles and assets I used to offer you further context.

WordPress font administration

GitHub points

European GDPR necessities

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