Probably the most exciting feature I’m eager to try is the new font library, which includes the ability to set a local font from your own site.
Being able to set a local font should reduce ‘FID’ , ‘LCP’ , and ‘CLS’ scores. Which is you don’t know are basically one of the main problems with get a page to render quickly. The way that web fonts were designed were to be hosted somewhere, and most sites moved to a CDN for fonts in the early 2010’s and since then not much has changed until I would say about 2018 when good started looking at the core web vitals to be more of an exact measurement and issues that persist with loading and performance.
So why does the new font library matter?
It matters because every WordPress theme is tightly bundled to a font sometimes too many fonts and most of the time as an external google font which surprisingly is slow. From some of the tests I’ve done loading 2 variations of fonts on a single page is not great, but some site will load 6 – 8 various web fonts that are for different bold sizes or alternative menu systems or being called in on a single use, but being loaded in globally which just slows down everything.
There has to be a better way to get ‘Open Sans’ to load quickly.
There should be, and hopefully the new font library helps or I might make my own integration for this to streamline a single font library to be loaded in locally. Another issue that has been pretty painful is there can be 3 – 4 versions of a fonts to load in a browser, but I would say finally ‘WOFF2’ seems to be simplifying most of this since you only need a .woff2 font it should be fairly simple to support most browsers available today. It’s likely there is another fonts to be even better in the future as well. If you are new to the web and web font formats you can read about some of the font pain mentioned here. I remember some of the font issues like server incompatibility and worse origin issues where the font can’t be loaded over multiple domains. I even tried base64 to get around these issues, which today is a really bad idea as your page will have a long paint to load in the entire font then load the page contents.
As we eagerly away fonts it appears there are other changes, mostly to blocks and block hooks and a few developer changes outlined here, I’m guessing the dark and light web will be coming to WordPress also.