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Google Font -- Reference from Google or include in website?

Posted on 2016-09-12
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Last Modified: 2016-09-23
We have a data entry website. For our customers that use it (to access data housed at their sites--not ours), the website must be installed on one of their network servers. We have a setup that does that and it works fine with 100's of customers housing a personal copy of our website on one of their servers.

We're upgrading the website (so we'll make a new setup for each customer to run) and it'll now use a Google Font. I've not done this before and my main question is how to best implement it. I see 1 of 2 ways..

1) In our website, reference the google font from the google site. Easy enough. However, I'm concerned if some customers will have access issues to google, but maybe that's unfounded? Or it is possible?

2) Or I can download the google font and put all the font files into a subfolder of my website to include in the setup that each customer will install on their server. This seems faster as there's no need for their servers to access google with the fonts as part of the website. But is that legal? Can I distribute google fonts with my setup?

Assuming it's legal, are there any drawbacks to housing the fonts on the website instead of referencing them from Google directly?
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Question by:jjsather
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ecarbone earned 2000 total points
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Generally, Google recommends you link to the font file, since the fonts themselves are sometimes updated. Also, when loading fonts from a CDN (such as Google fonts), it may benefit you later if/when you browse to a site that also uses that same font.

In fact, when you try to download a Google font, it gives you a (brief) warning:  "Local font files will affect the way websites are displayed on your machine."

Regarding downloading and distributing the fonts - you may do this with Google fonts. They are open source and can be used for personal and commercial websites:
https://developers.google.com/fonts/faq
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