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How to optimize Font Awesome

How to optimize Font Awesome

The number of internet users is spiking up, which has resulted in higher website numbers. Well, the speed is pretty deeming. The website owners are under a constant pressure of staying ahead of their competition, and one trick is to optimize the web designing with the advanced trends. Icons are an integral entity of the web designing as they are the eye-catching components of every website.

However, the paradigms of icons have changed as web fonts are the way to go. If you are in look for some amazing web fonts, Font Awesome is the perfect opportunity to start with. Font Awesome was first launched in 2012 and have been replacing the SVG or PNG images. The main reason being the ease of replacement and designing. All the designs are equipped with ultimate scalability and ease of use.

On average, one website can use up to 6 icons, but with the incorporation of share buttons, the numbers start growing. Many people often question the acquiring of such a huge library for ten icons. Well, we would put forward the card of “ease of replacement and ease of use.” Every web developer would be aware of the hassle of changing PNG icons and with Font Awesome; all such issues will be catered to. Familiar with H1 tag incorporation? Adding the icons through Font Awesome is just as easy. There is an array of features such as flipping, spinning, and stacking, which are optimal for the icon resizing.

But people have been complaining about the lack of optimization as it tends to be cached through the browsers. In such scenarios, it becomes essential to optimize Font Awesome because it plays a critical role in increasing the web loading speeds (yes, even on the mobile devices!) The huge file size of Font Awesome is hidden to no one and users need to trim it down to achieve the development goals and to keep it easy on the loading times. The final size of one Font Awesome icon tends to be 120KB, which is pretty huge.

In this article, we will path you down to the procedure of optimizing Font Awesome through compression. This compression will ultimately result in the faster loading of the website. The basic method is to edit the font to reduce the size, such as eliminating the glyphs that are no longer in use. The size of the file increases with the number of fonts. If you remove the glyph, the file size will be reduced by 80%, which is a whopping percentage.

So, let’s have a look at two methods which we have rounded to optimize the Font Awesome;

Customizing The Fonts

If you are a web developer with some extremely hones CSS skills, only then you should opt for this method as it’s a bit difficult. So, let’s see what you need to do!

  1. First, you need to localize the Font Awesome. To localize the file, remove the CDN link from the head tag after downloading the updated software. Then, unzip the file and root the repository.
  2. Now, call the CSS file in the head tag and after that, clear the cache to load the website locally
  3. You can delete the variants other than Fonts and CSS. Don’t delete the fontawesome-webfont.woff
  4. Download and install the FontForge app and open fontawesome-webfont.woff through this app
  5. Clear the unnecessary glyphs from the file through the compact folder
  6. Go to Files, tap on the “Generate Fonts” and save the folder
  7. This is all as you have a WOFF font now and you can rename it as you like
  8. However, before closing down the setup, don’t forget to run a test cycle to see if the fonts are loading as you want them to. If it’s all fine, push the changes, and you are good to go!

Generator Method

This is the easy method, and if you don’t want to take much pain, read down and get to work. We are using the IcoMoon app to optimize our fonts!

  1. Install the IcoMoon app and log in to the account
  2. Then, choose the “Add icons from library” where you will land at the selection windows
  3. Choose the desired icons by just tapping on them
  4. After selecting the icons, click on “Generate Font.”
  5. Once you click on “Generate Font,” you will be asked to download the selected files as the font file
  6. The zip file will be downloaded with the CSS, SVG, WOFF, and EOT style
  7. Add the files in the website root and link with the CSS file in the head tag, and you are good to go!

This is how you can optimize the Font Awesome for your website. Moreover, we have added the file types which get along with certain types of web models. Have a look!

JavaScript

If your website is designed through JavaScript, you can choose the SVG files as it helps in the implementation of the icon data. This is an apt choice if you want to reduce the file size, have the frontend apps, lack of icons, faster CPU, and the ample storage space.

CSS

This choice will be apt to implement the fonts as the file formats and if you want to render the icons as the customized fonts. This implementation will be suitable for mature font technology with the battle-tested options. Plus, with this implementation, you don’t have to worry about the slower working of the CPU.

SVG Sprites

This method will line out the SVG files into the icons and turn them into the symbols. If you don’t want to put up JavaScript and want to go with CSS, this implementation will work out fine. Also, you can opt for this implementation, given the restricted icon utilization.

Last but not the least, batched mutations is an apt fit as well as it reduces the layout thrashing. Plus, it saves the execution time so, what else one can demand. At last, we would like to narrow it down to the fact that millisecond improvement in loading time will pose a significant impact!