Impression: ZDNet

A modify created in the Google Chrome browser in October has impacted the effectiveness of the Google Fonts service for tens of millions of internet sites.

The alter is an update to Chrome’s interior cache system.

A browser’s cache process operates by serving as a non permanent storage program for pictures, CSS, and JavaScript information employed by internet websites. Documents stored in the cache are ordinarily reused throughout a number of sites alternatively of possessing the browser re-download each file for each and every webpage/tab load.

But with the launch of Chrome 86 in early Oct 2020, Google has overhauled how Chrome’s full caching program functions.

Alternatively of employing 1 significant cache for all web-sites, Google has “partitioned” the Chrome cache, which will now be storing assets on a for each-web site and for each-resource foundation.

Although this is a huge gain for person security, protecting against some types of web assaults, this change has impacted world-wide-web solutions made all around the previous cache program.

It truly is now advised to self-host tailor made fonts

A single of these products and services is Google Fonts, a net portal that introduced in 2010 and which hosts customized fonts.

Google Fonts permits site entrepreneurs to load any fonts hosted on Google servers by means of a solitary line of JavaScript or CSS code.


When it launched in 2010, the thought guiding Google Fonts was that as customers navigated on the world-wide-web, their browsers would load Google Fonts in the browser cache, and end users would not need to re-load customized fonts on each new website. This, in flip, would give sites a speed raise when loading new pages, as they presently experienced the fonts in their cache.

However, in a blog post this week, Simon Wicki, a frontend developer from Berlin, pointed out that the new cache partitioning program that delivered with Chrome 86 has correctly built Google Fonts worthless, as the new cache process will drive buyers to re-down load any fonts on each and every website they pay a visit to.

With the cache-reuse gain out the window, Wicki now says it is much more productive if web site entrepreneurs obtain fonts from the Google Fonts internet site and host them on their very own servers, alternatively of the old process of loading the fonts from Google servers (see picture above).

As Wicki also pointed out, the plan of self-internet hosting personalized fonts is just not new and has been floating around because 2018 when quite a few website developers have done scientific tests and arrived at the exact same conclusion [1, 2, 3].

Even Google by itself suggested the identical detail in a Google I/O 2018 chat.

Either way, even if Google Fonts’ days as a fonts CDN appear to be at an stop, the company will still remain up and working as a single of the major repositories of freely downloadable open license fonts on the online.

In accordance to data from the BuildWith world wide web data company, Google Fonts are now employed on much more than 42.7 million websites.

In addition to Chrome, Safari also employs a cache partitioning system since 2013. Considering that cache partitioning units have a lot of safety added benefits, Mozilla has also expressed desire in introducing 1 to Firefox. Edge, Vivaldi, Opera, Courageous, and the other Chromium-primarily based browsers are also envisioned to add support for cache partitioning in the coming months.