Many blogging platforms allow relatively simple changes of themes. But sometimes a typeface overhaul will accomplish a simpler makeover.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m ready to change the layout of this blog. On WordPress, the platform that powers this site, that layout is known as a theme. Changing a theme can be a minor headache — at least at first. You might find that some things didn’t quite translate properly. So the few clicks that actually change the layout might lead to a bit more work. But a typeface overhaul might do the trick without all the effort.
I’ve said before that I can be finicky about blog themes. Two years ago, I found that I changed my blog’s layout about every couple of years or so.
One advantage with WordPress over other blogging platform is the sheer number of available themes. The WordPress Theme Repository alone contains more than 11,000 free options. Then there are other services like ThemeForest that sell premium themes with a variety of features.
Sometimes, just when you decide it’s time to change the layout, you realize that despite all the options, there’s just not a theme that necessarily feels like the one.
A typeface overhaul might do the trick
You can make a difference in the look of your blog with just a change of fonts. As you probably know, fonts come in a variety of styles, primarily serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have the little “tails” at the ends of letters. In a serif font, the letter I looks like a vertical line with a little horizontal line at the top and bottom. Sans serif fonts remove those little marks, so that a letter I just looks like a vertical line.
So imagine the difference changing headlines from a bold, heavy font like Anton to a lighter, more classic font like DM Serif Display would make. With that change, what if you changed the body text of your posts from something serif like Merriweather to something more modern like Ubuntu?
The examples I give come from Google Fonts, which are compatible with many themes. Google Fonts extends the number of typefaces you can use on your blog well beyond the short list of basics. The right typeface can give your site a visual and even a personality makeover.
If you’re looking for font ideas, especially to determine whether you prefer serif or sans serif, I took a look at what 20 popular news sites chose for their typefaces. Granted, that post was nine years ago, so fonts may have changed since then. (They may have wanted an upgrade of their own!) But it’ll at least give you a starting point to see how other sites use fonts.
A change of typeface can give your site a visual update without the added trouble of switching out your theme. It can also serve as a temporary update until you find the perfect theme you want to use!