How to Ensure Text Remains Visible During Web Font Load for Improved SEO and User Experience


In today's fast-paced digital landscape, where users expect instant access to information, the loading speed and visibility of web content are paramount. Web fonts play a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetics and typography of websites, but their loading can sometimes lead to delays in rendering text. This can result in a less-than-optimal user experience and potential SEO implications. In this guide, we will delve into the problem of text invisibility during web font loading, explore multiple solutions to address it, and provide insights on how to verify the effectiveness of your implementation.


The Problem: Text Invisibility During Web Font Loading

Web fonts, while contributing to a visually appealing design, can inadvertently slow down the loading of web pages. The default behavior is often to hold off displaying the text content until the chosen web font is fully loaded. This can leave users staring at a blank space or a flicker of text for a few moments, which not only frustrates users but also affects a website's search engine ranking. A slow-loading page can lead to higher bounce rates and lower user engagement, ultimately impacting the website's overall performance.


Solutions for Maintaining Text Visibility During Web Font Loading

1. Fallback Fonts:

One effective way to address the issue is by specifying fallback fonts in your CSS. By setting a generic font family, such as sans-serif or serif, you ensure that users see readable text even before the web font loads. This seamless transition from the default font to the web font minimizes the perceived delay and keeps users engaged.

body {
  font-family: 'Roboto', sans-serif; /* 'Roboto' is the web font */


2. Font Display Property:

Utilizing the CSS `font-display` property provides more control over how web fonts are loaded and displayed. This property offers various values, including `auto`, `swap`, `fallback`, and `optional`. The `swap` value, for instance, enables the browser to display fallback text immediately and then swap it with the web font once it's ready.

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Roboto';
  src: url('roboto.woff2') format('woff2');
  font-display: swap;


3. Asynchronous Loading:

Another technique is to load web fonts asynchronously using JavaScript. This ensures that the web font loading process does not block the rendering of other page elements. By the time the web font is ready, the rest of the content, including text, images, and layout, will already be displayed to users.

  var font = new FontFaceObserver('Roboto');
  font.load().then(function () {


4. Critical Font Loading:

Critical font loading involves prioritizing the loading of essential font styles for the visible portion of the page. By using tools like "font-display: optional" and "font-display: swap" strategically, you can achieve a balance between text visibility and font optimization.

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Roboto';
  src: url('roboto.woff2') format('woff2');
  font-display: optional;

/* In your CSS for visible text */
h1, p {
  font-family: 'Roboto', sans-serif;


Verifying the Implementation

1. Browser Testing:

After implementing the above solutions, conduct cross-browser testing to ensure consistent behavior across different web browsers. Verify that text remains visible during web font loading, and there are no layout or content display issues.


2. Web Page Speed Tests:

Use online tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to assess your web page's loading speed. Compare the metrics before and after implementation to gauge improvements in page speed.


3. User Testing:

Engage with real users or usability testers to gather feedback on their experience. This can help identify any potential issues with text visibility during web font loading that might not be apparent through automated testing.



In a digital ecosystem where speed and accessibility are paramount, ensuring text remains visible during web font loading is a strategic move for enhancing both user experience and SEO. By employing fallback fonts, utilizing the `font-display` property, loading fonts asynchronously, and prioritizing critical font loading, you can create a seamless browsing experience that keeps users engaged and satisfied. Regularly verify your implementation through browser testing, web page speed tests, and user feedback to maintain optimal performance and achieve your SEO goals.