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This is how WordPress prevents external loading of Google fonts

Even at the end of the year, it is still the topic among Web site administrators: What to do after a warning about Google Fonts?

Earlier this year, there was already an LG Munich ruling regarding Google Fonts loaded from external Google servers. Here it was ruled that this was not allowed for data protection reasons. To avoid going further into whether the statement is sensible or understandable, we can make one addition to it: in fact, there are not only data protection reasons for loading fonts locally, it also has a positive effect on performance!

But! what can you do if you get such a warning?

Make sure Google Fonts are loaded externally

You can easily check yourself if your website really does load Google Fonts externally. You can do this through the Developer Console or the Developer Tools (Ctrl + Shift. + I or F12) of your browser. In Chrome you can find the information in the “Source Code” tab, in Firefox you can see if and which fonts are loaded via the Network Analysis tab.

Chrome’s developer tools show that a Google Font is loaded. Alternatively, there are some websites that will tell you if your website is loading Google Fonts:

https://www.e-recht24.de/google-fonts-scanner
https://webbkoll.dataskydd.net/de/
https://sicher3.de/google-fonts-checker/

Note: Both the console and external services check only the URL you enter. So a check does not rule out whether you are using Google Fonts anywhere else on a subpage. Consider whether to check certain pages or posts separately because other “functionalities” may have been used there, such as contact forms, popups, sliders and the like.

Google fonts blocking

As usual for WordPress, there are always several ways to solve a problem. For those who prefer not to make manual changes, we show the simple method through a plugin.

Plugins that block Google Fonts

Local Google Fonts and OMGF both have the advantage of not only preventing the loading of external fonts, but at the same time integrating the fonts used locally, so nothing changes the appearance of your website. The only difference is that the Google Fonts are now stored locally and loaded from there. There is no longer a connection to Google Fonts’ servers.

If you only want to block Google Fonts and integrate them locally manually, you can also use Borlabs’ Font Blocker. Some cache or optimization plug-ins also offer the ability to block Google Fonts, an example is Autoptimize

Options for themes and plugins

Meanwhile, many themes and also some plugins already offer the option to prevent loading Google Fonts and/or loading locally saved fonts. So check your theme’s documentation or contact the developers or its support forums. Often you are not the only one seeking help in this regard.

Google Fonts manual blocking

Of course, there is also the option to block the loading of Google Fonts via the functions.php of your child theme.

For standard WordPress themes, the required code is as follows:

add_action( 'wp_print_styles', 'remove_google_fonts', 1);
function remove_google_fonts() {
wp_dequeue_style( 'twentyseventeen-fonts' );
}

In doing so, you should use the $handle (here twentyseventeen-fonts), depending on the theme used.

Some examples:

  • Twenty Seventeen – twentyseventeen-fonts
  • Divi – divi fonts
  • Genesis Sample – genesis-sample-fonts

If that doesn’t work, I recommend searching Google for “remove google fonts + “name theme””

Check

Whichever way you ultimately choose to stop the external loading of Google Fonts, check afterwards that it has worked.
Additionally, a side note, external content loaded onto your website via iFrames cannot be affected via the above methods.

If you have any questions about this topic feel free to contact us!

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