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Serving Up Google Fonts Locally

A quick guide on how to serve up Google Fonts locally in your app instead of using Google's CDN.

Google Fonts provides a nice variety of web fonts in an easy to use manner for anyone putting together a website. By simply including the URL, you are serving up a nicely looking font within your app in no time. It’s no secret though to many that despite the convenience of using Google Fonts in your web app, there are some privacy concerns under the covers that may not be ideal for some. When you let Google serve your fonts, you’re also letting them track your users to some degree.

With that said, the obvious alternative to this is to download the fonts from Google and host them yourself within your app. For those not too experienced in doing this and need a quick set of steps to do this, it’s fairly simple and I’ll walk you through it below using React as an example and deploying to Azure.

Step 1: Download the Google Fonts

First, you will need to download the Google Fonts that you would like to use in your React app. You can do this by going to the Google Fonts website, selecting the fonts you would like to use, and then clicking the “Download” button in the top right corner of the screen. This will download a .zip file containing the font files and a license agreement.

Step 2: Create a font folder in your React app

Next, create a font folder within your React app where you will place the Google Fonts. This can be done within the src folder, for example.

Step 3: Add the Google Fonts to the font folder

Unzip the .zip file you downloaded from Google Fonts and copy the font files into the font folder you created in step 2. Make sure to include the license agreement as well.

Step 4: Import the Google Fonts into your React app

In the React app, import the Google Fonts using a CSS file. In the CSS file, specify the font-face rule, which will tell the browser where to find the font files and how to apply the font styles to your text.

Step 5: Use the Google Fonts in your React app

Finally, use the imported Google Fonts in your React app by specifying the font-family in your CSS. You can apply the font-family to specific elements, such as headings or paragraphs, or to the entire page.

Step 6: Deploy the React app to Azure

To deploy the React app to Azure, you will need to create a new Azure Web App and publish your React app to it. There are several ways to do this, including using the Azure CLI, the Azure portal, or Visual Studio Code. Whichever method you choose, make sure to include the font folder and its contents in the deployment.

In conclusion, hosting Google Fonts locally within your app can help avoid the downsides of privacy concerns by having it served up directly by Google. By following the steps in the example above, you can easily integrate Google Fonts into your React app and deploy it to Azure in no time.

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