Managing Fonts in WordPress Block Themes
That’s what we’re going to look at in this article. Block themes can indeed use Google Fonts, but the process for registering them is way different than what you might have done before in classic themes.
Before I get to how it all works, let’s first briefly refresh ourselves with the “traditional” process for adding Google Fonts to classic WordPress themes.
Then Google Fonts is pre-connected to the theme like this:
Have you installed and activated those plugins? If so, navigate to Appearance → Manage theme fonts from the WordPress admin menu.
The “Manage theme fonts” screen displays a list of any fonts already defined in the theme’s
theme.json file. There are also two options at the top of the screen:
I thought I’d share a screenshot of my theme’s file structure and
theme.json file to show that there are literally no styles or configurations going on.
For this demo, I selected Inter from the menu of options and selected the 300, Regular, and 900 weights from the preview screen:
Once I’ve saved my selections, the Inter font styles I selected are automatically downloaded and stored in the theme’s
Notice, too, how those selections have been automatically written to the
theme.json file in that screenshot. The Create Block Theme plugin even adds the path to the font files.
If we go to the Create Block Theme’s main screen and click the Manage theme fonts button again, we will see Inter’s 300, 400 (Regular), and 900 weight variants displayed in the preview panel.
The selected font(s) are also available in the Site Editor Global Styles (Appearance → Editor), specifically in the Design panel.
From here, navigate to Templates → Index and click the blue Edit button to edit the
index.html template. We want to open the Global Styles settings, which are represented as a contrast icon located at the top-right of the screen. When we click the Text settings and open the Font menu in the Typography section… we see Inter!
We may as well look at adding local fonts to a theme since the Create Block Theme plugin provides that option. The benefit is that you can use any font file you want from whatever font service you prefer.
Without the plugin, we’d have to grab our font files, drop them somewhere in the theme folder, then resort to the traditional PHP route of enqueuing them in the
functions.php file. But we can let WordPress carry that burden for us by uploading the font file on the Add local fonts screen using the Create Block Theme interface. Once a file is selected to upload, font face definitions boxes are filled automatically.
The same auto-magical file management and
theme.json update we saw with the Google Fonts option happens once again when we upload the font files (which are done one at a time). Check out where the fonts landed in my theme folder and how they are added to
The plugin also allows us to remove font files from a block theme from the WordPress admin. Let’s delete one of the Open Sans variants we installed in the last section to see how that works.
Clicking the Remove links triggers a warning for you to confirm the deletion. We’ll click OK to continue.
Let’s open our theme folder and check the
theme.json file. Sure enough, the Open Sans 800 file we deleted on the plugin screen removed the font file from the theme folder, and the reference to it is long gone in
The Create Block Theme plugin significantly enhances the user experience when it comes to handling fonts in WordPress block themes. The plugin allows us to add or delete any fonts while respecting GDPR requirements.
We saw how selecting a Google Font or uploading a local font file automatically places the font in the theme folder and registers it in the
theme.json file. We also saw how the font is an available option in the Global Styles settings in the Site Editor. And if we need to remove a font? The plugin totally takes care of that as well — without touching theme files or code.
Thanks for reading! If you have any comments or suggestions, share them in the comments. I’d love to know what you think of this possible direction for font management in WordPress.
I relied on a lot of research to write this article and thought I’d share the articles and resources I used to provide you with additional context.
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