Bandwidth consumption

A few days ago I ranted against web font licenses. Nothing changed since then other than the fact that I feel less lonely because apparently quite a few people out there also think the entire licensing world around web fonts is idiotic.

In his post, Brad has taken the topic one step further and questioned the utility of custom fonts on the web in general. He makes solid points and you should go read his post if you're interested. What I want to do here, to add to the conversation, is perform some calculations.

I checked the server logs and as of today, I see around 12,500 hits on my rant post. My entire site is just 1 http request—2 if you include the favicon—and the weight of the page varies depending on the length of the post. In this case, we're looking at ~10.5KB of compressed data according to Firefox dev tools. That is ~130MB of bandwidth used to serve those 12,500 requests. My site doesn't use web fonts but what if it did? I'd need at least 3 font files from the Iowan Old Style family, a regular, an italic and a bold. I just checked and that's around 80KB. 8x the size of the entire post, just for a custom font that adds nothing to the actual experience of consuming the content of my site. It would have added a solid Gigabyte of extra bandwidth consumed. And if I did what most people with blogs do and included a completely pointless image from Unsplash I would have increased the page weight by another 150KB easily, and that would have resulted in almost 2 extra Gigabytes of bandwidth consumed. 130MB vs ~3GB. To me, that's a no brainer.

Where do you go from here?

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