Bryan Hadaway's Blog
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The Beauty of sIFR

UPDATEI definitely no longer recommend the use of sIFR. In fact I think about the only good use for Flash is for video features. I now recommend Google Fonts.

Notice anything unique about this text? You can highlight it, you can copy and paste it… but it looks like a special font and even looks sharper than text on webpages usually does. Look closer, right-click anywhere over the text, it’s Flash.

Now, normally I avoid the use of Flash as it is not very user-friendly or seo-friendly, but there are exceptions where Flash can come in handy. With sIFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement) which is built with Flash and JavaScript and styled with CSS gives you the ability to use pretty much any font you want on a website. You might ask why not just call to a font how you normally would?

The problem is that there are only about a dozen web safe fonts to use like that, web safe meaning that by default, a wide variety of users across all OS’s will have that font file installed. Now, to insure that users see my intended font (Rockwell) above I need to use the sIFR scripts to do so because if a user does not have Rockwell installed they’ll see the text default to my CSS styles or even worse to the browser default Times New Roman. No offense Times, but we’ve all seen too much of you.

sIFR acts as live text and is completely crawlable by search engines, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without problems. For example, if a user has Flash or JavaScript disabled or not up-to-date they won’t see your text as you intended them to. It’s probably a good recommendation that you only use sIFR for headings, but if your intended audience is the tech savvy, then you wouldn’t have to worry too much.

So, are you ready to add a new layer of style to your pages? Here’s what you’ll need:

sIFR Font Makers:

The Code to Implement it:

WordPress Plugin:

Thanks for reading, Bryan