Font files can be very large — commonly 1MB. If your custom font does not compress well, and you do not use it much on your site, you might decide it’s not worth slowing down your page. For example, if you use a bold version of a font in only one place, consider if the cost of loading it is worth it.

Some external services can help with managing font file size sizes, and may possibly serve cached fonts. Two to consider are Google Web Fonts and Typekit.

It is not a good idea to load a custom font to make your logo — it is much more efficient to use a graphic instead. Also, you can’t really control how or if a web font is displayed.

You don’t want users staring at a white screen. Confirm that Start Render time is within 2.01 seconds. (Please remind me to justify this number I am now offering as a rule of thumb with no explanation.)

WebPageTest.org can tell you Start Render time as well as a lot of other useful information. Waterfall charts — which WebPageTest.org will generate for you — indicate Start Render time as a first vertical line, usually blue.

If Start Render time is greater than two seconds, you will need to optimize.

That is, don’t create graphics of text that your users will read.

Images make pages slow; by using them you are adding http requests and files that need to be downloaded. Avoid using graphics for menu list items, for example.

Logos that include text are the exception to this rule because the rendering of a logo needs to be precise for branding. The FrontendTest logo is a graphic, for example.