Announcing a Major Change to How Font Burner Works
I would like to announce a major change to the way Font Burner delivers fonts from now on. As of today, Font Burner will no longer allow “hotlinking” to the swf files hosted here. This isn’t the end of our service, just a change that will benefit all sites that use Font Burner. You can skip down to the “What this means for you” section below if you really want to cut to the chase. Otherwise, here is the play-by-play that has lead up to this decision to block hotlinking.
In order to make it as easy as possible for websites to use a huge selection of fonts on there websites, Font Burner was built on a concept that allowed websites to hotline to the fonts hosted here. This reduced the number of steps to add fonts to your site to basically one. What does “hotlink” mean? This means that the fonts all live on the Font Burner servers. When you use one of our fonts, you are linking to our files. (The exception is users of the WordPress plugin. WordPress users can skip down to the WordPress section). This font (contained in a Flash .swf file) gets loaded every time someone views a page on your site. If your page gets viewed 100 times, the Font Burner server delivers the font 100 times. The steady growth of Font Burner over the last few years has steadily increased the demands on our server. Thousands of websites serving thousands of pageviews every day adds up. It is hard to estimate how many millions of files we serve up each month, but you can imagine that it is a huge number. Unfortunately, we have reached a point where it isn’t possible to support a hotlinking model any more.
So what now?
Fortunately, there is a solution that is a win for everyone involved. You can still use any of the 1000+ fonts found here, you simply have to host the font yourself! Rather than linking to the font on our servers you will link to a font that is stored on your website. I will explain how to do this in a moment, but first let me list the pros and cons of this new method.
1. Less downtime. Since you host the files yourself you are no longer at the mercy of Font Burner’s servers which have suffered from downtime due to the demands of hundreds of websites.
2. Faster font loading. Your server will be able to deliver your fonts faster than Font Burner can because, again, you won’t be limited by our stressed servers.
1. More complicated setup. Don’t worry, it isn’t hard, but it is one step further than before. Scroll down to see what exactly is involved in the new system
What this means for you…
If you are hotlinking to a swf font hosted on Font Burner your fonts will no longer show up. If you are panicking because your fonts dissappeared, there is a quick fix that will get your headlines to reappear. Simply remove the Font Burner code from the header of your page. This will cause your headlines to default back to there original styles. This should give you time to update your Font Burner settings without your headlines being gone in the meantime.
How do you get your fonts working again?
Unless you are using the WordPress plugin, here is what you need to do to get your fonts back online. Basically, you do two things. First you upload the font to your server, then you update the code so that your site links to the font in the right location. Here is how you do both:
2. Next, upload the files to your server. You should have 5 files total: 1 swf, 2 css, 1 php, and 1 js. Put these files in a place where you can find easily, like in a font folder or in your root directory.
3. Finally, update the Font Burner code that you have in the header of your pages. Look for a line that says something like, this:
and replace it with the code provided by Font Burner that looks like this:
Note: your code will be a little different because you are going to be replacing “yourdomain.com” with your actual domain name. Also the “fontname” will be replaced by the name of the font you are using. That’s it. You can now check out your site and confirm that everything is working.
WordPress Plugin Users:
If you have the latest version of the Font Burner plugin or have installed the plugin recently you don’t need to do anything. If you are using an older version of the Font Burner plugin for WordPress and your fonts have dissappeared then you need to make a couple changes. Here is what you need to do:
1. Go to your WordPress plugin control panel and upgrade the plugin.
2. Once the plugin has been upgraded you will need to go to the Font Burner control panel. There should be a message on this screen that contains links to the fonts you were using. Click these links to download a zip file of each font. Unzip each file to get the .swf file contained in the zip file. These are the files that you will be hosting on your server.
3. Upload the .swf file(s) to the Font Burner plugin folder on your server. This is located somewhere like
4. Once you have uploaded the .swf file into the “fonts” directory in the plugin folder the font will now appear in the dropdown menu in your Font Burner settings page. Select the font and save the options.
So as you can see, this is a bit more work than the original Font Burner concept, but I hope you agree that the tradeoff is worth it. As always, I am open to suggestions and feedback. Thanks for your support and I hope to continue to use Font Burner. Finally, I would like to point to another option for rich typography for your website. Google Fonts is a technology vastly superior to the sIFR system that makes Font Burner work. The selection of fonts is a bit small but it is growing. If you are using WordPress, I have a Google Font plugin that you can check out.