Just a general question as to if there is a better solution or even the comparative advantages of disadvantages...

Icons can be added to a site through the use of image sprites and CSS or through the use of web fonts (such as how Font Awesome works). Just wondering if one is better than the other or if there is a difference between them. I understand that either way a file needs to be downloaded (web font file or image sprite) but not certain on if one is better than the other and how to make a decision as to which one to use (looking at rolling my own font set for a few websites I manage).

1 Answer 1


It comes down to size imo.

I use font awesome for local development and then once happy I will transform that either into a sprite or base64 whichever is smallest.

Font awesome is massive and most times the cdn version takes long to load.

Same with bootstrap marvelous framework but if your just using 10% do you really want to send that whole 500kb css and js to the client?

Hence fontaweosme its a massive thing and if you just use 5 of the icons then a sprite or base64 is almost always faster/smaller.

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