Icons are essential to the design of a theme, and one of the most effective ways to embed icons in a design that will be rendered in a browser is to use a webfont.
However practical, this solution poses two main issues:
1. The whole webfont has to be regenerated if a new update of the icon pack is published,
2. The whole webfont has to be loaded in the page, even if we’re using only a couple of icons.
While the first might just be an organizational issue, the second involves the performance of the website, which is something that we hold very dear.
For this reason, starting from version 1.1.2, which we’re releasing today, Brix will use SVG icons instead of webfonts, and, along with Font Awesome, we’re also adding the Entypo, Google Material and Foundation icons pack, adding up to a grand total of 2171 icons.
The system we’ve created behind the use of SVG icons solves both of the aforementioned problems.
Fonts are now loaded from specific folders, and are nothing else than a collection of
.svg files. This means that you can add as many custom icon packs as you want, override or switch off existing ones, and generally place your icons in other plugins or in your theme.
Secondly, only the icons you’re effectively using are now loaded, resulting in a huge saving at page load, making your pages significantly faster for visitors and search engines.
SVG goodness doesn’t end here: SVG files can be perfectly styled with CSS, and can also be animated in creative ways, a characteristic that will be part of a future update that’s also in the works.
Unfortunately, all of this comes at a cost, which is backward compatibility: if you had previously saved an icon, there are cases in which the icon is not kept after the update, so we kindly advise you to save the page again in order to restore its correct visual representation.
Note: from this version the dependency from the Evolve Framework is removed, and the plugin is no longer needed in order for Brix to run.
As always, go play with the online demo, tell us what you think about this update, and stay in the loop for more exciting news from Brix, the page builder for WordPress.