Cloud.typography projects are created in Development mode, and should be moved into Production before you launch your site.
Development — for building and testing
Development mode is for shaping your font palette. It offers one-click management of your project’s fonts, and the ability to deliver webfonts without using any of your monthly pageviews, instead using the gigabyte of development bandwidth that’s included free with your subscription.
Production — for delivery at scale
Upshift into Production mode as you prepare to launch. When you move your projects into Production, you’ll relocate their webfonts to your own server, where they’ll be served alongside the rest of your site’s assets. Traffic to Production projects counts toward your subscription’s much larger quantity of monthly pageviews.
When you create a Cloud.typography project, the service constructs the two things necessary to supply webfonts: an application called a delivery agent, and a set of webfonts gathered into a webfont data folder.
The delivery agent is a cloud application that runs on each of more than 125,000 servers worldwide. It answers incoming requests for webfonts, identifies what kind of webfonts will best satisfy each visitor’s browser, and directs the request to the correct file inside the webfont data folder. (The webfont data folder contains dozens of variants of each of your project’s font styles, each fine-tuned for a specific environment.) You engage your delivery agent by adding your project’s CSS Key to your pages: this key requests a stylesheet from Cloud.typography, which results in the correct webfonts being delivered to your visitors.
Preparing to Launch
While you’re in Development mode, Cloud.typography is constantly adjusting both your delivery agent and its webfont data. Once you’ve finalized your palette and are ready to deliver at scale, you’ll switch into Production mode, which involves moving the webfont data folder to your own server:
Moving your project into Production doesn’t require any changes to your code. You’ll use the same CSS Key to engage the delivery agent, which will continue to determine what kinds of fonts each visitor needs, and direct the request to the correct files on your server. You’ll benefit not only from the speed and intelligence of the delivery agent, but the affordability and control of your own hosting solution. Production projects can be delivered from any kind of server architecture, from a shared web host to a distributed CDN.