What is a favicon?
Favicon is a shortened form of ‘favourites icon’. It can also be known as a page icon or an urlicon. Favicons are very small images which are linked to a particular website or webpage.
Favicons are usually placed in the root folder of a website and generally have the file name favicon.ico. However, developers and theme designers more sophisticated ways of using favicons.
A sample of some of the more famous favicons are shown below.
How are they used
These images of either 16 x 16 or 32 x 32 pixels in size are used to identify a website in:
1 – They are great when you are using tabs
The favicon makes it easy for the user to switch between open web pages.
This is particularly useful:
- when the text is not clear at the top of the screen
- when someone is researching a topic and needs to refer back
2 – Bookmark or favourites list
This helps the user identify the a specific site. A well designed favicon attracts the eye and makes it more likely the user will click the link, rather than the more bland non-favicon link, such as the third item in the list.
Why should I use favicons?
Though not essential favicons improve the general appearance of your website in the following ways:
- A favicon improves the brand or look of your website. It makes you appear to be professional
- It will marginally improve the numbers of visitors to your site
- As part of the complete package it will more make your website a little more valuable if you plan to sell it.
Smashing Magazine: A list of 50 simple, well designed favicons