Before I go into why favicons are used and how to make them, here’s a brief review of what they are. When I use the term “favicon” I’m referring to an icon that is associated with a particular website, and which web browsers display in the URL Address Bar or in modern Browsers on the Tabs as well.
Incorporating one into your design is one of those small touches that goes a long way towards improving the overall quality of a website, and it can also have a few smaller benefits for your visitors.
Why use a favicon?
If my clients ask about it, I always tell them the little icon isn’t there just for looks. It has a subtle – yet important – role in building the brand on their website. When a visitor sees one on their website, that can be a strong indicator that they came to the right place – which can also be reassuring in a sense.
But using favicons also serves a more practical purpose as well, at least from your visitor’s perspective. How so? By saving people time when browsing the Internet.
It’s the same principle that applies elsewhere on your website. When you look at a web page, your eyes notice an image before the text surrounding it. So when I’m looking through my folders and folders of bookmarks, looking for the favicons of the websites I’ve filed away helps me find what I’m looking for that much quicker.
In the image I used above, you can see what I mean. When a website doesn’t use a favicon, your web browser will use a little blank page icon next to the website’s name in your bookmarks list. If you get enough of these in a column, then it becomes a bit tedious to sift through all of them to find the website you’re looking for.
But if a website does use a favicon, it makes it all the more easier and quicker to look through a list of bookmarks and find then one that you’re looking for, because your eye will notice the colorful favicons before it does the text of each bookmark’s name and the blank icons surrounding it.
Making a favicon
A favicon is a special file that ends in an .ICO extention, so you can’t just use any old image. But you can use your own image and then convert it in an .ICO file.
Images could be:
- Your Company Logo
- An Image representing your Company or Business
- An Image with your Initials
- A Drawing or ANY other Image
Favicons are 16 pixels by 16 pixels in dimension, so you want to be sure that when you’re designing your icon, whatever your including will actually be readable. Again, this is why so many favicons are simply the logo of the organization or business.
Do you need a favicon for your Website? Contact me. Send me your Image, Logo etc to convert, your FTP Login Details (you can create a new temporary FTP Account, which you can later delete again) and € 5.00 for 2 Beers