Does your WordPress website or blog currently feature a favicon? You know – that little icon that appears in your browser’s address bar, and alongside the websites you have stored in your bookmarks. If you’ve been meaning to get around to adding a favicon to further identify your brand to your audience, now is the time. And creating a favicon is easier than you might think.
What is a Favicon?
Short for a ‘favourites icon’, a favicon is a small icon or visual identifier associated with a website, intended for use when a user bookmarks a site or web page. Web browsers also use them in the URL bar and on tabs.
A favicon is generally a 16 x 16 pixels square graphic, saved as a.ico file in the root directory of your server. You can easily create a favicon for your website or blog using any graphic program that will allow saving of .ico graphic files, which are compatible with all browsers. Alternatively, there are also a number of online services that allow users to generate favicons for free, as well as plugins specifically designed for WordPress that do the same job.
Why is it Important to Have a Favicon?
Favicons might be small, but don’t underestimate their significance. Would you leave a logo off your business cards or signage, or leave your blog without a header? A favicon functions in the same way – offering an immediate visual representation of your business brand, website or blog.
Having a memorable favicon is important, because it has the ability to make your website stand out from the multitude of other favourites your readers have bookmarked.
People who use the web regularly are accustomed to seeing favicons. Even if they don’t know the common name for these mini-images, users are constantly using these visual markers to identify the websites in their bookmarks. Because of this, favicons can assist not only with brand recognition, but also with establishing credibility. Users are so used to seeing favicons that those websites that do not feature a visual identifier in the browser URL bar or in a user’s bookmarks can appear less credible or trustworthy in comparison.
What Should My Favicon Be?
Whether your favicon is derived from your website logo or is an entirely new visual representation of your brand is up to you – just keep in mind that your favicon will act as a miniature logo and an immediate visual identifier of your blog or brand.
Remember, a favicon is a very small image, so try not to add too much detail. You might use the initial letter of your blog’s name, tied into your original logo like Amazon, or you may be able to use your logo’s key icon, such as the circled W used by WordPress.
Being designed to match your existing branding can be a big task for an image so small, so play around with some ideas to see what works.
How Do I Create a Favicon?
If you have an image you think would make a good favicon, you can create a favicon yourself using a design program, as long as it allows the creation of .ico files. To create your favicon, first crop or add the necessary around the image to make it square, and then resize the image to 16 x 16 pixels. Save the file as favicon.ico.
If you don’t have an appropriate design program, you can create your favicon online, using one of the popular favicon generators such as Favicon.cc or GenFavicon.com. Alternatively, there are also a number of Favicon plugins available for WordPress users, including:
- All In One Favicon, which adds favicons to your site and your admin pages, has an average user rating of 4.7/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 400,000 times.
- Multicons, which automatically inserts the necessary meta tags for both favicons and Apple Touch and iPhone icons, has an average user rating of 5/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 46,000 times.
- Captain Favicon, which claims to be the easiest way to add a Favicon to your WP website, has an average user rating of 5/5 stars and has been downloaded more than 12,000 times.
Some plugin options will automate the favicon installation process for you. If you’ve designed your favicon yourself or used an online program, you can install your favicon to WordPress using the step-by-step instructions provided via Codex.