I remember when favicons first started to appear, it was like, hey, how cool is that. But now they are so common that I hardly notice them anymore. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I do notice them, and like them, it’s just that I’m not surprised to see them anymore. But I AM surprised when I don’t see them.
Ok, let’s back up. What is a favicon?
If you’re reading this post from emarketingperformance.com then you need to do no more than look up to the address bar. If you’re reading this through a feed reader I’ll go ahead and throw a screen capture for you:
See that little icon of EMP with the orange line above it? Yep, that’s the favicon. It’s such a little thing, but it can make a pretty big impact. Site’s that don’t have a favicon show a generic icon like this:
That’s in FireFox. In Internet Explorer, if you don’t brand yourself with a custom favicon, Microsoft with brand themselves in your place. Here’s what it looks like:
Now I won’t go so far as to suggest the favicon will increase sales, but it does provide a nice visual cue for your site, especially once it gets added into a visitor’s bookmarks folder. Take a look at this snapshot of Netflix open up in my browser, along side my open bookmarks:
Look down at the very bottom, see the icon circled in red? That little guy there is a bookmark from a site that has no favicon. So you can see that not having a favicon prevents you from standing out among the others. This can be important when you’ve bookmarked a list of your competitors!
Favicons are not that difficult to create. I found this great Photoshop Tutorial on How to Create a Favicon.
Granted, this new one took me all of 5 minutes to create from the site logo, but what do you think? I could definitely clean it up a bit, for sure. But not bad for a few minutes of work.
To add your new favicon so it appears in the location bar and bookmarks, in the tags of each page’s code add this:
< LINK REL=”SHORTCUT ICON” HREF=”favicon.ico” >
That’s it. You’re all set with your new favicon.