First, what is it? Second, do you need it? And third, how do you do it? Bloggers, whether personal or corporate, are looking for every edge they can get in the crowded blogosphere. Whoever said blogging is dead didn’t tell you that it’s having quite the afterlife; there are millions of blogs, and no matter what niche you gear yours towards, you can be sure there are countless competitors who want your readers. A favicon can be a big help in terms of branding and bookmarking.
What is it?
A favicon is simply an icon that appears in the address bar, next to your blog’s (or website’s) name in the bookmarks list, or on the tab in browsers that support tabbed browsing. It is an image that is associated with your brand. It helps differentiate your site visually in terms of bookmarking, RSS feeds, and when multiple tabs are open.
Do you need one?
Businesses on budgets often have to weigh the benefits with the costs. Favicons provide great branding and recognition advantages – but best of all, they’re free and easy. Whenever a tool is effective, cost-free, and simple, you would do well to take advantage.
So, what next?
Create your favicon. Do not worry about your developing skills or lack thereof. You can create an image of any size; favicons should be visually clean, so basic tools should be all you need to design yours. Wikipedia’s favicon, for instance, is simply a “W,” and Google has their lower case “g” with their signature bold color scheme. Think simple; this is going to be a 16×16 pixel canvas. Some businesses simply shrink down their logos. Others modify it for a smaller image, and others go in an entirely new direction. It’s up to you, but keep your objectives in mind. This is an image that people will associate with your blog.
Using Photoshop, Paint, or another program, create your favicon. Next is the really technical, very difficult part. At least this is what you tell people so they will be wowed by your prowess. Visit a site that will convert your image into an .ico file (for free). Two of our favorites:
These sites will guide you through the process and when you’ve generated your favicon, you can download the file to the root directory in your webserver. One more step, and this does involve code. You need to add a reference to the favicon between your head tags, such as <link rel=“shortcut icon” href=”/favicon.ico”/>.
Done. You’re the proud owner of a favicon.