What is a Favicon

by Small Business Planned

Have you heard the term favicon before? Or does it make you shrug your shoulders and ask ‘what is a favicon?‘ Well you’ve come to the right place. A favicon is a small little icon (16 x 16 pixels) which represents your website. The term favicon is an abbreviation of ‘favourites icon’.

A Favicon is an Icon That Represents Your Website

A Favicon is an Icon That Represents Your Website



Why a Favicon is Important For Your Website

Although a favicon isn’t an essential part of your website, it adds a nice cohesive touch that shows you have an eye for detail. In today’s environment of tabbed internet browsing, your favicon helps you ‘own’ your tab. This makes it easier for your users to identify your site, which is another notch in your small business branding arsenal.

Choosing not to have a favicon, simply means that you have a generic page icon representing your website. Just like millions of other websites. How boring. Having a favicon adds a further layer of professionalism, contributing to your sites overall trust factor.

Essential Criteria for a Great Favicon

As your favicon is small, you need to be really smart about how you use the space. The two essential criteria for a great favicon are:

1. Must be legible/understandable: Can the user decipher what your favicon is? The simpler the shape and the fewer the colours – the easier the more recognisable a favicon will be.

2. Must have an obvious link to your small business: Is it obvious that the picture shown in your favicon relates to your small business? Don’t try and be cryptic. You need to be as straightforward as possible.

Determining Your Favicon

In practice, a favicon is usually a derivative of one or more of the following items:

  • Your logo
  • Your small business name
  • Your small business category
  • Your primary product or service
  • Your mascot
  • Your brand colours

It’s a good idea to brainstorm the points above and come up with a possible favicon shortlist.

Learn From Other Famous Favicons

Stuck for inspiration? It’s a good idea to take a peek at how other successful businesses handle their favicons.

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people” – Will Rogers

Just as all brands are different, their representative favicons are different. Below is a video that both explains favicons, and showcases favicons from 15 of globally successful business. These favicons are featured both for their unique nature and because of the way they needed to adapted to the small space.

YouTube Preview Image

In my next article you can learn how to create your own favicon for free.

Do you have a favicon for your website? I’d love to hear how you decided on the design.

Growing your small business,

David Moloney


(To help you maximise your business)

15 Recommended Downloads for Small Business Owners

10 Website Mistakes That Cost You Sales

How to Get More Customers Contacting You Automatically

[contact-form-7 id=3220 title=Under Post Newsletter]

9 thoughts on “What is a Favicon

  1. Lisa Wood

    Hello David,

    Great article. Never heard of Favicon before, but interested in finding out how to creat one. Love the youtube clip you made – will be adding you as a friend to Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Channel :)

    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Time 4 Me =-.

  2. Mike

    Before I know about favicons I never noticed them. Since I become aware of them I’m always surprised by the number of sites that don’t have/use them. It kind of looks unprofessional not having them I find. Plus I always have multiple tabs open in chrome and the favicons are a great quick indication of what sites I have open.

  3. Mr Limousine

    Hi David,
    I have often wondered what a favicon is, and thought the icon thingy on the tab was cool, but never knew they were one and the same thing. You’ve given me something to thing about for my own.

    I’m looking forward to you showing us how to load a favicon to our site.

    Mr Limousine ;-)

    P.S. I love your videos, they are really clear and professional.
    .-= Mr Limousine´s last blog ..Airport Limousine Services – Get to your next Flight stress free =-.

  4. David Moloney

    Thanks Tania, Lisa and Mike. I’m happy to hear that I helped explain what a favicon is. Once you hear about favicons you start seeing them everywhere.

    Mr Limousine and Jan, I’m planning on showing how to create and install a favicon shortly.

  5. Tom McEwin

    Great work as usual David – looking forward to the next post in this series.

    I think there is a wordpress plugin which can be used to easily load a favicon, but I’d rather keep the number of plugins I have active to a minimum. Particularly so if it is as simple as loading a file to the right place.
    .-= Tom McEwin´s last blog ..Why Begin Article Marketing with EzineArticles =-.

  6. William Warr

    Hello David, I learn something new every day in this business. I’ve never heard of a Favicon.
    I’m looking forward to the “instruction manual”. I need every bit of help I can get.

    Thanks. Doctor Bill


Leave a Reply to Tania Shipman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>