You may or may not have ever heard of a favicon, the small image that appears in the address bar or on the tab of the browser when a website is displayed, but this little image can give you a small advantage over the competition.
When you visit a website, the web browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) will look for the small favicon.ico file in the root directory (or in another location if you use a meta tag to tell the browser where the image is located), which it will then display either on the browser tab for most browsers or in the address bar, next to the URL.
Internet Explorer places the icon in both places and Safari only puts the icon in the address bar.
If you don’t have a favicon for your site, different browsers have different ways of handling the situation. Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera will use their own icon (Chrome uses the Google “g”), while Firefox just shows an empty box using a dotted line for the border.
A favicon is an easy way to provide a little branding for your visitors’ browsing experience, while differentiating yourself from all of the browser icons that show up in your visitors’ browser tabs.
Creating a favicon and placing it in the right location on the site isn’t the easiest thing to do, but your web services provider should be able to help you get it done if you provide them your logo. There are also online favicon creators, such as favicon.cc, which allow you to import an image and create an .ico image for your site.
Is using a favicon on your business website a huge deal? No, but it is always a good idea to take advantage of small branding opportunities, if you can. Does your site use a favicon? Do you have any opinions on favicons? I would love for you to share your opinions below.