Favicon is the abbreviated form of “favourites icon” and it’s that small symbol that appears on a tab next to the title of the webpage. Look up at the tab at the top of your screen for this page and you’ll see the green square with a dark-red “LH” in it next to the page title. That’s my favicon.
Why do you need one?
A favicon enables your readers to recognize your website easily in their lists of bookmarks, RSS feeds and open tabs. Your favicon consolidates your brand. Let’s say you have a website/blog in one of the popular self-build websites like WordPress or Weebly. Let’s say 50 of your colleagues do, too. If all of you have the WordPress/Weebly favicon, your entry in a list of bookmarks isn’t going to stand out. Perhaps a potential client has opened the websites of 20 proofreaders so that they can evaluate each one. Your favicon will enable the client to navigate back to your page easily.
How do you make one?
Favicons are usually 16 x 16 pixels in size. You can either resize a stock image, draw your own (using Word, Publisher, Quark, etc.), adapt your existing business logo, or pay someone else to design one on your behalf. Due to the small size of the favicon, it’s recommended that you keep the image simple and sharp so that it can be rendered clearly once uploaded. If you want to draw a really simple one by simply filling in pixels try Favicon Icon Drawing Program Online Free (it's very basic). If you want to experiment with different colours, search online for "hex colour numbers" and pick your shades.
Once you have your image you should resize it according to your website provider’s instructions. I tried both Microsoft Office Picture Manager and iConvert Icons (since Weebly needs a PNG) to resize my image and got equally good results; an alternative, if you need a .ico file, is the Favicon Generator and Gallery.
Update: My colleague John Espirian kindly posted a comment with links to some favicon generation sites that he's used for years, so consider making these your first stop: Favicon.cc and Dynamic Drive.
How do you upload a favicon?
This will depend on your website provider or developer. WordPress users should click here; Weebly users, here; Google Sites users, here; and Blogger users, here. If you use a different host, ask your provider or search online.
How our editorial colleagues are using favicons ...
Take a look at some of our colleagues’ favicons in the screenshot below. Then visit their websites to see how these images match the colour schemes, logos and font styles on their websites.
NEEDSer: Native-English Editing Service ● KOK Edit ● Louise Harnby | Proofreader ● Espirian Editing ● Wendy Toole | Freelance Editor ● PerfectIt ● Liz Jones Editorial Solutions ● The Whole Proof ● Society for Editors and Proofreaders ● Editorial Freelancers Association.
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