"Favicon" is short for "Favorite Icon," but don’t worry about how it's pronounced because someone is bound to tell you you're saying it wrong regardless of which pronunciation you go with. Favicons been around for a dozen years and have never been easier to create and implement. It's a fun little thing, but is it worth pursuing?
Originally Favicons were created so that when you pulled down your Bookmarks menu, you would have little icons to help you find your favorite website even when you couldn't read the whole URL. That use is still valid and is related to finding the right tab when you have multiple websites open in your browser. The Favicon on the tab serves as a recognizable clue for a truncated or unreadable title.
The main reason for creating your own Favicon however is for branding purposes. Tying your logo or some other identifying image to your website reinforces your brand. For instance, Disney uses the "D" from their logo, the Apple store has their apple-bite silhouette and Captain Morgan Rum has a little red captain head.
Even more important than reinforcing your brand is NOT promoting someone else's brand. Some websites use the creator's logo as the default Favicon until you replace it with your own choice. It's nice of you to give them advertising space, but you might want to make the effort to claim that spot for your own.
Who makes Favicons? Graphic designers do and there are online Favicon generators as well. You may however need a programmer to upload the file to your root folder if you and your designer are unsure how to do it.
Your logo is the most common Favicon choice. Just remember that the size of this teeny little graphic is only 16 by 16 pixels. Details will be lost and if your logo is not square, it will seem even smaller. Modifying your logo to be recognizable and make the most of the space might take a little effort.
You can even animate the Favicon if you wish, although not all browsers support animated Favicons. We temporarily loaded an example of an animated Favicon at the Chicago DotNetNuke Users Group website as an experiment. If you view the site in Mozilla Firefox you'll see a simple ticking clock pendulum. For an example of a non-animated Favicon, which is supported by multiple browsers, take a look at our website, www.sprocketwebsites.com.
If you are interested in giving your website a Favicon upgrade, contact us to learn more or get set up. We're happy to help!