What is a favicon?

The favicon is a small icon that is displayed on the browser’s tab bar, next to the page title.

What is a favicon?

A favicon, or favourite icon, is a small image that is displayed in the address bar of a web browser, to the left of the page title.

It can serve to make the website more recognisable, which can help make the site more user-friendly.

How do I install a favicon?

Favicons are inserted via a link element in the <head> area of the HTML document. The following requirements are stipulated:

  • That it is an icon (rel=icon),
  • The location of the icon (href=favicon.png),
  • The size of the icon (size=”16×16″)
  • And the content type (type=”image/png”).

A favicon can look like this in the source code:

Favicon SISTRIX Image 2

The rel=”manifest” (see the fourth line above) is an entry that Chrome uses on Android. The entry for rel=”mask-icon”, on the final line, is designed for Apple’s Safari browser; it determines which icon should be displayed for pinned tabs.

You can find all of the other options for using the link type “icon” on the website of the responsible body, the W3C.

What image formats and sizes can I use for a favicon?

In the above example, we have three entries for different favicons with different sizes, and there are many more sizes that can be used.

Stack Overflow provides a detailed answer to the question of which sizes and file formats should be used: Favicon Standard – 2018 – svg, ico, png and dimensions?

What happens if I don’t have a favicon?

If the browser in question cannot find a favicon, Chrome will display an empty document icon, whilst Firefox and Safari, on the other hand, will simply not display a favourite icon.

Conclusion

The Favorite icon is a good way to make your logo visible in web browsers. It is therefore recommended that you make your own logo available as a favicon.


There are a number of free Favicon providers on the web, such as the Real Favicon Generator, which allows you to create all of the relevant sizes with relatively little effort.

Steve Paine
24.08.2021