If you’re anything like me, you probably have at least 15 tabs open in your web browser right now. I always seem to be in the middle of researching a new home service, or looking for something to buy online, or just reading a bunch of blogs – and everything pertinent to my progress to date is open in many, many tabs.
These tabs can get really small, if you are working in a small window or have many open. The title of each site can be cut off and become unreadable.
But you can still find the tab you need if you look at the little icon on each tab. This icon is known as the favicon; WordPress likes to use the phrase “site identity” for this little picture.
It’s such a small thing, but it’s an important way to make sure your site is branded properly. Your own site should have a favicon in the tab, and hopefully it’s something specific to your logo or brand, and not just the default image that came with your WordPress theme. Not only is this image used on tabs in a browser to help quickly and clearly identify your site, it can also be used if anyone bookmarks your site or creates a quick-link icon to your site on their desktop or home screen.
So be sure to make yours personal and unique!
Adding a favicon to WordPress
WordPress has really made it easy to add an icon like this to your website.
Step one: Find an image
You’ll need image processing software of some kind, or help from your graphic designer, to create the image you want to use for your site identity.
The image should be:
- ideally, a distinctive part of your logo, using your company colours; at the least, the initials of your company in your colours.
- a JPG image if you want it to be a solid square (i.e. with a full coloured background), or a PNG image if you want it to have a clear background (i.e. a free-form shape that seems to float in space).
- exactly square, and ideally 512 x 512 pixels in size, as that is the minimum quality required by WordPress.
Image ready? Great! Let’s upload it.
Step two: Adding your Site Identity
Now we can just upload the image to your WordPress back end in the right location – and then it’ll appear like magic on any tab open to any page on your site.
- Log into your WordPress dashboard.
- Choose Appearance > Customize from the menu down the left hand side. This will launch a new interface – the WordPress Customizer.
- In the Customizer, choose Site Identity from the menu on the left hand side.
- Under Site Icon, click to add a new image, which will pop up a file finder. Find your JPG or PNG image on your computer’s hard drive and select it. This should load the icon in your Site Identity area on the left hand side of the Customizer.
- While you’re here – why not double check your Site Title and Tagline – are they on point and ready for Google?
- Now click the blue Publish button at the top of the Customizer menu on the left to save the changes. Use the X button in the very top left corner to close the Customizer and return to the WordPress main dashboard.
All done! You should see your new favicon if you surf over to your website and reload the page. It’s a small change, but it sets your site apart – a little detail that helps with branding and shows that you’re a professional company with a professional appearance.