Adding a favicon to WordPress site is super easy to do, and as of pretty recently, it can be marginally helpful for SEO.
What is a favicon?
A favicon is the little 16×16 icon that shows up in your browser tab next to your site name in Google mobile results and in new browser tabs.
Favicons also show up when you add a link to your browser favorites. The favicon has been around since 1999 when Microsoft first added it to Internet Explorer to make it easier to find sites in your browser favorites. Favicons haven’t changed very much since then, but they’re used more often and in more places in 2019.
Why is a favicon important for my WordPress site?
Brand recognition is the best reason to implement an icon for your site. Favicons are like your site’s little brand ID. It’s always a good practice that if you’re creating an account for your business, or running email, or have social media accounts, your logo should always be visible somewhere.
Typically, the icon also doubles as browser favorites icon and an apple or mobile device app icon when saved to the home screen (seen below.)
Even if it’s a tiny little brand piece like the favicon, your branding and your image is important to your business, and it should be consistent wherever you go.
How is a favicon helpful for SEO?
I’ve mentioned before that Google now shows the icon in it’s mobile search results, but other browsers and search engines now display them in desktop results as well.
It probably won’t affect your search results much, if at all. There’s some debate on whether this actually helps SEO or not, but it’s good for usability at the very least.
Search engines might favor sites that have them over ones that don’t for usability reasons, but that’s mainly it. It’s really better for SEO in the way the human mind likes to pick things over others. If 200 search results came up, but yours had a unique icon, or yours was the only one with one, and your site was already towards the top, then who do you think that person is going to pick first?
Having the icon could instill some trust knowing that the site is well designed and maintained. Even though the favicon is only a tiny part of your web presence, it’s important to bring all the small details together to make a website and brand successful.
How do I make a favicon?
There’s several ways of adding a favicon to your site.
Using a generator allows you to not only upload your logo and download the files you need, but you can also check to be sure it works on your site after you upload it.
How do I add a favicon to my WordPress site?
The easiest is to do it directly through WordPress itself.
To do that, first go to into your WordPress dashboard, then click “Appearance > Customize”.
In ProPhoto’s case, you should click “continue” when the options come up to customize. In other themes, you simply go straight to the “Site Identity” tab. You can see an example of our site in the image below.
There, you can upload your site’s favicon. Your site icon should be square, and at least 512 x 512px.
The alternate method is to simply drop the files directly into your website home folder through your host. Most hosts make this easy by providing a built in FTP file manager of some sort. Here’s a screenshot of what the Dreamhost file manager looks like.
We used the https://realfavicongenerator.net/ to make all the favicons we needed and simply dragged them from the desktop to the home folder. Then went back to the site to run a check to make sure everything is working properly in our WordPress site.
We believe that bolstering your brand and making things consistent can help your business succeed, so spending a few minutes to make and upload a favicon for your WordPress site should be a no brainer!