How to Add a Favicon to WordPress: A Beginner’s Guide
Published on May 10, 2023 by Simon Wright
Today, we’ll be talking about adding a favicon to your WordPress site. As well as exploring the benefits of adding a favicon to your WordPress site and explaining how to create and upload one, we’ll also talk about some best practices for choosing a favicon that both represents your brand and complements your site’s design.
Ready to learn about WordPress favicons? Great, so let’s get started!
What is a Favicon and Why Your WordPress Site Needs One
You are probably now wondering what a favicon is. It is short for “favorite icon,” and with WordPress-based websites, it is a small icon that represents your website and appears in various places, including the browser tab, bookmarks, and browser history.
Having a favicon may seem like a small detail, but it can significantly impact your site’s branding and user experience. A favicon can help your site stand out from the crowd and make it easier for users to recognize it among a sea of open tabs.
Additionally, a favicon can improve the overall user experience of your site. For example, when a user bookmarks your site, the favicon will appear next to the page title, making it easier to identify the site in a list of bookmarks. It can also help users quickly find your website in their browser history.
Creating a Favicon for Your WordPress Site
Now that you understand the importance of having a favicon on your WordPress site let’s discuss how to create one.
Creating a favicon is a relatively straightforward process requiring no special design skills, and many tools are available for this purpose, including:
Canva is a hugely popular design tool (free with a premium upgrade) that allows you to create various types of designs, including favicons. Canva offers many templates and design elements to help you quickly and easily create both a logo and a favicon for your WordPress website.
Online Favicon Generators
Websites such as Favicon.io and RealFaviconGenerator.net are free online tools that allow you to create a favicon by simply uploading an image. Once uploaded, a favicon will be generated in various sizes and formats. Some tools will also provide you with any code needed to add the favicon to your WordPress site.
If you have some design skills, you can create a favicon from scratch using a design program such as Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop offers a wide range of design tools and features that allow you to create a custom favicon from scratch.
A favicon should be a simple and recognizable icon representing your brand or website. Typically, favicons are square-shaped and have a size of 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels.
Best Practices for Choosing a Favicon
Adding a favicon to your website can help improve its branding and make it stand out among other tabs in a user’s browser. However, choosing the right favicon is important to ensure it effectively represents your website and is displayed correctly.
Here are some best practices for selecting the right favicon for your site and brand:
Keep it simple, relevant, and recognizable
Your favicon should be easily identifiable and relate to your website’s content or brand. Avoid using intricate designs or too many colors that can make it challenging to recognize, particularly given the smaller details will be unrecognizable due to the small size of the favicon.
Choose the correct image format and size
Favicon images should be in either .ico or .png format, with a recommended size of 32×32 pixels. Make sure to optimize the image size to avoid slowing down your website’s loading speed.
Avoid copyrighted images and trademarks
Only use your own original images or ones that are free to use. Under no circumstance should you infringe on any copyrights or trademarks, and never take them from someone else’s website with their express permission. Adhering to these rules will avoid potentially costly legal issues and ensure your favicon is unique to your website.
Reflect your branding
Your favicon should be an extension of your brand. Therefore, use your brand’s fonts and colors to create a favicon that reflects your brand’s personality.
Test it in different scenarios
Before finalizing your favicon, test it on various devices and browsers to ensure it looks as expected and is easily recognizable.
Following these best practices will help you create an effective favicon that enhances your website’s branding and improves user experience.
Adding the Favicon to Your WordPress Website
There are several ways of adding your newly created favicon to your WordPress site, including:
1. Using the WordPress Customizer
If your site runs WordPress version 4.3 or later, adding your favicon is super easy, as WordPress has an integral feature for uploading and cropping a favicon image. Here’s what you need to do to use it:
- First, log in to your WordPress dashboard.
- Next, navigate to “Appearance“> “Customize.”
- From the page editing screen that appears, click on “General” and then choose “Site Identity.”
- Scroll down to locate the “Site Icon” section, and click “Select Site Icon.” Then, upload your favicon and click on “Publish.”
That’s it! Your favicon should now be visible on your WordPress site.
2. Adding the Favicon to Your WordPress Theme
Sometimes, you may need to embed a small code snippet into your WordPress theme to include a favicon on your site. A typical scenario here would be if you still use an older version of WordPress.
Here’s how to add the favicon code to your WordPress theme:
- First, find the header.php file. Do this by going to your WordPress dashboard and navigating to “Appearance“> “Editor.” From there, select the theme you want to add a favicon to and find the header.php file.
- Add the following favicon code to the header.php file. Make sure to replace “path/to/favicon.ico” with the actual path leading to your favicon file. Depending on your favicon file’s location, you can use an absolute or relative path.
<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”path/to/favicon.ico” />
- After adding the favicon code to the header.php file, click the “Update File” button to save the changes.
- Finally, visit your website to ensure that the favicon is displaying correctly.
If you are uncomfortable with digging deeply into the backend of your WordPress installation, we suggest you try the next option for adding a favicon.
3. Using a Plugin to Add the Favicon to Your WordPress Site
If methods 1 and 2 above scare you (which, if you are a total WordPress novice, is entirely understandable), plugins are available for adding a favicon to your website. Some popular ones include Favicon by RealFaviconGenerator, All in One Favicon, and Favicon Rotator. These plugins are suitable for beginners because they offer a simple and user-friendly interface that makes adding a favicon to your site straightforward. Additionally, they typically provide various customization options that allow you to choose the correct image format and size for your particular use case.
However, there are some pros and cons of using these plugins
- They can save you time and effort in creating a favicon from scratch.
- Plugins add a wide range of features and options that can help you customize your favicon to your liking.
- Some plugins may slow your website’s loading time or conflict with other plugins or themes.
- Having too many plugins can also impact your WordPress website’s performance.
- The plugin may not be kept updated, which can potentially cause problems when the core WordPress installation, theme, or other plugins are updated.
- Relying solely on a plugin to add a favicon may limit your ability to create a unique and memorable one that sets your website apart.
Overall, using a WordPress plugin can be an excellent option for beginners who want to quickly and easily add a favicon to their website. However, be sure to thoroughly research and choose a reputable and reliable plugin to ensure the best results.
By following the above simple steps, you can easily add a favicon to your WordPress site and enhance its branding and user experience. Just remember to choose a recognizable, brand-relevant icon and keep it within the ideal size of 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels for optimal display, and you’ll be okay.
How to Clear the Cache and Test Your Favicon
After adding the favicon to your WordPress site, the cache may need clearing before the changes are visible. This is because some browsers and caching plugins may have stored the previous version of your site without the favicon. You can clear the cache using a caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache or W3 Total Cache, or you can do it manually as follows:
Click on the three dots in the browser’s top right corner and then click “More tools.” Next, select “Clear browsing data” and “Cached images and files.” Finally, click “Clear data.”
From the Safari drop-down menu, choose “Preferences” and click the “Advanced” tab followed by the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox. Next, close the Preferences window – you will see a new option called “Develop” in the top menu bar. Click on that and select “Empty Caches” from the download menu that appears.
Click on the three parallel lines in the top right corner of the browser, then click on “Options” and select “Privacy & Security.” Next, scroll down to “Cookies and Site Data” and click “Clear Data.” Also, be sure to select “Cached Web Content” and then click “Clear.”
Finally, testing your favicon on different devices and browsers is important to ensure it displays correctly. At the very least, we suggest opening your site in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari using mobile, tablet, and desktop devices and looking for the favicon on the tab. Each one should properly display the favicon you added in the browser tab.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with WordPress Favicons:
In the unfortunate event your favicon doesn’t display correctly, here are some typical issues and how to troubleshoot them:
Using the wrong file format:
Ensure your favicon is in the correct file format of .ico or .png.
Incorrect file size:
Check that your favicon is 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels in size.
Try clearing your browser cache and reloading the page to see if that resolves the issue.
Double-check that you added the correct code to your WordPress theme’s header.php file.
Hopefully, by following these steps, your favicon will display correctly on your WordPress site.
Bonus Tip: The Importance of Choosing the Good Hosting
Careful hosting choice is crucial for any website, particularly those running WordPress. Using a reliable hosting provider helps ensure that your website has minimal downtime and the fastest possible loading speeds. And if your site is fast and reliable, both your users and search engines will be kept happy.
WP Bolt specializes in virtual private server (VPS) hosting. VPS hosting is far superior to regular shared hosting thanks to dedicated resources and better control over the server environment. In turn, your site is less likely to experience performance issues or crashes due to high traffic or other users on the same server.
Moreover, WP Bolt’s VPS hosting plans come with premium features like automatic backups, advanced security measures, and easy scalability. This means that your hosting plan can easily accommodate future site growth.
Overall, investing in reliable hosting is a smart choice for any website owner, and WP Bolt’s VPS hosting is an excellent option for WordPress sites looking for superior performance and security.
In conclusion, choosing the right favicon is an important aspect of website design that can significantly impact its branding and user experience.
By keeping things simple, relevant, and recognizable, using the correct image format and size, and avoiding copyrighted images and trademarks, you can create a favicon that effectively represents your brand and enhances your website’s overall look and feel. And remember to test your favicon and clear your cache to ensure it appears correctly on all devices and browsers.
Following these best practices can help you produce a professional and memorable favicon that sets your website apart and impresses your visitors.
I’m a former construction industry professional who came out of the writer’s closet and am now totally comfortable with my creative side. My pronouns are smart, creative, witty, and dependable. I have written content in a number of niches including WordPress, plus I’m a blogger and affiliate marketer. If you’d like to know more about how I can help you, please head over to my website.