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What's a favicon?
Favicons (a portmanteau of the words "favourite" and "icon") made their debut as those icons that would pop up in the bookmarks section of web browsers; the first being Internet Explorer.1
With all kinds of browsers and smart devices accepting these favicons, the size
requirements are vastly more complicated than the traditional
Size and format requirements
Google's Web Fundamentals had a page dedicated to providing great icons and tiles which included things like bookmark icons and Windows Metro.
According to this only the following formats are required as a minimum:
- Modern browsers, including Google, Opera and Safari
- iPhone retina
- iPad retina
- Windows Metro - small
- Windows Metro - medium
- Windows Metro - large
A generator such as Favic-o-Matic can be used to generate the icons and HTML that is used to reference the various favicon options that are enabled.
The History of the Web: How we got the favicon, by Jay Hoffmann, details a lot of interesting information, including the history of the favicon. ↩