What’s favicons got to do, got to do with it?

So I’ve been thinking a lot about web comics and web design and how the to are married together in a way that is normally only reserved for Alabama cousins. Really a web comic is as much about the site as it is about the comic and web comics creators need to embrace this fact like your fat aunt embraces you at Thanksgiving. OK, that’s two creepy family references, thereby meeting my opening paragraph quota.

Assuming that no one is going to argue with me that how your site looks is actually important (although if you don’t feel that way, please let me know if the comments) let’s chat about a simple thing that not enough comic are doing to make their comic’s site and over all web presence that much better.

Everyone fire up your browser of choice and head over to PVP. Look in the top of your tab there, what do you see? Why it’s everyone favorite blue troll, Skull looking out to say hello. Now schlep on over to Sinfest. Look who’s there to greet you when you do, it’s Slick. I could send you to a bunch of other sites, all of which take advantage of favicons.

For those who don’t know, favicons are a little 16 by 16 pixel picture that you can tie to a web site. That doesn’t sound like much but it is a powerful tool for branding purposes. Here are three of the reasons why that came to my mind first.

One: Favicons make the browser part of your page. One of the biggest limitations of working on the web is the nature of the browser. No matter what kind of experience you’re trying to present to your visitors, it has to be accomplished within the confines of the browser. It’s not your giving them this wonderful free entertainment, it’s IE, or Chrome or whatever they use. A favicon lets you claim just a little bit of the browser as yours, and present a more unified comic delivery format.

Two: Favicons brand your page, even when readers aren’t there. In most browsers, the favicon also becomes he image next to the link name in the links list. This means every time a user who has book marked your page scrolls through their links, they’re going to get a more impactful reminder of your site if there is a unique image that you created rather than the blank page icon.

Three: Favicons let you flex your best muscle, your creativity. Most people would say that you can’t do much with the small size constraints that a favicon gives you. But web comics creators aren’t most people. Web comics creators do more creative things on their way to the bathroom than most people do all day. Take those 16 by 16 pixels and you make them do thing most people never thought possible, do you hear me?!?

I know this whole article is a little hypocritical since we are a web site and we lack a favicon. Knowing how useful they can be, I keep telling myself to make one, but now that I’ve called myself out on it, it would be a little lame. So if anyone out there (and yes Midnight, you count as out there) wants to get me a cool, DS themed 16 by 16 image, I’ll do what I can to insert it.

That’s a lot more than I thought I’d be able to write about a tiny picture, 600 words in fact. See what you can do kids, when you put your mind to it!


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