It's certainly hard to label it an 'important' part of a website, and in many cases, it's not even noticed, but for some, there's a special place in the heart for the favicon.
Proving this point, there is no shortage of websites that offer up favicons for download, or which allow users to turn their own graphics into favicons. And if you're a web designer, chances are a client has asked you to create one from scratch.
But the favicon may be on the decline. It's already been removed from the address bar in Google Chrome, and now, Firefox will apparently be removing it too.
As spotted by TheNextWeb's Harrison Weber, Mozilla software engineer Jared Wein posted on his personal blog that security concerns led the Firefox team to reconsider the favicon's place too. He explained:
Since the dawn of time, we have included the site favicon in the address bar as part of the site-identity block. While the favicon can represent a piece of a site’s identity, there are some sites that set their favicon to a padlock. This behavior can trick users in to thinking that a site is using a secure connection when on an unsecured connection.
The obvious solution: eliminate the favicon from the address bar, something that is now visible on the Nightly release of Firefox and which should make its way into the official release channel in mid-July.
Needless to say, this is not the most earth-shattering browser change ever, but the favicon has been a web staple for some time and some would argue that it add a nice, if still subtle, touch to a website's identity. With Chrome and now Firefox shunning the favicon, however, its days may be numbered.
That's sure to be disappointing news to favicon connoisseurs who love nothing more than creativity in a 64x64 pixel or less package. But it's devastating news for the web shops that charge government agencies big bucks for their favicons.