It’s awfully frustrating when you’ve got a website that you really love and would like to keep sitting in your bookmarks toolbar, but there’s no favicon attached to the website that would set it apart from any other bookmark. Honestly, that’s kept me from bookmarking and more frequently visiting a few websites. If you’ve got a popular website, you need a favicon.
Favicons are the 16×16 icons that exist to the very left of a website’s URL in the address bar. It’s just a symbol to represent that website, and is usually a resized version of a logo or other key element of the website’s design. In modern browsers, bookmark toolbars work best by only displaying the favicon. Too much text means not enough bookmarks.
What if a website doesn’t have a favicon though? Should you really have to take an extra measure just to know which default icon is which? With the following two add-ons for Firefox, that won’t be necessary.
CheckPlaces does much more than just help manage your bookmarks’ favicons:
CheckPlaces carries out a basic check of your bookmarks, with optional checks that the pages still exist, checks for duplicate bookmarks, and for empty folders. You can also use it to restore favicons that have gone missing, and compact and check the integrity of the Places database.
In regards to bookmarks’ favicons, CheckPlaces single function is very simple.
Using CheckPlaces, you’re able to reload all of your favicons. This is incredibly useful if you have several hundred bookmarks (like I do). It’s also useful when you import your bookmarks back into a new Firefox installation. After importing the bookmarks, all of your favicons will remain blank and default until you visit each page. With CheckPlaces, you can automate that process and have all of your favicons showing as they should.
IdentFavIcon is really the shining star of this duo. It picks up where lazy web developers manage to leave off. The concept is very simple and unique:
IdentFavIcon is based on the idea of Don Park called identicon to generate visually pleasing and easily recognizable icons from identifiers, such as IP addresses. This extension replaces the default favicon for web pages without one with a visually pleasing identicon, which is unique for each domain. The extension uses the CRC-32 code of the web page’s domain name to seed the identicon renderer.
Simply put, this add-on will generate favicons for sites that don’t have one. Is it as good as having a definitive icon that represents completely represents the site, like Facebook or Google? No. But it’s a step in the right direction, and it’s the only possible alternative really.
In the add-ons preferences, you’re even able to whitelist sites to always generate an icon for, or blacklist sites that you never want icons generated for. You can also clear and reload the generates icons here.
Bookmarks and favicons go together like Thanksgiving and turkey. One doesn’t operate without the other. For any web developers who may be reading up, give your site a favicon if you expect bookmarks! The bookmarks toolbar, in any browser, is less textual and more visual than it has ever been before.
Let me know what you think about these two add-ons in the comments.