For a while when checking the access logs on my various sites there was an error message that I could not explain.
I kept seeing reports of ‘favicon.ico’ file not found.
I couldn’t think of any webpages that I had created that used an image file called favicon so I ignored it for ages.
Couple that with the fact that it appeared on nearly all of the sites I maintain it really perplexed me. I thought perhaps it was related to the HTML editor I was using (Macromedia).

A few days ago I noticed the error again so I "Google’d" for ‘favicon’. Then it all made sense.

When you add a bookmark, or a link to your browser, or save a bookmark to your desktop, quite often instead of the regular Icon (the IE icon in the case of Internet Explorer), a different icon is displayed.
For example if you view my site you will now see that instead of the old boring icon, there is now a question mark style icon.

If you create an icon file and place it in the top level folder of your website and name it favicon.ico whenever someone creates a bookmark, link or shortcut the browser will attempt to fetch this file.

So the errors I had been seeing were people bookmarking my site and then the browser looking for the favicon.ico file. As I didn’t have one, it caused a file not found error.

There are a number of free icon editors out there to let you create your own icon files, or you can search the vast number of free icons available on the web.