NextJs: Favicon Icon Not Working? Let’s Fix!

In the domain of web development, even the smallest of elements can have a significant impact on user experience. One such element is the favicon – a small, iconic image that represents your website.

However, when developing with Next.js, you may encounter a hiccup: the favicon not showing up. This issue, while seemingly trivial, can be a source of frustration for developers.

This article will provide a solution for this issue, along with an example of how to switch favicons dynamically in Next.js.

Favicons are integral to a website’s brand identity. They not only provide a visual cue for users navigating multiple tabs, but also enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your site.

However, in Next.js, integrating these tiny graphical elements can sometimes become problematic. Let’s dive in to understand the issue and its solutions in detail.

 

What are Favicons?

Favicons are the small icons displayed on the tabs of web browsers, adjacent to the page’s title. They’re an integral part of a website’s visual identity and enhance the user experience by providing easy identification of web pages.

 

The Issue with Next.js Favicons

In Next.js, developers often face an issue where their favicons don’t show up. They place the favicon file in the correct folder, and reference it appropriately in their code, yet the icon doesn’t render. This can be frustrating, especially considering the favicon’s importance in branding and user experience.

 

The Common Mistake

The most common mistake is placing the favicon file directly in the /public directory. Developers often reference it in the <Head> component in their pages, expecting it to work. But the expected result is not achieved. Here’s an example of this common mistake:

<Head>
    <title>Create Next App</title>
    <link rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico" />
</Head>

 

The Solution

The solution is to place the favicons inside an /images directory within the /public directory. The code in the _app.js file should then reference these favicons as shown below:

<Head>
    <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/images/favicon.ico" />
    <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="180x180" href="/images/apple-touch-icon.png" />
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="32x32" href="/images/favicon-32x32.png"/>
<link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="16x16" href="/images/favicon-16x16.png"/>

</Head>

By following this approach, the favicon will display correctly in Next.js.

 

Dynamic Favicon Switching in Next.js

While having a static favicon serves most websites well, there may be situations where dynamically switching the favicon becomes necessary. Next.js, being a robust framework, also supports this feature.

 

Why the Need for Dynamic Favicons?

Dynamic favicons can be beneficial for various reasons. They can be used to indicate notification counts, status updates, or simply to add a touch of dynamism to your website.

How to Add Dynamic Favicons?

Switching favicons dynamically in Next.js involves a bit of JavaScript. You need to first import the useEffect hook from ‘react’, and then create a function within your component to change the favicon link’s href attribute. Below is a simple example of how to do this:

import { useEffect } from 'react';

export default function HomePage() {
    useEffect(() => {
        // select the favicon element
        const favicon = document.querySelector('link[rel="shortcut icon"]');
        
        // change the favicon's href
        favicon.href = '/images/new-favicon.ico';
    }, []);
    
    // render your component
    // ...
}

This code will switch the favicon to new-favicon.ico when the HomePage component is mounted.

 

Multiple Favicons in Next.js

You can have multiple favicons in Next.js. This is particularly useful when you want to cater to different devices or browser scenarios. For example, you might want to have a different favicon for Apple devices and another for standard web browsers.

Next.js allows you to reference multiple favicons by adding multiple <link> tags in the <Head> component of your _app.js file.

Below is an example of how to include multiple favicons for various purposes:

import Head from 'next/head'

function MyApp({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return (
    <div>
      <Head>
        <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/images/favicon.ico" />
        <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="180x180" href="/images/apple-touch-icon.png" />
        <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="32x32" href="/images/favicon-32x32.png" />
        <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="16x16" href="/images/favicon-16x16.png" />
        <link rel="mask-icon" href="/images/safari-pinned-tab.svg" color="#5bbad5" />
      </Head>
      <Component {...pageProps} />
    </div>
  )
}

export default MyApp

In this example:

  • The shortcut icon is the favicon for most web browsers.
  • The apple-touch-icon is the favicon used by Apple devices when a user adds your website to their home screen.
  • The icon with sizes="32x32" and sizes="16x16" are favicons for standard web browsers in different sizes.
  • The mask-icon is used by Safari to display a colored version of the favicon in the pinned tab.

By implementing multiple favicons, you ensure that your website displays the right icon in different scenarios, providing a better user experience across multiple devices and browsers.

 

Conclusion

Favicons, while small, play a significant role in a website’s identity and user experience. Ensuring they show up as expected and being able to manipulate them dynamically are crucial abilities for a web developer. Next.js provides robust solutions for handling these tasks, and with the above guide, you should now be able to tackle any favicon-related issues in your Next.js projects.

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