webdesign articles

How to Create a Favicon for Your Web Site

One of the simplest things you can do to give your site 'identity' and to make it stand out from other sites is to use a favicon (favourite icon). They are the little logos that go next to the website listing in your favourites folder, and pop up in other places, (depending on your browser and operating system). To see one, go to www.bigwowwebhosting.com. Bookmark the site, open another browser window and then go to open the bookmark you have just made. The 'B' next to the words 'Big Wow Web Hosting- Home' is the favicon.

Want one? Just follow these 3 simple steps:

1) Choose the logo you want to use for your favicon. On my site, I use a 'B' in the same format as the website title, buut anything will do, as long as it reflects the look and feel of your website. Bear in mind that the size of it will be reduced to 16 x 16 pixels.

2) If it isn't already, convert your logo into a .JPG or.GIF and either make it 256 color Web Safe Palette or the Windows 16 color format (the fewer colors the better). Then, using a graphics package or image manipulation software, reduce the image to 16 pixels wide by 16 pixels high. Try to preserve the image resolution. This is the part where you find your fantastic logo looks rubbish when 16 x 16 pixels! If your having trouble, you could use a free icon converter like Image Icon Converter or use an icon editor such as ImageAuthor to build your icon from scratch.

3) Now, save your logo as "favicon.ico". This is the default icon name that web browsers like Explorer and Netscape look for. Upload it into the root directory of your web site (the main directory that contains all your HTML pages). Voila! Your favicon should now be working!

To test your favicon, get a friend to bookmark your site and then open a new browser window. If is next to your listing in their bookmarks, it works!

To test your favicon in the designing stages, dump your cache and open a new browser window between tries before bookmarking your site. If you don't you will just see the same favicon as when you first bookmarked it, as your computer will have cached it in an effort to reduce loading times.

That's all you need to do! You now have an eye-catching logo representing your web site in the favorites list of all your visitors. A professional touch for very little effort.

If you want, you can create a customized icon for each page on your site - instructions for this can be found at www.favicon.com.

Tim Shaw is director of (Big Wow Web Hosting), a cheap and reliable web host. He has written several books and ebooks on web hosting, and has had many years experience in computers, the web and web hosting.


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