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All about Favicons
what they are, how to set them up, and how to create them.

What is a favicon?

Microsoft added a feature in Internet Explorer 5, that allows webmasters to design an icon that will appear beside their website's title in the Favorites menu.

Many webmasters haven't heard of favicon.ico, which is why this is a great way to make your site stick out on somebody's Favorites list.

How do you set a favicon up?

You simply have to upload favicon.ico into your main web directory.

If you prefer, you can upload the icon to another folder, such as images. You would then have to specify where the icon is located, by adding another HTML tag to your HEAD tags.

To let Internet Explorer know where your favicon.ico is located, if not found in your main web directory, add :
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/path/to/favicon.ico">

to your HEAD tags.

Example :

<title>PRO Website Management</title>
<meta name="keywords" content="keyword, keyword, etc">
<meta name="description" content="blablabla">
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/www/images/favicon.ico>

How do I create a favicon.ico?

You can create an image in any graphics editor, if you want to. Make sure the pixels are 16 x 16, and index the image to 256 colors or less. It's recommended that you save it as a .gif or a .bmp file, because these are the easiest for the icon editors to read.

Next, you need to get an icon editor, to convert the .gif or .bmp file that you have created, into an .ico file. After, that it's a simple matter of uploading it to your website, as instructed above. Don't forget to rename the icon file to favicon.ico.

Another way, to create a favicon.ico is to do it directly in an icon editor and not use any other graphics editor. This is what I did for my site. You can see that my favicon.ico isn't very sophisticated. As you'll be able to see if you add my website to your Favorites(for those of you using Internet Explorer). :-)

I used IconForge to create my favicon.ico. You can download a trial version of it. For more info about IconForge, visit CursorArts's website.

About the contributor

Jonathan Harbaugh is PRO Website Management's webmaster.
He also is the designer of the one and only favicon for PWM.
You can see this unique favicon by adding his website to your Favorites.

He puts out his newsletter, Awesome Solutions For Webmasters, once a month
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PRO Website Management is Copyright 2001-2003. All Rights Reserved by Jonathan Harbaugh. webmaster[at]prowebsitemanagement[dot]com