WHAT IS FAVICON (Or the Icon in general)
It is the little thing you see on your Location bar
(History/Address bar) when you visit a web site, on the left of
http://. For example, if you view a site through Internet
Explorer, you see an e superimposed over a blank white paper
sheet. The icon also shows up when you press CTRL+D to save the
link in your Favorites folder. I think the icon is showed
anywhere you store the link, whether on the Desktop or some
But some web masters prefer to have their own icon. Apart from
being an ego issue, it makes the web site memorable, and more
prominent in the list of hundreds of Favorite links (gosh! do
you ever visit them?!), or repulsive if you make an ugly icon
It only works with IE5 or higher versions. Otherwise browsers
like Netscape Navigator and Opera do not support such an
indulgence. Well, to be frank I haven't checked with the current
versions (I have IE5, Netscape 4.7 and Opera 5 on my machine).
But the last time I read, more than 75% surfers are using IE5 or
plus these days.
MAKING THE ICON
In the following steps, you can create an icon from your web
site. This reminds me, a more complex icon can be created by a
software like Microsoft Photodraw where you can first enlarge
the view without distorting the pixels, create the icon, and
then reduce to the normal size and then paste it into an icon
editor. Look out for a similar editor if you don't have it.
Take care that the icon you make/draw/scan/steal has a dimension
of 16 x 16 pixels. Preferably, in 8-bit color.
Now go somewhere, where there are lots of downloadable programs,
and download "Icon Collector Graphics Editor" from
http://www.greatowl.com. I mention this software because somehow
I have it on my computer, and don't remember when I installed
it. Probably I was trying to make a Favicon for myself but then
changed my mind. On second look, I didn't change my mind after
all. The icon does show up if you load my web site -
http://www.bytesworth.com - and maybe in buffer it doesn't show
Anyway, there is another program called ForgeIcon - try to find
it on Google. If you don't want to download any program, go to
http://www.favicon.com. They have an online software to help you
make the icon.
Use your artistic genius to make the icon, and name it as
"favicon.ico". All icon files have the extension .ICO (but of
You need to upload the icon on your server if you really want it
be visible to your visitors. For that you need an FTP program. I
use CuteFTP that you can probably get at http://www.cnet.com or
some other free download site.
Some simple folks also use the good old browser to upload a file
by simply typing the FTP path in the location bar. In the case
of the browser, you just have to copy-paste the file, that is,
if you have the login and password.
Then, save the favicon file in the folder where you want it to
appear. For example, if you want it to appear with
http://www.maindomain.com then you save the favicon file in the
root folder of your server, that is, it's path should be
http://www.maindomain.com/favicon.ico. But, if you want a
different icon to appear with
http://www.maindomain.com/subdomain/anotherfile.html, you need
to store the new icon (with the same name - favicon.ico) in the
folder "subdomain", that is, the path of the second icon file
should be http://www.maindomain.com/subdomain/favicon.ico.
After this, whenever your web site is accessed, the icon shows
up, and it remains there when the site is book-marked or added
to the Shortcuts section of the browser.
So this is how you can create and use your own icons on your web
About the author:
Amrit Hallan is a freelance web designer. For all web site
development and web promotion needs, you can get in touch with
him at http://www.bytesworth.com. For more such articles, visit
http://www.bytesworth.com/articles You can subscribe to his
newsletter [BYTESWORTH REACHOUT] on Web Designing Tips & Tricks
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