How to give your blog a professional look with a custom favicon
While browsing the web you might have noticed a lot of websites have fancy icons with their logo or name visible on page tabs or to the left of your address field in your browser, these icons are usually named ‘favicons’. It might look like they’re just there to fancy things up, which is partly right: Using a unique and easy to remember icon will help users to recognise your webpage when they visit it again or when they’ve bookmarked your website, just as the phrase goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
Sadly I’m a worthless graphical artist so requests for custom icons are impossible to follow, however, I’d recommend you to prepare the image for a low resolution: Browsers generally display the icon as either 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels – that’s not a whole lot of space, so you’ll have to be careful with the text you put on it.
After you’ve let your creative counterpart take a hold of you, or asked a friend friendly to do so for you, there are various ways to actually get the icon on your website. First of all you’ll need to make sure the image is saved as ‘.ico’, which is the extension used for icons. A couple of programs can do that for you, such as Photoshop. Sadly I’m not such a rich guy, so of course there is a nicer alternative; save the icon as .png using your favorite editor and upload it to ConvertIcon, that way you’ll receive the file in a matter of seconds.
When you’ve finished this step, there are just to other ones left; uploading the icon to your webspace, I suppose you know how to do so. Make sure you upload it to the same folder as your webpage or blog runs from, that way browsers might even pick it up automatically. When you’re done with that step, you’ll have to add one line to your HTML template, so either open the ‘header’ template using your favorite program, or use the control panel of your website to do so. (For Wordpress users; go to ‘Presentation’ and choose ‘Theme Editor’, after that, choose to edit your ‘Header’ file.)
The line you’ll have to add is the following one, make sure you place it between the tags on your blog:
<link href="favicon.ico" rel="shortcut icon" type="image/ico" />
After you’ve finished this last step you should be able to see your new icon on your blog, after you’ve refreshed your browser window. As last little sidenote; if your blog is located in a subfolder on your domain and you’d like to use the same favicon in the root of your domain as well you can also choose to use ‘/favicon.ico’, provided you uploaded the icon to your domain’s main folder. When you use a permalink (mod_rewrite) structure that ends with a trailing slash, just like folders on the web do, you should also use the tip provided earlier and make sure the icon is in place, alternatively you can specify the full link to it (starting with http:// and so on), just to be sure it’ll work.
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