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How to create and use Favicon.ico file

Recently one of my visitor asked me how do I create that small image next my URL in browser address bar. Bellow is an explanation how to do it based on my knowledge. If you know better way, please let me know.

What is Favicon.ico?

Favicon is a small icon which appears next to your URL in browser address bar.

Favicon in address bar

...or in Bookmarks menu (Favorites in Internet Explorer)

Favicon in Bookmarks menu

Why would I use it?

If you look around the Internet, you will notice that all professional web sites use it. It gives more customized appearance of your site in visitor browser and it also gives more distinct look of your site in Bookmarks menu by replacing generic browser icon.

What browsers support it?

Currently all modern browsers support it. Including: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape 7.0 and Mozilla.

How do I create Favicon?

Best solution would be to get some of popular icon editors. If you don't have icon editor, you may use some of the standard image editors like Photoshop, PaintShop or even Windows paint. Simply create 16x16 pixels bitmap image with standard 16 or 256 Windows icon colors. You can't put much in such a small space, but with wright color combinations you may achieve very effective solutions. When you're done editing, simply rename file to favicon.ico.

Where do I put Favicon.ico file?

Simply use your favorite FTP program and upload it in root folder of your web site. Most browser look there for it. You may also help them by inserting following code in <head> section of your page:

<link href="favicon.ico" rel="SHORTCUT ICON" />

This way you ensure that browser will find it. You may also put favicon file in different folder, like for example, in your images folder. In that case code may look like this:

<link href="images/favicon.ico" rel="SHORTCUT ICON" />

Author: Ilir Fekaj
Last update: January 15, 2005

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