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The Custom Favorites Icon

Have you added a site to your favorites list in your Web browser, and noticed that a web site’s own custom icon was added beside the site’s title in your list? Rather than the plain default icon, this custom icon makes the site stand out from the others in the list. Now, which site are you most likely to click on when you view that list again? Probably the one with the special icon!

If you haven’t seen one yet and you are using IE 5+ or any of the newer browsers, you can take a look at one by adding this page to your favorites list (I know, cheap plug). You’ll notice a pink/purple icon with a big “P” in the middle– the “P” is supposed to stand for Page Resource. Notice how the colored icon stands out in your list, and how it is added to your “Address” area where you type in a web site URL.

So, how can you do the same thing? All that is actually required is that you create a file called favicon.ico and place it in any directory on your site where someone could add your page to his/her favorites list. The trick is in the creation of the icon file.

First, you will probably want to get an icon creation tool to make it as easy as possible. Take a look at ZDNet or CNet and search for an “icon creation program” or an “icon creation tool”. One of these should give you some choices of freeware and/or shareware tools you can use.

Next, get familiar with the program and try a few things. Check your options and paint tools. You’ll need to be sure a couple of options are set to particular values:

1. Make sure the size of your icon is 16×16 pixels. This is the size the browser will expect.

2. Make sure you use only a 16 color palette. Again, it needs to be this way to work properly.

Once you have it ready, create your own custom icon using your paint tools. When you are done, save the file as favicon.ico and upload it to your server in any directory on your site that has viewable html files. Test it out by adding your site to your favorites list. Now, isn’t that a great effect?

Of course, once this becomes commonplace, your icon may not stand out as much. Still, it is a nice touch and will give your viewers a recognizable image when they look for you in their favorites lists. Overall, this is a nice way to get a few more repeat visitors to your web site– and that is always helpful to a webmaster.

Article Soure: http://www.pageresource.com/zine/favie.htm