little icon is called a "favicon", and it works only in Explorer 5 and
above. If your visitors are running Netscape or an older version of Explorer,
the browser will just ignore your little icon.
When an Explorer 5 user bookmarks
your page, Explorer searches for a special icon with the name "favicon.ico".
If it finds one, it replaces the default Microsoft icon with your special little
icon next to your name in the favorites menu and in the location bar. The user
can also put your icon on the desktop and the taskbar, though few are likely to
The icon you create has to be exactly 16 pixels by 16 pixels.
There are some alternative larger sizes, but only use these if you've investigated
favicon use very thoroughly. The safest route is definitely 16x16. You should
also stick with 16 Windows colors.
two routes to creating your icon.
When you save the
.ico, name it "favicon.ico". That's the default icon that Explorer looks
for. If you want other pages to have different icons, you can do that too. Name
each icon differently, but make sure they all have .ico extensions.
have Explorer pick up the default favicon.ico, copy it into the root directory
- the main directory that holds your HTML pages. If all you want is favicon.ico
to be associated with your site, you're done. Every time a visitor bookmark your
site with Explorer, favicon.ico is copied to the visitor's cache, where it waits
to be displayed. You don't even need to alter your HTML.
there are some other tricks you might want to play. If you want a different icon
associated with special pages, use the LINK tag on those pages like this:
REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="mypage.ico">
visitors bookmark this page, instead of favicon.ico they'll get mypage.ico. You
can direct the browser to any absolute location you want using:
REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://www.mysite.com/graphics/icons/mypage.ico">
you test the favicon on your own site, you may get only one shot at it. Once a
site is bookmarked, it's hard to flush out that listing completely. Even if you
delete the pages from your cache, delete the listings from the Favorites menu,
and reboot, re-bookmarking a previously bookmarked site may not cause the new
icon to "take". If this happens, enlist the help of somebody who hasn't
previously bookmarked your page.
Some web hosts don't support .ico
files. If you use one of these, contact the company and politely ask them to start
supporting .ico files.