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I was sitting at my desk one day researching FreeBSD hosting control panels, when I noticed the icons in my favorites list. It occurred to me that this feature is neglected far too often by developers as well as Microsoft themselves - the bookmark or favorites icon (commonly called a "favicon").

I was sitting at my desk one day researching FreeBSD hosting control panels, when I noticed the icons in my favorites list. It occurred to me that this feature is neglected far too often by developers as well as Microsoft themselves. 

If you are unfamiliar with the favorites icon, it is exactly that: A webmaster-definable icon file (*.ico) that appears in the user's favorites list:

That's an extremely powerful tool. Imagine the following scenario: 

You attract Bob to your site through a means of advertising. Bob sees the product he wants at a price he likes, but he gets distracted. So he leaves. 

But you, the savvy sales genius you are, were waiting for Bob. Weeks earlier you came across this article and created a favorites icon for YOUR site. Well guess what? 

The icon is what brings Bob back. Every time he accesses his favorites list, he sees your full color icon in a list of colorless text! Suddenly, Bob remembers! He has to buy that back hair remover for his mother's birthday! And he knows just where to find it... YOUR SITE. 

Now that you see the potential, lets make one! Here's what you'll need: 

  • Adobe Photoshop (w\ FREE .ico fileype plugin)
  • A Design Idea
  • An FTP Client (Or other way to transfer the icon to your site)
  • The icon size must be set to exactly 16x16 pixels; some browsers will ignore any other size. 

Save the file with the name Favicon.ico, then upload the icon to the root directory of your Web site. Whenever a visitor bookmarks a page, IE then automatically checks the site's root directory for the Favicon.ico file. 

You may also specify an individual icon for each page, by using the following code in the head tag: 

< href="http://www.yoursite.com/bookmark.ico" rel="SHORTCUT ICON">

A visitor to your site will see the shortcut icon when they add your home page to his Favorites menu. When he does, the icon will appear in the Favorites menu beside your site's name, and it will also appear in IE's Address bar when the visitor accesses your site via that menu. 

That's it!

.:About the Author
William Kinirons is the president of BMK Media, a web and graphic design company based in Coconut Creek that also offers in-home computer hardware & software support. For more information on web design, onsite computer software support, or managed web hosting call BMK Media at (954) 818-2010.

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