I changed my favicon. I just didn’t like the little apple anymore. For those of you who don’t know, favicons are those little icons that appear in the address bar or location bar in Firefox or Internet Explorer 7. Prior versions of IE won’t display them except in your Bookmars or Favorites. They will also appear in the tabs on Firefox or IE. Favicons are cute and fun, and they’re one of the things I initially liked about Firefox when I first started using it. It’s one way to make your site distinctive.

Favicons are not that difficult to create. They need to be pictures 16×16 pixels and saved in the .ico format. Most image software (Photoshop, MS Paint, etc.) won’t save files in that format, but an excellent free program called IrfanView will. The first step to creating a favicon is to find a picture you like and that you are allowed to use. Reduce its size to 16X16 pixels to see if it looks good. Many times it won’t. It’s hard to find pictures that will retain detail and resemble something when they’ve been reduced that small. Lots of favicons are simply letters.

After you have a favicon you like saved in the .ico format, you need to upload it to the root directory of your website. If you have a website run by Blogger, WordPress.com, Edublogs, Typepad, or some other hosted site format, you can’t change your favicon. You will notice that you have one — the site’s default favicon. If you own your own domain, however, changing your favicon should be fairly simple. Just upload it to your root directory, and all the pages should display it.

I made my favicon out of the image that appears in my bulleted lists. I thought it matched the template better, anyway. Some templates or themes come with favicons. Some web hosts also have a default favicon. For instance, I can always tell if a site is hosted by Bluehost because of the distinctive favicon with the blue squares. Of course, site owners can easily change this, but many of them do not.

Note: If you changed your favicon and can’t see it, you probably just need to empty your browser cache.  I won’t attempt to post instructions for doing this for everyone.  Here is a good tutorial that covers most of the bases.


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