Archive for June, 2007

What is a Favicon?

A favicon is the small icon that you see next to the url in the address bar when you visit many websites.

EOTW Favicon

Favicon stands for “favorites icon”, they can also be called “bookmarks icons.” These small 16×16 icons also appear next to the website name when adding a website to your bookmarks list or toolbar.

Why does my site need a favicon?

Favicons serve many purposes for your site.

  • They build brand/logo recognition. Each time a uservisits your URL, they will see the favicon for your site in the address bar.
  • Your site is easy to identify in a bookmark list. When a user has a long list of bookmarked sites, or favorites, it is often difficult to find a single site.
  • If a user is simply browsing through their bookmarks, your favicon makes your site eye catching; it makes it stand out.
  • Many web surfers use the bookmarks toolbar in IE or Firefox. This is the perfect place to put favicons. Take my bookmarks toolbar for example: My Bookmarks Toolbar With a favicon, they don’t have to waste space with text, they can simply add your favicon. Not only does this continue to build recognition, but also saves users the frustration 0f abbreviating your site’s name to something they will remember.

How do I make a Favicon?

There are many ways to make a favicon, all of them easy. Most favicons are static, but some methods also allow you to animate your favicon. These animated favicons can be distracting, though, so be wary.

Web based Creators:

If you want to create a favicon in Photoshop, here is a great guide from PhotoShopSupport.com:

http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tutorials/jennifer/favicon.html

Ok, I created one, how do I install it on my site?

Installing your favicon is easy.

  1. Rename your favicon to favicon.ico if it is not already called that
  2. Upload the favicon.ico file into your home directory (the same one that contains your index). Do not put it in an images folder.
  3. To increase support for some browsers, add <link rel=”Shortcut Icon” href=”/favicon.ico”> to the html head of the index page and/or pages which you want to include the favicon. Many modern browsers do not need this code, but it is good to support as many as possible. If you use WordPress, you can add this line in header.php using the theme editor to have the favicon display on all pages.
  4. Visit and refresh your page, your new favicon should show up. If your browser does not display it, try refreshing the page or adding a ? to the end of the URL. If this does not help, clear the cache of the browser, close and reopen it. In IE6 you may need to add your site to the favorites menu. In Safari for Mac, you may need to clear the icon cache in User>Library>Safari>Icons. Unless you did something wrong, your favicon should now be showing up.

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For those who run blogs on the WordPress system, you know that plugins are the key to adding new features and streamlining your blog. I’ve come up with a list of four plugins that will help you to improve your monetized blog and increase traffic. All of the plugins are in use on this blog, so you can see exactly what they look like in execution.

  1. Aizatto’s Related Posts is a plugin that automatically inserts related posts at the end of each post based on keywords. It is fully customizable, via the admin panel, allowing you to do things like add excerpts, trim title lengths, and use custom CSS schemes. Read more about how related posts can help to increase traffic and viewer interest in my previous article here.
  2. Sociable is a plugin that adds links at the end of your posts to allow readers to quickly and automatically submit/vote your site on their favorite social bookmarking source, increasing your potential traffic. It contains a huge list of just about every social bookmarking site there is. Sociable also allows exactly where these will appear, whether they be simply on permalinked posts or on every page of your blog.
  3. Angsuman’s Feed Coprighter adds a customizable copyright message to your feed items ensuring that thieves and plagiarists cannot simply duplicate your feed and posts on their own external sites with no credit to you. No configuration is needed; the plugin is a set-and-forget measure to protect your RSS.
  4. WPTextAds allows you to bypass the middlemen and sell text linked ads directly on your own blog. WPTextAds has tons of features, and is fully customizable. The free version should be enough for most small blogs, supporting two ads in each of the three site areas (home, post, full site). It allows advertisers a choice of pricing depending on where their ad will be displayed.

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