Friday, July 17, 2009

Favicons Made Easy!

Favicons are a very useful method of branding your blog with your personal style, and are a useful recognition tool for your readers to identify your blog. If you are reading Blogger Buster in Firefox (or have bookmarked my site in IE) you will see an example of a favicon in the left hand corner of your address bar.

A while back, I wrote a post explaining how to replace the default Blogger favicon with your own. But since then, I've discovered an even easier method you could use to upload a favicon to your blog - you don't even need external image hosting to achieve this!

For general use, there are two different methods you could use to enable favicons for your blog:

  1. Upload your favicon (favicon.ico) to the root of your web host
  2. Call your favicon explicitly in the head section of your blog template.

However, those of us who host our blogs with Blogger do not have access to the root of our hosting account. So unless we enable a favicon by adding code to our blog template, the default orange Blogger icon will display instead.

In my previous post about favicons, I explained that you would need to upload your favicon image (with the .ico extension) to an external hosting account.

This method may have been problematic for those of you who don't have access to an external hosting account which supports the icon file type (Photobucket, Picassa and other free image hosts do not support this).

But guess what: you can use a different image file type (such as PNG, GIF or even JPG) for your favicon. What's more, you can even upload this to Blogger (for example, in the body of a post) which negates the need for any external hosting whatsoever!

To make it even easier for you to use a favicon ion your Blogger powered blog, I have reconfigured the Favicon Generator which you can find in the Tools section of this site to output favicons as PNG files rather than icons (with the .ico extension).

Here is how to enable a favicon for your Blogger powered blog in a few easy steps

  1. Ensure you have a copy of your blog logo (or another image you would like to use as a favicon). This should be in JPG format for use with the Favicon generator.
  2. Go to the Favicon Generator page, and upload your image, then click on "Create Favicon". After a second or so, the page will reload and you will see your newly generated icon appear in the box.
  3. Right click on your icon and choose "Save Image As...". This icon will be in PNG format, and you can rename this anything you wish. Save the icon to a convenient location on your computer.
  4. Next, go to your Blogger dashboard and create a new page. Upload your icon as an image in the post. If you do not already edit your posts in Edit HTML format, click on this tab and copy the URL of your image from the HTML code. The URL for your uploaded image will appear like this in your post's HTML code:

    You need to save this post (albeit temporarily) so it would be advisable to backdate this post, then it will not be confusing for visitors who wonder why you are posting such a small image in your blog!
  5. Finally, go to Layout>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. Just before the closing </head> tag, paste the following section of code:
    <link href='http://your-icon-url.png' rel='shortcut icon'/>

    <link href='http://your-icon-url.png' rel='icon'/>
    Be sure to replace the URLs in red with the URL you copied from your post.
  6. Finally, save your template. Your new favicon will now appear in the address bar!

Note: if you use Internet Explorer, the favicon will not appear unless you have bookmarked your blog and refreshed your browser.

If you would prefer to upload your PNG icon to a different image host, you the method is almost exactly the same, except that the URL you will use to enable the favicon should match that where your PNG image is hosted.

Need Inspiration for your Favicon Design?

Here are some excellent showcases of favicons to inspire you in creating your own unique branded icon:

I hope this post has helped you to enable your own customized favicon on your Blogger powered blog.

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