Wikivoyage talk:Banners

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Non-exact dimensions[edit]

User:AlasdairW has suggested some flexibility on banner dimensions other than an exact 7:1 ratio. Apparently there are many existing Wikimedia images that have ratios of between 6.8:1 and 7.2:1 which may be 'good enough' to increase the coverage of banners.

Would it be OK to use a banner within the range of the approximate dimensions above if no banner already exists on a page? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:17, 26 March 2015 (UTC)


"Wikimedia will automatically scale the source image to a size appropriate..."

should be "MediaWiki will automatically scale...". Mediawiki is the software, Wikimedia is the non-profit foundation.

"Do not use your photo editing software to 'enhance' the banner to make it look better with colors or lighting effects."

A bit arbitrary and restrictive. Using software adjustments to fix basic technical faults (too dark, too light, colour casts) is reasonable. Using photo editing software to create something *which never existed* at the destination, on the other hand, should be avoided.

"Do not use custom banners in more than one article. Using the same banner in multiple places may confuse readers"

An unnecessary restriction, which should be removed. Better to have a city and a district of a city share a banner than force this back to the default for fear of using one banner twice.

I don't think that this should be "policy". Once something is set in stone in policy around here, it is impossible to change because of status quo bias and becomes rather inflexible. State stylistic preferences if you must, but save the "thou shalt not" absolutes for truly destructive activity (vandalism, touting, page blanking) for which we do need to respond with firm policy. K7L (talk) 02:12, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I take the point about image editing. Completely disagree with the reuse of banner. Will address below. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:34, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Actually, in general: "This page in a nutshell: This policy explains how we use banners on Wikivoyage."

should be "This page in a nutshell: This guideline explains how we use banners on Wikivoyage."

Items which are merely questions of style shouldn't be rigid, binding inflexible policies on the same level as WV:Don't tout and other absolutes. K7L (talk) 03:54, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Now that the banner is an integral part of the article, it does need a level of inflexibility in order to be applied consistently throughout the site. For example, saying that banners need a 7:1 ratio is pretty inflexible, and frankly required.
This isn't an exercise in creeping new rules and regulations, rather just clarifying and codifying accepted practices on the Expedition page. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:17, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

The same banner in multiple articles?[edit]

Although not codified specifically before, I believe that it is wrong to reuse a banner n more than one article. The reason being that it will confuse the traveler as to which page they are looking at.

Precedence includes Kolkata where we had to prevent a contributor doing exactly that.

Is this really a controversial position? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:34, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I looked at Talk:Kolkata. No explanation there of your position beyond "that's the way we've always done it". If you're looking to create new policy, that's not enough. K7L (talk) 17:14, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Not reusing pagebanners is not "new policy"; it's consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:00, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm a bit stumped on this one actually... I don't like invoking the TTCF, but this one just seems completely obvious. If you use the same banner picture for a city and its districts (or anywhere else) then you are going to confuse the reader as to which article they are reading.
I would say consensus based on the blindingly obvious. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:16, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. It is obvious. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:36, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

WT recently added banners too (a bit less panoramic), and I think theirs look better. And moreso, since its difficult to find photos that are panoramic enough to fit the requirements here, we end up with photos that (although the original versions look great) are kinda meh after cropping.

I think it makes sense to change the banner proportion guidelines, either to be more flexible, or to not be such a wide panorama. Any thoughts? Magedq (talk) 22:46, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

See Wikivoyage:Banner Expedition and the developing Wikivoyage:Banners policy page --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:50, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I much prefer our size, and we had very extensive discussions to reach that 7:1 ratio we decided on. I would really rather not revisit that, and I'm not at all willing to go lax on it and let them have a variable presentation. In the short space of time we've been doing it, we already have a 7:1 custom banner for 1/3 of all articles that should have one, and they are still being added at a regular clip, so I think this is a non-issue. Texugo (talk) 22:54, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I absolutely agree that the aspect ratio and ToC placement chosen by WT are aesthetically better because non-panoramic images can be used and ToC does not screen relevant parts of the picture. In some cases, this screening becomes really problematic as, for example, here and here (the second one may be OK on a wide screen, but with 14' and the two-line ToC it's not). Changing all banners is, of course, very difficult and hardly practical, but it is true that the current 7:1 version with ToC has its limitations. One simple solution is to put ToC under the banner, as we tried on Russian Wikivoyage. This looks really better in our case, where many ToCs expand to two lines, as Russian section headings are generally longer than their English counterparts. --Alexander (talk) 06:24, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I do so agree, Alexander!
Did you make any progress with allowing a horizontal ToC to be expanded to show lower levels in the hierarchy - eg H3, H4, H5 headings, etc? 01:23, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I am really happy with our 7:1 ratio and see no reason for changing it, although sometimes it is hard to come up with a crop that looks well. Another thing is the blatantly obvious copyvio of the Pagebanner template at the other site. Danapit (talk) 07:05, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Free knowledge is not only to free to use but also free to steal. What can one do about this? --Alexander (talk) 10:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Content is not "free to steal" - copyright law requires re-users to provide proper attribution. This was pointed out to WT twice [1] [2] and they have so far apparently chosen not to do so. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:36, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Ryan - since WT has failed to respond, the onus is on one or more of the authors of [[Template:Pagebanner]] to draft a formal cease-and-desist letter. Failing that, effectively, the content is de facto "free to steal". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:05, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly what I mean. And any cease-and-desist letter can be ignored as well. Even if one goes to the court, chances are... not too high. --Alexander (talk) 16:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, I notice that IBobi has just blanked the template talk page where the issues were raised. Texugo (talk) 21:22, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
And then protected it, so no non-admin can ever leave a message on the template talk page again. It's like a fascist state over there. Powers (talk) 00:29, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Banners are a form of artistic expression, to give colour and a personality to an article. WT banners are not really banners, they are more like big images, and I am sure that WT editors will "misuse" them to just show stuff, betraying their artistic purpose. That's why our choice of 7:1 was better. By the way, some of their banners are of very low quality. Cheers! Syced (talk) 11:19, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Hm, here the banners are misused in a different way. Could someone explain me the meaning of banners of Minsk Oblast or Beloretsk for example? Their pictures are very nice, but they have nothing to do with the destination. --Alexander (talk) 12:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Are they not the type of scenery you might see when passing through those respective areas? Because if not, then they probably aren't something we want to keep. Texugo (talk) 12:17, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
No, they are not. They are simply nice pictures that people found on Commons. --Alexander (talk) 12:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I see. Well, I doubt that the choice of pictures there is actually related to our preferred aspect ratio. For lesser known areas, no matter what the aspect ratio, it's easily possible for someone to put up a not-quite-representative picture without it being noticed, but when similar issues have been pointed out in other articles, we've discussed and fixed them. For me those two particular places are totally obscure and I didn't know any better, but if the images are misleading, then by all means, let's have a look at what other images are available and see what we can't do about making a better, more representative banner. Texugo (talk) 13:19, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
(Maybe) Stupid question: How would you describe the general look of the area in question, User:Atsirlin? —The preceding comment was added by Hobbitschuster (talkcontribs)
Beloretsk is one of the few Russian cities located among the mountains, so any generic banner should feature some mountains instead of grassland and fog, which are totally generic and could be applied to nearly every destination in the world. One very special thing in this city is the enormously long wooden bridge, but we don't have suitable pictures on Commons (in fact, we don't have pictures at all)...
Regarding Minsk Oblast, its most remarkable object is Stalin Line of pre-WWII fortifications. Alternatively, the banner could show a typical rural landscape with a small catholic church, as in Ivyanets or Zaslavl. --Alexander (talk) 16:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I am strongly against anything that even looks like copying WT. From my point of view this other website is a half dead Zombie and we should let the dead rest. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:57, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I must agree that the WikiTravel banners look much nicer plaus the way theyre TOC is displays is nicer. I don't care if we copy them as long as we are useful and good looking. After all we copied the whole site from them so what? As to thei site being a dead zombie I think it is much higher than ours in Google and also gets many more visitors and the same amount of edits so probably we can learn something from them. also they only just added banner template and already they have as many as us! Harlan888 (talk) 20:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
>they only just added banner template and already they have as many as us!
Now that's just flat-out false. Their own count currently records 3,201 instances of custom banners, while we currently have 8,226. PerryPlanet (talk) 21:18, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Can someone provide a destination article (no link required) in Wikitravel where the banner is superior to that in Wikivoyage?
I looked at a few and all I can tell is that the banner has be be more squeezed to accommodate the annoying advertising bar on the right hand side... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Roma on wikitravel
this is what roma look like to me on WikiTravel. You don't have to see the adds if you turn off and it looks better no? Harlan888 (talk) 21:48, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Harlan888, you are not going to get much agreement here that the Wikivoyage fork amounts to "copying the whole site" from Wikitravel. I invite you to make some content edits on this site, as you have yet to do so. If you'd like to adopt an EU country, Poland needs a lot of work: There are so many Polish towns with wonderful coverage on Commons that lack any article here at all.
All the best,
Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:53, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
No on Rome - the pagebanner at the article on this site looks like a much higher-resolution image. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:56, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
it's because I took a low res screen capture of the page. Check the live page. Not much difference if any. You are splitting hair, talking about resolution. IMO WikiTravel is better. And thank you I have never been to Poland Ikan. But when you copy and paste a whole site to a new domain, that is a copy. I realize we change since then, but come on. Your very thin with arguments today. Harlan888 (talk) 22:03, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Harlan, compare the close-ups: Wikitravel banner vs. Wikivoyage banner. The latter definitely has the higher resolution. PerryPlanet (talk) 22:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Harlan, I'm not on Wikivoyage to win arguments. Is that your reason for being here, or do you want to help make this the best travel guide it can be? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:09, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You are both too hung up on it. The page at WikiTravel looks better. Period. So we upload a higher res of the same image. Makes no difference to a traveller. And Ikan-- look up. You started the argument, man. Yeesh. No wonder nobody wants to suggest anything. Forget it. Stick with the skinny things. Harlan888 (talk) 22:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You're entitled to believe the WT version looks better, just don't feel bad if everyone else disagrees. Personally I'm happy if the WT pages keep a visibly different format than we do. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:38, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Well if by "everyone else" you mean you and two other people, out of the dozen that have commented... You're tied with MY everyone, 3 for wv and 3 for wt. Including the OP I might add. So, thanks you for discounting people you apparently don't consider to be your equals. Again, no wonder people are hesitate to edit here.Harlan888 (talk) 23:52, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Three people being yourself and Magedq? OK... I think we know what we are dealing with here :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:48, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
User:Harlan888: You said in your earlier edits that you're also on Wikitravel. I'm curious to know your username on WT. I believe you've got one as you seems experienced. -- 00:24, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Ha-ha says the anonomous ip from the wilderness. I'm sure we can agree we have reasons for how we id ourselves. There's anough animousity from here against people who dare to keep editing WikiTravel. Harlan888 (talk) 01:09, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Untrue, only toward those whose purpose in coming here seems to be merely to criticize. And this is the last thing I'm likely to post to you, as I think by now, we all recognize what you are. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:13, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

What they get right[edit]

One thing I think the other site gets right is using a darker background for the text. The higher contrast makes it a lot easier to read IMO. I would recommend darkening the background, or, something else that might work (I haven't tried it so I don't know if it's a good idea or not) is to give the text a black drop shadow. WVGUY1 (talk) 23:11, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Removing the "experimental" tag?[edit]

Page banners are present on every page, but currently our only policy on them is WV:Banner Expedition, which also has all manner of irrelevant info for someone just trying to figure out how to implement a banner. This page has been tagged as experimental for months, but unless I'm missing something it just codifies existing practice, so I've removed the experimental tag so that it can be used when questions about banners arise. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:33, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! I think it needs some copy editing still, but the policy looks sound --Andrewssi2 (talk) 19:45, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Some Pagebanner questions[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Greetings, Could I get some help over at commons, as the user doesn't get on the site very often? I'm trying to find a reasonable banner image for an itenary that I'm working on, and hope to finish by June 1st. Thank you. Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 03:56, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

@Zanygenius2 (WV-en): You don't need to ask permission, as the file is Creative Commons licensed. In fact, you can remix any file you find on Commons, as they do not allow no-derivative licenses.
Keep in mind, though, the ratio for banners isn't 3:1, but 7:1. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 04:01, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
@ARR8: Thank you for replying so fast, so I should be all good to go as so long as I use proper attribution? (I'll keep the 7:1 ratio in Mind) Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 04:46, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
@Zanygenius2 (WV-en): That's right. In fact, tools like CropTool will handle attribuion for you. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 04:53, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
User:Zanygenius2 (WV-en), I've been finding images that might make good banners, and listing them at Wikivoyage:Banner expedition/Banner suggestions#Suggestions. A couple of other editors have been very kindly doing the work to turn them into banners for me. So if you get stuck, that's another option. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:20, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
@ARR8, WhatamIdoing: Thank you for the advice, I'll keep it in mind. Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 17:31, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
It's here! What do you think?
The new upload
Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 17:59, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd say one thing: note that the bottom 1/5 (approximately) of the image will be nearly impossible to see because that's where the menu is on a banner (just look at one and you'll see what I mean). Consequently, those cars might not show, or at least not much of them. Just a thought. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:40, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, one other thing: unfortunately, the image is too small so it won't work well on a banner. When you find an image to crop, make sure it's at least 2,100 pixels wide (so 2100 by 300 or more) so it looks good on a wider screen. However, big thanks for the work you've done on this front so far! --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:42, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
@SelfieCity:, Thank you for the compliments, as well as the advice. I tried to stick to the 7:1 ratio without the picture becoming too blurry. When it gets (re) re-uploaded, hopefully the aspect ratio can be fixed and we can see the cars. Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 23:48, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
(ec) @Zanygenius2 (WV-en): Very nice! However, as a freely-licensed image, it's not allowed here. Freely-licensed images (so, anything derived from a Commons image) should only go on Commons. Besides policy, this also allows other language editions to use the image if an article on the same topic is created there. For more information on the images that we do host, see Wikivoyage:Non-free content. Will you need help transferring the image? ARR8 (talk | contribs) 22:43, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@ARR8: I think some help would be preferable. So if it's from Commons, the new version should go back on commons? Thank you, Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 23:48, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
@Zanygenius2 (WV-en): Yes Done, and that's right: all freely-licensed files should be hosted on Commons. Simple cropping is not enough to change copyright, so the license does not change. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 23:54, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
@ARR8, SelfieCity: I (again) uploaded the file under File:Orchard Staton (RTD) footbridge (cropped).jpg to get the licensing right, and also have a larger than 2100:300 aspect ratio. Hopefully it's right this time. :) Zanygenius2 (WV-en) (talk) 00:35, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it is now much better in terms of image width (pixels). --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:52, 29 May 2019 (UTC)


I believe this policy page says that banner images should be 2,100 pixels wide. However, many pictures (and potential page banners) are 2048 pixels wide. It would be easier to find banners for some articles if the recommendation was brought down by just 52 pixels. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:22, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Here's the text on the policy page: "Banners should be as wide as possible and need to be at least 1800 pixels wide in order to accommodate wide screens. The recommended minimum dimensions are 2100 x 300 pixels." --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:23, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Alternatively, the recommendation could be reduced to a 2,000 pixel width, which would make finding page banners even easier. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:14, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
If I am not using the crop tool, and have to calculate the dimensions manually, then I find 2100 x 300 a convenient start point. If you want a smaller start point, then possibilities would be 1820 x 260, 1925 x 275, 1995 x 285 or 2030 x 290. AlasdairW (talk) 21:40, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, check out the Commons category for Indonesian food. The vast majority of entries use a 2048 pixel width. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:48, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Presizing of banners[edit]

In a discussion about image numbers, it was said that the pagebanner dominates download sizes of our pages. If you sit at home with a wide screen and good connection, a 2100 px image is nice, but if you have a 640 px browser window, then you'd get as good image quality with an image downloaded in less than a tenth of bandwidth use. I even believe the Wikimedia servers are better at scaling the image than most browsers. I suppose most browsers report window geometry to the server, so sending something of an appropriate size (with some CSS padding to keep size alternatives to a reasonable number) would be doable. Is it technically difficult or has just nobody bothered to do it? --LPfi (talk) 12:57, 7 July 2019 (UTC)