Design Tips – Facebook Timeline for Pages

Note: This was published March 1, 2012. Facebook tends to update things frequently so if you see that anything is out of date, or you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll update this post!

On March 30, 2012, all Facebook Pages will get a new design, kinda scary, right? But the good news is, you can preview your page and try out the new features now! Just hit the “preview” button when prompted and you don’t need to publish it until you are ready (or March 30)!

I manage a few different fan pages on Facebook so when I saw that the timeline for pages was launching, I decided to go ahead and get the switch over with! I definitely learned a few things during this process and would love to share some tips!



Choose a Unique Cover Image

The new design includes a huge cover image (851 x 315 pixels) to immediately convey your brand to the public. Your cover photo is the first thing people will see when they visit your page so it’s important to be creative and have something unique! The photo should introduce your company and engage new viewers.

Example: I wanted to feature my workspace as well as a welcoming photo of myself, so I created a custom design. Some other examples of engaging photography might include, a new item in your shop, custom artwork, a popular menu item or a picture of people enjoying your services.


Simple Profile Photos Are Best

Your profile picture represents your page on other parts of Facebook, like in news feed. Select an image that is clear, simple and easily recognizable. Use your logo or another image that represents your company. Choose a photo that is square and scales well from 180 x 180 pixels to 32 x 32 pixels.

 Example: For the Ciera Design page I used a simple texture along with a clean font for my company name.


Highlight What’s Important

Photos, likes and apps are now larger icons located directly beneath your Cover Image, instead of the traditional tabs along the left side of your page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. Four apps are highlighted so make sure to arrange them in order of importance (you can show a maximum number of 12 apps when this view is expanded).

Example: The Ciera Design blog, Esty shop and photography are the things I want my viewer to see first, so I placed those apps in the key spaces. Other apps such as Linked In, Twitter and email sign-up are not crucial so I placed them below, along with my likes tab.

Directions: Expand the apps menu by clicking on the triangle to the right of your visible apps. Hover over each app and click the pencil icon that appears. Choose the app you’d like to swap into that spot from the menu.


Customize App Icons

Unlike the old page design, the new page lets you upload your own custom app image, which is really great! Since these tabs are now smack at the top of you page, they can really look a mess if you don’t customize them… so customize your app icons!

Before Custom App Images:

After Custom App Images:

Example: After I arranged my apps in my preferred order, I designed three custom images that matched the look of my profile photo. I wanted these icons to be bold and simple.

Directions: For each app that you would like to customize, design one image (111 x 74 pixels), click the pencil icon and “edit settings.” Here you can update the “Custom Tab Image” and the “Custom Tab Name.” Make those changes and don’t forget to hit “okay” to save! Update: You can not be in preview mode for this, but you can prepare your image ahead of time for when you are ready to make the switch.

After making these simple design changes you will be on your way to a cohesive looking Facebook page! You have from now until March 30 to work on your design in preview mode before the timeline goes live for all! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Check out my Etsy shop if you are interested in purchasing a Facebook cover design, Facebook App Icons or check out Ciera Design on Facebook for inspiration!

Please note that Facebook has placed some restrictions on what can be used in your Page Cover Image, such as no direct call to action, no website url, and no directions to Like or Share your page… read more about restrictions for Cover Images here on Facebook.

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  1. Thank you so much for this!
    I have a question though, has FB changed the app on the top? Because it is refusing to show the button graphic at the top, it only shows text and then on the left side is the “Apps” and there the first 3 shows with the graphic buttons I have made. :(

  2. oh my gosh, i found this and your other post on facebook yesterday via pinterest. This is SOOOO helpful! Thank you!

    Random question… the photo of your workspace, what is the widget/screensaver for the clock on your computer screen?!

    • so glad it helped you!! oh man, I got it so long ago I can’t remember off the top of my head, let me try to find it on my computer!

  3. Wow, this is amazing! I had no idea! Changed mine straight away. Thanks so much!

  4. do you have a link to add the mailchimp app? thanks for all your awesome advice! love it : D Super helpful!

    • Hey Michelle!

      – Login to MailChimp and go to Account > Integrations
      – Open the Facebook section
      – Configure your page and you’re good to go

  5. I recently discovered your blog and I’m still digging through archives. There’s just so much to learn! I had no idea app images could be customized, so I’m excited to update the pages I manage. Thank you!!

  6. Thanks so much for this! Mine certainly doesn’t look as pretty as yours, but I didn’t even realize we had those tab/button options!!

  7. Hey,
    This post is really helpful! Just wondering, can you only change the icon if you have a paid version of Network Blogger? I don’t seem to be able to change it. Thanks!

    • I don’t have the paid version. Are you in your timeline preview mode? Here is step by step, let me know what part you get stuck at. Expand you apps so you see both rows. When you roll over the app, a pencil icon should appear, click on that icon and select “edit settings”. This should give you three options: 1.Tab 2.Custom Tab Image 3.Custom Tab Name – Click on “change” next to Custom Tab Image. This brings you to a new page – Click on “change” again. Select your new image. Go back to original page and hit “okay” to save your changes.


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