The aims of creating a page-top banner are:

  • Create a clean start to the page by having a lead image and horizontal TOC at the top before the article begins.
  • Make the first impression of our guides more eye-catching.
  • Give our guides a fresh and more modern look.

The page banner can be much more than just 'decoration' for an article. The best banners offer a visual introduction to an area and challenge people's preconceived ideas.

Refer to the Banner Expedition for tips on creating banner images.

The Banner policy does not override the Wikivoyage image policy.

Image dimensions and quality edit

Image size

MediaWiki will automatically scale the source image to a size appropriate for the reader's web browser. Using a 10 MB image file will not result in that file being downloaded every time, but rather a much smaller scaled image. The banner template will evolve to render the source image appropriate for different web experiences in the future. Currently images are scaled at a maximum of 3600x514 pixels for high definition displays (including Apple Retina) and 1280×183 pixels for standard displays.

  • Banners should use the JPEG image format in order to follow Wikivoyage image policy.
  • Banners must have a 7:1 width to height ratio. Articles with banners of any other dimension should be marked with the {{crop}} tag for easy identification.
  • 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 2100×300 pixels.
  • Always save files with maximum image quality, otherwise ugly artifacts will appear in the banner. If done right, your banner will have a size of around 600 kB to 1 MB. If it's considerably lower, you need to work with a higher resolution base image.


Gold star for effort, but this banner is not compliant because of montage content and dimensions

There is no specific criterion for selecting an image to use in a banner, except that it should be of good quality and relevant to the destination or topic of the article. For destination articles the image should be an accurate depiction of the location described.

Images created from multiple pictures (otherwise known as montages) are usually discouraged for use as banner images.

Copyright edit

When choosing an image to work with, take a moment to evaluate the possibility of copyright issues. Although Commons makes a great job trying to ensure copyright information is sufficient and correct, there are always some images slipping through, often uploaded by less seasoned users. Also a crop of a free image may cause copyright problems, if an element under copyright (by somebody else than the photographer) becomes more prominent.

If a file is said to be "own work" while it is obviously depicting somebody else's, there may be also other issues. The same goes with files with deficient description or lacking categories. These show that the file probably hasn't been checked by regulars.

A common issue is the freedom of panorama ("FoP"): are you allowed to photograph what you see in the street or from an observation tower? If the subject is under copyright, only specific FoP exceptions may allow publishing a photo. The Wikimedia Commons' page Commons:Freedom of panorama has a quite thorough discussion, including summary tables and links to the Copyright rules by territory pages. If a photo is free, but the subject is under copyright and no FoP exceptions apply, the photo can still be used under "fair use" statutes. If you choose to use it, upload the banner locally at Wikivoyage, as it (together with the original image) may get deleted on Commons, where no fair use applies.

Editing the source image edit

Most images, even panoramas, don't have an aspect ratio of 7:1, so you'll need to crop the original image in photo-editing software. By cropping you'll need to make a new composition that is different from the original. While editing, only scale images down and never upscale them. By upscaling, image data is lost and the banner will look blurry and bad. Also keep in mind that the page title will take up the upper left part of the banner, so the best part of the image is ideally placed at the right side of the banner. Getting a good composition is difficult—some outstanding images from Commons will simply never look good in banner form. If so, ditch the image and find a different one. When cropping an image, do not be tempted to make the aspect ratio different from 7:1. It takes no more effort to do it correctly, and it will have to be corrected when found. When resizing images you should ensure that you keep the correct aspect ratio in order to avoid distortion.

CropTool can be used to crop images found on Wikimedia Commons. The advantage of CropTool is that it handles the licensing and copyleft of Wikimedia Commons files automatically, and the tool duplicates categories and metadata upon creation of the newly cropped pagebanner.

The banner should be an accurate and realistic representation of the destination. Do not use your photo editing software to add or remove people or objects. Reasonable editing of lighting may be acceptable.

Changing an existing banner edit

Default banner
Bad banner
Good banner

There will be scenarios where you may want to change an existing banner.

Default banners
  • If an article is displaying a default banner, go ahead and change it! Anything is (almost) always better than nothing.
  • The default banner images are displayed on thousands of articles and should not be changed on Wikidata, where they are managed, without consensus. Proposed changes should be discussed on the Banner talk page or the Travellers' pub.
  • New default banner images for travel topics or subsets of a default template range should also be discussed before application. When applied they must be applied consistently throughout the range for which they are intended.
Custom banners
  • Poor quality banners may be replaced by better quality banners. Banners may be replaced by more appropriate banners. Correctly sized banners are by default more appropriate than incorrectly sized banners. Leave an edit summary explaining why the new banner is more appropriate. If anyone disagrees with a substitution for reasons other than correct sizing or image quality, temporarily replace the banner with the appropriate default banner and get consensus on the article talk page.
  • Judging the quality of banners is hard; however, examples of good banners can be found at Wikivoyage:Banner Expedition/Star standard banners.

Wikidata edit

Your banner can potentially be shared with all Wikivoyage language projects by adding the appropriate entry in Wikidata. Please note that this policy only applies to the English language Wikivoyage, and does not attempt to address resolution to differences between the different language projects. If a new universal banner does not conform to the English Wikivoyage policy or community image selection consensus, then feel free to set the banner directly in the article (bypassing Wikidata altogether).

The Wikidata item for an article can be reached by clicking the "Wikidata item" in the tools section of the left hand menu (in the old skins) or at the right in the menu bar (in vector-2022). A Wikidata entry for a banner should be entered as a statement titled "page banner," with one reference including the parameters p143 (imported from Wikimedia project) and p4656 (Wikimedia import URL). Optionally, the import URL within parameter p4656 can be the URL of the Wikivoyage article that includes the new page banner.

One article per banner edit

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

It is allowed to 'move' a banner from one article to a more appropriate article if needed. Explain your actions in the edit summary, or on the talk page, if more space is required.