Above the fold

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope
Above the fold

The term above the fold refers to the first information that a reader sees when viewing a publication. In modern web design, "above the fold" refers to the contents of a web page that a user can see and interact with, without needing to scroll down. It is frequently used when discussing the placement of online advertisements, and is often abbreviated as ATF.

The term originally referred to the headline and lead stories in a printed newspaper, which can be viewed at a newsstand before the newspaper is purchased and unfolded.

Why is "above the fold" important on a web page?

When a visitor comes to your web page, you want your most important information, or your CTA (call to action), to be located "above the fold" so that you catch the reader's eye. The majority of visitors judge your web page within a few seconds, and usually don't scroll down unless they like what they see and want more information. If you cannot catch the readers eye, they'll bounce.

Where does "above the fold" end on a web page?

Today, determining what content would be above the fold is increasingly difficult because there are so many different devices that can be used to view your website. For example, displaying a website on a computer monitor is going to be different than a smartphone, especially if the page utilizes responsive design. Many define above the fold as being the top 768 to 1000 pixels of a web page, and this recommendation is a good starting point. However, we still highly recommend viewing your web page on as many different devices as possible, to know exactly where that device ends the fold.

Tip

You can also use web development applications, such as Chrome Developer Tools, to simulate the way web content will be rendered on a variety of displays and mobile devices.

Why is "above the fold" meaningful in advertising?

For an advertisement to be successful, it must draw the reader's attention. Advertisers know that ads placed ATF are more likely to be seen and clicked on than if they are placed below the fold.

Computer acronyms, Internet terms, Web design terms