Marketing Glossary

Below the Fold

The area of a webpage that is not instantly displayed upon page loading and must be scrolled to view.

What is Below the Fold?

The term ‘below the fold’ references the area of a webpage that requires scrolling in order to view. A relic of newspaper publishing, the term ‘below the fold’ was established when the center of the page featured an actual physical fold. Anything on the bottom half was considered ‘below the fold,’ while anything on the top half was considered ‘above the fold.’

Traditionally, less-important content was placed below the fold, as it was essentially invisible when exhibited on a newsstand. As publishing shifted to the web in the 1990s, the term ‘below the fold’ persisted. Today, the word is still used in web design to describe to material that is positioned around 600 pixels from the top of the page or beneath the bottom of a browser window.

What is the Importance of ‘Below the Fold’?

The positioning of material on a webpage has an impact as to how many humans engage and interact with it. If a user exits the website before scrolling to the bottom of the page, they will never see the content below the fold.

The positioning of adverts and information below the fold on a website page drastically diminishes the probability of it being viewed. Advertisements above the fold had roughly 73 percent viewability, whereas advertising below the fold had 44 percent viewability, according to a popular Google research.

If at least 50% of the pixels of an ad appear on a user’s screen for at least one second, it is deemed a “viewable impression.” Advertisements that run below the fold often produce less ad revenue than ads that show at the top of the page due to their lower visibility.

Please note: because of the lesser visibility, companies who sell advertising on their websites usually offer a cheaper fee for placement below the fold.

How is the Measurement of Below the Fold Done?

The exact location of the fold on a webpage is tough to establish because it changes depending on screen resolution, browser and screen sizes for thousands of computers, smartphones, and tablets. Most web designers still believe that the fold line should be around 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels height when establishing an average fold placement.

For the most common monitor/browser combination of 1024×786 pixels, this is the best-case scenario, with no installed toolbars at the top and the browser window maximized, ultimately pushing the content downwards. Your website’s audience analytics will reveal the most common screen size for your site’s visitors.

Mobile-Related Considerations

For several years, 1024×768 was the most popular resolution. New dimensions, such as 320×568 and 360×640, are becoming more frequent as mobile devices become more ubiquitous, which further exacerbates the issue of designing for the fold.

Mobile devices come in a wide range of screen sizes, and the user requirements and restrictions for each of these screen sizes and devices are different. Another factor to consider is that phone users prefer to surf in portrait mode rather than landscape mode, whilst computer and tablet users prefer to browse in horizontal mode.

Because so many people visit websites using so many different devices, modern web design methods include adopting responsive design, which includes using adaptable layouts, graphics, and cascading style sheets.

There is no fixed layout for a page in responsive design, as content reflows to fit any screen size. Websites that are responsive react to the environment in which they are consumed or browsed. While critical content should still be placed higher on the page, pages should now be structured to tempt visitors to scroll so that important stuff is not missed.