What is the Fold?

The fold is the place where the website meets the bottom of the browser window.  Anything below the fold requires the visitor to scroll in order to see it.

The fold is a bit of a moving target, as it changes based on the screen resolution of the visitor viewing the website.  Considering the most popular screen size is 1366×768, a common resolution on laptops, that puts the fold somewhere around 620-640 pixels below the top of the website.  A range is given for this because one also has to take into account the number of toolbars the visitor has enabled in their browser, as well as the height of the task bar (Windows), both of which reduce vertical viewing space.  As you can imagine, with the dozens of different screen resolutions in use today, and the other variables that are in play, the fold could land in any of over a hundred places between 620 and 1450 pixels.

Content Above the Fold

The content on your website is paramount to success, both from a usability and SEO standpoint.  Your most important content should be towards the top of the page.  This is how users and the search engines will expect your content to be organized so it can be easily understood.  Content above the fold can consist of text within a static or rotating banner, the main heading text (referred to as H1), and maybe even the beginning of the main paragraph-structured content for the page.

Scrolling Below the Fold

If all or most of your content on the page is above the fold, then it is likely not enough content.  In many cases, it is appropriate to tell a story through the content on your page.  If you have even a few hundred words of content on your website, visitors will have to scroll to see it all.  Plus, if your website utilizes responsive design, you can count on visitors scrolling on your website from their mobile device.  Fortunately, most Internet users today are so used to scrolling, that it happens subconsciously.  It’s just a normal part of browsing the web or even working on a Word document.  If the content above the fold is interesting enough, visitors to your website will scroll to access the rest.

In Conclusion

Every website is different (or at least should be), and the amount of content on each page will vary greatly.  The layout, content, and design will be unique based on the goals of the website.  With today’s trends of large graphics and text, scrolling on a web page to access all of its content is commonplace.  Unless you have a 30” monitor, most websites with appropriate content, font sizes, and image use will require scrolling.  Fortunately, the wheel on the mouse, special trackpads on laptops, and touch screens on mobile devices have made it fast and easy for visitors to scroll.

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