The concept “above the fold” is centuries old. It all started with the early days of the printing press. Back then, newspapers were printed on large paper sheets. They had to be folded when they were displayed on the newsstand, which only made visible the top half of the paper.
The industry quickly found a way to draw people’s attention using of that visible part of the paper. They had to present eye-catching headlines, images, and content on this top half. This remains true to this day, and now it is applied to digital content. Websites obviously don’t have an actual fold like newspapers do, so the “fold” in the WWW refers to the scrollbar. On a website, everything you see before you need to start scrolling down is what’s known as above the fold content. The part of the page that needs scrolling so you can see the content is called “below the fold.”
The amount of information displayed on a web page varies from one website to another. That’s because many variables can affect how a page is viewed. These factors include the device’s display size, the browser used, the operating system, and others.
Why is above the fold content so important?
Well, first because it’s what visitors will see as soon as the site loads. It prepares visitors for the rest of the content, setting quality expectations. Studies have shown that what appears on the top of a web page affects the user experience. Viewability (50% of an ad’s pixels being on-screen for one second), is nearly 30% higher for ads above the fold. The content above the fold helps your site’s visitors decided if it’s worth their time.