What does ‘Above the Fold’ mean?
When it comes to building your website, you’ve probably heard all sorts of weird jargon – SEO, copy, content, bio, keywords and all that jazz. But have you heard the term ‘above the fold’ mentioned before? It’s one of my particular favourites because its roots hark back to a time before the internet. What can I say? It appeals to the old gal in me 😉 So, what does ‘above the fold’ mean?
Well, let me tell you…
Above the fold is a term used, nowadays, in reference mostly to your website’s home page. It refers to that first bit of your home page that loads up when someone first goes on to your website. And where does it come from? Well, as I said, it’s a historic term that was used in print – mainly with newspapers – and it referred to the part of the cover page that would be seen when the newspaper was folded. Hence – above the fold!
So, how does that relate to your home page?
Well, if you think of your home page as being a little bit like the front page of a newspaper, the fold is that invisible line where the page descends below the bottom of the screen. It’s the bit that people can’t see until they decide to scroll down.
The reason this term gets utilised so much when it comes to website design and building is because that section that comes above the fold is prime real estate. It’s the bit that your visitors see first. It’s the space that will either catch their attention or have them clicking off to another website. That approximately 12 x 10 inch (depending on your screen) space is going to be the make-or-break of your business as far as new visitors are concerned. And what you place in that section will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Confession time… the idea of ‘above the fold’ is a little dated now.
Particularly in a world where touch screen phones and tablets have become the norm. This is because scrolling is much easier than it used to be at the dawn of the internet. C’mon, I can’t be the only one who remembers dial up and the slowly… jolting… scroll of a website page, can I? But the premise is still valid and it’s a key space to really think about in your website design.
What you put there needs to relay who you are, what you do and how you’re going to help the person viewing in one very brief amount of time. I forget exactly how many seconds they say these days but that’s exactly what it is… SECONDS. Seconds to make an impactful first impression. Seconds to make a person take a pause, hover a fraction longer over whether they close that browser tab or hit a link and delve into your site just a little more.
So, of course, what you put in this extremely valuable space carries a lot of weight and importance. Just a few words and an image to inspire and intrigue. THAT’s when copywriting and branding photography gets really fucking exciting!
Of course, I’m going to tantalise you with those thoughts, just for now. But I won’t leave you hanging, I promise! There will be more posts coming so do keep following the blog. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for my newsletter and get the latest posts sent straight to your inbox.
The best bit? It contains a free download!
Because, as someone who gets to look at a lot of websites for work on a daily basis, I want you to have the tools to make yours the prettiest, most inspiring and productive home page for your business that it could be!
The download, if you don’t have it already, will show you exactly how to critique and make changes to your home page. So, if you want to get your hands on your own copy, sign up to the newsletter below!