Glossary: What Is the Fold?

by Sean Work

Last updated on November 24th, 2017

The fold is a term used by web designers and Internet marketers to describe a web browser window’s bottom border. “Above the fold” refers to web content that is visible above the border when a page first loads. “Below the fold” refers to the portion of the page that requires scrolling to see.

It’s a slightly dated term since the web has evolved to accommodate mobile devices. However, the term and its implications are still important for those engaged in conversion rate optimization and user experience improvement activities.

the fold of a webpage

The illustration above shows how the “the fold” is defined on a laptop computer.

Why Is the Fold Important?

Generally speaking, the first things visitors see when they arrive at one of your webpages will be “above the fold.” This could be:

The rule of thumb here is: If you want visitors to take any action as soon as they arrive on one of your webpages, make sure you get their attention “above the fold.” Again, this is just a best practice. It doesn’t guarantee the most optimal conversion rate for that page. But it’s a good place to start.

The Myth Surrounding the Fold

There are instances where the job of your webpage is to earn trust with the visitor, which requires them to read and absorb more information about your product or service.

This trust can be earned with testimonials, videos, or compelling long-form copy. It may mean they will have to scroll below the fold to be won over. In these cases, the best practice of keeping important calls-to-action above the fold breaks down.

That’s exactly the reason you should develop hypotheses and begin A/B testing important landing pages.

Is the Fold Important When It Comes to Designing for Mobile?

Certainly. Anything above the fold on a mobile device will still be the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive at a webpage. However, the general consensus is that mobile visitors are used to scrolling through webpage content, so important calls-to-action don’t necessarily need to be above the fold. That’s why I highly suggest you assume the opposite and test “above the fold” calls-to-action on your mobile webpages ;).

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Sean Work

Between rocket science and space shuttle design at Boeing and NASA to building the Kissmetrics blog to 1 million monthly readers, I’ve also helped dozens of online businesses with PPC, SEO, and Conversion Rate Optimization. If you have any questions about generating success online, write me a question now at


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