Above the Fold Website Rule: Is It Obsolete in 2019?

Ever heard of sticking to above the fold website design?

We’ll tackle more of it below but to summarize, it’s all about dumping all your crucial data on the top portion of your web page. This means putting a bunch of ads, important links, and call-to-action engagement on the upper portion.

Many claim this performed best ten years ago but is this still relevant in 2019? Let’s dive into it below and discover more:

Understanding the Fold

What does above the fold website design mean? To fully understand, you have to go back to print media, such as newspapers and magazines.

Back when print media was still popular, the “fold” referred to the literal median line where people would fold their newspaper. It was a common practice back then to put the most important information, such as the headlines and information-filled paragraphs, above this fold. Anything below the fold might get ignored since people often wouldn’t read that far down.

What is above the fold on a website? In general, this practice affects websites too. Think about it: how often do you scroll down to continue reading a web page or to look for a specific button? 

However, the internet and the devices we use to access it have changed over the years. User behavior has altered too. Do these changes still make the fold rule relevant?

Comparing Old and New User Behavior

According to the latest studies, people spend a combined 74% of their time on the first two full web pages of content. This indicates that yes, people in 2019 do scroll more often than previously believed. 

However, this means almost a third of website visitors won’t reach the bottom portion of the web page. This lead to a dramatic decrease in click-through-rates and an increase in bounce rates.

The study points out that this is different from data gathered in 2010. During those days, almost no one scrolled down. Despite the changes, however, it looks like the fold remains relevant.

Is Above the Fold Website Design Still Relevant?

Putting everything together, the data shows that yes, an above the fold website design still matters. However, you have to take into consideration the changes in technology and browsing behavior.

First, you have to make sure your site isn’t too top-heavy. Google penalizes sites with too many ads above the fold. Spread them around naturally and focus on a web design that enhances your SEO efforts.

You do want to have some sort of CTA (call to action) visible above the fold. This is why product pages on Amazon have a large “add to cart” button right below the item price.

Don’t spill all your beans above the fold. Leave some for the bottom half too.

Remember: scrolling is a continuation and a habit.

Also, clicking on that purchase or subscribe button is an active decision. Whether you adhere strictly or the rule or not, the above the fold philosophy can only get you so far. 

Get the Best Web Design Today!

Yes, the above the fold website design remains relevant in 2019. However, updates with the way Google works and user behavior demand you pay more attention to the user experience (UX). Pick what you put above the fold and how you present it to the audience.

Don’t fret if it all sounds complicated. We’re here to help you through the design process. Get in touch now and let us help you design the optimal site that not only brings in revenue but guarantees visitors spend time reading every inch of every page they check.