Above The Fold

The term, “above the fold,” has been on my mind a lot lately.  So much so, that I just changed my personal site from WordPress’ Twenty Fourteen theme to the Twenty Sixteen theme.  It’s a term you need to be thinking about when it comes to your website.

“Above the fold” comes from the newspaper days – anything important the publisher wanted you to see first had to be “above the fold” so it would immediately catch the reader’s eye as the newspaper sat on the pile or in the machine.  As I “surf,” I’ve been finding that I appreciate it when the meat of the site is immediately visible; that you don’t have to scroll for it – especially on one’s phone.  So, I wanted to apply my own desires to my site – hence the theme change.  Of course, there are the detractors out there, and, times when “look and feel before content” is desired or the right move.

A lot of people out there say “above the fold” is no longer relevant.  LOL; when I searched for the term, the third or fourth result was someone saying something like “it’s not 1997 anymore.”  I clicked on their site and they had no content what-so-ever, so, go figure.  But, I disagree – people’s attention span is short, so, get to the point.

Attention span can be influenced by artistic style.  WordPress’ Twenty Seventeen theme opens with a “hero shot” like graphic that’s a great, subtle yet striking picture.  I just turned it on for a site I set up and everyone so far simply raves about it – and don’t seem to mind that they have to scroll down.

As I write this, it dawns on me that we are still applying the “above the fold” concept in a way as the game plan for this Daily Devotional site is to drive people straight to the post; the devotional.  In that case, they will be right at the content.

Food for thought: When people arrive at your site, are they immediately (a) getting the content they came for or (b) immediately attracted to the site where they will continue on and look at your content.  This is a critical question you need to ask yourself and act on.

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