Put Search near the top where site visitors expect it

Always put the Search box near the top of the page. If your site has search capability (and any large site should), a Search box (not just a link to another page) should be in the same place on every page of the site.

People have come to expect that the Search box will be either at the top right or at the left at the top of the left navigation column. Those are both good places.

A long home page with the Search box at the bottom is not a good idea if the site will draw visitors who have small monitors, use low resolution, or don't maximize each window. If the Search box is below the fold, many people will assume the site does not have search capability. They won't scroll down to look for it.

Blind web users who like to search also want to find the Search box very close to the top of the web page. Screen-readers start to read from the top of the page. If the Search box is before other content, blind web users get to what they need quickly.

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■ the fold "Above the fold" for a web page is whatever the site visitor sees when the page first opens - at whatever resolution or window size that person is using.

Information that is "below the fold" becomes visible only if the web user scrolls down the web page. The phrase "above the fold" comes from print newspapers, where you see only what is above the fold when the paper is delivered to your doorstep or is being sold in a vending machine. Newspaper editors know they must put the most important and interesting information above the fold to attract people's attention.

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