Under the fold?

What does the phrase “under the fold” mean when positioning layout?

Say I have a right column and the contents are are said to be “under the fold” and placed in a more important position, would that go towards the header or the footer?

I understand the phrase to mean it should be on the lower half of the page layout, but how is that a prominent and more important position.

The term comes from the world of newspapers. The top half of the newpaper is above the fold and where the important bits go. The parts under the fold are less important because they aren’t seen until people pick up the newspaper and turn it over.

In case you didn’t guess, under the fold is a derogatory term that means that the information isn’t seen until people actively take steps to see it.

In terms of a web page, under the fold means that which is not seen on the screen, commonly the parts of the website that are lower down and require the user to scroll in order to see them.

That’s right, and unlike in the dead-tree publishing business, there’s absolutely no way whatsoever to know where the ‘fold’ is in a web browser.

‘Below the fold’ on a web page usually means ‘so far down the page that most people will probably have to scroll to see it’.

As AutisticCuckoo says, there’s no way to know exactly where the ‘fold’ is in a web browser, but if you can make some assumptions. Even if you know what screen resolution most of your viewers are using, you don’t know how many toolbars they have that crowd the area left for the web page. If you really want to be “above the fold” then you need to make some pretty conservative assumptions.

It isn’t. Elements of less importance should go “below the fold”.