We need to come up with things specific to WordPress that need to be mentioned in the faq.

If you look at SuperUser's FAQ, you will notice that it lists things that are on topic and things that are off topic.

Here's an example of the template we might use:

{site-name} is for expert and advanced users of WordPress. If you have a question about …

  • {on-topic-examples}

and it is not about …

  • {off-topic-examples}

Please submit suggestions for things to be listed in the {on-topic-examples} and {off-topic-examples} sections above.

Vote up based on whether or not you agree with the example.
For example, if someone writes "This site is not about computer software" and you agree, vote it up (not down), since "is not" was used. Conversely, if someone wrote "this site is about computer software" and you don't agree with it, then you should vote it down.

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Enter a single bullet you would like to see in the FAQ per answer. This will help the voting process.
  • Specify if your suggestion is on-topic or off-topic.
  • This isn't the same as the Area 51 on-topic/off-topic questions. It should be more like what you see in the SuperUser.com FAQ (e.g. "This site is not about videogames or consoles").
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Tricky stuff!!! –  User Aug 16 '10 at 18:11
    
Could you make this question community-wiki please? This is the custom for these kind of discussion-questions. –  Jan Fabry Aug 16 '10 at 19:20
    
Jan, great point. I'd love to, but am not sure how to. Suggestions? –  tnorthcutt Aug 16 '10 at 22:46
    
Edit -> Community wiki (checkbox just below the post editor) –  Thomas McDonald Aug 16 '10 at 22:59
    
Thanks, and done! –  tnorthcutt Aug 17 '10 at 2:42
    
I do not understand something , the superuser FAQ clearly say that questions should not be about wordpress.. also, there is this site here(and stackoverflow) - why would it be necessarily to use the superuser ? –  krembo99 Dec 14 '11 at 3:31
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11 Answers 11

FAQ Draft

What kind of questions can I ask here?

WordPress - Stack Exchange is for WordPress developers and administrators to ask questions about:

  • theme and plugin development
  • choice of themes and plugins
  • development and management best practices
  • server configuration for WordPress

Note that we do not handle questions:

  • not specific to WordPress (even if they happen in its context):

    • blogging and managing sites in general - try Pro Webmasters
    • generic PHP/MySQL/CSS/JavaScript/jQuery/TinyMCE issues and development - try StackOverflow
    • generic server configuration and administration - try ServerFault
  • that require professional hands-on involvement:

    • overly complex and specific things (known as work for me for free)
    • recovering from hacks and server issues
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Consider adopting SuperUser-style phrasing for the on/off-topic sections: instead of, "We handle questions about...Note that we do not handle..." try: "If you have a question about … And it is not about … then you're in the right place!" Also consider just leaving the audience defined in general terms (devs / admins / editors / etc.) and using the on/off-topic lists to hone the scope. I've edited to demonstrate what I'm talking about. –  Shog9 Oct 9 '11 at 20:00
    
@Shog9 I like it. –  marfarma Oct 10 '11 at 22:01
    
I moved current version live. –  Rarst Oct 11 '11 at 10:52
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On-topic: If the question is about developing or extending a plugin or theme

From the proposed definition:

If you write plugins or themes, or administer your own WordPress site then this is the site for you.

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If you write plugins or themes and have WP_DEBUG enabled. –  Max Yudin Feb 22 '13 at 6:56
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On-topic: If the question is about administrating the WordPress sites you host

From the proposed definition:

If you write plugins or themes, or administer your own WordPress site then this is the site for you.

I added the sites you host to make the difference between sites hosted on WP.com and others, but could this cause confusion for all the people that rent server space from a hoster, and which we welcome?

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I think that could cause confusion. Not to mention, people who administer sites hosted on wordpress.com could very easily have questions (and answers) that would be valuable contributions here. –  tnorthcutt Aug 17 '10 at 14:26
    
If they are wordpress.com super-admins, it is on-topic, if not, it belongs on webapps. –  Arlen Beiler Aug 17 '10 at 16:14
    
administer seems clumsy word... On hosting - maybe "WordPress sites you host or have hosted for you". –  Rarst Oct 7 '11 at 6:37
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Off-topic: questions about CSS, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, etc. that do not directly relate to WordPress; in other words: questions that can be answered solely in terms of the scripting or markup language.

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As I may add, there's a tag on the Original Stack overflow about wordpress. So wordpress programming should be on SO and administration questions should be here on WPSA. –  Fredy31 Nov 29 '11 at 15:25
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Off-topic: General questions about blogging or content creation, especially questions that are entirely CMS-agnostic.

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That's what I think to be included in FAQ before WPSE will become the regular webmaster's meeting point not the place where solutions are raising.

Before asking the question:

  • Important: Write your question three times using pen and napkin but not in a text editor. Read it aloud in two minutes. Does it sounds like what you want to ask about? Repeat again. Shake, not stir.
  • RTFM before.
  • Google for the problem before.
  • Enable WP_DEBUG and error_reporting(E_ALL) before. Include it's output important parts to your question if not already solved after this.
  • Turn plugins on and off and switch the theme.
  • Don't paste wallpapers here. Paste only essential parts of the code though it have to be rewritten a bit. Don't paste wp_header(), wp_footer(), all nested DIV-s and CSS classes to avoid clutter.
  • Imaginatively tag your question and search WPSE for these tags. Explore what these tags means. HTML tag and WordPress tag both are tags though both are far to similar.
  • Explore Markdown syntax before asking. By the way, there is preview below and Help button.

Third-party products:

  • Ask developer and his community before asking here.
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Probably a bit less snark, but the content is spot-on. :) –  Chip Bennett Feb 22 '13 at 15:01
    
Dealing with RTFM comments –  brasofilo Feb 25 '13 at 10:40
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Off-topic: If the question is about your blog on WordPress.com

This seemed to be the consensus of the definition phase. But of course, a consensus can change.

I moved this debate to a separate question, so we can use more than just comments to come to a conclusion.

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I'm repeating myself somewhat (see my comment on administering sites you host), but I think people who administer sites hosted on wordpress.com could very easily have questions (and answers) that would be valuable contributions here. –  tnorthcutt Aug 17 '10 at 14:26
    
Yes and no. And I'd err on the side of directing WP.com users back to Automattic. There's a lot you can do with a self-hosted site that you can't do on wp.com ... I know I've given a lot of "bad" advice in the past because I didn't realize how little control you have over a wp.com site (Elancer.com failed me on their "product knowledge" test ... which I actually found a bit hillarious). While there might be some good Q&A from WP.com users, we might end up confusing a lot of people unnecessarily ... –  EAMann Aug 17 '10 at 15:34
    
In practice wordpress.com questions work just fine, except those that are clearly meant for support. –  Rarst Oct 7 '11 at 6:38
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Off-topic: "My site is broken; please help!"

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This is more about form than essence. Broken things are fine. What is not fine is needing urgent help (got hacked) or help with situation that is best handled by professional and not in QA form. –  Rarst Oct 7 '11 at 6:43
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I started new question and forgot to check for older ones on same topic. Since a lot of time has passed let's bump and revisit this.

What topics are welcome?

  • theme and plugin development

What topics are better covered elsewhere?

  • pure CSS issues
  • looking for job or people to hire

What topics might or might not make sense?

  • wordpress.com
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On-topic: questions about WordPress-specific CSS, WordPress-specific PHP practices and coding standards, WordPress implementation of stylesheets, scripts, etc.

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Agreed that this is in scope, but I think this is implied. By listing this explicitly we can confuse about other aspects of WP that are also in scope, but not listed. –  Rarst Oct 7 '11 at 6:42
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Off-topic: bug reports and general support questions for WordPress core, Plugins, or Themes.

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I think this is a little too vague to be in FAQ. Where is a line between general and non-general? Between something working in weird way and a bug? Some questions suited for community wiki can purposedly be very general. –  Rarst Oct 7 '11 at 6:40
    
I'd say core is not off topic. Discussing a core ticket should happen on trac, but here it's much more seamless and maybe enchancing core would attract more people if it's a) bound to rep points and b) seamless (trac wiki markup s**ks). –  kaiser Oct 17 '11 at 23:12
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