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I asked a question (1095) and Jeff Atwood told me it was too much of a programming question. Fair dos. Perhaps I have misunderstood what a webmaster is. What actually is a webmaster? I thought it was someone who was trying to master a website?

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Also, see the FAQ:

Pro Webmasters - Stack Exchange is for professional and enthusiast webmasters. If your question generally covers the operation of websites which you control, then you're in the right place to ask your question!

If your question is about …

  • Programming, ask on Stack Overflow.
  • Networking, servers, or maintaining other people's PCs and contains no source code, ask on Server Fault.
  • General computer software or hardware troubleshooting, ask on Super User.
  • Web design and HTML/CSS layout, and your job title is "designer", ask on Doctype.
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Well, I consider myself a webmaster, in the sense that we run many websites, and I am obviously also a programmer.

I'd say it's easier to ask "is a question only programmers would care about?" and for your specific question, that is definitely true.

In other words, your question should have been more about validating the HTML and not so much validating the PHP.

(I could see a JavaScript type question being much more of a grey area, by the way -- certainly you might want to pretty-format and generically validate the JavaScript you serve as a webmaster without technically being a programmer.)

  • Thanks Jeff - "is a question only programmers would care about?" makes it clear for me. Not that real programmers care much about PHP. snigger. I really only asked that question here because I wanted to support the new site and I wondered whether it was relevant. Now I know. – Tom Jul 19 '10 at 8:18
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Pure programming question have been defined as off-topic for this site. The main reason is that there is StackOverflow and your question fits more in the site definition of StackOverflow then here. This site is more aimed at everything that is related to websites that isn't only about programming languages.

To answer your question, a webmaster is often defined as a jack of all trade. It's someone that can do coding, knows about SEO, can setup servers, etc. Your question fits in what a webmaster should be able to do, but it doesn't fit in the site definition and there is an other site where you will be more likely to get better answers.

I can suggest you to look at the other existing websites of the Trilogy (StackOverflow, ServerFault and SuperUser) so that next time you will be able to ask your question at the right place.

  • Thanks for your advice and feedback - It cleared it up for me :-) – Tom Jul 19 '10 at 8:13
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When my title was "webmaster" I had to deal with a ton of content related stuff in addition to the coding, server build/maintenance, and day-to-day business operation of the site. Suprising that content related questions haven't popped up to date. Also, a big part of the heartburn caused by being a webmaster is clients/coworkers...suprised that those questions haven't popped up. Perhaps I should seed a few questions in that arena....

Ironically, even now that I do UI and Application-related coding, I still get the company's content assignments (albeit less frequently) They seem to cause 95% of my problems!

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