There are a lot of questions put on hold, and because of good reasons.
Maybe we should make the rules clearer? I see every day at least 1 or 2 new questions put on hold.
I agree that they could be much clearer, potentially reducing the number of questions put on hold, and confusion for new (and even more experienced) users.
As suggested in this Meta answer:
Our site gets a lot of low quality or ostensibly off-topic questions. How can I fix this?
If your site is having issues with its scope—whether it's from confused users or otherwise—propose clarifying or amending your site's Help Center...
Although the heading there reads:
What topics can I ask about, it's more of a (lengthy) list for what you can't ask about.
What is considered off-topic for this site.
The list there itself is also confusing. Some things that should be clarified are:
Web sites out of your control is off-topic, but so is:
Specific to only your site, leaving the user to wonder if their question is about a site they "control", but not too "specific" to that site...
The former should be clarified to:
Websites you are not the webmaster, developer, or owner of and the latter to:
Would not be applicable to other sites. The text description for these should also be clarified to further denote the difference between these two.
Recommendations for sites and resources is one of the most common reasons for putting questions on hold, so it should be raised to the top of the list there.
Usage of web browsers and other software is another confusing issue: websites are accessed through web browsers, and consequently testing, managing, and debugging sites are also done using web browsers. Therefore we should edit this to just:
Usage of software that's not related to running a website
Content management systems (CMSs) indicates that there are other Stack Exchange sites for WordPress, Drupal, Magento, etc..., however there are many questions about these already here, and they're extensively used in a large percentage of websites.
Therefore the text description for this should be changed to indicate that there are other more specialized Stack Exchange sites that might be able to better answer advanced questions about these, so if they're not related to common webmasters tasks (e.g., SEO, URL management, etc...), they might be migrated to those sites.
System and network administration contains a reference to directing questions about "Apache configuration" to Server Fault. This should instead be changed to read: "server installation and maintenance" since we have and receive many questions on Apache and other web server configurations in regards to a host of different webmaster tasks.
This last off-topic reason should be more fully discussed and voted on in another Meta question, which I plan to ask shortly, and have already discussed with Community Team members.
As defined in Wikipedia for Webmasters:
In the same vein, questions about server-side scripting languages in relationship to websites should also be on-topic since they're routinely used by webmasters.
Lastly, the link for What topics can I ask about here? should be added to the
How to Ask text box on the right-side of the question forms appearing under the
Ask Question tab, so that it's more visible to users, rather than having to click on additional links in order see this. It might also be added to moderator close reasons instead of just the link to the Help Center, so they're can become aware of all the reasons why a question might be put on hold (often times we'll have users continue to ask different off-topic questions).
In summary, if we clarify what's considered on & off-topic for the site, make that easier to see, and increase the scope of the site to match the definition of what webmasters do, then we'll likely not only have fewer questions put on hold, but more of them, which may help to fuel activity and participation on the site too.
No matter how perfect the help center text is or can be, it is rarely read by users and even less so before they ask a low quality question. So updating it, while being worthwhile and helpful, will not stop questions from being closed.
I'd also like to point out this is normal. Every site in the Stack Exchange world experiences closed questions every day. And this increases as the site grows and attracts new users (who don't read the help center before posting) and there are more questions for there to be duplicates of.
So this site is normal in the fact that it regularly has closed questions.