I am a moderator at Server Fault, and I have come to seek your advice on whether certain classes of questions can be asked at, or migrated to, Webmasters.

In particular I am concerned with questions regarding web hosting control panels, which the SF community is opposed to having for a variety of reasons. The questions fall into a few general classes:

  1. Questions from end users who have a shared web hosting account and need help configuring or managing it via the service provider's control panel. Sample questions in this class may involve (this is not exhaustive):

    • Creating subdomains or databases through the control panel
    • Uploading files or taking backups
    • Diagnosing errors, where the error logs are provided via the control panel
  2. Questions from users with a reseller or admin access to the control panel, who are hosting their own web sites or sites of their own personal clients. These are typically hosted on a VPS or dedicated server. Sample questions in this class may involve (again, not an exhaustive list):

    • Reconfiguring Apache or PHP to add or remove functionality through the control panel's interface (e.g. EasyApache)
    • Creating and managing cPanel/WHM user accounts for clients
    • Configuring security and firewall settings via the control panel

To save you a bit of reading (and a long drama-filled tangent) the primary reason that the SF community does not want these questions is that these web hosting control panels turn ordinary servers into unique snowflakes which are difficult or impossible to support except within the web hosting industry and by the control panel vendors.

Since there seems to be a close intersection between the web hosting industry and Webmasters, I thought that you may want some or all of questions of this type, either asked originally or migrated here. Would some or all such questions be accepted here?

  • 2
    To be clear, I am perfectly happy whether the answer is yes, yes in part, or no to all. I am fine with telling people that there is no home on Stack Exchange for such questions and they should seek vendor support. I am also fine with sending a bunch of new users your way, who have never heard of Webmasters before. Apr 11, 2015 at 0:41
  • Some of those sound like they would be on-topic here and some of those would not. If it is about a website, then it would likely be OK. We would probably close "How do I create a database through cPanel" but allow "How do I create a database for my website through cPanel". Apr 11, 2015 at 0:46
  • 2
    The fact that it's being created through cPanel to begin with means it's for their web site; cPanel's sole purpose is to allow users to easily manage their web sites. Though I'm quite sure you don't want SQL questions, and I don't propose to send such questions here anyway. Apr 11, 2015 at 0:52
  • With respect. cPanel and others are not just for websites, though generally, that is how they are used. Sometimes they are used just for fast server management. In fact, it is not uncommon that they are used in enterprise functions not related to the web. This is due to how well developed these options have become. For example, WebMin makes enterprise management simple and remote. No need to enter the computer room and stand at a keyboard- all can be done from your desk.
    – closetnoc
    Apr 11, 2015 at 2:41
  • @closetnoc Webmin is probably not a good example and I don't recall ever bringing it up. It's not quite in the same category here. Apr 11, 2015 at 3:05
  • It may not be. You could be right. It too is a control panel though cPanel is far more popular. We get Webmin and cPanel questions here- far more cPanel because webhosts use that the most. I just know that Webmin is reaching into the enterprise environment and I assume cPanel is also likely doing so too. And that was my point. I see these control panels used heavily in research- mostly because scientists do not make the best server admins and money does not always permit IT personnel. ;-) I was just saying that they are not only used for web.
    – closetnoc
    Apr 11, 2015 at 3:22
  • @closetnoc Webmin, probably not. It's a more general tool that just happens to also have some functionality for managing web sites. But cPanel really doesn't have any other purpose than to manage web sites. Apr 11, 2015 at 3:33
  • I will take your word for it. I am semi-retired and saw Webmin take a different turn in the last decade. I stand corrected. For what it is worth, we do get a lot of cPanel questions here. As Stephen Ostermiller says, as long as it is about a website or in relation to a website, I imagine you cannot go wrong. I appreciate your asking! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Apr 11, 2015 at 3:39


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