This site is being flooded with off-topic questions about building web apps. Unfortunately, these off-topic questions are being upvoted a lot. These are clearly not questions about webmastering, they are questions about web app development, which could go on stackoverflow.com or a site specifically about web app development.


Which minimum browser or screen resolution should I target my web apps?


Web Application Design - Good reading materials?

Advantages/disadvantages of "separated" web applications

How would you establish user credibility for your web app?

How can I decide if I should roll my own software or use a packaged CMS (and appropriate plugins)?

Also, almost all of these questions are sort of vague, unanswerable "what on earth should I do now?" blah blah discussion questions, which I thought was what we were trying to avoid with these stackexchange question and answer sites.

Also there is a proposal languishing in Area 51 about web design. I went to Area 51 to make the proposal but it's already there:


4 Answers 4


I can see that some of those questions - like establishing user credibility for a web app, reading about web app design, or asking about advantages/disadvantages of a "separated" application - are development things and probably would find a better home on SO or Doctype. But some of the other examples you've posted are relevant to the process of choosing a CMS or web app to create some site, then tweaking its design and/or functionality to suit requirements, which is often a major component of a webmaster's job. So for instance, asking about open-source engines for a jobs site, or deciding whether to write custom software vs. a packaged CMS, seems reasonably on-topic to me. Those are webmastery-type questions. (In the latter case, of course, if the questioner decided to go with custom software, any further questions should probably be directed at SO)

  • Yeah, OK this was a bit of a random attack but a lot of these questions are "blah" questions which are only getting asked here because they'd be closed on stackoverflow.com.
    – Kinopiko
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 7:15

Where do we draw the line? I asked a question about embedding the Quicktime player in HTML. Does this classify as webmastery?

Some of those topics I believe are very webmastery, such as rolling-your-own or going with an off-the-shelf product, establishing credibility, etc. They're the kinds of questions I would ask anyway.

Once you start asking questions about specific technology or development, this may be out of the scope, but it's hard to know.

  • If you are asking how to embed quicktime in HTML, then that is a programming question and belongs on SO. Commented Jul 25, 2010 at 0:02
  • I wasn't asking about how to do it, I was asking about what I perceived as a bug with it. But how is doing stuff in HTML not webmastery? Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 2:14
  • Programming is a subset of webmastery, and such topics are funneled to SO for programmers to see. Most programmers are not going to see overall website + server maintenance issues.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 16:39

Would you consider this question as falling into that category? I thought it was very much on topic.

Part of being a webmaster means installing / customizing and sometimes even modifying various things for your users to interact with. A few years ago, we just called them scripts , now we're calling them webapps.

I don't think we should categorically blacklist questions just because they happen to deal with web apps. If the question is about extending the functionality of a site, asking for already invented wheels to accomplish [objective], etc .. it should probably be permitted, so long as the context of the question is clearly running and maintaining a web site.

I.e. "I'm trying to install Wordpress and keep getting this error" is fine by me, even if the Wordpress SE site launches. We already overlap somewhat with other trilogy sites, how is that any different?

I did indeed vote to close most of the questions that you posted, because they were more of a discussion than anything .. making their topic rather incidental.


This is funny as I asked the user credibility question on "Web Applications" StackExchange site, and it got closed with the claim that I should ask it on "Pro Webmasters" SE site. So I did. Now you're claiming it doesn't fit here as well. Perhaps there should be a systematic way in the Stack Exchange world to transfer questions to their appropriate site by the community, vote to move to X or what have you.

  • There are no close votes on your question at all. While it does give a web app as an example, the question describes a problem that anyone running a web site has to deal with.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 13:14
  • Question migration will only come once the site leaves beta and becomes a fully fledged member of the Stack Exchange system.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 20:31

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