Webmastering tends to involve a healthy dose of both programming and system administration. Where should we draw the line between what belongs on here, and what gets migrated to Stack Overflow or Server Fault?


4 Answers 4


Don't draw that line at all, if you want to build up a community of webmasters. You will only annoy people and dilute the site's expertise. Continually removing questions which are perfectly legitimate questions for webmasters to other sites, just because they are also appropriate for other sites as well, is a sure way to destroy the community and annoy people.

  • You say that, but then should we really be moving all questions tagged with a web-based tag on StackOverflow onto here - ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby-on-Rails, etc? I think allowing those questions on here will have an impact on both communities. Jul 9, 2010 at 6:23
  • 6
    @Zhaph: I am not suggesting that. I am suggesting the opposite of that. I am suggesting that we do not move questions from one site to another unnecessarily.
    – Kinopiko
    Jul 9, 2010 at 6:55
  • 1
    and yet, any hard-core programming problem clearly doesn't belong here -- it's sort of the distinction between "scripting" for Server Fault and "programming" for Stack Overflow Jul 11, 2010 at 3:24
  • 3
    I think you'd be mad to move questions like "What could cause my Perl CGI script to have a 500 error?" to stackoverflow. I'm also scared of the site being infested with Wikipedia or meta.stackoverflow.com-style busybodies, moving stuff around, renaming it, and voting to delete for spurious reasons, just because they enjoy doing that.
    – Kinopiko
    Jul 11, 2010 at 4:43
  • 1
    I see the value in accepting as broad a definition of webmaster-related content as possible here, but I also think there are questions that are clearly sysadmin rather than webmaster. e.g. webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/571/… This kind of question is beyond the day-to-day expertise (and requirements) of most webmasters, being a network file server question, and would likely languish here cluttering the site.
    – JasonBirch
    Jul 11, 2010 at 5:00
  • 1
    I completely agree. Some people just enjoy too much picking on other peoples questions and answers. After all what is this site for? To get stuff done. To find answers. To help other people with problems similar to your own. And nobody will steal StackOverflow's thunder. That site is simply too huge for anything to affect it. In the end the questions that matter (the good ones) are made by people who usually are intelligent enough to find the right place to ask their question.
    – Omar Kohl
    Jul 12, 2010 at 10:31
  • It makes sense to add a comment that the user will likely get a quicker response at the most appropriate site. I don't see the point in forcibly moving any questions that fall into the scope of a web master. Let the user who posted the question make the determination.
    – JMC
    May 20, 2011 at 20:29

From the respective FAQ pages:

Webmasters: 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!

ServerFault: Server Fault is for system administrators and IT professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. If you are in charge of …

  • servers
  • networks
  • many desktop PCs (other than your own) … then you're in the right place to ask your question! Well, as long as the question is about your servers, your networks, or desktops you support, anyway

StackOverflow: Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • matters that are unique to the programming profession … then you're in the right place to ask your question!

Some coding questions relate to operating a website - a question about .htaccess I can see here. Questions about jQuery don't have anything to do with operating a website though. Similarly, the distinction for ServerFault seems pretty clear to me as well.


I would entertain anything that is asked in the context of being a web master. For instance, trying to narrow down a HTTP 500 result is a perfectly valid question to ask here (in my opinion). Its common to see this when trying to install scripts and applications.

For instance, it could be that the .htaccess for the re-writes are just conflicting with the overrides in the main web server config. I don't think we should ship those people to SF or SO without diagnosing the issue, and if we're going to go that far, we may as well just answer their question.

Given this site, Web Apps, SO and SF, there is bound to be some overlap.


I agree that there's a clear and valuable distinction between mastering a website and writing one. I don't want web programmers to run rampant; those questions belong elsewhere.

However, closing all of those questions feels like too much of a dead end.

I find myself wishing we could move questions to the appropriate stackexchange, or perhaps cross-post them with a reputation bias.

  • 3
    Perhaps it would be helpful to write down the distinction between mastering and writing. It might help everyone to have a common goal. Jul 9, 2010 at 16:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .