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I've read the faq pages, but I see no great difference between the two.

I've read this link but it hardly answers the question:

Web design on Stack Overflow: Why?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

This discussion has been going on for a while between Server Fault and Webmasters.se.

There is potential for a lot of overlap between SF and Webmasters.se so we drew a line in the sand to direct which questions belong where:

Categorising a pro webmaster question is very simple. Consider the following typical scenario: a paid hosting environment (either IIS or Apache, Windows or Linux, whatever).

  • If it's something YOU can do without getting your host involved, then YES it belongs
  • If it's something YOU can't do and need to get your host involved, then NO it's not for pro webmasters and should be closed or migrated

Examples:

  • Help me with this mod_rewrite rule - BELONGS
  • How do I install mod_rewrite - DOES NOT BELONG
  • What is the IIS equivalent of mod_rewrite - DOES NOT BELONG
  • How do I convert this mod_rewrite rule to an IIS rewrite - BELONGS
  • How do I get my server accessible from the internet - DOES NOT BELONG
  • I've broken my internet accessibility by changing the .htaccess - BELONGS

That covers the overlap between SF and webmasters.

Now, take a look at the following questions and tell me if you think you would want them on Stack Overflow:

I didn't think so. None of them are programming code questions in the slightest.

Also, keep in mind that webmasters.se was one of the first SE sites to hit beta, and one of the first to graduate. That means that there is demand in the form of:

  • Committed users
  • Quality questions
  • Great answers

With all of those metrics, it's pretty clear that there is a definite home for webmasters.se in the stack exchange network.

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Webmastering is way, way different from Web Design. The field encompasses programming, HTML and CSS related topics that would fit on SO, but also

  • topics from the field of server administration
  • search engine optimization
  • web applications that assist in the operation of a web site (like Google Analytics)
  • and even finance (like, payment gateways)
  • Domain related questions - procedures, lookups, transfers, i18n domain names, domain ordering, NICs and whois lookups
  • Nameserver questions related to running a web site
  • Hosting questions
  • Online advertising related questions

this is all stuff that can't be asked on SO.

From the webmasters FAQ (emphasis mine):

If your question generally covers the operation of websites which you control, then you’re in the right place to ask your question

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2  
Agreed, but I'm not sure that the FAQ is a good resource. I see many questions migrated to SF, which claims: Server Fault is for system administrators and desktop support professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. –  Arjan Feb 21 '11 at 9:54
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@Arjan that's a good point. Some more detail about what is on-topic might be in order. –  Pëkka Feb 21 '11 at 10:02
    
@Arjan - just because questions are getting migrated to SF doesn't mean they belong there. –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 10:54
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@Farseeker, very true. Still, for example virtualization questions apparently do belong there, no matter who asks them? –  Arjan Feb 21 '11 at 10:58
    
WoW exactly. Between server fault and SO that makes it really hard to pinpoint a use for webmasterexchange. –  Joshua Robison Feb 21 '11 at 14:46
    
@arjan that's false. We migrate or close. LOT of virtualisation questions. Most virtualbox, vmware player and workstation etc. We only deal with xen, vmware server, esx, esxi, and bare metal hypervisors of that sort. –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 19:34
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@Joshua - it's the home for seo, .htaccess, mod_rewrite, punycode, etc. Have you been there and looked at any of the questions? Would you want to see any of them on SO? we sure as hell don't want most of them on SF so this is the logical home for them. –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 19:36
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There is already a definitive meta question for deciding what belongs on webmasters.se - I will post it when I ge to work as I'm writing this on my iPhone ATM. –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 19:37
    
Thanks farseeker. Looking forward to it. –  Joshua Robison Feb 21 '11 at 20:11
    
So surely webmasters SE is covered by both SO and SF? –  Jonathan. Feb 21 '11 at 20:52
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@Jonathan read the list above again. –  Pëkka Feb 21 '11 at 20:53
    
@Pekka: that was a half written comment that I didn't mean to post since I realized I was wrong... I must have pressed Enter by mistake before switching tab :S –  Andreas Bonini Feb 21 '11 at 21:15

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