I asked a question, Adaptive/Structured Content Management Systems (10K Only), on Stack Overflow 4 days ago about content management systems, and it was closed and subsequently deleted. I stated the question clearly, gave examples, and provided prior research on my part. While it was closed, I made multiple attempts to improve the question and make it more helpful and relevant to the community. But instead, the question was simply deleted.

I could not understand what was wrong about my question, especially now that it is deleted. I put a lot of thought and effort into the question to make sure it is good. There are many questions on Stack Overflow right now that are off-topic, duplicates, and otherwise of low quality. They still exist.

Is there a way to find out why the question was deleted, and possible vote to have it re-opened? (I know there are possible reasons in the FAQ.) If not, how can someone improve their question and their participation on the site if they are not given proper feedback?

  • 2
    "Quickly"? It took 12 hours to get closed and more than 4 days to get deleted! Some not constructive / too localized questions last mere minutes.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Nov 21, 2012 at 3:35
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    @AaronBertrand "Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality" are deleted (FAQ). My question is not constructive by SO's definition, and sure, it's closed. But was it "extremely off topic" or "very low quality"?
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 3:47
  • That's for the community to decide, not anything I was involved with. And it seems the community has spoken - and I quite agree with @jmort253's assessment. I was merely commenting on the inappropriate adjective you used. :-)
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Nov 21, 2012 at 4:39
  • @AaronBertrand Well, "quickly" is relative and subjective. I was still making edits today, trying hard to make the question better, and boom, I was shut down. To me, it's discouraging because a) it's not like I'm trying to make things worse; I'm actually taking actions to improve and make corrections (...so why delete it?), and b) I wasn't given too much feedback throughout.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 4:47
  • I agree with @jmort253's assessment too, and I am giving chat a try. But closing a question and deleting a question are two different things. The former, I understand why. The latter, not sure.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 4:51

2 Answers 2


The reason your question is not a good question is because of a few different reasons:

The answers about what is the best CMS will change, which makes it too localized:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.

In other words, Stack Overflow posts should be useful to future visitors, and if the best CMS system changes, the post will then contain inaccurate information. As a result, "recommendation" questions are closed here. This doesn't mean they're bad questions, they're just not good questions for Stack Overflow.

Answers as to the best CMS are not constructive

In addition, the question is also not constructive because it's impossible to answer this with facts and references. In short, the answers will most likely be the author's opinion.

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

Again, this doesn't mean it's a bad question, and you can most likely find that it's been asked and answered elsewhere on the Internet. If not you can use Google Trends to compare different CMS's and find the ones that are searched for the most. This may not mean it's the best, but it can mean it's the most popular, which again has no basis in facts.

Questions asking for lists of things, or polls, are not constructive

In your question, you are basically asking for a list of things, which tends to attract a lot of spam, and is also plagued with the localization problem. What's hot today won't be tomorrow.

Hope this helps! For more information and guidance, please see Real Questions Have Answers. Good luck in your search for a good CMS!

  • Thanks for your explanation @jmort253. I know that my question falls into the "polling" category. I am looking for a system that is designed to do what I described. Most CMS I see on the market these days handle content by the page. I have yet to find one that is truly designed for users to design the content type and manage pieces of content instead. I asked it on SO because I seem to have exhausted my search, and thought someone might be able to point me in the right direction.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:16
  • I did not want to find the "best" CMS. I simply wanted to know if there even exists CMS that are designed that way, to manage structured content. And I was surprised by the response I got because I've seen many "polling" questions getting answers without issues. Example: stackoverflow.com/questions/784995/…
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:17
  • Another suggestion is to try one of the chat rooms. You can poll people in chat, but on the Q&A part it's strongly discouraged... and yes, you can find examples of polling questions on Stack Overflow... things do sometimes slip through the cracks. While we do try to be perfect, we aren't. ;) Good luck! :)
    – jmort253
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:22
  • Thanks for your objective and detailed explanation. It was a bit discouraging to see the question being closed and deleted so quickly without specific feedback. I will give chat a try.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:26
  • @andrewap - Yeh, I looked at it a few times to see if maybe I had any helpful advice for you, as it's awesome you want to try to fix the post, but the best I have for you is chat. Hope that works out. ;)
    – jmort253
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:28
  • I was really trying, but got denied, hard... Anyways, you've been the most helpful. Cheers!
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:33
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    @andrewap: Closed and deleted so quickly? It took four days to delete your question. That's more than fair for you to come by and correct it. It was closed quickly because it's not an appropriate question. And we close questions that aren't appropriate; if you fix them, we will reopen them too. Nov 21, 2012 at 2:34
  • @NicolBolas I was surprised that my question was deleted. There are many closed questions in SO that stay closed but not deleted. I don't think my question was so bad and not constructive to the point where it needs to be deleted within four days. Based on the types of question I see open in SO, I felt that the deletion was unexpected.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 2:44
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    @NicolBolas It would have been fair if I was given specific and helpful explanation as to why it was closed (like what jmort253 gave) and how to make it better. I received none. Even so, I made multiple attempts to improve my question after it was closed. The result: deletion.
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2012 at 2:46
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    "This doesn't mean they're bad questions, they're just not good questions for Stack Overflow." I don't know if you coined that, but it's a keeper.
    – Benjol
    Nov 21, 2012 at 9:05
  • @Benjol - I don't think I can take credit for that. One of the community managers came up with that one, or maybe it was Jeff. I can't remember, but it's true. There are many great questions that just aren't great for Stack Exchange, so no hard feelings to anyone who mistakenly posts one of them in good-faith. :)
    – jmort253
    Nov 21, 2012 at 15:48

Your question was

I am looking for a content management system (CMS) that ...

Stack Overflow is not about recommendations or assist you in searching the web. It is about programming question and should be about a specific programming problem or algorythm or about a problem with a programming tool.

And not for recommendations which tool to use.

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