On a lot of sites, the first section of the Help Center looks like this:

screen shot from Community Building

When I go to a site's help center it's almost always to find out what's on-topic there, because I'm considering asking or migrating a question. Leading with what not to ask seems odd to me, and I suspect that to someone not already familiar with SE it could be a little off-putting.

It's not always like this, though; here on MSE we get this, which I've seen on some other sites too:

screen shot from MSE

That ordering makes a lot more sense to me. It's also consistent with the tour. (Maybe "how do I ask a good question?" should also be "above the fold", in the top five somewhere.)

Why the difference?

Can we either make the order consistent across the network and more logical, or give users or moderators the ability to change the order on their sites?

  • 1
    I often end-up on the wrong topic if I navigate to on topic via that page because my muscle memory want me to click the 3rd item...anyway: are they maybe ordered in the sequence they are pinned?
    – rene
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 22:00
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    Huh? Didn't even know that varies by site. I thought the on-topic page was the top item in every help center. Weird. Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 22:22
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    I agree with you. Last January I raised a similar request on the Gardening and Landscaping meta. My top priority is moving "How do I ask a good question?" into the top section, since it's where I most frequently send new users. (It's 3rd from the bottom.) Would you allow me to piggyback that onto your request? According to this MSE post, certain Help Center pages may be customizable if a case is made to SE devs/Community Managers/employees on a per-site meta. Does that help you at all? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 21:15
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    @Sue thanks for the suggestion. See my edit; I've tried to fold your concern in. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 2:08
  • Thank you so much for understanding my concern and adding it in with yours. I couldn't ask for more! Your kindness is appreciated! :) Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 3:16
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    @Sue you were right to point out that there's a broader issue, so thanks for that. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 3:18
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    I'm just wondering where this request stands. Does anyone in the management community have a minute to let me know if it's under consideration? Thanks! Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:42
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    @Sue sorry we missed this before, but I've now finally answered
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Short answer is "ask a CM."

Longer answer is that display order for help center pages is kind of a side effect. There is no tool specifically for choosing the order of these, it depends on what was pinned most recently, and also edited most recently, which is sometimes mod-editable depending on the page, but probably not for all pages....

Without checking any code, I would guess that when the new site setup process runs, the pages are all generated in the same order (the "good" order) by default, but then sometimes when we go customizing in there we unintentionally knock things out of alignment. If you see this, just ping one of us.


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