Before answering look at the following questions:

What is the minimum length of time a proposed site will be in its beta phase? (asked 6 years ago)

Let's set better expectations for how long beta lasts (asked 2 years ago)

Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites (asked 1 year ago)

Replace graduation with an incremental process (asked 1 year ago)

The Real Essential Questions of Every Beta (asked 1 year ago)

And Questions like this - which nearly every Site has:

When will The Workplace Graduate? (asked 3 years ago)

Clearly the issue of graduating a site from Beta to Live has been churning around for quite some while. Reasonable community expectations about the timing of these related process continue to peculate to the surface yet remain largely unaddressed (Really? 6-years!) The links above don't even do this issue justice since many more duplicate questions get asked and shutdown as duplicates:

How long is a proposal expected to be in beta before going live? [duplicate]

Isn't this issue long overdue for some community love? Isn't it time to consider automatic Graduation?

Specifically, can't StackExchange replace its constraint based process that poses criteria for graduating from Beta to Live, a process that assumes sites will FAIL and looks for difficult-to-establish evidence of their success (where evidence of success is hard-to-define), with one that recognizes that most sites that have already made it to Beta are succeeding to some degree, and are well on their way to going Live and instead look for much more tangible evidence of their failure?

The proposal is to have sites automatically graduate to Live after a trial period unless some clear constraints are met that suggest the site is failing.

Instead of a process that punishes new communities with ambiguity and delay, reward them with clarity and certainty.

  • 7
    Graduating a website has the effect that reputation levels that are needed for various privileges change. If there aren't enough people on a site that's not healthy.
    – Christian
    Dec 28, 2016 at 12:37
  • 1
    What constraints are you proposing?
    – Jason C
    Dec 28, 2016 at 13:06
  • The Area 51 site creation will probably be destroyed eventually, as they've basically stopped work on it, and there were mentions of 'Area 52', but it looks like were stuck with this for now.
    – Mithical
    Dec 28, 2016 at 13:22
  • Folks, the proposed solution isn't the issue. The issue is no progress on this in 6 years. Maybe the question should have been: is the status quo good enough?
    – user34445
    Dec 28, 2016 at 15:42
  • 3
    No progress? We have over a dozen sites that have graduated since the implementation of design independent graduation. The reality is that this is a non-issue. Sites graduate when they are deemed ready.
    – Catija
    Dec 29, 2016 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


No, it is not.

There is more than just a hard set of criteria. SE looks at many things, traffic trends, the community itself, whether or not the site is appropriate and sustainable given factors that an algorithm can't easily analyze, if at all. I do not know for sure everything they look at but there is a human factor in graduation decisions that can't go away.

Also, if graduation delays, which are a temporary and one-time thing by the way, damage a community, then that community probably wasn't ready to graduate anyways.

  • If you're going to be critical then, please explain why status quo is fine or pose another solution to fix a broken status quo
    – user34445
    Dec 28, 2016 at 15:53
  • 2
    @user34445 The author of this answer did explain
    – Ramhound
    Dec 28, 2016 at 18:27
  • Thanks. I'm getting hammered here for trying to be constructive. I guess its true: no good deed goes unpunished.
    – user34445
    Dec 28, 2016 at 18:28
  • @user34445 I did explain. But if you want to be constructive you could suggest some actual criteria. As it stands you've stated that you want something to be different but you haven't really put forth an argument why, or suggested alternatives. In thinking about your proposed criteria you may also come to understand why human intervention is required. Also if you think downvotes on meta sites are some form of punishment (I assume that is what you are referring to), you may want to take some time to become more familiar with the system here as well. I assure you, you are not a victim.
    – Jason C
    Dec 28, 2016 at 20:58

I don't see that there is an issue here. You claim that there has been no movement forward in this and yet you ignore design independent graduation, which was implemented in September of 2015.

Design-Independent Graduation is on for early September!

Feedback Requested: Design-Independent Graduation

For so long, site design was holding graduation back and now that is not the case. Since that time, over a dozen sites have graduated to full site status, no longer delayed by backlogs in the art department.

When Stack Exchange Community Managers determine a site is ready, it graduates. If a site thinks it's ready, they can create a meta post on their child meta to discuss it and if the CMs agree, it may be added to the queue.

Additionally, several of the CMs have alluded to upcoming changes to the process in the near future, particularly Robert's answer here for what he'd like to see change in the "graduation" process, which includes getting rid of the concept of graduation.

I don't really see the dire straits you seem to be saying exist. Movement is happening. Change to the process has occurred and will continue to do so.

Several times over the past couple of years I've seen CMs make statements about this process. I've seen one of them say that the metrics for deciding whether a site is "successful" or not has changed a lot since Area 51 started. Now, sites don't get closed for lack of traffic, only failure of moderation between diamond moderators and regular users. If a site is moderated, SE seems to have little interest in closing that site down. A year ago, when design independent graduation was being discussed, one CM even said that, at that time, no sites were in danger of being closed.

They do seem, at this point, to want to restrict which sites are given the distinction of attaining full site status to sites that do meet a certain level of activity, which is fair. Without sufficient user base, a site can have difficulty addressing moderation issues at the higher reputation requirement levels of full site, which means diamond moderators need to be more active than usual.

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