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The August 2015 announcement Design-Independent Graduation is on for early September! says that there are 2 phases after a site has graduated:

Phase 1

The Community Team announces that a site is cleared for graduation. Without delay...

  • the beta label is removed
  • elections are held
  • migration paths are set up
  • community ads are run

Phase 2

Then, as it becomes available:

  • the site gets their custom design.
  • privilege thresholds are increased to graduated site levels

In further updates from staff in later years, it's been made clear that a custom design and increased privilege thresholds are no longer tied together, so Phase 2 has been essentially split into two, and also that mod elections and formal graduation are no longer tied together, so Phase 1 has also been essentially split.

How long do subsequent phases occur after the site has graduated? In other words, how long does it take for a site to get its own unique design, increased privileges threshold, and mod elections, after it has launched?

Is there a post that lists the timing between the phases for past graduated sites?

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1 Answer 1

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Sources used for this answer:

  • Graduation dates: Area 51 or SE API.
  • Design dates and increased privilege dates: the site's meta for announcements of new designs.
  • Full mod election dates: the list of elections found at /election on every site, plus some digging to understand if they're pro-tem or full elections.

Increased privilege thresholds

These are no longer applied for newly graduating sites, unless a site specifically asks for it. This was confirmed on 27 February 2023, and only two sites (Anime & Manga and Code Golf and Coding Challenges, both in 2019) were given increased privilege thresholds since 2016. The full list of recently (since 2015) graduating sites with increased privilege thresholds is as follows. All of them got both a design and increased privilege thresholds on the same day.

Site Graduation Design and increased privileges Duration Link(s)
Blender 2015-06-16 2016-01-28 7 months Link
Network Engineering 2015-06-23 2015-06-23 same day Link
Cryptography 2015-06-30 2015-12-21 6 months Link
Code Review 2015-07-14 2015-11-25 4 months Link
Computer Science 2015-08-18 2016-02-01 5 months Link
Anime & Manga 2015-08-25 2019-04-30 44 months Link
Magento 2015-09-01 2016-02-26 6 months Link
English Language Learners 2015-09-08 2016-02-25 6 months Link
Music: Practice & Theory 2015-09-09 2016-03-30 7 months Link
Software Recommendations 2015-09-09 2016-04-22 7 months Link
Japanese Language 2015-09-09 2016-06-08 9 months Link
Worldbuilding 2015-11-16 2016-05-17 6 months Link
Emacs 2015-11-16 2016-05-24 6 months Link
Aviation 2015-11-16 2016-07-01 7 months Link
Signal Processing 2015-11-16 2016-10-05 11 months Link
Raspberry Pi 2015-11-17 2015-11-17 same day Link
Code Golf & Coding Challenges 2016-02-23 2019-06-11 same day Link
Puzzling 2016-05-04 2016-05-04 same day Link

Site design and full moderator elections

This is an incomplete list, made community wiki in case anyone wishes to add to it. The sites are sorted by graduation date, then by design date (if applicable), then by name in alphabetical order.

The duration confirms that "it varies". The sites with '?' are still waiting for their design or full moderator elections. The date in the election column is the start date (so "-2 weeks" indicates an election whose end coincided with the graduation date) of the first attempted full election (regardless of whether or not it had enough candidates to actually run as an election - seven sites, Spanish and Bioinformatics and Joomla and Mathematics Educators and Stellar and Tor and Tridion, haven't had successful full elections yet, but attempts were made so those dates are included in the table). The last column is a link to the announcement of the design.

Prior to 24 May 2022, site design and increased privileges always occurred on the same day, as they were considered part of the same phase of site graduation, unless the site had a design to begin with (due to a site sponsorship). Prior to 30 April 2018, all moderator elections were full mod elections, as pro-tem elections for not-yet-graduated sites started for the first time in 2018.

Site Graduation Design Duration Election began Duration Link(s)
Blender 2015-06-16 2016-01-28 7 months 2016-06-01 12 months Link
Network Engineering 2015-06-23 2015-06-23 same day 2015-06-01 -3 weeks Link
Cryptography 2015-06-30 2015-12-21 6 months 2015-06-15 -2 weeks
Code Review 2015-07-14 2015-11-25 4 months 2015-06-29 -2 weeks
Computer Science 2015-08-18 2016-02-01 5 months 2016-08-03 12 months
Anime & Manga 2015-08-25 2019-04-30 44 months 2015-08-10 -2 weeks Link
Magento 2015-09-01 2016-02-26 6 months 2015-08-17 -2 weeks
English Language Learners 2015-09-08 2016-02-25 6 months 2015-08-24 -2 weeks
Music: Practice & Theory 2015-09-09 2016-03-30 7 months 2015-11-09 2 months
Software Recommendations 2015-09-09 2016-04-22 7 months 2015-11-30 2 months
Japanese Language 2015-09-09 2016-06-08 9 months 2015-11-02 2 months
Worldbuilding 2015-11-16 2016-05-17 6 months 2016-02-01 3 months
Emacs 2015-11-16 2016-05-24 6 months 2016-02-08 3 months
Aviation 2015-11-16 2016-07-01 7 months 2016-03-14 4 months
Signal Processing 2015-11-16 2016-10-05 11 months 2016-03-07 4 months
Raspberry Pi 2015-11-17 2015-11-17 same day 2015-12-07 <1 month
Code Golf & Coding Challenges 2016-02-23 2019-06-11 39 months 2016-03-21 1 month Link
Puzzling 2016-05-04 2016-05-04 same day 2016-07-11 2 months
Law 2016-07-06 ? 2016-07-18 <1 month
Philosophy 2016-07-06 2022-09-16 74 months 2016-07-25 <1 month Link
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair 2016-09-13 2022-08-10 71 months 2016-10-10 1 month Link
Quantitative Finance 2016-12-12 2023-03-30 75 months 2017-02-06 2 months Link
Ethereum 2017-06-26 2022-07-14 61 months 2017-07-03 <1 month Link
Data Science 2017-07-10 2022-08-10 61 months 2017-07-31 <1 month Link
Arduino 2017-07-17 2022-07-12 60 months 2017-08-14 1 month Link
Bitcoin 2017-10-09 2022-09-16 59 months 2017-10-16 <1 month Link
Spanish Language 2019-08-01 2022-09-22 37 months 2020-10-05 14 months Link
French Language 2019-08-01 2022-09-30 37 months 2020-05-25 9 months Link
German Language 2019-08-01 2022-09-30 37 months 2020-11-16 15 months Link
Sound Design 2019-08-01 2022-12-14 40 months Link
Chess 2019-08-01 2023-04-14 44 months Link
Gardening and Landscaping 2019-08-01 2023-04-13 44 months 2021-09-13 25 months Link
Writing 2019-08-01 2023-04-13 44 months 2021-11-01 27 months Link
Islam 2019-08-01 2023-08-23 48 months 2021-06-28 22 months Link
Biblical Hermeneutics 2019-08-01 ?
Board & Card Games 2019-08-01 ? 2021-10-18 26 months
Bricks 2019-08-01 ? 2021-09-27 25 months
Computational Science 2019-08-01 ? 2021-11-01 27 months
Chinese Language 2019-08-01 ? 2020-06-29 10 months
History 2019-08-01 ? 2020-10-19 14 months
Homebrewing 2019-08-01 ?
Linguistics 2019-08-01 ? 2021-08-23 24 months
Martial Arts 2019-08-01 ? 2021-10-04 26 months
Parenting 2019-08-01 ? 2020-05-25 9 months
Physical Fitness 2019-08-01 ? 2021-08-09 24 months
Poker 2019-08-01 ? 2021-09-27 25 months
Project Management 2019-08-01 ? 2021-08-02 24 months
Psychology and Neuroscience 2019-08-01 ? 2021-09-20 25 months
Russian Language 2019-08-01 ? 2021-11-01 27 months
Software Testing & Quality Assurance 2019-08-01 ? 2021-09-20 25 months
Sports 2019-08-01 ? 2020-06-01 10 months
The Great Outdoors 2019-08-01 ? 2021-06-28 22 months
Video Production 2019-08-01 ?
Русский язык 2019-08-01 ?
Quantum Computing 2021-12-16 2018-03-12 -45 months Link
Artificial Intelligence 2021-12-16 2018-09-05 -39 months Link
3D Printing 2021-12-16 ?
Amateur Radio 2021-12-16 ?
Arts and Crafts 2021-12-16 ? 2022-03-07 3 months
Astronomy 2021-12-16 ?
Beer, Wine, and Spirits 2021-12-16 ?
Bioinformatics 2021-12-16 ? 2022-09-19 9 months
Buddhism 2021-12-16 ?
CiviCRM 2021-12-16 ?
Coffee 2021-12-16 ? 2022-10-24 10 months
Computer Graphics 2021-12-16 ?
Computer Science Educators 2021-12-16 ?
DevOps 2021-12-16 ?
Drones and Model Aircraft 2021-12-16 ?
Earth Science 2021-12-16 ?
Ebooks 2021-12-16 ?
Economics 2021-12-16 ?
Engineering 2021-12-16 ? 2022-09-19 9 months
EOS.IO 2021-12-16 ?
Esperanto Language 2021-12-16 ?
Expatriates 2021-12-16 ?
Freelancing 2021-12-16 ?
Genealogy & Family History 2021-12-16 ?
Hinduism 2021-12-16 ?
History of Science and Mathematics 2021-12-16 ?
Iota 2021-12-16 ?
Internet of Things 2021-12-16 ?
Italian Language 2021-12-16 ?
Joomla 2021-12-16 ? 2023-02-21 14 months
Korean Language 2021-12-16 ?
Language Learning 2021-12-16 ?
Latin Language 2021-12-16 ? 2022-08-15 8 months
Lifehacks 2021-12-16 ? 2022-07-25 7 months
Literature 2021-12-16 ? 2023-03-28 15 months
Mathematics Educators 2021-12-16 ? 2022-10-22 10 months
Matter Modeling 2021-12-16 ?
Monero 2021-12-16 ?
Mythology and Folklore 2021-12-16 ?
Open Source 2021-12-16 ?
Operations Research 2021-12-16 ? 2022-03-14 3 months
Pets 2021-12-16 ? 2022-08-08 8 months
Politics 2021-12-16 ? 2022-09-26 9 months
Portuguese Language 2021-12-16 ?
Retrocomputing 2021-12-16 ?
Reverse Engineering 2021-12-16 ?
Robotics 2021-12-16 ? 2023-05-09 17 months
Sitecore 2021-12-16 ? 2022-08-22 8 months
Space Exploration 2021-12-16 ? 2022-03-28 3 months
Stellar 2021-12-16 ? 2023-02-28 14 months
Sustainable Living 2021-12-16 ? 2022-05-16 5 months
Tezos 2021-12-16 ? 2022-07-18 7 months
Tor 2021-12-16 ? 2022-05-23 5 months
Tridion 2021-12-16 ? 2023-03-07 15 months
Ukrainian Language 2021-12-16 ?
Vi and Vim 2021-12-16 ?
Woodworking 2021-12-16 ?
Cardano 2022-02-03 ? 2022-09-19 7 months
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    A relevant post by one of our designers from earlier today: Custom German Language design and logo - Information gathering :)
    – V2Blast
    May 13, 2022 at 15:52
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    The comments on this MSE question include links to several similar posts on other sites that have been waiting a while for a design: With new designs planned for some sites, are there plans to tackle the backlog?
    – V2Blast
    May 25, 2022 at 1:55
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    Possibly helpful (on Code Review Meta): Tracking Graduation Progress
    – Peilonrayz
    Aug 10, 2022 at 19:52
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    @Peilonrayz That's in need of some updates since 2019. Aug 10, 2022 at 20:19
  • @Randal'Thor Not really. "This question is really about tracking Code Review's 'probable' spot in line". "Code Review 2015-07-14 2015-11-25 4 months"
    – Peilonrayz
    Aug 10, 2022 at 21:12
  • @Randal'Thor I'm of mind to roll back your edits, because: 1. unclear cases, such as the ones you pointed out at the bottom, as well as cases where the team opted to start an election as a "full" election but treat it as a "pro tem" election and simply appoint the candidates as pro tem mods if there weren't enough nominees to make them competitive (meaning when this happens, a cell that was initially added has to be removed), and 2. the question didn't ask about elections, only about site designs and increased privileges, so your added info is extraneous and doesn't address the question. Sep 11, 2023 at 18:31
  • Also, can you please explain why you edited the date formats? As far as I can tell, date formats fall under the rule that language (e.g., American English vs. British English) should not be edited, so can you please explain why you changed them? Sep 11, 2023 at 18:33
  • @Sonic It's a CW post which I've just put a huge amount of time and effort into improving, so you'd better not roll back my edits. I'm open to using a different metric for "first election", such as the first successful full election rather than the first attempt (arguably even attempting shows that the site is somehow seen as having reached the stage to be ready for that, but a successful election is perhaps a better indicator of actually having reached that stage), but don't remove useful and relevant information from this post. Sep 11, 2023 at 18:47
  • Yes, arguably some parts of this answer don't directly address the original question, but that's been true for a long time. It's turned into a useful FAQ-style post, so the more information the better. I've also pinged the OP in case they want to edit a mention of mod elections into their question to make the Q&A fit more snugly together. Re date formatting, I added some dates in a natural format and then tried to make sure everything was consistent. (The table has Y-M-D and the text has D-M-Y, but at least consistent within the table and consistent within the text.) Sep 11, 2023 at 18:49
  • @Randal'Thor Sorry if the first part of my comment came across as insensitive to your work. I figured that out, which is why I reached out in the comments instead of going straight for the button. Personally, I think the info about elections makes this super convoluted and it belongs in a separate post. Keep in mind that at the time this was asked, it was only asking about one thing, which is how long it takes from sites leaving beta to them getting a design, which was together with increased privileges at the time. The reason I separated those out later is due to the 2023 announcement. Sep 11, 2023 at 18:56
  • @Sonic Ah, I now see that it was you who edited the OP after the two parts of Phase 2 were separated from each other, as originally it simply asked for the gap between (graduation+election) and (design+privileges). So if I do the same regarding Phase 1, everything will be solved. The situations are analogous, as you changed the OP and this answer when design and privileges were no longer connected, so we can also change it to show that graduation and elections are no longer connected. Sep 11, 2023 at 19:08
  • @Randal'Thor The edit was based off of the title of the post, which has not changed at all since it was originally asked. Increased privileges were mentioned in the original post, even if they were later disconnected from site designs. On the other hand, the original post never made any mention of elections. In hindsight, I should have kept the original post as it was, editing that quote into the answer instead, but my prior comments that raise concerns over this post becoming convoluted due to the introduction of elections, and adding confusion due to the unclear cases mentioned, still stand. Sep 11, 2023 at 20:49
  • @Randal'Thor Also, it is still true that "elections are held" once a site leaves beta. The reason you noticed a delay between elections for the 59 sites that left beta in late 2021 was because of the community team's bandwidth (they could only run a couple elections at a time). The post you linked to re. it being split is simply a proposal, not an announcement - the author didn't work for SE yet at the time she posted that. If you go through those 59 sites' metas and find their graduation announcements, you'll see that they mention "shortly" having elections. It's not so that they were split Sep 12, 2023 at 0:17

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