I've been wondering about this for a while, and I can't seem to figure it out. I keep going between this site, SO, and Mathematics; I can't stick to one of these.


The easiest way to see what order sites were created in is to go to stackexchange.com > All Sites > Sort by "Oldest" (https://stackexchange.com/sites?view=list#oldest):

As you can see, Stack Overflow is the oldest, Meta Stack Exchange (previously known as Meta Stack Overflow) is 3rd oldest, and Mathematics (not shown in screenshot) is 14th oldest.


In 2008, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer Web site for computer programming questions, which they described as an alternative to the programmer forum Experts-Exchange.

In 2009, they started additional sites based on the Stack Overflow model: Server Fault for questions related to system administration and Super User for questions from computer "power users"...

Source: Wikipedia


To get the creation dates of the sites you can call the /sites API. The following stacksnippet leverages that API to show you the result.

function createImageCell(site) {
   var cell = document.createElement('td'),
       img = document.createElement('img');
   img.src = site.high_resolution_icon_url;
   return cell;

function createSiteCell(site) {
   var cell = document.createElement('td'),
       a = document.createElement('a');
   a.innerHTML = site.name;
   a.href = site.site_url;
   return cell;
// a site has several dates, depending on its state
// this function returns one of those dates, given its state
function getSiteDateValue(site) {
   return { 
     'normal': site.launch_date,
     'open_beta': site.open_beta_date,
     'closed_beta': site.closed_beta_date || site.open_beta_date

function createDateCell(site) {

   function leftPad(num) {
      var tot = '0' + num.toString();
      return tot.substr(-2);
   var cell = document.createElement('td'),
   dtm = new Date(getSiteDateValue(site) * 1000);    
   cell.innerHTML = dtm.getFullYear() 
     + "‑" 
     + leftPad(dtm.getMonth() + 1)
     + '‑' 
     + leftPad(dtm.getDate());
   return cell;

function addSiteRow(target, site) {
  var siterow = document.createElement('tr');

// adds each site to the result table
function ResultBuilder() {
  var result = document.getElementById('result');
  return (site) => addSiteRow(result, site);

var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();


xhr.onreadystatechange = function() {
  if (xhr.readyState === XMLHttpRequest.DONE) {
    var sites = JSON.parse(xhr.responseText),
        resultBuilder = new ResultBuilder();
      .filter( site => site.site_type === 'main_site')
      .sort( (l, r) => getSiteDateValue(l)- getSiteDateValue(r))
      .forEach( resultBuilder );

ul { 
td {
  border-top: solid blue 1px;
img {width:32px; height:32px;}
      <th>Launch date</th>
  <tbody id="result">

  • Not sure what's going on with the sorting: i.stack.imgur.com/yqueH.png – Cai Feb 12 '18 at 18:19
  • @Cai MathOverflow was created in 2009 and joined the SE network in 2013. See this meta post. – Laurel Feb 12 '18 at 18:43
  • @Laurel it's not only MathOverflow, lots of sites are out of order. See e.g: i.stack.imgur.com/n6ekZ.png and i.stack.imgur.com/RvgaX.png – Cai Feb 12 '18 at 18:45
  • @Cai I think I fixed it, I was sorting the array before it was filtered. Thanks for reporting and sorry for the hassle. – rene Feb 12 '18 at 20:28
  • @Laurel yeah, also the CS50 site in this list is kind weird. I'm sure there are other sites that have strange dates or a strange state causing all kind of issues. – rene Feb 12 '18 at 20:30
  • @rene no worries, looks about right now – Cai Feb 12 '18 at 21:08
  • Some meta websites do not have any launch date or open date. Any reason for that? – Muhammad Asaduzzaman Mar 5 at 19:31
  • 1
    @MuhammadAsaduzzaman technically a meta site doesn't "launch". It gets created with its main site. So if the site_type=='meta_site' find its main_site and use its launch_date – rene Mar 5 at 20:52

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