According to Rebecca, it is currently impossible for a Stack Exchange site's community to customize its How to Ask page:

This page is currently static across the network - it isn't set up to be customized per site. That is a fairly significant change, so it would need to be a separate feature request.

As I explained on Skeptics' meta, the page was written for Stack Overflow. It is perhaps most obvious when is says that "A lot of what we do is as much an art as a science, so a conclusive answer isn’t always possible." While that's valid way to remind programmers to "keep an open mind," that's not a good approach for other sites like CrossValidated, Math.SE, and Skeptics.SE.

In more general terms, the audience and the subject are different, and so the advices might be different. That's why it would make sense for each site to write its own How to Ask page.

2 Answers 2


See The new ask page is now live on the network!

What's per-site customizable, and what's the procedure to get it live?

As you can see, any existing custom guidance on "How to ask," "How to tag," or any custom error or warning messages your site may already have in place will still be there, and will still be customizable with the same restraints (basic HTML, using paragraphs, lists, links) as before:


These can only be edited by staff, so the process to get them live is as described here:

  • Create a Meta post on the appropriate Meta site, and discuss it with your community.
  • Once a consensus is reached, a mod should escalate it to the CM team. Generally speaking, the "contact us" form is the best way to go, though a ping in chat can sometimes work too (the most that could happen is we ask you to use the form).
  • Unless there are any outstanding issues, the CMs should be able to get to it Soon™.

The Skeptics /faq was already updated, and that is linked from dozens of places including the /ask page.

How to Ask is not strongly linked on sites, except for Stack Overflow where we force every question asker through it as a form of EULA (based on ~3k+ questions per day volume), so this request is not sensible at the moment.

Bottom line, get your /faq right first before worrying about anything else.

  • 2
    You forget another purpose of the How to Ask page: "Furthermore, this page is designed to be shared and reusable. Free to share the How to Ask link with any question asker in need of advice on how to improve their question."
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 21:21
  • @bor I am not opposed to this change, I must insist, however, that the top section of the /faq (this is editable by diamond mods) be edited first to keep your house in order. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 5:13
  • 2
    I agree with you on that. The FAQ should be edited first but I'm not making that request only for Skeptics. I think it's an helpful feature to add, for all sites.
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 5:19

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