After the recent change to the scope & FAQ of this stack, should the associated tags possibly be removed as well?

This mostly concerns the first one I guess, since most shopping questions asked in the past as well as nowadays are for plugins, but theoretically whatever might be decided will apply to the other two as well.

On the one hand, these are valid tags, since the topics used to be within the scope of WPSE and most of those 502 questions were asked before the update to the FAQ/scope. However, their existence doesn't exactly discourage new users that might not have read the FAQ from asking such a question.

Sure, the tag wiki for all three has been updated to

Plugin recommendations are off topic now. See the FAQ.

If I type "plu" into the tag input below the editor, the third offered autocomplete is . Yes, the wiki entry is shown right below it and hence should discourage its use and should make a user about to ask such a question stop in his or her tracks, but reality shows that that is not always the case. Way too often it isn't. I'm guessing here, but in most cases I'd assume that's not because users tend to ignore the fact, it's because the tag is self-explanatory and the wiki entry not being read.

And since one of the motivations of removing it from the scope is the nature of answers to these questions being outdated relatively quickly, I wonder whether keeping the tag for the sake of existing questions is really a necessity.

I'm not saying that removal would be technically feasible (I don't know - would it be in the first place?), but if so, it might be better in the long run to not have them at all. I would certainly think so, as of right now (hence the question).

4 Answers 4


I have to agree that removing the answers or worse down-voting them is not a good solution. If someone answered a question well and that question was legit at the time I would hate to punish them later because the rules changed.

That said it would be great to have a way to flag a question as outdated or deprecated, and let it fade away into the past. I would never down-vote a good question, but I would gladly mark something as out of date. There is a lot of content on the web that needs to be.

Auto-fading content based on age is not a good solution either since some things age faster than others. So maybe try a flag and see if anyone salutes it?

Also on tags that are no-longer relavent, could we just not show them in auto-complete without removing them from the questions they have already been applied to?


We have hundreds of posts in these tags, and they are about recommendations. We will not delete all the posts – I cleaned up some of the unanswered already – and the tags should reflect what these old questions are about.

Off topic questions will stay with us, often enough they are not tagged correctly anyway. This is something our community can handle very good. Sometimes even the askers can cope with that, and then they rephrase their question to bring it on topic.

So I would say: let those tags stay.

  • I suppose we are now in the process of deleting (by means of closing) pretty much all of them... Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 13:11

One and a half years later, in 2014's ♥ Summer Clean-Up ♥, the tags in question will be pretty much emptied, if not deleted.

  • 1
    I think the tour page should be updated as well. Currently it does not include that shopping questions is off topic. Will raise that now Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:03

I think we should both remove the tags and the posts that go with them. Otherwise, 3 years down the road people will still get those posts as first hit on Google and those plugins might be long gone or who knows by then.

  • That's what makes SE great ... when the answers aren't relevant anymore you can vote it down and if it's still found by Google the searcher will at least know that the information isn't good anymore. Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 21:09
  • True but the problem is that if its the only question like it because of the wording of the query and its no longer relevant then it will still show won't it?
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 20:18
  • For a while. But if the community was truly active (and that'w where my point sort of fails) then everything would get re-answered or closed ... giving the most up to date answer. Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 0:37
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    Correct, but you also assume the community will voluntarily vote down the items. Alot of the users to this site came here for plugin recommendations, and while I agree with the reasoning for removing recommendations from the thing this SE covers, the problem is that most users will be less inclined to vote these answers down. Most users see the downvote used as a way to flag bad questions, but do not view recommendations as bad questions. Ergo they will not downvote these questions unless they are mods.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 13:45

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