It seems to me that it is 'harder' than on other Stack Exchange sites to get up votes on WPSE. Certainly if I compare it to UXSE that I also frequent.

This is similar to the 'Why are questions not being voted on?' but it seems to me that there is a disparity with other SE sites.

I just looked at the gold badges for Pieter Goosen and birgire. Both of them have the 'Unsung hero' badges and neither of them have gotten a gold badge for up votes. In fact Pieter has only one silver 'Good answer' badge from 780+ answers.

In 55k questions there are a total of 2 100+ votes 'great answer' badges and 118 25+ votes 'good answer' badges.

Compare this to UXSE that has 80 'Great answer' badges for 18k questions.

I initially started looking at this from a comment by birgire to Pieter Goosen:

it was a good question + answers, that helped many for sure

Only to see that the question had only received 4 votes in 6 months (I then added an upvote) and the answer only 3.

Perhaps there's nothing that can be done about it but it:

  • Certainly seems unfair
  • I think it makes people less likely to contribute
  • Seems at odds with the fairly open friendly principles of WordPress

It could be a question of 'views' e.g. a question on UXSE I answered 2 days ago on already has 996 views and one from 7 months ago has 6200 views. Compare this to the 450 views in 6 months for the WPSE question above.

Perhaps it's that more people just use WPSE as a resource library rather than a interactive Q&A site, so that a higher portion of people visiting don't have the ability to up vote.


It does seem that WPSE is on a par with Drupal SE (49k questions / 91 Good answers) and Magento SE (19k questions / 19 Good answers).

  • 6
    upvoted, good question :) Apr 16, 2015 at 16:53
  • 6
    I don't know if it's harder but I do think we should up vote more, but that's a general thing
    – Tom J Nowell Mod
    Apr 16, 2015 at 17:16
  • 3
    @MarkKaplun good comments, upvoted :D Apr 16, 2015 at 17:48
  • 1
    well this question is a vote grabber for sure ;) Apr 16, 2015 at 19:55
  • I’ve got more upvotes here than on Stack Overflow. So … the current state works on my computer.
    – fuxia Mod
    Apr 17, 2015 at 0:08
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    @toscho You have answered 10x the number of questions for 3x the votes - so votes per answer is lower. Which is kind of my point - those of you who have answered the most questions are the ones most impacted. But if you're happy with the situation then it pretty much answers the question for the rest of us :)
    – icc97
    Apr 17, 2015 at 1:15
  • 4
    Nothing worth having comes easy. Apr 18, 2015 at 13:50

3 Answers 3


With the Exchanges that handle code based questions ( with the exception of Stack Overflow ) I feel you'll get more users that just grab the code and move on. Any question that isn't on the frontpage is going to get buried and only found through search when somebody is specifically looking for a solution ( unless otherwise linked ).

On the other hand, UXSE requires more of the users time to read and understand both the question and answer which I believe turns into a higher chance of getting upvoted. Niche questions will never get the same amount of views or votes as common ones. The factors on whether a question / answer is going to be well received ( views and votes ) are:

  • How common is the question? ( niche vs common )
  • How indepth is the answer given? ( explanation, not just copy / paste )
  • How is the question being found? ( social media, blog, search )

Is it unfair? - maybe, I don't really think so. This isn't necessarily a forum but a resource to get your specific questions answered and help other in need.

Less likely for people to contribute? - I'm not so sure about this point either. People will always have questions that need answering and I still believe this is the best resource to get quality answers to WordPress specific questions. If they're not actively contributing now I don't believe that views, votes, or badges will convince them to start pitching in.

As you've pointed out above, the other code based exchanges have similar numbers, Stack Overflow is an obvious exception because it's a catch-all for code questions.

Perhaps it's that more people just use WPSE as a resource library rather than a interactive Q&A site, so that a higher portion of people visiting don't have the ability to up vote.

I would agree with this assertion but I don't believe it's a bad thing. Similar to The Codex or The WP Forums, both are great resources and both are maintained by volunteers. The Codex and Forum volunteers get almost no credit, no points, no badges when they add more information or answer questions yet they continue to thrive. People will contribute only if they want to and we can't force people to. Maybe we could do more to vote on questions but I don't believe votes alone correspond to contributions.


If you would not have seen this pattern you most likely didn't ask about, so I'm pretty sure that there is an issue. I personally won't coin it unfair but I can understand what you mean here.

Upvoting requires active users on a site. Active in the sense not just stumbling over one question and picking it up with the thought "thanks", but at least having an account and doing the upvote on answer and question when found useful (the thought "thanks").

I joined WPSE early while it was still in beta. For me it was a relief to have this site as it allowed a new green field for development and administrative interchange with other Wordpress developers and active users. The start of this Q&A website worked very well. We had the momentum and therefore we had said active users.

Now even Wordpress is quite popular, it's not that you have many of us professionally working with it. Please take this sentence with a pinch of salt. I don't want to bash Wordpress users here, but what I remember from my more active time, you don't have so many users who are sharing their experiences on a more professional level, that is, to keep the flow back into the communities and back into the project (IIRC there are many reasons for that and even so this is partly wanted, so you can't blame all users here, it's more that I'm saying, this is no direct criticism).

The Wordpress SE site is one of the venues where this actually worked. And I think it still does. The platform is great - but requires voting ;)

So I think it's important to get some peers that have an interest on their own for a good Q&A site about Wordpress development and invite them to get a start here. Or as a regular, to pick up existing Q&A material and garden it a little. You won't get that many upvotes for that but a site that is working well and in your favour.

Because some truth is this: Every SE site is not only a Q&A site but also a browser game. Some actions are getting the "gummipunkte" (as we say in german): the hot air. I have many points on WPSE site for example because I started early and was active on the site back then. This is sort of unfair to users who have started later. It is. And sure it's easy for me to say now, those reputation is only hot air. But actually and honestly for the WPSE site for me the reputation was never that important. When the site started it just was a relief to have it. We were pushing our selves for the greater good by trying to give the best answers in the field. And we had a quite prominent user-base on site, you can still find the best answers here. What I'm trying to say is: Upvotes are fun, but they don't show the whole picture. They should add to your motivation but they shouldn't be the sole base of your motivation.

Even on the main site I don't rep-whore so much any longer but instead close against duplicates mostly and edit existing material. From time to time I answer questions as I wanna do some code-kata or learn something new / get fluent with and I can't resist always the shiny reputation points, but mostly those are actions you don't get reputation for.

So ironically: a good Q&A site has all the necessary but relatively little questions. You can't spread so much reputation then. A bad Q&A site has these many "not working - help help help" or "what code do I need to do X" questions that give reputation to those who answer but you most likely don't want this air around. Sometimes it's even again one of those "oh so wrong other" answer that needs a better answer given alternatively :)

As this site is by it's users, it's you and me and all of us who make a difference here daily.

And if you're looking for upvotes: Most often you get easy upvotes for asking a question if it's a good one. And perhaps you can answer you own question? Other users show some interest into good questions as well because they think: Hmm, that's something I've asked myself already as well and it would be great to have an/some answer(s) for it here.

Get the content on site you want to see here. This will make it your place and then it's not that much the reputation any longer.

  • The whole points/reputation thing is really unfair indeed! But ohh wait, I started much later and got points too, so the system still works just fine. And if one takes a closer look, then it reveals that points/reputation gain pretty much correlates with answers (and to a certain amount questions). With a little margin of difference for the time on the site, more time for people to vote, and of course the quality of answers. May 19, 2015 at 20:29

Having looked at this more I suspect (with a very low data sample) that this is a question of the number of views. @toscho's top answers on SO

  1. 2596 votes / 723434 views = 0.004 votes per view answer
  2. 100 votes / 81543 views = 0.001 votes per view answer
  3. 94 votes / 85586 views = 0.001 votes per view answer

Compare that to his top answers on WPSE

  1. 71 votes / 59002 views = 0.001 votes per view answer
  2. 48 votes / 2362 views = 0.020 votes per view answer
  3. 44 votes / 8411 views = 0.005 votes per view answer

There's no significant difference between votes per view on either site.

So all's fair in love and WordPress.

  • 6
    You are getting quite analytical here ;-) Apr 21, 2015 at 14:36

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