Thanks to some very helpful users, our tag wiki is becoming more and more populated with informative descriptions. A trend I've been noticing though is adding terms like off-topic to certain wiki descriptions, most commonly plugins. I'm hesitant to accept these as part review process but also don't want to reject them because they most certainly are informative.

Should we leave out meta-commentary such as declaring off-topic when creating tag wikis?

Examples being: [plugin-gravity-forms], [woocommerce], [plugin-wp-supercache], [plugin-shopp]


Questions involving a specific plugin are not necessarily off-topic. It always depends on the problem.

Example: a plugin registers a post type, and the asker needs an extra column to the list table: perfectly on topic, because adding columns to any post type table is a generic problem. The solution can be applied to other code too.

Now I think the tag excerpt should not just declare any question as off topic. The tag wiki should contain a note, saying that questions that are very specific for that plugin (or theme) are probably off topic. It should also contain information about where to find the plugin's support, docs and the public code repository, if that's available.

Our ugly meta tags (plugin-recommendation, theme-recommendation) are an exception to that rule. They do not describe a topic, but the kind of the question. Certain kinds are off topic, so stating that they are not welcome here might stop the asker early enough. But I have my doubts about that.


I haven't been around here as long as others - which is to say perhaps take my opinion on this with a grain of salt - but I've noticed I've been flagging a lot of posts about plugins to say they're off-topic.

This is particularly the case with WooCommerce, where often the question is clearly off-topic (asking about WooCommerce specific hooks, or how to add shipping methods, etc.) but also happens to a lesser extent with other plugins.

The excerpt says that 'Questions specific for this plugin are off-topic.' This doesn't seem to stop many questions from coming through, but perhaps it does stop those we never see (I don't know, obviously it's impossible to get the data on that).

Given the excerpt pops up when you select the tag, I would suggest that we still include a (short) note in the excerpts that questions specific to these plugins are off-topic. Otherwise, I tend to think we'll get more off-topic questions, because we can't really expect everyone to read (or even visit) the full tag wikis.

(In fact, I only just realised now that the full tag wiki for woocommerce implies - apart from in the excerpt - that we would support this plugin, given it asks for the 'System Status Report' to be submitted with questions. The wiki does mention StackOverflow so it's possible it was copied from there and hasn't been edited for WPSE.)

  • 2
    Removed 90% of that noise from the tag. And stuff like "is enterprise-level quality" that is either not true and/or not needed to ask a question about it. Thanks for the pointer.
    – kaiser
    Jun 18 '16 at 10:42
  • 1
    I agree. If we don't use the excerpt to shout off topic our message is unlikely to reach a lot of users.
    – cjbj
    Jun 18 '16 at 11:32

No, we shouldn't. When people come here with a question about a certain plugin, they already know what the plugin does. So, the excerpt really doesn't need to describe it.

I'd say the most important role for the excerpt would be to manage user expectations. Given how often we are flagging things as off topic, I'd say the excerpt should make clear what the conditions are under which the question is on topic, as @toscho says in one of the other comments.

I could even imagine a standard text for all plugins, something in the line of "Questions about this plugin are only on topic when it comes to their interactions with WP core. Questions about the inner workings of the plugin should be asked at the author's support service."

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