When closing a question as off topic the first option says:

Your question should be specific to WordPress. Generic PHP/JS/SQL/HTML/CSS questions might be better asked at Stack Overflow or another appropriate Stack Exchange network site. Third party plugins and themes are off topic, they are better asked about at their developers' support routes.

I want to propose a different wording for the first sentence, to make more clear what we mean by "WordPress":

Your question should be about development issues with the Core of WordPress.

The other two sentences are pretty long and may be confusing to users who are less familiar with the english language. So I propose this:

Specific plugins and themes are not part of Core. Ask about them on their authors' forum. Questions about PHP/JS/SQL/HTML/CSS in general are better asked at Stack Overflow.


How about this:

Your question should be about development issues with WordPress proper. Third party plugins/themes usually have their own forum, dedicated to your questions about them. StackOverflow is the best place for generic PHP/JS/SQL/HTML/CSS questions.

  • 1
    Please keep in mind, that meta downvotes are —opposing to the main site— not a "bad question" vote, but a "do not agree" vote.
    – kaiser
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 20:22
  • 3
    I agree that the first two of our custom close reasons are still confusing. They need a better wording. Not sure about your suggestion.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:38

3 Answers 3


I would say suggested wording is too confusing between with the core and of the core.

There are plenty questions that would be quite in scope, which have nothing to do with core. Those on server side for example. Or dependency management, which is completely absent in core.

I agree that current state is a little bulky, but I don't feel this specific rewrite is an improvement. It is bulky because it took quite a while of time and refinement to iron out. It is quite a challenge to word it lighter, while keeping everything that went into it.


This specific close reason is something that we (moderators) are not extremely proud of. But it serves its purpose: Being as precise as possible. The loop–chat session it took to get to the current version took quite some while and @Rarst rewrote it far more than a dozen times until we got to this point where

  • the maximum text length was not exceeded
  • it summed up everything it should

The site is not only about core development, but hosting and other related things that, in the end, make up a WordPress site.

The following

Ask about them on their authors' forum.


[…] they are better asked about at their developers' support routes.

might be an improvement in text length, but in my opinion are a decrease in kindness. You surely remember the "be nice!" part of the StackExchange network.

Please, do not see this as a nono, but feedback on your specific proposal. As always, we are open to any kind of improvement and this site still is community driven, so please keep coming up with ideas and proposals. The close reasons were customized, improved and modified from their vanilla state at a current point in time, reflecting the state and problems this community was facing. They are editable (to a certain degree), so we can improve them further together.


I think it's a bad decision to exclude plugins from the conversation here on stackexchange.

The fact is, no WordPress site exists without plugins.

Imagine if StackOverflow did the same? Someone asks a question about 'passing a URL parameter to Typeform' - and then it gets closed for not being about programming because Typeform is a third-party commercial enterprise.

Go ask the typeform question on the typeform site

It wouldn't fly on stackoverflow. It makes zero sense to do it here.

It is, in my opinion, why this wordpress.stackexchange site is so dead.

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