In an unrelated answer to an unrelated question one of our diamond mods stated that questions and answers about WP-CLI are off-topic. For example this one: wp-cli silently fails with error code 255

I originally come from Drupal StackExchange where questions about Drush (which WP-CLI is being inspired from a numerous times) are considered on-topic and have their own tag as well. On WPSE WP-CLI also has its own tag which makes me think that questions about WP-CLI must be on-topic.

But now I'm feeling insecure as a diamond mod told me WP-CLI is off-topic and I'm wondering how I should consider WP-CLI questions in the future? On-topic or off-topic?

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    Don't feel like adding this as answer, but personally I believe questions around wp-cli are very much on-topic. They would be best answered on this Stack Exchange rather than Stack Overflow and I would happily answer questions related to this tag. Apr 23, 2019 at 14:19
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    What's on-topic and what's off-topic is a collective community decision. While individuals may differ, the final decision is as though the community as a whole is acting as a hive mind, and hence is a constantly shifting paradigm. Thus IMHO, a moderator shouldn't decide on his/her own to close a question for being off-topic, unless it's blatantly off-topic. Now what's blatantly off-topic? It's something about which the community is not known to differ much.
    – Fayaz
    Apr 25, 2019 at 8:51

2 Answers 2


As we need a canonical answer to this question I'm going to provide my own matching the comments under the question and ready to receive votes.

WP-CLI is on topic.

  1. It has its own landing page on wordpress.org providing a changelog and helpful link on where to get support and how to contribute to it.

This landing page states:

WP-CLI is the official command line tool for interacting with and managing your WordPress sites.

  1. It has its own docs on wordpress.org documenting usage of every single WP-CLI command there is.

  2. Every WordPress plugin can provide its own custom WP-CLI commands.

  3. Given these facts WP-CLI must not be considered third party. Its first party.

  4. Questions about WP-CLI are inseparably connected to WordPress development.

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    So maybe we should reconsider our approach to WooCommerce and other topics - especially points 4 and 5 are completely true in their context. But back to WP-cli - it sounds reasonable 👍 Apr 25, 2019 at 4:14
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    @KrzysiekDróżdż about 3rd party plugin questions: IMHO, not just WooCommerce, but all plugin/theme questions that involve at least some WP development should be on-topic. However, questions like X plugin Y feature or X Plugin Z setting etc. should always be off-topic. The problem is, there was never a consensus about it in the community :)
    – Fayaz
    Apr 25, 2019 at 4:38

For me, generally speaking, case is pretty straight forward:

  1. wp-cli is third-party software
  2. questions about wp-cli are not connected to WP development

I mentioned wp-cli in context of this question you've answered:

Need MySQL Query or WP-CLI command to updates old URLs in Shortcodes

(which, for me, is clearly off-topic - it has nothing to do with WP and wp-cli is used just as SQL client).

The question you've mentioned in here is a little bit more controversial for me and I believe I could vote both ways in this case.

Such controversial cases are pretty common. For example I don't think there is anything wrong in asking a question how to include Gulp, GIT, or other tools like that in WP workflow (as best practices), but these subjects get off-topic as soon, as you ask a question connected only to that tool (for example "what does option X do?").

  • How do you explain the existence of the wp-cli tag then?
    – leymannx
    Apr 23, 2019 at 12:27
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    @leymannx in exactly the same way I would explain existence of woocommerce tag or wordpress.com tag... Apr 23, 2019 at 12:28
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    WP-CLI is the official command line tool for interacting with and managing your WordPress sites. quoted from make.wordpress.org/cli. It's an official WordPress URL. And there also is developer.wordpress.org/cli/commands another official WordPress URL providing docs about every single WP-CLI command. Do you consider this third party?
    – leymannx
    Apr 23, 2019 at 12:36
  • Yes, for me it was always off-topic. It's the same with Polyglot - it's official tool for translating (also well documented on make.wordpress.org), but it's also off-topic here, I guess. But this question has an upvote from me and I'm curious what others think. Apr 23, 2019 at 12:57
  • You must acknowledge that it's not just you who decides if WP-CLI is on-topic or off-topic and therefore it's also not OK to spread downvotes because of that. Where are the Polyglott docs on WPO? WP-CLI should absolutely clearly be considered on-topic. But let's see what others provide as answers.
    – leymannx
    Apr 23, 2019 at 13:06
  • @leymannx First of all, I haven't downvoted any of your answers/questions because they were off-topic - if I think something is really off-topic, I close it (or I voted to close it earlier on). And I definitely don't downvote good answers for such questions... Apr 23, 2019 at 13:15
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    Seems to be a bit of a tactic to turn the tables on your opposite in a dispute. I honestly start to doubt that you are a good choice as a diamond mod.
    – leymannx
    Apr 23, 2019 at 13:17
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    WP-CLI is not "third party software". It started as a separate project, but has since been brought under the WordPress banner.
    – Shawn H
    Apr 24, 2019 at 15:16
  • @ShawnH Yes, it's under the WordPress banner. The same is true for TwentyX themes... It's almost the same for Akismet (which is delivered with WP)... And yet we don't support them as such... So I don't think a question like "I'm using wp-cli to run SQL query on my DB but it's not working" should be on-topic, just because it's connected to wp-cli... Especially, if there are a lot of (most popular tag, I guess) development questions about WooCommerce that are deleted only because WC is mentioned in title/content... Apr 24, 2019 at 15:28
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    WP-CLI is clearly on-topic given your answer here is currently -6 and the answer for on-topic is +7. Your opinion is not relevant. Apr 24, 2019 at 22:06
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    @KrzysiekDróżdż: my humble opinion is that WP-CLI should be on topic. On the other hand, as this community works, as a normal user you have every right to differ and say that WP-CLI should be off-topic. However, as a moderator you shouldn't take it onto yourself to close something as off-topic while the community is clearly differing. Since moderators' vote is binding, you should leave such topics to be closed by the community votes, not by moderator power. Please feel free correct me if you feel I'm wrong.
    – Fayaz
    Apr 25, 2019 at 2:23
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    @Fayaz I agree. And no question regarding WP-cli was closed by me to this moment... leymannx asked this question, because at some other question I’ve commented, that IMHO the case of generic WP-cli question should be off-topic. Apr 25, 2019 at 4:04
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    @NathanJohnson and I don’t have any problem with that - I’ve clearly stated in my answer, that this is my opinion and that for me it would be more consistent approach - because of what questions we currently see as off-topic... Apr 25, 2019 at 4:07

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