A significant percentage of the questions we get every day are still about web application development, even though this site has never been about that.

I can kind of understand. This site is obviously in the same vein as Stack Overflow, possibly the best programming resource on the web, and this one is specifically about web applications, so it follows that this is the place for web application development questions.

We try to educate people, but considering all of the drive-by Askers, no one is interested in spending even a couple of minutes confirming that they're correct. I mean, it's "obvious" that this is Stack Overflow for Web Apps.

Maybe a name change would help. "Web Apps" just isn't descriptive enough.

I think a simple title change like

Web Apps for Users


Using Web Applications

would shortcut a significant number of those questions. It probably won't get rid of all of them ("Android Enthusiasts" doesn't sound like a site about programming, and they still get plenty of programming questions) but it should get rid of a lot.

Also, I've seen people ask on Meta Stack Exchange where they should ask their web apps usage questions, because they thought that Web Apps was for programming.

I'm not convinced that that's the best name, but I think it would help a lot if the official name of the site could convey that it's not about programming.

Do note that I'm not suggesting changing the scope or the domain name, just making the title of the site less ambiguous.

Note also that this is not a duplicate of Should webapps.stackexchange.com be renamed?

That question was asking for a change in the site's scope, broadening it to be about more than web applications.

4 Answers 4


Considering that Meta Stack Exchange also gets development questions daily, I'm not optimistic the name change would help. I think it's more important for users to remember that questions with the score of -4 or less are hidden from the front page of the site, and to hand out downvotes generously. Once a question is dropped from the home page, it's no longer much of an issue.

I sometimes see development questions with 4 close votes but only 1-2 downvotes; considering that downvotes require only 125 reputations to cast (vs 3000 for closevote) it's clear that there is potential for much more.

  • 4
    I've long been vocal about the lack of voting here. And no, I don't think it's a perfect solution, but if it were to cut down on the number of programming questions by even half it would be worth it (in my estimation).
    – ale
    Feb 27, 2017 at 19:38

At Vegetarianism SE, we have a slightly more specific placeholder for the question title input field:

What's your vegan or vegetarian lifestyle question? Be specific.

It was designed to prevent questions we deem undesirable, such as are vegans better than omnivores? (it's not about lifestyle). Maybe it would help if this site's placeholder could change to something similar to

What's your web applications utilization question? Be specific.

  • 4
    I think I'm going to make that a feature request. (I don't think the Moderators can change that text.)
    – ale
    Mar 1, 2017 at 14:30

The Android site gets Android development questions too. The problem isn't the name, it's the users who when they can't ask on Stack Overflow, search around for somewhere else. Some land on Meta, others land on Software Engineering and some here. Even with a change of name we'd still get them.

The answer is to down vote and close. This will feed into the low quality questions filter and they'll be blocked sooner rather than later.

  • 4
    "The answer is to down vote and close" I do, but I often feel like the only person piling up the sandbags against the flood. And I'm not convinced it's always people who are post banned on SO. Anyway, I'm not suggesting that a name tweak will fix the problem, only that it might help.
    – ale
    Feb 28, 2017 at 14:00

The site name is not the only cause of web development questions among other "not a good fit" for this site questions. One of the reasons is already explained in ChrisF's answer.

When the site name was defined (Area 51 proposal and during the beta process) more than ten years ago, the situation was very different than now, in the Internet in general, about Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange and this site.

Most traffic arrives from Google, not by "organically" navigating; on the other hand, the site scope is insanely broad, and many people think that any website is a web application. The rules for naming Stack Exchange sites depicted in Standardizing & Simplifying SE Site Names should also be revisited from learning site name changes.

Things to have in mind when the site name rules be confirmed for a site name change in 2023

Core community
  • Most of the committers of the Area 51 proposal no longer participate.
  • Most users who participated in Web Applications Meta are no longer doing this.
Site Audience
  • While the site scope has been discussed over the years, it doesn't seem easy to explain it briefly.
Related posts about site name / rename
Q&A software and model
  • Most new users find learning the Q&A model and the software that supports it hard.
  • Wording doesn't look appropriate for "anyone that uses a web application".
Site pains
  • Too many "Hit and run" users (users that post good or bad questions and never return). Do not reply to comments asking for clarification, do not improve questions and cast reopen votes.
  • Posts asking for basic stuff explained in the app's resources, like a Help Center, or Learning Center, even for stuff having onboarding and usage guidance directly in the app user interface and links to specific resources like error messages including "learn more" like links.
  • Post asking complex stuff without providing enough details, like Google Sheets questions not including sample data and the expected result, Google Apps Script questions not including what in Stack Overflow is called "a minimal complete and verifiable example"
  • How do I write a good answer help article says that not all questions should be answered, but it's common to find answers from users that have left a comment asking for clarification.
  • Features like tag wikis, community wiki, per-site-meta, chat room are underused.
    • Low participation in moderation.
    • No discussion facilitation.
    • ...
Network pains
  • Many Passerbys (association bonus) think that all Stack Exchange culture and workings should be the same.
Stack Exchange, Inc. pains


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