There's a class of "What CMS should I use for $project?" question in which $project has no particular features of interest, ie. just about any minimally-capable CMS would be able to handle it.

For some reason these don't get closed or even down-voted half the time, resulting in what looks like a race for first slot at saying "Use WordPress" and logging a bunch of upvotes regardless of that application's real fitness to task. Occasionally, Drupal and Joomla might get tossed in for variety, but usually as a group with little explanation why one over another. It's bad that it happens, but just annoying when it's allowed on topics that actually do have potential to be unique.

A thread floated up here a few weeks back where someone was doing some aggressive clean-up/merging/migration on some other repeat topic (I can't recall what right this moment). Maybe that needs to start happening with this?

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I agree that multiple questions with the same content add little value to the community. The focus for the linked question was on budget and maintenance. If there is an alternative question that touches on those points then a link in the comment section would steer people (myself) in the right direction, and the duplicate question could be closed while allowing the original question to get the exposure it deserves. –  Jim Jun 30 '11 at 1:17

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I agree that many CMS questions can't be answered beyond, "Pick one. They're all pretty good!"

Paul pointed out this superuser blog post in Chat the other day as an example of how they've dealt with typical 'shopping list' -style questions. In short, they created this community FAQ to help those trying to decide between different hardware options.

I suggest that we do the same for CMSes, (and possibly for shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting) then close as duplicate any related questions by pointing them to the relevant community FAQ.

Of course, there will always be some questions that are specific enough not to need merging with the FAQs, and I think it's worth letting those questions stand.

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In general I agree that "which CMS" questions with very few criteria aren't good. The question you link to does have potential to be unique, and I've contributed there. However I also think Wordpress is a good fit for any very simple site (<10 pages say), so is a good answer there too.

So with that particular question I think the answers are mostly better quality (though I've downvoted a couple) than the other questions you've talked about. Yes, maybe we need to be more vigilant with other "which CMS" questions.

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Is this something that could be a candidate for a canonical question / answer pair?

e.g. pick the "best" of the bunch and make it the all time authoritative, constantly edited and updated reference "which CMS should I use?" question and close all others as duplicates of it?

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/01/the-wikipedia-of-long-tail-programming-questions/

Help us build a great library of canonical answers. If you keep seeing the same form of questions, whether it’s mod_rewrite rules on Server Fault, freezing computers on Super User, or how to use regular expressions to parse HTML, write a great, canonical answer, once and for all. Make it community wiki so that as many other people as possible can make it great. Work really hard on writing something that is clear, concise, and understandable by as wide an audience as possible.

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This is a good idea. Is it acceptable to start a new question and offer the first answer myself if no existing CMS question fits the bill? I couldn't find one that's general enough to provide a good starting point. (I've also been considering a 'how do I research and choose web hosting?' FAQ to mop up the more generic hosting questions, but couldn't find an existing question to expand upon/start from.) –  Nick Jul 1 '11 at 7:08
    
@nick sure -- whatever meets the goal of building a canonical Q&A pair is acceptable. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '11 at 15:16

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