Welcome to the SitePoint Forums.

Please take a moment to read through these FAQs and guidelines. There is some useful information about how to use the forums, our guidelines for behavior, and how to set up your account and profile.


How do I use this forum’s features?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there. These forums now run on Discourse, a modern forum platform. Take a look at our comprehensive Discourse Cheat Sheet. There’s also another did you know? topic with further tips and tricks. Please also check out our Forum Posting Basics guide for tips on posting questions, providing code samples etc.

Trust Levels

The functions you can access here are based on your “trust level”. You can read more about trust levels here.


THE RULES AT A GLANCE

  1. Don’t spam. We have a zero tolerance policy. Do it once and you’re out.
  2. No signatures. We have a one warning rule for fake signatures. Do it twice and you’re out.
  3. Make quality posts. (See the Post Quality section below for details.) You’ll get a friendly warning for low quality posts, and if you do it again you’ll be suspended.
  4. No religion or politics. These are not to be discussed ever – they start too many fights.
  5. No personal insults. This is self explanatory.

THE RULES IN MORE DETAIL

We only want one of you please

We only allow one account per person please. If you lose access to your account, there’s no need to create another one. Instead, try resetting your password on the login page, or contact an Administrator for help.

Choosing a username

Remember that this is a family-friendly forum, so please avoid words that might be considered risqué.

Please also don’t use a domain name as a username, such as mysite.com or mysitedotcom. In both cases, moderators will alter the username, such as removing inappropriate words or trimming a domain name to mysite.

Lastly, don’t include “sitepoint” (or any variation of it) in your username. (C’mon, you’re more creative than that, right?!)


Remember, everyone was new once

Whether you’re after a quick answer to a question or you’re looking to meet people who will bounce around ideas and get you inspired, there are certain things that you need to know if you want to make the most of any online community.

It’s not just about sticking to the rules; it’s about knowing how to find and use the resources that are on offer in order to make the most of your experience. Before posting a new question, use “search” to see if it’s already been asked and answered.

The first point to remember is that everyone was new once. The whole point of a forum is to learn, so for that very reason there is no such thing as a dumb question. So if searching hasn’t helped, just ask and then bask in the goodness of knowing that hundreds of people in the future will benefit from the answers that you elicit.


Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the discussion or might detract from its usefulness, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said. If you have to, just move on. Save your energy for something you value.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.


Post Quality

In order to try to maintain a certain level of quality in discussions here, we ask that you strive to ensure that each post you make is:

  • Meaningful – says something of substance
  • Relevant – on topic and helpful, not generic advice
  • New – something that hasn’t already been said in the thread

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a New Topic.

The official language here is English and all communications should be in English please. That’s not because we don’t respect other languages, but because it’s the only language we all understand!


Spam? There’s No Way I’d Do That!

I’m sure it’s unintentional, but sometimes spam is in the eye of the beholder. You might have just written what you consider to be the most amazing free script known to humankind. You’ve signed up to a forum with the sole intention of sharing it with as many people as possible, because that’s the kind of generous person you are. Now consider it from the moderator’s point of view. They see a new member come on board and their very first post happens to be a link back to their own site. That, my friends, looks very much like spam… and we have a zero tolerance policy.

Spammers may be warned, infracted or banned at our discretion.


What Can’t I Say?

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or troll anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • No politics or religion. Nothing starts a fight faster than politics or religion, so we don’t allow those discussions.
  • Keep personal information private. All posts in the forums are easily found via search engines, so unless you’re willing to expose your information to the world, please do not post telephone numbers, e-mail addresses etc in your posts.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself whether you’d go on TV and publicly say it on camera.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.


Can I get my site or code reviewed?

We no longer have a dedicated Reviews forum, but you can still have your site or code reviewed. Choose a category that best suits the kind of review you want. For example:

  • if you want design feedback, post in Design & UX
  • if you want your HTML and CSS reviewed, post in HTML & CSS
  • if you want your PHP code reviewed, post in PHP
  • if you want your SEO strategy reviewed, post in Marketing.

However, craft your review request thoughtfully. Posting just a link to your site and “please review!” will see your post deleted. That’s not good enough. It looks spammy.

Instead, engage with your community. Say a bit about your work, what you do and don’t like, what you need help with, why you don’t feel it works, etc. That will get a proper discussion going, and give people a reason to check out your site and engage with you.


Other things we ask you not to do

Domain name appraisals
We do not allow discussion of domain name price appraisals anywhere on the SitePoint forums.

Don’t copy and paste whole articles
Don’t post content from other sites. If you want to discuss an article you read somewhere, post a link. (It may also be copyright infringement if you post the whole lot.) Make sure to provide enough input of your own to get a decent discussion started. For example, explain why you liked or disliked the article.

However, this is not an invitation to post a link to your own works. You are welcome to write about a topic that interests you and start a discussion, but not to promote something you’ve posted elsewhere. The content should be unique and not self-promotional.

Social bookmarks
Don’t ask for votes on social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Facebook. We consider this self promotion and it’s not OK.

Piracy, warez, adult sites, and illegal content
No sharing of warez or pirated material, please. It is not cool. Likewise, don’t post any work (even a small piece of it) unless you have express permission from the owner or creator of the piece or work. You’ll be responsible for copyright infringement – not us. It is better if you link to it. It will save you some lawyers’ fees!

Additionally, links to adult sites are not allowed.

Affiliate links, coupons, and offers
Affiliate links, coupons, offers are not welcome. DO NOT:

  • Post coupon codes, discounts, offers
  • Ask for coupons, codes, discounts, invitations to services, etc.
  • Post affiliate links. Links to Outwar and similar types of schemes are acceptable, as these are links to games. However, it should be obvious from the outset where the links lead to.

This is a serious offense that will often earn you an infraction or banning.


Posting Surveys and Polls

We get quite a few members wanting to post links to surveys. On the whole, this isn’t of much value to these discussion forums, as it often represents little more than a self-promotional link that generates little or no discussion here.

If you’re looking to gather data, you might consider starting a poll in these forums. Any such poll should meet the following conditions:

  • it should be non-commercial (such as a student gathering research data)*
  • you should explain clearly the purpose of the poll/survey and what you hope to learn from it
  • the survey topic should be of relevance to the web industry, as this is a community of web professionals.

* If you are a company looking to gather research data, please contact SitePoint’s partnerships team at natalie.tarpinian@sitepoint.com. After an arrangement has been made, the topic can be posted in the forums.


Advertising or Soliciting Services

Advertising and soliciting services is in violation of our self-promotion policy. These forums are for friendly discussion on Web-related topics. You wouldn’t want an ad shoved in your face while chatting with friends, or a marketer to butt in and try a hard sell on you, so please don’t do it here!


Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t bump threads
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.
  • Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button.
  • Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a New Topic.

REMEMBER: Search before you post
Nothing fills a forum up with rubbish faster than questions that have already been asked and answered many times over. Please search carefully before asking a question to see if it already exists.


What Can I Do to Make You Like Me?

Our ultimate goal here is to help people learn in a fun and welcoming environment. There are a few easy things that you can do to help us achieve that.

Be kind. No one likes a bully. When people from every walk of life get together, there are likely to be differences of opinion. That’s cool—it’s what makes the place interesting, but it also means that on occasion you might just have to walk away. We don’t tolerate name-calling or personal insults.

Be patient. Forums attract beginners, and that means beginner questions. You’ll likely come across questions that you think are stupid, but what goes around comes around. Treat people how you’d like us to treat you.

Be polite. If someone rubs you up the wrong way, reply to the content of their post rather than the tone. Easy.


Like Us Back

The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be. Our aim here is to create an environment that is fun and welcoming. So… have fun!

Every community needs growth – not just to keep things interesting, but to ensure survival. You can help us to keep this community vibrant by spreading the good word. Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favorites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too. The easiest way to do that is to share interesting posts with your peers. There are a number of sharing options available by clicking the link icon below a post. You know how it goes – help us to help you.


If You See a Problem, Tell Us

It is the job of the Moderators to ensure that everything is clean and tidy, but there will never be enough moderators to look at every post, so we rely on you to help out. You can do that by alerting us of anything you see that looks off base. It might be a post that’s rude, it might be spam or maybe it’s just in the wrong forum.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts in any way; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.


The Internet is Forever

Before you post, please think carefully about what you post. These days it’s good business practice to Google your company name every so often to see what people are saying about you. For that reason, if you’re asking for basic advice on how to deal with a difficult client, it would be prudent to avoid naming them.

At SitePoint we accept that occasionally people make silly mistakes and we’ll do everything we can to help you out, but we simply lack the time to edit hundreds of posts and heavy edits or post deletions compromise the flow of a discussion. So please, think first.


Private Message Etiquette

  • The same rules apply to Private Messaging as to posting. No spamming, insulting, self-promotion allowed.
  • Don’t use the PM system to ask for help if your problem is being discussed in a thread. This will prevent others from using the knowledge to solve the same problem at a later date.

Changing your username
You have 3 days grace after registering to change your username. After that, you’ll need to contact an Administrator.


Closing or deleting your account

If you don’t wish to participate in the forum anymore:

  1. Turn off all the e-mail notification options in your profile
  2. Stop posting

We do not delete accounts. If you’d like your username changed to something that won’t be associated with you, please contact an Administrator.


Help!

All this stuff is very interesting, but it doesn’t answer my question. How can I get some help?

No worries. There are a few options. You can send a PM to a staff member. Staff fall into the following categories:

  • Mentors are knowledgeable members who act as discussion leaders. Their usernames are orange.
  • Advisors act as moderators on these forums. As moderators, they have the ability to move and delete posts and threads,as well as issue warnings, infractions and bans. Their usernames are green.
  • Team Leaders lead a team of Advisors, and can also act as moderators. Their usernames are blue.
  • Administrators are the Community Manager and co-administrator of the forum. Their usernames are red.

NOTE: New staff members are chosen and nominated by the existing staff only. It is not possible to apply to become a staff member.

You can flick an email through to forums@sitepoint.com and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours (on a bad day) or you can message your friendly admin for a response right here on the forums.


SITEPOINT’S RIGHTS

SitePoint Pty. Ltd. and its assigned agents reserve the right to remove a post that does not relate to the topic being discussed in the forum. In addition, SitePoint reserves the right to organize discussion forums in order to best serve the majority of our members. For example, narrow-interest or minimal activity topics may, at SitePoint’s discretion, be relocated to a more appropriate discussion forum, or deleted entirely.

SitePoint Pty. Ltd. or its assigned agents also reserves the right to prohibit or delete discussions that are thought to violate applicable law or that may be harmful to other members, the sites that comprise SitePoint, or the rights of SitePoint Pty. Ltd. or others. That said, SitePoint does not have the practical ability to restrict conduct or communications that might violate these Guidelines or the Terms of Service prior to transmission on AOL or the Web, nor can we guarantee prompt removal of offending discussion forum posts.

We also reserve the right to remove your membership from the SitePoint Forums should you violate the Community Guidelines.