I am a moderator at Drupal answers, and migrated this question to SF a few days ago. I migrated it because it didn't really have anything to do with Drupal or Drupal configuration. It is essentially about getting Plesk to map different domains to the same directory, each with their own IP address.

What in particular about this is off-topic? Is Plesk considered a non-professional environment, and therefore off-topic?

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    Thanks for asking here. I suspect that others will say that SF is for those with root access to the machines, while those that are using a control panel such as Drupal or Webmin are off-topic as it is likely they will not be using it in a professional capacity.
    – tombull89
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 14:02
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    @tombull89 Drupal is a CMS like WordPress or Joomla, not really the same thing as Webmin/Plesk/CPanel/etc.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


Web site control panels such as cPanel and Plesk are extremely unlikely to be used in a professional environment. They're more commonly seen with small and one-man operations where the expense of the control panel is judged to be less than the expense of an actual system administrator.

While the control panels make it relatively easy for users to perform basic administration tasks, the main disadvantage is that they tend to take over the systems in strange and non-standard ways, making it difficult or even impossible for actual system administrators to manage the servers normally. Since there usually isn't a system administrator, the problem often goes unnoticed...

Until you bring such a question here.

So things that fall outside the norm, or the feature set provided by the control panel, can't be done easily (or at all) while they would be easy or trivial with a sysadmin running the machine in the usual manner. The question you referenced falls into this category.

The main problem, then, from a system administrator perspective, is that these systems are virtually unsupportable. For nearly any question, including the one you referenced, my response would have to be "Wipe the system and set it up right this time, without the control panel. And hire a sysadmin while you're at it." Obviously, this is not helpful in the short term, but there's little more we could possibly do, other than closing the questions as off topic.

See also the related question, Are cpanel questions really 'professional sysadmin' related?

  • I totally agree with the comments about control panels, and advise/beg my clients not to use them for website deployment. I do see them being used in professional-as-in-supporting-a-business environments, though. So, to summarize what you wrote cPanel/Plesk is off-topic because it isn't something that would be used in a professional-as-in-doing-things-the-right-way environment, or something a knowledgable linux admin would use in a professional capacity? Just trying to figure out the intent/meaning behind the opening of the SF FAQ.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 15:32
  • Also, not trying to be argumentative if it comes off that way. Most admin/server related questions are off-topic at Drupal Answers, but they do come up somewhat often. If possible, I would prefer to migrate them somewhere, and just want to be sure they end up in the proper place.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 15:37
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    Questions about server software where the questioner has full administrative privilege, is being paid for what they're doing, and has a clue are On-Topic on Server Fault. Those three don't have to be explicitly stated, but but the question can't have clear indications of the need for drool-proof paper.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:00
  • The company that manages other people's websites using cPanel or Plesk or whatever might ask a question here, but they should already have the specialized knowledge of the control panel to solve it themselves, or contact the vendor; whatever question they might ask is likely to be too localized. Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:01
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    I just read the Question, the person seems to not know how to actually use whatever web server software they're running the site from. They already ask their host, and received an answer. They simply don't like the answer and don't know how to run a server enough to even know where to start configuring it manually. This essentially fails the "has a clue" requirement. If we were to provide a full answer, it start with dropping Plesk and end up being the size of a book... This is an extremely common theme among "admin panel" application questions; which is why they garner so much prejudice.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:05
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    @ChrisS Oh, the question isn't that bad. I managed to figure out exactly what he wants. It just can't be done in Plesk, while it would be trivial without it. In this case Plesk is going to actively prevent him from doing what he wants... Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:12
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    @MichaelHampton I'm not saying it's a terrible question at all, just that the person is a User, and doesn't know how to run the web server software. I know some of the terminology is harsh, but it gets the message across. Server Fault is not for Users.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:32

For what it's worth, I would have voted to close that as NARQ or NC, rather than off-topic.

The question doesn't really have enough to go on (as mentioned by the porcupine, a lot of that is the fault of the control panel), and is basically unanswerable as is. So even if not off topic, it's still not really a question that can be answered, at least not in a useful way. ("RTFM, FFS" not being a very useful answer.)

  • +1 The only reason I didn't vote to close that question is because I didn't see it. I can only wonder why such a crap question was migrated, rather than just closed. Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 8:19

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