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+4 votes
in Q2A Core by

I am contemplating starting a new project and using Q2A as the core platform (along with some plugins, etc.). I have done some deep diving into the script but still have a few lingering questions.

  1. Is this platform still being developed by the creators and/or 3rd party developers? It appears the bulk of activity was 7-12 years ago.
  2. Are there any active programmers available to make modifications if needed? I see a few plugins and templates trickling in, but most of these developers say they do not do any modifications.
  3. I know this question will sting, but if Q2A is just lingering...is there any active alternatives to this script?

2 Answers

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This question brings a lot of nostalgia :)

When we were exploring a possible Q2A platform for our site (GATE Overflow) in 2014, we had the same concern. Q2A in fact hasn't changed much since then - major developments happened before 2014 by Gideon and IIRC we started with version 1.5.3 and now it is 1.8.8 which we are now using on Ubuntu 22.04 and PHP 8.3. There have been no issues for Q2A support - thanks to the contributions from Scott, Pupi and Gideon.

We are also extremely thankful to @gold-developer for the wonderful themes - which is a major improvement for us over the last few years. Being a feature-rich website, we cannot use just any theme and here is where themes like Polaris, Muffin etc. are irreplaceable.

Over our near 10 years experience, I think we made a great decision using Q2A. The fact that Q2A is built on native PHP and MySQL means, it is straightforward to extend features - we have made a number of plugins, many of which are open source, without spending months figuring out how to do them. Some of the Q2A users like Noah and others have also shared many useful plugins which are working even after 10 years since the last commit :)

Since there are many users from India here and our website is also from India, let me add a few points regarding how our website is run. Initially, we were relying on google ads for our revenue, which was okay. But being an educational website each ad click used to pay < 0.08$  which was enough to pay for the server expenses but not for the editors (yes, we have editors on our site to add previous year exam questions in an organized way). Also, once google removed the 4 ad per page policy the ads became a nuisance - especially for an educational site like ours and we had to get rid of them. Fortunately we could add an exam system in our Q2A - exams are added similar to questions and we had to just add an interface to take exams. And paid exams is what helps run our website now. So, if you are in India or similar developing country and think google ads can help run a Q2A website - better not try for it.
Thanks GATE! I appreciate the input. You are correct, @gold-developer has been very helpful and I love his themes.

I am still struggling with this site and the fact that most of the users and activity has long abandoned Q2A. It shows that there are around 1.5 Million users on here, yet most question go unanswered or get one or two answers/comments. Also, a lot of the plugins and are either broken or unavailable. It would be helpful to have some sort of repository on this site of updated plugins (available for download or purchase).

I have reached out to a few plugin creators, but have not heard back from any of them. I will try reaching out to @pupi1985. He has a few plugins I want to purchase, and I am hoping he may be able to do some modifications.

Thanks, Eddie
@Eddie The 1.5M users reported should be mostly bots. As I told, the condition of Q2A was almost the same 10 years back also. I think before 2014 might have been the active development time for Q2A and it is true that some developers and users did leave Q2A when they stopped seeing frequent releases like Wordpress do.

For plugin creators - yes, it is not easy. The paid plugins we use are mostly from @pupi1985 (themes from @gold-developer) - because he is one of the rare plugin developer who cares for performance and provides plugin updates. Rather than wasting time on non-production ready plugins, we mostly customized the quality open source ones from Noah etc. which you can find here.
+2 votes
  1. a) It is still being maintained, although the development of new features has slowed down due to @Scott's (the project maintainer) day job.

    I think it would be nice to also have @Pupi1985 as a project maintainer, accepting/rejecting pull requests for the DEV branch, as he's well familiar and contributes a thon on bug fixes and development. This could eventually help unclog the pipeline if getting full and alleviate things a bit for Scott.

    b) There's still new plugins and themes popping around once in a while.
  2. There are still developers who do freelance work, like Pupi1985 for example. To check for active developers, check out the Services Pages. In case no one replies or is not available, you can also try posting a question here with detailed information of what the plugin or modification you're looking for, using the tag freelance-jobs.
  3. There are a hand full of alternatives, payed ones and free ones. For example StackOverflow alternatives, or Discourse alternatives, although Q2A still prevails.
    Check out these questions:
    - Question2answer vs discourse ( a better replacement?)
    How does Question2Answer compare to "Discourse"?

Thanks for the information. Frankly, I keep going back and forth between Q&A and some other platform as I am looking to have more of a discussion platform as appose to a Question/Answer site. Also, not a fan of the non-nested comments here on Q&A. There are two things keeping me in the Q&A camp though.

1. PHP coding. Not a fan of some of the other platforms (Ruby, etc.)
2. Your absolutely fabulous Polaris Theme. I love the look and the speed