background January 6, 2009

The Best Time to Ask a Stack Overflow Question?

Simucal asks: What is SO’s peak time of day in terms of number of users on the site? I’m curious because there are times when I want to ask a fairly niche question and asking when the most number of users are on might be beneficial. I did a quick query on non-deleted revisions, grouped…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)

Simucal asks:

What is SO’s peak time of day in terms of number of users on the site? I’m curious because there are times when I want to ask a fairly niche question and asking when the most number of users are on might be beneficial.

I did a quick query on non-deleted revisions, grouped by hour of day GMT time. Here’s what I came up with.

stack-overflow-revision-dates-by-hour

Looks like the most popular time to post is between 15:00 and 22:00 GMT/UTC, at least for all Stack Overflow data between launch and today.

You’ll have to convert those GMT hours to your local time zone, of course. For the USA, that’s:

Eastern Standard Time GMT/UTC minus 5 hours
Central Standard Time GMT/UTC minus 6 hours
Mountain Standard Time GMT/UTC minus 7 hours
Pacific Standard Time GMT/UTC minus 8 hours

I’m a PST guy, so for me that means the best time to post a question I needed an answer to ASAP would be at the beginning of this activity peak — very early in the morning, probably around 7 AM to 8 AM. Ugh.

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