MediaWiki (Opens in a new tab) It is a collaborative documentation platform used by thousands of companies and organizations. Notably, the program supports Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.
MediaWiki is suitable for large wikis with hundreds of editors. It has a simple editing interface and is easy to install. It is also very versatile and optimized to handle millions of concurrent visitors.
MediaWiki is an open source tool which means you can install it for free. You will need web hosting (Opens in a new tab) Provider. We used Hostinger (Opens in a new tab), one of the world’s leading web hosts. TechRadar has partnered with Hostinger to offer our readers 100% off one shared hosting package.
The easiest way to install MediaWiki is using the installation wizard. For Hostinger, you will find this under Auto Installer in your website’s admin panel. Choose Other, then MediaWiki from the dropdown menu to start the wizard.
On the first screen, you will be asked to enter your website name and administrator login credentials. You can set MediaWiki to be installed in a subdirectory on your hosting. This will affect the URL that visitors use to visit the encyclopedia. You have the option of choosing to create a new MySQL database (an open source relational database management system) for MediaWiki or use one you have already created.
The second screen simply asks which version of MediaWiki you want to install and how often you want the software to update automatically. Generally, you can leave these settings at their defaults. Finally, click Install.
Once you have finished installing MediaWiki, the URL of your new site will be listed on the automatic installer page. Click on this URL and then choose Sign In at the top right of the page. Enter the administrator login credentials that you set in the automatic installer and click the Login button.
Second Step: Edit your homepage
When you are logged in, the first page you will see is your home page. This page can now be edited by anyone who visits it. Start by clicking Edit to change the contents of the page. It will already be populated with some examples of text formatted using the MediaWiki formatting syntax. When done, click Save Changes, and the page will refresh to the new text.
You have the option to enter a summary of what you changed in your edit. This makes it easier for users of your wiki to see why you made each change.
Step 3: Format your pages
You can use MediaWiki encoding (Opens in a new tab) To better format your pages. For example, text surrounded by two commas (eg, ‘slash’) will make the text appear in italics. Surrounding text with three apostrophes (for example, “”bold””) will cause the text to appear in bold.
Using MediaWiki’s unique format syntax is also the way you can add links, lists, images, and tables. Some HTML tags are also supported. It is one of the most powerful features of MediaWiki. You can check out the cheat sheet (Opens in a new tab) To get started, however, new users should take the time to learn this syntax until it becomes second nature.
Step 5: Add the pages
There are several ways to add a new wiki page. One of the simplest ways is to search for the topic title in the search box. If the topic page does not already exist, you will be given the option to create a new topic page from the search results.
Step 6: Enable file uploads
By default, file uploads are disabled on MediaWiki installations. To enable users to upload files that support articles, such as images, you need to edit a setting in the LocalSettings.php file.
In the Hostinger admin panel, open File Manager. Browse to the folder where you installed MediaWiki and double-click LocalSettings.php to open it.
Find the line that says ‘$wgEnableUploads = false;’ and change it to ‘$wgEnableUploads = true;’. Click the “Save” button at the top right of the screen.
Users can now upload files such as images to your MediaWiki installation by clicking on the file upload link provided in the main menu.
In this guide, you have learned how to set up the powerful MediaWiki collaboration tool on your web hosting (Opens in a new tab). MediaWiki is one of the most popular team collaboration tools (Opens in a new tab)It can also be used to build a community based on a common interest.
We previously asked one of Fiverr’s design experts how they could redesign Wikipedia for better usability (Opens in a new tab), an interesting read for those considering MediaWiki for their next project. We’ve also covered some of the potential drawbacks to user-generated wikis (Opens in a new tab) and Wikipedia’s attempts to eliminate bad editing (Opens in a new tab). All of this is food for thought for anyone installing MediaWiki for the first time.
Read more in this series: