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How to Start a Wiki Site Quickly – Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to Start a Wiki Site Quickly – Step-by-Step Tutorial

Nowadays, there is a mounting number of webmasters beginning to start a wiki site to put and share their great works online. Honestly speaking, to start and manage a wiki site has never been easier and simpler for some experienced netizens and computer geeks. However, things turn completely different for newbies and beginners who lack technical background.

With the purpose to help people who are confused about how to get a wiki site started and configured, we make the following comprehensive tutorial in an easy-to-understand language. In below, we will display the detailed steps you need to follow during the whole process on the basis of our painstaking researches. Now, further down and make your wiki site come into existence.

Our Sample MediaWiki Site

For a start, we would like show you a sample MediaWiki site built on the basis of the following steps. Note that we use the “Cologne Blue” skin rather than the default “Vector” one.

Wiki Site - Sample Site

What Is a Wiki on Earth?

Wiki Site - What Is a WikiA wiki, evolving from a Hawaiian word meaning “quick”, is a site where groups of webmasters can quickly share and capture great ideas by creating some simple pages and accumulating them together. That is to say, it allows cooperative modification, deletion and extension of web content and structure. Plus, it applies to a variety of purposes both private and public, including note-taking, intranets, community sites and knowledge management, etc.

Wiki belongs to a kind of CMS (content management system), but it is different from a blog or other systems. It enables every user to edit or add pages on an existing wiki site without any additional add-ons and aims to gather visitors in an ongoing and casual process of collaboration.

Something You Need to Know Before Starting Your Wiki

By all accounts, it is the first step that costs troublesome. To get yourself well-prepared before starting your wiki site is a strenuous and necessary job, if you want to establish something eye-catching and of general public interest. Here, we have some pertinent and practical suggestions for you as follows.

  • First and foremost, you’d better search potential contributors who are interested about your project firstly so as to leave an impression that they are also the masters of this project.
  • Secondly, you need to ensure there is no something similar online before and determine what your wiki site is for, which is helpful when you decide the hosting service and software options.
  • Last but not the least, make a choice between hosting on your own or using a wiki farm (refers to wiki hosting service that is an array of servers where all your technical issues and decisions are handled by someone else).

Notes: To host a wiki site on a wiki farm is much easier especially for non-technical people, but it is fairly difficult to get your own wiki contents off a wiki farm afterwards. Besides, your wiki’s URL will be inserted with the farm’s name in the meantime.

In this case, if you want to host on your own domain name and have absolute control over a wiki site, you will need an excellent and premium web hosting service. Having surveyed and reviewed over hundreds of wiki hosting companies, we find HostGator is an incomparable solution which offers high-quality wiki hosting service at the affordable price of $4.16/mo. To get this appealing price, you only need to use the following coupon EUNGE30OFF.

HostGator Coupon Code Activation

How to Start a Wiki Site?

Now, let’s get to the point and show you how to get a wiki site started quickly. To some degree, starting a wiki site is the same as starting a WordPress blog or other kinds of third-party websites, which becomes effortless through a one-click script installer. In the following, we will direct you how to start a wiki through the auto-installer Softaculous.

Log into cPanel

First of all, log into cPanel by using your username and password. Once done, scroll down and find the “Softaculous” icon in the “Software and Services” section as is showed in below.

Wiki Site - Softaculous

Choose Your Software Package

Having entered the admin menu of “Softaculous”, you need to click the “Wikis” option to select your preferred software packages which are exhibited in the following screenshot.

Wiki Site - Software Package

As we can see, you are encompassed with different options including MediaWiki (1.24 or 1.19 version), DokuWiki, PmWiki and WikkaWiki, and you need to choose one based on your needs. In the following part, we would like to take the most popular MediaWiki for example.

Install Your Software Package

Click the “MediaWiki” button to start the installation of your software package. On the “Install” page, you are required to fill in some essential information in several blanks. As is displayed, you firstly need to choose the version of MediaWiki you are going to install and in the meantime choose the domain you have created before to install this software. At this place, we choose the 1.24.1 version of MediaWiki and domain to host a wiki site.

Wiki Site - Software Setup

Then, in the “Site Config” section, enter your “Wiki Name” and “Wiki Email” in the right checkbox. By the wall, in the “Database Settings”, you are also requested to enter the prefix of your database or use the default one, which is up to you.

Wiki Site - Site Configuration

Next, fill in the “Admin Username” and “Admin Password” that are used to login the dashboard of your wiki site. Note that you can have an automatically-generated password by clicking the key icon, but you’d better make the admin password as strong as possible for your wiki site’s security. Also, you can decide the frequency of wiki site backups and upgrades or more in the “Advanced Options” area.

Wiki Site - Admin Account

At length, remember to click the “Install” button and wait patiently during the installation process. If everything goes smoothly, you will be informed of the address of MediaWiki site and the administrative URL.

Wiki Site - Successfully

How to Customize & Run a Wiki Site?

To start customizing and running a wiki site, you need to login the admin page of MediaWiki by using your created “Username” and “Password”.

Wiki Site - Log in

Notes: Once you enter the admin menu, you are displayed with a clear and simple page where there are plenty of user guidelines and frequently-mentioned FAQs from the official site of MediaWiki. In this case, you can get your puzzlements resolved by clicking the “Help” section and get plentiful solutions which based on the Wiki markup. Note that the Wiki markup refers to a wiki text language or wiki code used to write and edit a page and it is an alternative to HTML code.

Wiki Site - Help Content

Adjust Your Permissions

The first thing you need to do is to adjust your permissions to make a wiki site work for your own needs. This step is of great importance in business settings if you want to have multiple collaborators work on the same product page. In this way, your site is largely protected from malicious attacks or damage from some anonymous users.

To adjust the permissions, you can make use of the permission file to create the different levels of visitors. For example, you can create patrol admins who are allowed to edit pages but wouldn’t show in the recent changes.

Set Your Preferences

At the same time, you are empowered to change the visual appearance by using the ready-to-use skins in the “Preferences” section. More than that, you can define data format, time offsets, the size of files based on individual appetite.

Wiki Site - Preferences

Create Your Content

Here comes the most important and indispensable part – content creation. As is known, good content will drive and attract many mind-liked people to your wiki. As your site visits growing, more and more people will come and contribute their own edits and articles to your wiki site. Thus, it is worthwhile to take some time, and you’ll have a large community beyond your imagination.

On the home page of MediaWiki, it is obvious that there are plenty of sample articles regarding wikis, and you are allowed to edit or replace it with your preferred content or topic. Frankly speaking, the most recommendable way to add content is to edit the main page and then add related links to pages that will be created later on.

Plus, to add and edit page content, you should firstly click the “Edit” button and then type any text in your mind. Keep in mind that you should be fairly well-versed in the topic so as to have more comprehensive articles afterwards. In the meantime, don’t forget to use the listed button lying upon the content body part to format text and insert many other contents like pictures, web parts and tables, etc.

Wiki Site - Create Content

Having filled in the page content, you can take an overall look at the changes and save page by clicking the bottom “Show Preview” and “Save Page” options. Note that you can add a wiki link to the current page by making the page title surrounded by double square brackets like [[website]] and [[Internet service providers]]. If the redirecting page is non-existent, then your created placeholder link will be highlighted by a dotted line.

Wiki Site - Wiki Links

Add a New Page

To add a new page related to your topic or content text, you need to open a new window and enter the website of Once done, you will enter an “Editing” page where you can also fill in and format your content. But don’t forget to add a category finally by typing the text like [[Category:ABC]]. As a matter of fact, this step is extremely helpful especially when you want to add a page to category and we will talk about it in the following section. Remember to save your changes by clicking “Save Page” button.

Wiki Site - Add a New Page

Add a Page to a Category

Category is one of the significant features of MediaWiki and provides some automatic indexes which are used as the tables of a page. By adding a category to the content text, you can have a quick and easy look at the related articles. Usually, it is not difficult to add a category, and you just need to edit an existing page and add the following text like [[:Category:ABC]].

Wiki Site - Add a Category

Conclusion – Choose a Trustworthy and Worry-Free Web Host

Frankly speaking, to start a wiki site becomes much easier than ever by using the one-click auto-installer Softaculous. However, to customize and run a wiki is far difficult and time-consuming especially when you are not experienced and skilled in dealing with the Wiki markup.

Hence, you’d better choose a trustworthy and worry-free web host which will lend a helping hand when you get stuck by some knotty issues. In this case, we have the following recommendable wiki hosting solutions for you, including BlueHost, Arvixe and A2Hosting.