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Create your own Wiki with MediaWiki


A wiki can be a useful tool for your NGO. Learn how to create it for free, using MediaWiki.

Wikipedia has become the biggest encyclopedia in the world. Its main characteristic is that anyone, anywhere, can create, edit or suggest changes to its content.

It’s a safe bet to say that if you are reading this article, you have used Wikipedia, at least once to investigate something:

  • The definition of a word
  • The story of a character
  • A job for college,
  • Who’s who in the world

As Wikipedia acceptance has been growing, diverse software started to appear allowing you to create your own wiki. Whether for personal, public or corporate reasons.

These applications are available for a wide variety of programming languages, such as PHP, Java, Python, Perl, among others.

Let’s explore one of them: Media Wiki

MediaWiki is an open source software developed in PHP by WikiMedia Foundation, creators of Wikipedia, and is a very good option to start your new Wiki.

It’s easy to install and comes packed with Wikipedia features.
Follow these simple steps:

First, you must download MediaWiki.

Then, you must create a database (MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite).

Finally, the downloaded file is extracted and accessed via the web (PHP server must be activated previously) immediately showing a step by step to do perform the self-installation.

When there is no installed instance, you must click on the link “Set up the wiki”.

Then, you need to configure the general information for your Wiki, such as language and data to access the database:

Database config in wikimedia

After entering the data of the database and verifying the connection, you can complete the information of the wiki:

  • Site name
  • Username
  • Password
  • Email

After this, the system will ask you if you want to install the site with the default configuration or if you want to access the advanced configuration.

To install by default, select “I’m already bored. Just install the wiki.”

If you rather access advanced configuration, you can choose which level of privacy you prefer, which determines whether your site is an open, private or restricted access wiki.

It also gives you 3 options to select the appearance of the site.

Don’t forget that also can install additional extensions.

After the installation has been completed, a file named “LocalSettings.php” is automatically downloaded. It contains all the access data and configuration specs you have just chosen. This file is uploaded to the root of the project.

Once this process is over, you can start creating all the pages and content into your own Wiki.

Create your own wiki main page

With MediaWiki, you can create your own wiki in no time, without too much sweat. It is quite useful because it allows you to store and organize relevant information.

You can use it in many ways: publishing corporate or educational manuals, a repository of articles written by students for a specific subject, food recipes or a specialized thematic content space.

You can create a wiki, for any idea you have and share it, easily, with the world.

Translated by @czapata