The internet is absolutely full of wiki pages where the knowledgeable can gather to share their expertise with the world. Though encyclopedia wikis like wikipedia are the most mainstream, other wikis devoted to areas of interest like video games, movies, or even particular fandoms draw thousands of contributors and readers. Starting a wiki of your own is not as difficult a task as some may think, as long as you know where to start. And that’s exactly what we’re here to help you do.
Let’s start simple. What exactly is a wiki? Wikis are sites developed collaboratively by a community of users. Any user can add and edit content, enabling virtually the entire world to contribute knowledge and insight to any topic. There are positive aspects and drawbacks to such a level of openness, as anyone can probably imagine. Though the resources of the world’s best brains are available, so are the resources of the world’s biggest trolls and pranksters. Occasionally, a user intending to be funny will edit information to make it incorrect or offensive, but other users are generally quick to correct the error.
To create a wiki page does take commitment, but it’s certainly a doable task. The first step is simply to think about what sorts of features you would like your wiki to have. Can users upload attachments? Can users customize their interface? Will you be able to rename documents? Some software packages offer different features than others, and you’ll need to know which ones are important to you before moving on to step two. Once you’ve determined which features are important to you, begin researching the different software packages that are available, making sure to visit some of the sites that use them. Select the one the seems to best fit your intentions.
Presumably, if you’re wanting to create your own wiki site, you’ll want it to be available online. After you’ve chosen a software package, you’ll need to find a hosting package that supports it by either offering a wiki or allowing users to build their own wikis. It will probably need MySQL, PHP, and Apache in order to work, but there are other options. Be sure to fully understand before you make any decisions.
Setting up is where the real work begins. You’ll need to either download the wiki engine, or read through any provided tutorials and set up your software. Read absolutely everything that’s been given to you, because sometimes you’ll need to make adjustments to your Apache configuration or add databases and tables. Some wikis make it simple, allowing you to submit any relevant values and let the page do the setup work. Wiki farms will probably minimize the amount of work you need to put in. After that’s done, make any adjustments you feel are necessary before uploading your wiki files to the server.
From that point on, its all about content. Write your own well researched content, ask people you know to contribute, and set up the inner core of your wiki by writing a help page, creating categories, writing community guidelines and policies, and editing templates as necessary.
Don’t be discouraged if your wiki doesn’t grow as fast as you would like. Many who create a wiki page are dissatisfied with its rate of growth, but with persistent marketing and perseverance, your wiki page can grow a large user base. The process to create a wiki page is not necessarily for everyone, but those with a basic understanding of the internet’s inner workings might find it simpler and even enjoyable.