Wikis serve as collaborative sites and can be very useful if you operate a community or are part of a group of any kind. Wikis bring people with common interests together, and can be centered around anything from movies and video games to recipes and studying. With the right software, anyone can build a site like Wikipedia.
In this article, I am going to show you a few sites that you can use to build your very own Wikipedia-like website. Whether you are looking to join a wiki or build one of your own, you should be able to find what you’re looking for using the resources found here.
MediaWiki, which we covered previously in the directory, is the best way to go about creating a Wikipedia-like collaboration environment. It is a free software wiki package written in PHP, and utilized by several projects and collaborations.
MediaWiki can accommodate any number of users, from the one-man team to upwards of a few hundred people or more. It has dozens of extensions you can install, configurations like file uploading and skinning, and it can be installed on any hosting provider.
[Note]: Depending on your hosting provider, you might already have MediaWiki functionality built-in and ready to install. Check with your host or find out by searching around on your CPanel.
You can find hundreds of examples of companies utilizing MediaWiki here. Note that I have only point to the English section.
As Daniel pointed out a few years ago, MediaWiki is pretty simple to install. Just download the software, upload it to your server, and configure the application to meet your needs.
If you don’t pay for hosting, have your own web server, or are just looking for something a little simpler, Wikia might be for you. As Saikat pointed out in an article last year, Wikia is a wiki farm, meaning that essentially it is a website made up of tons of different wikis.
Here is an example of a Call of Duty wiki that was created with Wikia. You can browse the various types of wikis you can join and create right from the home page.
Whether you’re looking to join one community or several, Wikia will grant you access to them all with a single username and password. If, for some reason, you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can create your own.
By now you should be in wiki-Heaven. However, if you think the list of suitable wikis stops there you are wrong my friend. If you are looking for something more, you might try Wikispaces or Wikidot. They offer premium features at a price but they both also have a pretty decent free option.
With a free, basic plan on Wikispaces, you can build one individual wiki (per account) with unlimited users and unlimited pages and messages. You are allocated 2GB of file storage and will have access to all the standard features, including the WYSIWYG editor, image and file upload, simple page linking, widgets, and easy setup.
A free account on Wikidot gets you 5 sites, 300MB of storage on each, unlimited number of pages, custom CSS themes, simple backups, custom domain mapping, and advanced membership roles and permissions. They even have a sandbox that lets you “experiment without consequences”.
If you are not looking for an online wiki and would rather have something smaller/desktop capable, check out Justin’s article on Zim.
For every other piece of wiki software known to man, explore Wikipedia’s massive list of wiki software.
As you can see, there are many different ways to create a Wikipedia-like website. Based on your current needs, one of the resources mentioned may better suit you than the others, so it’s important that you do your homework. You can start by joining a few wikis that interest you. If you take part in these online communities, you will begin to realize what you need to do to create an effective one of your own.
What would you need a Wikipedia-like website for? Will you be using any of these resources to create a wiki of your own?
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