MediaWiki: The Definitive Wiki Engine
By now most everyone online has heard of Wikipedia; the online encyclopedia that boasts millions of articles in dozens of languages. It revolutionised the way content was delivered online and popularised the word ‘Wiki‘. According to Google, it is the 6th most popular website in the world.
What is MediaWiki?
MediaWiki is a free open source script that was released on January 25 2002 under the GNU General Public License. When Wikipedia was released in January 2001 it was originally based on UseModWiki software. However in the Summer of 2001 a German Wikipedia editor called Magnus Manske began working on a replacement as UseModWiki was proving to be too limiting.
Written in PHP with all the information being stored in a MySQL database, the improved Wiki software would eventually power Wikipedia from July 2002 onwards and would become known as MediaWiki.
The download file is only 14mb in size yet the platform can support websites with terabytes of content and huge amounts of traffic. It’s easy to use, easy to edit, allows reverting to previous revisions in case of spamming and is multimedia friendly. Caching is supported too.
The software has over 700 configuration settings and over 1,800 extensions as well making it a very flexible platform for publishing content online.
12 Popular Websites That Use MediaWiki
You may have visited a website that was powered by MediaWiki already without knowing it.
Below is a list of 11 popular websites that publish content using the MediaWiki software. As you will see, the majority of websites that use MediaWiki don’t modify the design of the script beyond uploading their own logo.
The first website to use MediaWiki and by far the most popular website using the script. As previously mentioned, Wikipedia redefined how information was published online.
A project of the Wikimedia Foundation, WikiQuote is where you find famous quotations from famous people, films and literature.
An encyclopedia that does not allow bias or distortion of the truth in it’s articles.
Focuses on culture, art, science, philosophy and politics.
One of the most popular travel websites on the web.
One of the largest guides to cars on the internet.
The largest collection of ‘How To’ articles on the web.
Over 3,000 free summaries of books.
A for-profit website that was built using MediaWiki. It’s the home of some of the most popular wikis on the web such as the Star Trek information site Memory Alpha, the Lost encyclopedia Lostpedia,
Unclopedia, Lyric Wiki and World of Warcraft Wiki.
A resource for game developers that provides tutorials and code for programming video games.
12. The TV IV
The site is a virtual compendium of television knowledge that anyone can edit.
30 Free MediaWiki Templates
As we have seen, most MediaWiki users don’t customise their design beyond the aforementioned logo change. The default skin for versions after 1.6 of MediaWiki is called Vector. It’s a plain design but very functional.
If you are looking to set your wiki out from the crowd, you may want to customise your site by uploading one of the many skins available for the script.
4. Rounded Blue
6. Misty Look
14. WoW Wikia
16. The Erudite MW
20. Clean and Blue
22. Cosmo Chips
25. Enhanced Relief
Useful MediaWiki Links & Resources
Some links you may find useful if you decide to use MediaWiki.
- MediaWiki Home Page
- Download MediaWiki
- MediaWiki FAQ
- MediaWiki Technical Manual
- Upgrading MediaWiki
- MediaWiki Users – A discussion community for MediaWiki owners.
- SiteGround – Has a range of MediaWiki related tutorials.
Don’t take our word for it. Give It A Try and if it doesn’t do what you need it to do you can always try another wiki script.