aweb 2.0, Part II: Wik, Wik, Wiki!

These days, who hasn’t used Wikipedia? The largest encyclopedia in the world, it was created mostly by its users and, as of this writing, has a google pagerank of 9 and millions of backlinks.  Sounds like something to emulate, doesn’t it? As it happens, the software used to create Wikipedia can be yours for the low. low price of…free!

Ok, enough with the used car salesman routine.  The truth is, wikis are very useful when you have content that should be created and edited by a number of users (although they can also be used as a simple CMS – just require registration to post and don’t let anyone else register!) While there are a number of wiki implementations available, if you plan to open your wiki to the public, MediaWiki is probably your best bet because users will already be familiar with how it works through using wikipedia, wikimedia, and other MediaWiki-based sites. Access is open by default, so it you’re looking to set up a private wiki, you might be better off with a different software option.

To set up your wiki, visit to download the software, then unpack it and set up a MySQL database as you did in the building a blog articles. Like WordPress, the wiki software has a web-based configuration utility; at the time of this writing, the latest version is 1.15.4, so to configure the site I went to sitename/mediawiki-1.15.4; if your site is to be entirely wiki-based, you probably want to actually point the url to the wiki directory.

Now just follow the instructions on your new wiki page to build your site! Notice the tabs at the top of each page. Assuming you’re logged in as an administrator, one of them will be “protect”; you can use this to restrict who can edit the page. Even if you plan to let anyone edit pages, it’s probably a good idea to protect at least the main page so random people don’t come along and change it!

You can set any page to be editable by admins, by registered users, or by anyone. Further restrictions are possible – you can prevent new accounts from being created, only allow account creation by sysops, etc – but they require editing the php code; you can find instructions in the WikiMedia manual.

Now go forth and wiki!

Blogs and wikis are just a few of the services that Moonlight Designs Studio provides; check us out today!