Get Rock Solid MediaWiki Hosting Now
We guarantee response to support questions within one hour, 24 hours a day, all year round. Typical response time is under 10 minutes. Oh, and we’re friendly too. 🙂
Leverage the power of our expertise — we know MediaWiki and we use it and we are here to help.
Have a question? Just contact us — we’re waiting to hear from you.
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We can provide additional disk space. Just contact us for a custom quote.
Our hosting services are among the best in the business, including:
- A perfect security record (to the best of our knowledge, our server security has never been comprised)
- 24/7 support with an average ticket response time of 10 minutes, night or day
- 99.99% uptime.
All plans include
|✓ 24/7 Support||✓ Free Installation||✓ Free Migration||✓ SSD Disks|
|✓ Daily Backups||✓ SSL Protection||✓ 99.99% Uptime||✓ SSH Access|
We will install MediaWiki for you and keep it online, secure and running fast, with no headaches involved.
Hosting FeaturesAll features included with all accounts at no extra cost:
Linux servers configured for maximum performance and for reliability -- our uptime is 99.9% or better.
Fully managed, powerful VPS accounts, with 100% dedicated hardware resources, including CPU, RAM and disk space.
We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Response time is 5 minutes. Yes, we never sleep.
Hosting for MediaWiki
Types of Hosting
There are a myriad of options for how to host your wiki, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, decidated server and cloud hosting. Or of course your can host a wiki in-house, if it’s for intranet use. We certainly don’t recommend hosting a public wiki in-house unless you have server administration and security experts.
For a simple wiki without a lot of traffic, shared hosting will suffice and is the most cost-efficient of course. For a larger and busier site, you would need a VPS, which means a Virtual Private Server — such an account will normally include dedicated hardware resources for your site so that it’s not competing with any other sites. A VPS also normally means better security as there are far less entry points and user accounts on the server.
The idea of cloud hosting is a big vague and means different things for different hosting companies. For some it’s shared hosting and for others it’s VPS hosting. Most hosts define “cloud hosting” as being flexible insofar as your account can be made larger or smaller (CPU/RAM/disk space etc.) without disrupting service and requiring a server migration.
The last type of hosting is dedicated server and whereas this may be required or ideal for very large sites, there are also VPS and Cloud VPS providers today who have capabilities of extending their accounts to sizes even larger than what you could find in a dedicated server.
The very largest sites will require a fleet of servers, and that type of hosting is complicated and requires planning and expertise.
MediaWiki requires a server with three elements: web server software, PHP and a database server.
The web server could be IIS, for Windows systems, or one of the smaller Linux systems such as LiteSpeed, nginx or lighttpd, but the most popular is Apache, and that is what CiviHosting uses for all servers.
For PHP, the server must be configured with a recent version, and must include PCRE, Sessions, JSON, mbstring and fileinfo. Non-core features, included in themes or extensions, may have other PHP requirements.
The database server could be Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite or PostgreSQL, but the most popular choice is MySQL and that’s what CivicRM uses for all servers.
Other requirements: There are other tools that make it easier to host and use MediaWiki such as ImageMagick or GD for image processing, in particular for creating thumbs. Then a mailer tool is required for the server to send emails, such as updates and password resets. Then shell access (for Linux machines) makes maintenance tasks much easier.
CiviHosting specializes in hosting MediaWiki and we setup and maintain the server for you.
What is MediaWiki
MediaWiki is the world’s largest, most popular and well-known open source wiki software. It powers Wikipedia, among the world’s top ten most popular sites.
At its core, MediaWiki is a PHP and MySQL based tool to create a wiki website — it’s free to download and use and works “out of the box” for more cases.
For more advanced needs, there are hundreds of extensions that can be added to increase functionality. MediaWiki can also be themed by applying a skin.
The installation procedure is easy and if you use CiviHosting of course we will do that for you. But if you prefer to do it yourself, see our How to Install MediaWiki guide.
MediaWiki was first released in 2002, and meant just for Wikipedia. Wikipedia was actually already a year old, and ran the first year on UseModWiki which is also free wiki software written in Perl, and today defunct. As Wikipedia great, they found that UseModWiki was not fast enough, and couldn’t handle the size and traffic of their site. So they built their own solution — MediaWiki.
The first version used PHP and MySQL and was called Phase II, and headed by Magnus Manske. That also soon proved not sufficient and so they rebuilt the entire package and called it Phase III, headed by Lee Daniel Crocker. That later changed to MediaWiki.
Then in June 2003, the Wikimedia Foundation was formed and announced. Soon thereafter, Daniel Mayer came up with the name “MediaWiki” for the software, and the name has stuck since.
The base functions of creating/editing/deleting pages is just the beginning. Of course MediaWiki also supports media uploads, including images and documents like PDF.
For video embedding, you would need to an extension, but there are several that do this well.
A few simple yet little-known features are the SpecialPages page. This is a page located at “Special:SpecialPages” on any wiki and has a list of special pages that are built into MediaWiki such as “All pages” which shows (not surprisingly) an alphabetical list of all pages on your wiki.
Other special pages include “Uncategorized files” and set of pages to manage users. Other features include “New pages” and “Random page” and log pages showing the activity on the site.
MediaWiki has strong support for multilingualism, internationalization and localisation. There are over 300 translations, although not all are complete. Other extensions, including the MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle which brings “ultimate language support to your MediaWiki.”
The largest extension is Semantic MediaWiki and this extension is also actually more of a framework in and of itself, with a set of related extensions. The power of Semantic MediaWiki is that it allows you to publish or export your data semantica and it can turn your wiki into flexible knowledge management system.
The next most popular extension we work with is the VisualEditor. This tool provides a rich editor for MediaWiki, with a WYSIWYG interface. The drawback of VisualEditor is that it is hard to install as it requires a Parsoid service which runs Node.js. At CiviHosting, we do support the VisualEditor, at a small additional fee which is required for the separate node.js server.
The only issue we have found with VisualEditor is that if you make a wiki private (meaning no access to users who are not logged in) with VisualEditor install, then then the entire wiki, meaning every page, just shows a server error. But we have a solution for that also, on our MediaWiki VisualEditor and a Private Wiki page.
MediaWiki supports remote authentication via the Auth remoteuser extension and supports protocols such as HTTP-Auth, LDAP, CAS, PAM, etc. There is also the BreadCrumbs2 extension to generate breadcrumbs to keep users aligned as to their locatoin in your wiki, and the DynamicPageList extension works like Drupal’s Views module a bit to allow you to generate dynamic page lists based on your criteria.
The Theme extension allows one to create “themes” which are customized versions of skins. There is also the MobileFrontend extension that allows you to create a separate site for mobile users and the MobileApp extension which “serves styles and scripts for use in the Wikimedia mobile applications”. You can read more about Wikimedia apps on the MediaWiki site.
Farm or Multi-Site
MediaWiki supports running multiple wikis using one shared codebase. This concept is known as a Wiki Family or Wiki Farm. CiviHosting supports such installs using sub-domains on all accounts and using top level domains on VPS accounts.
There are over 60 skins available on the all skins page on MediaWiki.org and include some popular ones:
The most popular is the default skin called Vector and it’s what powers MediaWiki and WikiMedia. It’s simple but works fine.
The Foreground skin is unique in that it has no sidebar — it keeps the MediaWiki links on the top and bottom, leaving the entire middle section for content. This means your content can be wide. It also features tabs and a grid layout.
Uses for MediaWiki
All kinds of people, organizations and Universities are using MediaWiki for all kinds of different purposes. There are wikis on subjects as disparate as nature, cars, history, war, gardening, technology, dance, theatre, gaming and more. Others are using it for simple “brochure” style sites with no true “wiki” functionality. Others use it for intranet documentation, or for limited-access online company documentation, where sensitive data is only available to registered users.
Even the WordPress Codex online manual uses MediaWiki. That means that WordPress, which powers literally 1/3 of the world’s top 1 million sites, uses MediaWiki for their own documentation.
MediaWiki uses a unique markup system, no matter what the hosting is. You can see full details on our MediaWiki Markup page.
Of course if you use a WYSIWYG editor you shouldn’t normally have to know about MediaWiki Markup.