MediaWiki

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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 wating to hear from you.

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The latest stable version of MediaWiki is always tested and confirmed to run on our shared hosting and VPS hosting accounts.

Need More Storage?

We can provide additional disk space. Just contact us for a custom quote.

Reputation

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

Security

We will install MediaWiki for you and keep it online, secure and running fast, with no headaches involved.

Hosting Features

All features included with all accounts at no extra cost:

Shared Hosting

VPS Hosting

Support

SSL certificates

Control Panel

Backups

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.

Hosting for MediaWiki

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.

History

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.

Core Functions

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.

Internationalization

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.”

Extensions

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.

Permissions

MediaWiki supports extensive user permissions include User rights and groups. You can read more on the User rights and Permissions manual pages.

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.

Skins

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.

Then there is Chameleon which is a customizable skin that uses Bootstrap. It comes with 5 built in layouts to choose from or you could create your own. This theme is responsive.

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.

Foundation is a responsive skin built on the Foundation framework, which is meant to be a mobile-first framework.

The Pivot skin features a demo site so you can see it in action. It’s also built on the Foundation framework, meant to be mobile-first skin that can “pivot” or adjust itself to any machine.

The Metrolook skin can be previewed on the live PidiWiki site and the Timeless skin has a demo on the wmflabs site.

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.