MediaWiki Cookbook

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This is a cookbook-style guide for using and running a MediaWiki instance. (MediaWiki is the software that runs Wikipedia, Wikibooks and other Wikimedia projects). The book's intent is to offer a step-by-step solution (or recipe) to common problems that people who run a wiki will see.


  1. Introduction
  2. Initial setup
    1. Cheatsheets for new administrators
    2. How-tos and checklists
    3. Handouts for new users
    4. Slideshow tutorials for new users
  3. Different needs
    Typical setups (base and extensions) and configurations for specific types of sites
    Drupal calls them distros, and they are very helpfu to people starting out. (e.g. simple to create an online newspaper)
  4. Different types of hosting
    1. Shared hosting
    2. On a local system (like Windows)
    3. On networked server for local use
    4. On a virtual machine
  5. Users
    1. Setting up users
    2. Useful groups
    3. Modifying login form
    4. Limiting users / anonymous contributions / etc.
    5. Moderating changes
    6. Using internal and external email
    7. Notifications
  6. Backend maintenance in one hr a week
    1. Wishful thinking
    2. Crucial tasks (add extension that flags updated extensions)
    3. Weekly checklist for security
  7. Insulating the end user from details
    1. Data Entry Forms
    2. Data Entry Forms that have uploads of different kinds of files
    3. Data Entry Forms that need HTML codes / wikitext codes / <pre> codes / etc.
    4. Inputs - What they are, where they come from, how to add them
    5. Adding documents types that can upload
    6. Uploading multiple documents
    7. Sample pages: biographies, newsletter, collections, documentation
  8. Finding sets
    1. Search & Query Forms with all mandatory fields
    2. Query Forms with fields that might be blank
    3. Query Forms with results that aren't tables
  9. Displaying sets
    1. Reports - Directories by Category
    2. Reports - Directories by Category that use compound queries to populate maps
    3. Reports - Directories by Category that use same data, but a different format
    4. Reports - Directories by Searches
    5. Reports - Individual pages
    6. Reports - Link to subpages from main page (to display other fields, like main biography and subpage for photos)
  10. Look and Feel
    1. Changing the homepage
    2. Changing the header
    3. Changing the menu
    4. Changing the logo
    5. Changing the color scheme
    6. Using multiple skins
    7. Modifying CSS per page / section / etc.
    8. Using FontAwesome Icons
  11. More Complex Formats
    1. Galleries
    2. Slideshows
    3. Tables
    4. Info boxes
    5. Charts & graphs
  12. Random things people find helpful
    1. New User References like Top 10 markup codes
    2. How to update an extension, report any issues, rollback the update
    3. How to get to MySQL tables on shared hosting
    4. How to set up a section that is private, suitable for things like internal budgets
    5. Examples of using Namespace, Category, etc. usefully and not usefully
    6. LocalSettings.php - organizing it rationally; annotating; order; etc.
    7. Tools you will need - Notepad ++, Filezilla, access to backend, frontend access as admin
  13. Index
  14. Glossary

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