Wiki in a WordPress advice
May 25, 2009 11:34 AM   Subscribe

How can I get my website a wiki?

Sorry if this comes across as a bit ignorant, but I'm not so technical...

I have a simple WordPress website which relates to my work documenting endangered languages in the Peruvian highlands.

Until now the few pages and the blog have served their purpose, but as I sort through the tons of information while I compile my dissertation, I find all kinds of interesting tidbits: photos, observations, stories, jokes, songs, etc. I tag and organize all this stuff in Evernote for my own reference, but it occurs to me that it'd be cool to have a small wiki which functions not only to categorize linguistic observations (eg an organized morphemic analysis) but also cultural ones. It could even be multilingual so Spanish/Portuguese readers could participate too. I'd include this in Wikipedia itself, but some of the information is so precise and exact that I think it'd get lost in Wikipedia (for example, I'd have an entry on the suffix -RAS which denotes the emphatic affirmative, I'd give some example sentences and maybe link it to some audio of songs in which it appears, those songs would be referenced to the occasion on which they are sung with photos, etc).

The big idea is that the community members themselves, when they visit the nearest larger village with internet, could learn how to input data and could grow the site. I think it'd be a cool idea that could play a role in efforts to help these people valorize their own culture and language.

I know how to write Wikis and all that, but am not sure how I could get one into (or linked to) my WordPress site.

I see there is a plugin for WordPress, but I confess I'm completely at loss with this. I think it'd turn my entire site into a Wiki which is not what I'm looking for...

Can anyone give me some advice on this? I will shamelessly promote you in the wiki once it exists.

Thanks a lot!
posted by mateuslee to Technology (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do you need to host the wiki on the same server as your blog? Does it need to fit the same theme/look? If you answered no to both of those, consider using a hosted, free Wiki solution like Google Sites. This is probably the most painless way to get a wiki.

Otherwise, if you have the proper access to the server your Wordpress blog is on, you can install MediaWiki, which is the same software that powers Wikipedia.
posted by nitsuj at 11:37 AM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

The simplest solution out there is probably just to use TiddlyWiki.
It's basically a single HTML page you upload to your server and which relies on Javascript to serve up the entries. The only problem I would anticipate is the fact that since all the information is stored on one page, it would hit your server pretty hard if your site has a decent sized audience.

If you are going for externally hosted, I have heard really good things about Wikispaces.

Good luck!
posted by eytanb at 11:43 AM on May 25, 2009

I agree: Wikispaces really is great. It's terrifically popular with educators and is very reliable.
posted by ninotchka at 12:10 PM on May 25, 2009

I have been maintaining a Wikispaces site for my overseas travels (shameless plug) and have found it absolutely fantastic. Plenty of storage for all your audio, photos and the like, too. Free, but $5/month if you want to get rid of the (unobtrusive) ads. Never been down, has all sorts of statistics and customisation options, and has been super fast for me.
posted by jozzas at 1:36 PM on May 25, 2009

Best answer: You asked about getting it "in to" your Wordpress site. Do you use the hosted Wordpress (, or maybe a domain name you redirect to If you do, all you're really going to be doing is listing your wiki as a link on the sidebar, and of course in any posts you want. If you run Wordpress off your own webserver (probably not, since you say you're not technical), then you can install and run MediaWiki (wikipedia's software) off that same server.

The suggestions you're getting are all good. Try to think of your wordpress site and the wiki as two separate things, rather than one joined thing, and you'll have a much easier time.
posted by donnagirl at 4:59 PM on May 25, 2009

Response by poster: So I can not run something like MediaWiki unless I have my own server?
I've looked at Wikispaces, but I found some of the articles that I wrote as a test were not very searchable... in the end, the best option is surprisingly Google Sites. I'm still researching though. Thanks all!
posted by mateuslee at 3:19 AM on May 26, 2009

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