Looking for wikis with well-designed front pages
June 2, 2008 8:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to revamp my organization's wiki. Have you seen a Mediawiki installation with a really well-designed front page?

Right now, our wiki's front page is just a selection of internal links in a few categories, making for a long, uninviting, single column wall 'o' letters. I'd like to class it up a bit, especially since it's public-facing with a high PageRank — users who landed on one of our deep pages via Google and clicked up to ../Main_Page would thus recognize that they're looking at a big, unified wiki resource.

Obviously, Wikipedia's front page is the gold standard for a Mediawiki homepage (or at least it's the most recognized). Of course, we don't have as much daily activity, so it wouldn't make sense for us to put as much dynamic content on the front page. I guess I'm just looking for examples of well-designed front pages that display a relatively stable introduction to the wiki's relatively stable content.

If it helps, we've got some "current events" pages, a lot of "how to's," an awful lot of entries for individual members of a particular group, and some administrivia like meeting minutes.
posted by electric_counterpoint to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Of course, I'm amenable to general suggestions about what's good in Wiki design as well, though my first focus is on the front page.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 8:43 AM on June 2, 2008

I always liked WikiHow's front page but from what I understand they use a modded version of Mediawiki, so I don't know if it's possible to replicate their look and design without modding the Mediawiki installation.
posted by crios at 9:14 AM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: Wikipedia's front page may be well-known, but it's very poor web design. Many of their Main Page Alternatives are much easier to look at and better-organized. Such as my favorite, Classic 2006.
posted by yath at 9:45 AM on June 2, 2008

Forum Nokia Wiki.
posted by falameufilho at 10:01 AM on June 2, 2008

The short answer to your question is: No, I have never seen a wiki homepage that is not absolutely hideous.

Of the Wikipedia options, I think that Executive and Shade of Blue are the least objectionable but seriously, the whole thing gets eaten by its own navigation. That shit is ug-leeeeee.

This flabbergasts me. if I did not absolutely passionately hate wikis, I'd do something about it. I mean, it's HTML; it isn't voodoo. Surely it is possible to CSS and XHTML up a design that's, you know, actually designed and stick the wiki bits into it.


In any case, perhaps someone will come by and drop a link to The World's Greatest Looking Wiki and restore my faith in humanity.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:12 PM on June 2, 2008

I find Wikihack to be laid out pretty nice.
posted by escher at 1:15 PM on June 2, 2008

I nicked the design of wikipedia, and simplified it some for our support front page; it's actually a trac wiki, but I embedded the design using html because it was simpler than using entirely trac wiki syntax (which I could have done, but it doesn't change much). Maybe the simpler layout would be useful. Anyway.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:04 PM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: Thinking more clearly the next morning, it occurred to me that the Mediawiki project itself would almost surely have a page for people to post their own installations, and many of those might have custom designs. Sure nuff.

Of course, unlike Wikimedia's stuff, most of these designs are copyright, so future browsers of this question, take heed.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 3:34 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

AHA! I take it all back. This They Might Be Giants wiki is officially the best looking wiki skinning ever.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:20 PM on June 12, 2008

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