Help:Starting a new page

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There are several ways to start a new page on MediaWiki sites. These can vary based on the type of page started, as well as the wiki and namespace.

Using wikilinks

MediaWiki makes it very easy to link wiki pages using a standard syntax (see Help:Links). If you (or anyone else) create a link to an article that doesn't exist yet, the link will be coloured red, like this.

Clicking a red link will take you to the edit page for the new article. Simply type your text, then preview your content and click "Save page", and the new page will be created. On the Dixwell Dossier, one of several custom help messages will appear above the edit box via MediaWiki:Newarticletext, depending on the namespace; this message will disappear once the preview mode takes effect.

Once the page has been created, the link will change from red to blue (purple for pages you've visited) indicating that it exists now.

Usually this is the best way to create a new page, because it means that right from the start, the page will be linked from at least one other place on the wiki (and typically you will want to mesh it into other related pages later). If you are creating a new page without creating any link to it, you may need to ask yourself: Does this page really fit in with the topics already covered in the wiki? Also, how will you expect visitors to find this page? Normally, there is no reason to create a page without first creating a red link to it.

Using the URL

You can use the wiki's URL for creating a new page. The URL to an article of the wiki is usually something like this:

  • http://www.example.net/index.php/ARTICLE    or
  • http://www.example.net/wiki/ARTICLE

On the Dossier, articles are referred to as "profiles".

If you replace ARTICLE with the name of the page you wish to create, you will see a message which indicates that no profile of that name exists yet. Clicking the "Edit" or (where available) "Edit with form" page tab at the top of the page will take you to the edit page or specific form for that profile, where you can create the new page by typing your text, previewing your content, and clicking submit.

From the search page

If you search for a page that doesn't exist (using the search box and “Go” button on the left of the page) then you will be provided with a link to create the new page. (Note that this technique doesn't work if you use the “Search” button.)

Creating redirects to your new page

Don't forget to setup redirects when necessary. If you think another person may search for the page you've created by using a different name or spelling, please create the proper redirect(s). See Help:Redirect.

From semantic forms

On sites running Semantic MediaWiki, pages can be created and edited through forms. A list of these can be found to the left of this page under "Add / Update Data", or on either Category:Forms or Special:Forms.

From XML and CSV imports

On Referata wikis, pages can also be created using XML files (via Special:Import) and CSV lists (via Special:ImportCSV); these functions are reserved strictly for administrators.

Protecting your new page

Normally a new wiki page can be edited by other people (that is one of the main ideas of a wiki!). However, administrators can protect the page, if desired, to prevent normal users from editing it, and also as a defense against spam and vandalism, especially on high-traffic pages. On the Dixwell Dossier, this practice extends to templates that are used on 20+ pages, and tagged with {{High risk}}.

Protected links

Administrators have the ability to prevent pages from being created at all. This includes demonstrative links, repeatedly recreated pages, and content that lies outside the scope of this wiki. In nearly all cases, this means that anonymous and registered users are unable to use certain titles for new pages. A current list can be found at Special:ProtectedTitles.

What new pages are not

Basically, on many a serious wiki, we don't want:

  • Test pages; please use the sandbox or Referata's Scratchpad
  • Hoax pages, in which information is deliberately false
  • Pages with no content or context, or those which only repeat the title in their text
  • Pages in the article namespace passing off as, or mistaken for, userpages
  • Pages that include private and/or sensitive content (e.g. user's phone number[s])
  • Userpages of non-existent accounts; doing so here will get you blocked!

On the Dossier, unwanted links also include:

  • Dictionary definitions (handled by Wiktionary)
  • Text dumps of works by other writers (handled by Wikisource and Project Gutenberg)
  • Pages consisting solely of infringing, fully copyrighted content (outside track pages, which are covered by fair-use provisions)
  • Pages through which a user is attempting to contact another who is not registered here

In addition, Referata's network and various other wikis have been hit hard time and again by the likes of:

  • Collections of spam links
  • Low-quality content
  • Deliberate advertising which serves the site no purpose
  • Pages with links containing malicious content (e.g. malware, spyware and viruses); better have an antivirus program running!
  • Userpages consisting of low-quality links and/or gibberish (looking at you, NTSAMR lowlifes)
  • And don't get us started on any escort services, business tips, gambling deals, or cheap Viagra prescriptions and the like. You may as well GET YOUR OWN WIKI FOR ALL OF THAT! And everything else mentioned above.

These, friends, are some of the symptoms of a barely maintained, seldom-checked wiki—the kind of stuff that sometimes drives off readers and editors in droves, to the point of doubt and frustration. This should not happen here either.

See also