How to Build a Wiki Server

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    Purpose and Audience

    • 1). Determine who your audience will be and what type of subjects the Wiki is going to feature. Every good Wiki site has a purpose. While Wikipedia offers a wide range of topics, some sites choose to focus on one topic, such as nature or technology. Pick your topic or field of interest, stick with it and build on that.

    • 2). Write clear and precise instructions and disclaimers. If you're planning to make your Wiki database accessible to the public, which allows people to read and write articles, you'll need a strict set of guidelines to prevent continuous questions and problems. You'll also need to create a basic disclaimer explaining to the public that not all of the content on your Wiki is factual.

    • 3). Manage spam to the best of your abilities. Keeping your library free of spam is a major task and will need dedication; without it, your Wiki may appear sloppy and unappealing. At first, you'll need to delete, edit and dump posts that contain spam or incorrect information by yourself. Once your Wiki becomes populated, the wide range of users will generally help you keep your library clean.

    • 4). Determine the limit of accessibility, which can be difficult. Allowing everyone and anyone to post, read and edit articles obviously creates the problem of spam and malicious content being posted. Requiring a registration process may be helpful, but that can crowd your server or database. It's a fine line between being as inclusive as possible while maintaining the security of your Wiki, but it's a line you must draw.

    • 5). Choose a Wiki application to get started; this is entirely up to the library creator. Some Wiki software is much easier to use than others, but that means that it will also limit your customization options. Some Wikis can be freely hosted on the web, while others have to be installed on the library's own server, which too will allow greater customization.

    Configuring the Wiki

    • 1). Download Media Wiki or a similar Wiki program (such as Seed Wiki). You'll need to configure your server details, such as username and password, a name for your wiki, contact mail and a caching method.

    • 2). Configure your database settings, such as database type, database host, database username and password. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your database installation.

    • 3). Add a few pages to help lift your Wiki server off its feet. By doing this, users may take interest in your content and will keep coming back for more. Keep it clean, precise and interesting, and your Wiki library will be a sure success.

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