How to create and manage pages in MediaWiki

In this article we'll go over some of the basic tasks related to managing pages in MediaWiki, such as editing, adding, redirecting, protecting, deleting, renaming, etc. For screenshots and a more detailed description you can also check out the tutorial on how to manage pages in MediaWiki.

Edit Pages

To edit a page, after you open that page click on the Edit button in the top right of the page. The location of the button depends on the particular skin. As an example we'll use the Vector skin that comes prepackaged with MediaWiki.

On the page that opens there's a text editor that shows the current content of the page. You can edit it and add new content. Above the text area there are some buttons for performing various things with the text (e.g. make it bold or italicized, insert links, etc.). Below the text area of the editor there are some buttons. With the respective button you can preview the page to see how it will look after you save the changes; you can view the changes that you've made in comparison with the old content or you can cancel the revision. To save the changes click on the Save page button.

On an open wiki site by default all users can edit the pages. If you want to change that, you have to edit the permissions and rights of the user groups.

Create Pages

As with editing pages, by default on an open wiki site all users can add new pages.

There are different ways in which pages can be created:

  • Use the search function to search for a page that doesn't exist. If the search doesn't find such a page, on the search result page there will be a link for going to the form for creating the page. The page will be labeled with the term used for the search.

  • A different way is to open the URL address of a page that doesn't exist. For example, if the homepage of the site is, there's no page called Example page and you open the URL, you'll be offered to create the page. The page will have no content and you'll be given a link to edit the page, meaning to create it, or you can use the Create button at the top.

  • Another way is to use a link to a page that doesn't exist. You or another user can add a link on an existing page to a page that doesn't exist. That link will be colored in red. When you click on it the text editor for creating the page will open.

Redirect Pages

Page redirects are useful when there are two or more pages with similar titles that are on the same subject. Then you can have one page to hold and display the content and you can redirect the other pages to that page. It's also useful for redirecting pages that have the same title but the only difference is the capitalization (e.g. Examle page and Example Page). When a user opens a page with a redirect the page to which it points automatically opens. To redirect a page to another one, edit the page and on the very first line of the text area for the content put the following line:

#redirect [[name-of-page]]

Change name-of-page with the name of the page to which you want the page with the redirect to point. You can remove the rest of the content that's below the redirect; the page won't be shown anyway since all requests for it will be redirected to the specified page in the redirect command.

Redirects can be inserted by all users who belong to user groups that are allowed to edit pages.

Move and Rename Pages

In MediaWiki to move and to rename a page refers to the same action. The term that's usually used is to move a page. When you move a page, a page with the specified new name is created, the content from the page with the old name is moved to the one with the new name, the old page is kept and a redirect is placed so that all requests for the page with the old title will be pointed to the new one. This ensures that there will not be broken links on existing pages that point to the page with the old name.

Note that by default only registered users can move pages; visitors are not allowed to do it. To move a page, open the page, click on the More button in the top right corner and from the drop-down menu select Move. A form with some options will open. Type the name of the new page in the field To new title. There are a few optional settings: you can provide a reason, select whether the associated talk page should be moved too, and choose whether to put the old and the new page in your watchlist. For administrators there's also an option for removing the redirect from the old page (usually used when you move back/unmove a page that has been moved by mistake). After you're ready with the options click on the Move page button.

Delete and Restore Pages

In MediaWiki it's also possible to delete pages. Usually an alternative action is preferred; for example, it may be better to move/rename the page, or to place a redirect to another page (e.g. in cases of duplicate content). By default only administrators have the permission to delete pages.

To delete a page, after you open it click on the More button at the top and from the menu that appears select Delete. On the form that opens there are some optional settings that you can configure. Click on the Delete page button to proceed.

To restore a deleted page, open that page. You can do that by searching for its name with the search function or by directly opening its URL address. On the page click on the view/restore button. If you don't remember the name, either go to the Recent changes page, find the particular deletion action and use the link to the page to open it, or you can go the deletion log and access the form for restoring the page from there. To open the log, go to Special pages in the Tools menu>Recent changes and logs section>Logs button. Whichever method you choose you'll end up on the form for restoring the page. At the bottom you'll find the page history. You can select the revision that you want to be restored. If you don't mark anything, the whole history will be kept and the page will be restored with its most recent revision. Click on the Restore button to proceed.

Protect Pages

For each page there are options with which you can restrict user groups from editing and moving that page. Only administrators are allowed by default to use the protect function.

To change the protection settings of a page, open that page, click on the More button at the top and from the drop-down menu that appears select Protect. On the page that opens there are options for the Edit action and the Move action; to configure those for the Move action in a different way than those for Edit, mark the checkbox Unlock further protect options.

Select the user group from the list; the selected group (e.g. autoconfirmed users) and all groups that are hierarchically higher (e.g. administrators) will be allowed to perform the action. From the Expire drop-down menu choose for how long the protection should apply. After you're ready click on the Confirm button.

Special Pages Related to Pages

In MediaWiki there are some pages called special pages that either contain information about your site or they can be used to perform administrative tasks. Some of these pages are related to managing the content pages. There are different reports, statistics and tools. To see a list of all the special pages click on the Special pages button in the Tools menu on the left. On the page that opens the special pages are grouped into sections. In particular, the sections that are more directly related to providing you with information about the pages of the site are Maintenance reports, List of pages, Recent changes and logs, High use pages and Page tools. When it comes to the tools there are ones for comparing pages, for finding all the internal links to a page, for exporting and importing pages, etc.

User Pages and Discussion Pages

Each registered user can have a personal page on which they can provide information about themselves or whatever they wish. To create and access the page of your user account, after you log in click on your username at the top of the page. The usernames of users who have made contributions to the content of pages or performed some administrative action are shown on the pages that list these actions (e.g. Recent changes page, logs, etc.). The names are links to the user pages and they can be used by others to access these pages.

Each page has an associated talk page, also called a discussion page. On this talk page users can post comments about the page with which it's associated. To access (and create, if there isn't one) a talk page, after you open a page click on the Discussion tab that's in the top left corner of the screen.

Note that a user page can also have an associated talk page.

For screenshots and more details you can also read the tutorial on how to manage pages in MediaWiki.

Some other tutorials related to pages are:

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