Intro to Mediawiki

If you ever wanted to create a fairly easy yet powerful database of articles then mediawiki is for you. What is it? If there was one word to describe it, then I would say Wikipedia.

What does Wiki mean? The word ‘wiki’ is a Hawaiian word. Wiki-Wiki in Hawaiian means very quick or fast, and this perfectly describe one of the best features of Mediawiki.

Mediawiki is a software platform written in PHP that creates webpages for display in any web browser. The pages can be group into subjects, interlinked to each other with a lot of customization available depending on your needs.

For the technically minded, the backend utilises SQL for the database, with the software typically running on a Linux or Unix based operating system. The pages are served to you thanks to the web server (Apache on a linux box) that is running on your box. The resources that it requires are fairly minimal unless your database is quite large, but for small or medium business you don’t need to outlay thousands of dollars for a server. If the database is going to be large, one might consider getting a hosted server and installing Mediawiki on it there.

Most IT support staff would have operating system knowledge and would be able to set one up without too much difficulty. Maintenance would only be required at the beginning to finetune settings etc, and database backups kept regular like any other produvtion data.

It can not only be used for business, but charities or even at home dpending on your needs. With my limited knowledge, I had a mediawiki up and running on a OpenSuSe install in under 30 mins so i know it’s not rocket science.

Having said that, if you ever forget your admin password like I did, all is not lost. Check out my other post on this site.

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