A ‘wiki software’ is a software which is used to create a collaborative environment known as a “Wiki”. With the help of wiki software, people can collaboratively create, edit and share contents on the Wiki. The wiki software is installed on a web server and usually run as a web application, and the contents of the wiki are typically stored in a database.
Wiki software is also known as Wiki engine, and many of them are free and open source wiki software which requires a wiki hosting. Usually, companies use these wiki software on their company intranets to create a private wiki network for themselves. There are also hosted wiki solutions where the company gives the wiki software and wiki hosting.
Uses of Wiki Software
You could use a wiki software on a public facing wiki, private network wiki or a personal wiki. Wiki software can be used in different ways based on use cases. They are,
- As an internal wiki software for your team collaboration
- As an enterprise / corporate wiki software for storing and sharing your company’s knowledge
- A classroom wiki software for teachers to share materials with students
- As a simple personal wiki software for taking notes
Best Wiki Software
So many wiki tools are available. Discussions on social forums like Reddit and Quora are never-ending. We have read many of them and found some of the best options. Some are free and open source wiki software, and some are premium wikis.
Premium Wiki Software
As the name suggests, you have to pay to get these wiki software. They simply self-hosted software (you need to hosting separately) or You can get hosted wiki software as a service (SAAS). The best about getting a premium tool is that you get dedicated support and it’s much better than merely relying on community support.
Helpie Wiki is a WordPress wiki software meaning it is a wiki plugin which gives wiki features to the WordPress CMS. WordPress environment is extremely flexible and extending WordPress functions is easy, and thousands of plugins and themes are available. Helpie Wiki is the only wiki plugin for WordPress with which you can create a fully collaborative environment.
It can be a smart and affordable alternative to free open source wiki software and costly hosted wiki software. Many wiki software users from software such as MediaWiki and Confluence have switched to Helpie Wiki.
Helpie – Wiki features
- Publishing capabilities – you can decide who gets to write, edit, moderate and publish contents.
- Revision system with an unlimited number of revisions
- Front-end editor for creating and editing wiki contents.
- Rich Text and Media editor.
- Single page and Category (topics) access restriction to restrict content for users
- Auto-linking of articles based on keywords
- Very intuitive and user-friendly.
- It is very much affordable especially comparing enterprise wiki solutions like Confluence and could be certainly used as an alternative.
- WordPress environment is beginner friendly, and you don’t need coding knowledge to use it.
- It has a Text and Media-rich editor, and it doesn’t use any markup language.
- You can make use of the vast number of plugins and themes available for WordPress. Many of them are free.
- It is also very easy to write custom codes for WordPress.
- With Helpie Wiki you get a dedicated customer support team ready to help you on every step of the way. You can also get service for setting up your wiki for a minimal payment.
- Could be hosted from both Linux and Windows web servers.
- Since WordPress was created primarily as a blogging CMS may not appeal to people as a Wiki tool. However, WordPress has evolved very much in recent years and proving to be useful in many areas.
- Developers who are used to writing with Markup language may not link rich text editors.
- Using WordPress on Microsoft web platforms may take some more effort than usual.
You can also use it on a local server using Flywheel or other tools.
You can also create a WordPress intranet for your organization.
Confluence is a collaboration software developed by Atlassian, the company behind many famous products like JIRA, HipChat, and Bitbucket. It has dedicated and organized spaces for sharing contents, and it can connect across teams.
It is marketed as an enterprise wiki software, and pricing varies based on the numbers of users. The hosted wiki charges $5 per user, and self-hosted wiki software has a one-time price also based on the number of users.
- Confluence offers a highly intuitive and user-friendly experience
- Has a document inline commenting feature
- It has integration with other Atlassian tools and many other work tools
- You pay for every new user, and so it is very costly. Both the hosted and self-hosted versions of this software charge for the number of users.
- It is using the concept of spaces, and many of the users are not comfortable the spaces idea.
- The search is not optimized. It’s not easy to find contents using the search bar. Many users have complained about the lousy search experience.
- There’s a plugin architecture, but it is not easy to develop a plugin for Confluence.
Other Premium Wiki Software Solutions
Several companies give hosted wiki solutions as a SAAS product. Mostly they have a basic free plan, and premium plans are paid a monthly or yearly subscriptions.
Microsoft has given some hosted wiki software like Sharepoint (used as Enterprise wiki and Team wiki) and Onenote which integrates with Microsoft Office to create a web-based collaborative platform.
There are also other types of hosted wiki software like Notion, AirTable, etc.,
Free and Open Source Wiki software
MediaWiki is the most popular wiki software and best open source wiki software available on the internet. It is a good option for company intranets especially if you are running large projects and going to handle a high number of contents. For example, it is the wiki software running on Wikipedia, and so you know that it can manage large projects.
The core software lacks built-in functionality, but there are many extensions available. You can even hire a developer to get your wiki customized.
- It can handle large projects.
- There’s a reasonably large community of people who can provide support and extensions for MediaWiki
- It can be installed on Linux as well as Windows platform and uses PHP and MySQL/ MariaDB
- If you like using a Markup language, you will love it
- The user interface is not very intuitive and beginner friendly.
- It doesn’t have page level access restriction.
- It uses Wiki Markup language, and so non-programmers may not like to use it (WYSIWYG editor available as an extension)
- No dedicated support to ask for help. You need to hire an expert
DokuWiki is a simple wiki software which is best suitable for creating and managing documentation. It is easy to manage and restrict teams and work-groups with DokuWiki. It does lack some advanced features compared to other wiki software, but it shines in its user-friendliness.
- There’s a vast number of plugins and extensions to extend its functionality.
- It has a markdown language which is simpler to use.
- It stores everything in plain-text.
- Since it doesn’t use a database, it is not recommended for sites with high-traffic.
- Even small things like Rich-text (WYSIWYG) editor and adding categories requires a plugin, and this can quickly lead to managing lots of plugins
- Since it stores everything as plain text adding media requires plugins.
Tiki is an open-source Groupware and Content Management System (CMS) for creating a wiki platform with additional functionality. Tough it is mainly a collaboration tool, it can also be used to create websites and intranets, for forums, chat rooms, blog, and image gallery, calendar, and much more. So you will be able to grow your encyclopedia into something greater.
- You can generate RSS feeds for your wiki.
- It has options to set up a group and user-specific calendars.
- You can make use of a tracking system for group projects.
- The interface is looks rather old, and it is not intuitive.
- Since it has so much stuff built-in, it can be overwhelming and unnecessary for people looking for a simple wiki software
- Tough it has many features as a whole; the individual capability of each function is limited.
Free Wiki Software – Honorable mentions
There are some other open source wiki software which are popular but they didn’t meet our criteria. TiddlyWiki and ZimWiki are great for people looking for personal wiki software. Both are great for taking notes. BookStack and FosWiki are good options for free open source wiki software.
What do you think about the tools which we have mentioned here? What wiki software do you use? Do share in the comments section.