Here’s my list of must-have features to keep in mind while creating a WordPress Wiki website.
Wait. Can you create a Wiki with WordPress?
Yes, you can. You can use WordPress and even get help from some WordPress plugins to create your own wiki website.
Who needs a Wiki website anyway?
If you want to collaborate on content in any way, you need a Wiki. You might want to create a wiki for a game, your favorite sports team, content sharing within your organization, etc.
You could even want to create a private/personal wiki for yourself to collect and organize your learning.
So what should you look for in a Wiki software? Let me walk you through just that.
The ability to edit content from the frontend or the same page as the content is very important for a wiki. This is where most people who try WordPress give up because by default WordPress does not come with front-end editing.
But, with Helpie plugin installed to your WordPress website, you have the frontend editing feature that makes Wiki what it is.
You might want only your fellow Starwars fans to access your Starwars wiki or you can allow only your company’s employees to access your company’s wiki.
This is where Access Restriction features become a necessity.
With Helpie plugin + WordPress, restrict access to specific people ( by WordPress’ user roles ) to your entire wiki. You can also restrict access to specific user roles for each topic.
There’s also access restriction that works by password protection, ie. you create passwords for specific topics and send them to people who you want to access those wiki articles under those topics.
Any properly organized wiki should have topics under which articles are organized. The wiki also should have topics with subtopics under them when necessary.
You could do this well in WordPress based wikis.
Table of Contents:
To make navigation easy on your wiki website, you can use a site-wide Table of Contents in your sidebar.
Your Table of Contents should let you show all your topics and subtopics with corresponding links. This will make it super easy to navigate the entire wiki.
Rich Text Editor:
Rich Text is the way of the modern web. Almost every category of web tools now feature rich-text editors, but some traditional wiki software still have not-so-rich rich text editors.
But while choosing a wiki platform, you should definitely expect a rich-text editor.
This is another place where WordPress shines.
The Rich Text Editor is incomplete without the ability to insert rich media files like images, videos, gifs, etc.
Not to worry, WordPress + Helpie is definitely the best way to go if you care about rich media.
You can upload media to your WordPress directly or use videos from a third-party like Youtube or Vimeo. If you are using a shared hosting service and expect a high volume of traffic, I would recommend hosting your videos on third-party platforms like Vimeo or Youtube.
Wiki Front Page:
Creating a clean, clear and organized front page for your wiki is very important. This is also where you can brand your wiki in a way that stays in your audience’s mind.
Your wiki WordPress plugin/theme should have a way for you to brand your wiki, have a simple and organized listing of topics and most importantly a search tool that’s located prominently in your front page.
Your users should be able to share their feedback on your articles. Feedback could be
Your wiki’s feedback system can be used even by your fans who do not contribute to your wiki. Feedback in the form of comments or votes is an easier way for them to communicate and contribute to the discussion in the article.
The more your wiki grows, the more prominent the search feature is going to be.
This is why your search needs to be powerful and super fast. These are some of the must-have features for your wiki’s search:
Live Search Suggestions:
No one wants to type in their entire search term. If your wiki’s search can auto-suggest as they type in the keyword, it’s a good experience for your user. Users nowadays expect this by default as it’s how all popular websites including Google work.
Your wiki’s search should be able to look through thousands of articles and return the correct search suggestions and results within a second. All this with hundreds or thousands of users searching through at the same time.
People don’t often remember the exact keyword or phrase to search for. That’s why we need our search to return suggestions and results based on a partial match of the keywords in the content.
Keyword Weighted results:
Somewhere the simple match might not return the correct result, this is why you need a search engine that can weigh the keyword usage in the content and turn the most important results first.
These search features might not be something that’s part of a visible element in your wiki, but nevertheless, these features make a robust wiki.
Integration with Drag and Drop Page Builders:
The WordPress is rich with powerful page builder plugins that make your inner designer come alive.
To fully utilize the benefits that come from page builders, you should choose WordPress Wiki Plugins that are compatible with these page builders.
Helpie is compatible with almost every major page builders. If you want my recommendation for a page builder, I suggest Elementor.