How to use MediaWiki in your company? Installation of MediaWiki.

Do you run a company or are you responsible for organizational matters? Teamwork and information flow are the lifeblood of your day? Your company has a large knowledge database and you would like easier external access to it? Maybe you are planning to share it with the world in the most transparent way? 

All of that, and even more you can achieve as a part of your hosting and website domain. The recipe for how to achieve this is simple. All you need is willingness; a bit of work, some knowledge (which you will have after reading the article), and a proper tool in a form of…MediaWiki.

What is MediaWiki? 

You are probably familiar with Wikipedia. Who wouldn’t be? It is a multilingual online encyclopedia working on open content principles that were created on the MediaWiki engine. It’s an open-source, free wiki-style content management system (CMS). It means that the websites created on this software can be edited in a browser without the need of installing any add-ons or plug-ins. MediaWiki is freely available for anyone who wants to use and develop it. Thanks to it, many common projects and websites have been created around the world. Wikipedia is one of the most known examples. ICANNWiki – the encyclopedia of the institution granting names of website domains, is another one. One of our companies also uses MediaWiki, but the internal resources can only be accessed by authorized personnel.  

How is MediaWiki different from Wikimedia?

At this point, it is worth adding a second definition – Wikimedia. It is often confused with the previously mentioned MediaWiki. 

Wikimedia is an organization created to care about and support the projects established on wiki’s software – the most famous being Wikipedia.

MediaWiki, DokuWiki, or Wiki.js? – how are wiki software different? 

MediaWiki is not the only wiki software but one of the first ones that have a very extensive base of configuration functions. The names mentioned in the header can be classified into more popular ones because they can be often searched in “top wiki rankings”. In addition to them, there are also 78 various wiki’s software and each of them can differ from each other in many factors, e.g.:

  • the programming language in which it was written,      
  • the method of data storage, 
  • date of the last update,
  • security method, 
  • the number of interface languages. 

In the case of the latter, MediaWiki is an unambiguous winner because it has 140 of them. 

You can easily compile most of the important data using the Wikimatrix comparison tool. Thanks to that, you will check whether a given specification will meet your expectations. See below graphic with a partial comparison of DokuWiki, MediaWiki, and Wiki.js.

wiki comparision

Comparison of the features of the most popular software like a wiki.

What can MediaWiki be used for? Advantages of using MediaWiki in the company

Okay, now the important question – will MediaWiki be useful at your company? 

Creating your MediaWiki may bring many benefits to your company, however, the profitability depends on how many employees you hire. 

MediaWiki will be useful where at least a few people are hired – that’s why it will be perfect for small and medium companies.

Below, I will present two ways of its use and the benefits associated with it. 

MediaWiki is a great way for an internal knowledge database at your company. 

At your private or company’s computer, you probably have the files in which you archive various types of documents. They are located in separate places – this keeps the general order and it is easier to find a given file when you need to display it. Additionally, in connection with proper naming, searching for folders and files is possible from the level of an in-build search engine. 

A similar system of archiving can be achieved using MediaWiki, but access to the created data will only be available for authorized users.

Thanks to MediaWiki, you can simply share the knowledge with all people at the company. 

This solution facilitates the onboarding of new employees and it supports the existing employees when they need to refresh information. It will work out for both stationary and remote work. Thanks to an open code MediaWiki makes creating a coherent environment in which each employee will be able to interact with each other and independently develop the necessary threads when it is needed possible.

Creating your own Wikipedia – usign MediaWiki as a public internet encyclopedia  

Creating a public Internet encyclopedia may be a good solution when your company deals with a specific area and many industry terms appear in it. Examples of such public wikis are: on which you may find, e.g. unique dates of domain creation, or, where you can find accurate descriptions of items or missions. By creating a public Internet encyclopedia you provide your recipients with access to a variety of knowledge, which they will be able to update on their own. Thus, you will be able to save some time in the future and dedicate it to something else. 

However, you must know that if you plan to launch the public MediaWiki in the size of Wikipedia, then standard shared website hosting may turn out to be insufficient. It is related to the increased demand for the computing power of the server caused by numerous visits to the website – it all depends on the website’s popularity. Therefore, if you plan to lunch a mass MediaWiki on your server, make sure it will handle all the requirements to avoid overloading. By choosing a separate VPS server you may achieve an ideal server specification and smoothness of operation. 

Moreover, when choosing a public version of MediaWiki you cannot forget about the basic security which is the SSL certificate. It will guarantee the confidentiality of the data transmitted between your server and your recipient’s browser. 

Additional advantages of using MediaWiki at a company 

Besides the two key application, you may distinguish other benefits, when using MediaWiki at a company:

  • When creating a website in MediaWiki, you will practice the skill of using HTML and CSS and in extreme cases, even in PHP and JavaScript. However, you don’t need to know any of these technologies to publish your content – MediaWiki offers build-in functions, that will help you with basic website formatting.
  •  By having your own MediaWiki, you can effectively stand out from the competition and make your company better perceived by the recipients.
  •  In comparison to a website, MediaWiki can guarantee greater convenience and simplicity in searching for all the passwords collected so far.  
  •  MediaWiki is a constantly evolving product. Thanks to that, you can count on constant support from the wiki community. 
  •  MediaWiki has extensive functionality and by editing the configuration code you can, e.g. add a comment section or make it look like WordPress.   
  • Skillful usage of MediaWiki may influence the organic result of your main website because you will be able to transfer additional traffic to it.

How to run your MediaWiki on website hosting?

It may seem that creating a project as large as your MediaWiki is a very time-consuming task. The most time-consuming is the publication of content. 

However, the installation itself is a very quick process, especially if you use an auto-installer available in cPanel. 

For basic MediaWiki installation, you need only two things, namely efficient website hosting and a web domain. It is worth installing an SSL certificate to encrypt the connection between your server and your recipient’s browser. 

At first, decide whether you want to install MediaWiki on a currently existing domain or as a part of a subdomain, e.g.  or you want to install it on a completely new (independent) domain. 

Summary – how to use MediaWiki software in a company?

Creating your MediaWiki may bring many benefits to your company, however, the profitability depends on how many employees you hire. 

Developed MediaWiki will allow your company to save a lot of time during onboarding and significantly facilitate the flow of information. What is more, making MediaWiki public (with valuable knowledge) may influence the recognizability and make your company to be considered as open and developmental.