Tell me about creating a Wiki site.

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  • Tell me about creating a Wiki site.
  • There was talk on the Severn Valley Railway forum a while ago about creating a dedicated SVR wiki.
    It never happened, so I’m thinking about starting it myself.
    It might fall flat with no interest, or it might snowball with all the various groups involved in the SVR wanting their own page.
    I don’t want to invest too much time or money at first, in case it doesn’t take off, so what’s the minimum I need to do and spend.

    I take it I’ll need web hosting, a domain name and the wiki software.
    Any recommendations and anything else I need to know.
    I take it I can just copy & paste stuff across from Wikipedia to start with, sorting out any internal links as I go?
    I’m not ashamed to admit I soon get out of my depth with computer stuff, so keep it simple, although I’ve been editing this page, so I can learn new stuff if I try.


    Wikis always sound like a great idea for that kind of information sharing, but in my experience they’re a bit of a nightmare – you need a decent team of dedicated editors to ensure the information is always up to date, and trying to curate the whole of a large site on your own just isn’t going to happen long term. That said, the actual setting up of a wiki, editing and the like is pretty simple. Likewise creating pages, links and whatnot is very easy once you’ve done it a couple of times.

    I can’t really add much more about the practicalities of setting one up online, though: the ones I’ve set up have been on local company networks and on a server 100% under my control. A quick google suggests or as possible options.

    I’m still looking in to this and I’m still confused.
    I want to use Mediawiki as that’s the one that Wikipedia uses, so it’s got a style and layout that everyone’s familiar with.
    There’s a list of hosts here, but as the discussion mentions, some of them are just regular web hosts with no special provisions for Mediawiki.
    Some are Wiki Farms and some of them are even free.
    I’ve signed up with as they are free and offer .wiki domains.
    Is that the best one for now to see how it goes, or should I have gone straight for paid hosting and domain name and then downloaded and uploaded the software ?

    Reading up a bit more about wiki hosting, it sounds like some of the wiki farms will virtually hold the wiki name and content to ransom if you want to leave.
    I’m starting this as a personal project, but the hope is that if it proves popular, the SVR will take it over and host it on their own servers.
    For that reason, I think it would be best to start of entirely independently by using Mediawiki on my own web space.

    So, the question now is; what’s the best deal for web hosting and a domain name?
    If we take a guess at 500 pages with a picture on each, how much space do I need?

    Not a lot of space at all if your images are suitably compressed, 250mb max maybe.

    As you’ll find out, most hostimg companies either offer free space with a domain name or gigs upon gigs of space for a few quid per month.

    I don’t mind paying for a faster, more reliable server with no adverts.
    Any recommendations?

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    oh well, seeing as you haven’t had any other recommendations, I’ve happily been using GoDaddy for a few years now for a couple of sites with about 300 visitors a day. Seems reasonably responsive although it’s heavily cached which might not work so well with a Wiki. They appear to have a one click install of MediaWiki as well. I’ve also got a bunch of domain names with them and that seems ok as well

    They have a European data centre so make sure you are on that but I think it happens automatically these days if you setup from the UK. Price is around a fiver a month I think, I can’t remember. Note that the response of sites tends to be a bit higher during the first month as they know it’s a trial – tends to go downhill a bit later

    I’ve had to call their help lines a couple of times now and they have been great on both occasions. In any case I regularly back up the whole thing in case there is any hassle (I had a friend with a site on a different host and they deleted their whole site as they had missed two payments – no backups 🙁 )


    Have a look at TSOhost.
    I use them for a WordPress site for a cycling club. They’re well priced and provide excellent support if you need it. I Can’t fault them really. We’ve had a couple of short outages and occasionally the site can be a little slow. That’s it.
    They also provide free backups

    From 2.99/ month IIRC

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