How many times have you visited Wikipedia website? Ever wondered how the website was built? Ever wanted to build a website like Wikipedia? I have got all this covered up for you, but before getting to that let us first understand the nitty-gritty of what wiki is actually.

What is Wiki?

Wiki is a collaborative web application that allows users to edit or add content. We often call Wikipedia as wiki but any website that allows users to edit content on the fly using a simple markup language can be called as Wiki.

Howard G. “Ward” Cunningham is the founder of wiki and WikiWikiWeb is the first wiki website that was launched. Now that we have spoken enough history let’s just get back to where we were headed to.

How is Wikipedia built?

Wikipedia is built using free wiki software called MediaWiki which licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL). The minimum system requirements needed to run MediaWiki is PHP 5.3.2 and MYSQL 5.0.2/ PostgreSQL / SQLite.

Installing MediaWiki on XAMPP

  • I am going to show you how to install MediaWiki on a local system using XAMPP.
  • Download the latest version of MediaWiki.
  • Create a folder called Wiki under C:\xampp\htdocs\
  • Move the downloaded mediawiki-1.22.5.tar.gz into the newly created Wiki folder and extract the contents.
  • You should see a mediawiki-1.22.5.tar file, extract the tar file again.
  • Now I have all my extracted contents under C:\xampp\htdocs\Wiki
  • Now navigate to http://localhost:81/wiki/ in your browser and you should see a message as shown below:

MediaWiki to build a website like Wikipedia

  • So far so good, click on the set up the wiki first link.
  • You should now see the Media Wiki Installation Page. Select the language that you prefer for your wiki and click Continue.

MediaWiki Language selection

  • The next page will check whether the server meets the system requirements installing MediaWiki and displays some copyright information too. There could be some warning messages displayed for you, you can just ignore them since this is just going to be a local installation. At the end of Environmental checks section you should see a message that gives your installation a go. Click Continue.

MediaWiki Environmental Check

  • The next screen is the database installation screen. Just enter your MySQL password and leave the rest of the fields untouched and click Continue.

Database settings

  • Leave the settings as it is in the Database settings screen and click Continue.
  • Enter a name for your Wiki, your name, password and email address in the next screen. Make a note of the log in information that you enter in this screen, without this you cannot log in into your wiki.

MediaWiki to build a website like Wikipedia

  • You can go ahead and install Wiki right away or do some more configurations in the forthcoming screens. For now let’s just select the “I’m bored already, just install the wiki.” Option and click Continue.
  • You will be given one more final confirmation to start the installation, click Continue.
  • You should see a screen that displays the installation checklist completion status.Click Continue.

Installation Completed and its details

  • The final screen shows you that you have successfully completed your installation and a LocalSettings.php file will be downloaded which holds all your configuration details. Please ensure that you download it before you leave the screen.

Final Confirmation Screen

  • Copy the downloaded LocalSettings.php file and place it under C:\xampp\htdocs\Wiki. Open the LocalSettings.php file and change the $wgLogo variable value to point to your own Logo.
  • Hurray you are now ready to get into your Wiki, navigate to the below URL and you should see your wiki landing page.


Varshan's Wikipedia

Now you can go ahead and build a Website like Wikipedia all for yourself. Found this article useful? Would appreciate if you could share this information with your circle, you might never know who will be benefited.