MediaWiki Usage Report 2015/Why do you use MediaWiki?

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Note: Telling from the answers, the question could have been clearer or separated into more than one. People understood different questions:

  • Why do you use MediaWiki – and no other (collaboration) software?
  • Why do you use MediaWiki – and no other wiki software?
  • What features and strengths do you value in the MediaWiki software?
  • What do you use MediaWiki for? (I use it as...)




  • “We wanted to replicate the Wikipedia experience with our wiki. “
  • “Because people know Wikipedia and it is easier to motivate them to edit when they know that they will learn to edit Wikipedia as well.”
  • “We wanted a wiki it seemed the natural choice as we knew it from WP.”
  • “Familiarity, Completeness”
  • “We need a wiki and we want as well text as multimedia We also wanted a wiki with a wikisyntax that people know”
  • “Used on Wikipedia, wiki of Wikimedia Belgium, etc”
  • “Because - I am familiar with it from Wikipedia”
  • “Our business is a gaming wiki farm. Mediawiki is by far the best choice of software for our purposes since it is the dominant wiki platform. […]”
  • “Why MediaWiki? Familiarity with Wikipedia's interface […]”


  • “Best Wiki Engine, known to everybody. […]”
  • “Best wiki software available and it's recognized so widely by all people the change management is easier for corporations”


  • “Educational platforms, free of charge, use is known by many users because of the wikipedia."



  • “Open Source based on extensions and has developer community.”
  • “it's perfect for our company, a lot of extensions, a big community”
  • “It's a great set of code because of it's broad authorship, features, and stability. It gets better-and-better over time, and yet the data model and core upgrades with simplicity. I can count on it, and a corporation is not going to mess it up because of *their plans*.”


  • “Good developer environment”


  • “Open Source, free, it's the best, extensions available, sense of community, the entire movement I love between wikipedia, commons, and others, free open source and sharing.” –


  • “[…] with an active community.”
  • “Open Source with large community, very stable, many extensions, great wiki engine […]”
  • “I *trust* it (the software) and know it'll be around forever (the community).”
  • “Primarily for community engagement and involvement.”
  • “MediaWiki has big and vivid community.”
  • “Is the software that runs wikipedia and is pretty well maintained and active”
  • “MediaWiki is open-source and developed by a non-profit organization and volunteers from all over the world, and when you run a non-profit site it is a major plus for you if you can run your site on open-source free software.”



  • „ease of extensibility”


  • „A simple piece of software which has a wide range of features including easy-to-configure wikifarm set up using wgConf”
  • “It is great and powerful software that offers very many opportunities to build a tailored wiki.”
  • “[…] it open up possibilities for new extensions and configurations”
  • […] As Open Source Software it is flexible and adjustable to many different needs. […]”
  • “MediaWiki makes it possible to work with wiki software which has many functions, can easily be extended with hundreds of extensions and everyone can contribute to it.”
  • “many options ( Extensions), free, possible to add own Extensions”
  • “MediaWiki is an open-source, widely-supported, and extendible wiki platform providing the flexibility of an open wiki and the power of a database (through extensions). This provides a solid single-source solution for corporate knowledge management.”
  • “user interface, application transparency and user control / translation of multilingual content / excellent support by WMF”
  • “* I want a fully versioned, community-safe CMS in many projects * Best integrated data management of any CMS I know * I know how to use it and can fix issues when needed”

Flexibilty. Stability. Built-in consisteny checks.[edit]


  • “For its extreme flexibility” * “We use MediaWiki primarily for company process, policy, and technical documentation. We use it (instead of other options) primarily because of the stability and flexibility it provides. […]” “[…]built-in consistency checks (red links, redirects) […]" === Easy to use. === PRIVATE *“It's easy to use and provide a good concept for my use case.” * “It is easy to setup, easy to use, and reliable. Also has many ways to organize a bunch of information and turn that into a shippable product.” * “[…] Easy website set-up.” * ““[…] We wanted something that is familiar, easy to use, and has a good search.” PUBLIC * “The editing is straigtforward” MIX * “easy to edit, easy to link” * “It's flexible, I can set it up very quickly, and users do understand how to use it easily.” *“* easy to use * available everywhere (webbased) * expandable * flexible information management (just start writing, re-arrange / expand / improve later) * all information in one place -> search” *“Gathering information easily. Presenting information easily. Connect people.” *“Preinstalled” '''Scalable. ''' <nowiki>MIX It's a scalable software platform […]”


MIX „It's the leading open source MediaWiki […]” – “It´s a well known knowledge plattform tool. […]” – “Global standard, high quality, has the right features to organize big/smart/scientific information ; open source ; I can be involved “

Translated. i8n.

MIX “It's the only platform that is widely translated and supports all the forms etc. we need.” – “Because it is flexible and has a good i18n.”

Semantic MediaWiki

PRIVATE “[…] Semantic capability.” – “[…] Semantic Mediawiki is great to collect and proces facts internally and imported from other sources.” – “[…]Additionally Semantic MediaWiki and its related extensions provide a lot of power that we haven't seen in other platforms.” – PUBLIC „Because of Semantic MediaWiki” – “The features and functions of Semantic Mediawiki facilitate my work with terminology and create new possibilities for my projects.” MIX “[…] especially great in combination with Semantic MediaWiki” – “For Semantic Mediawiki and Semantic Forms' ability to allow for easily user-editable database functions.”– “easy of access for users and editors. wide range of possibilities due to semanticmediawiki.”


MIX “It's fast. Work really in a group.” – “I need to be able to do fast updates to web site content. “

Version history, version control.

PUBLIC “clear attribution of collaboration (version control system for educators), ease of reuse of text data” – MIX “I had Lotus Notes before and migrated to MediaWiki. I need traceability in my sofware projects so the linking is important.”

I keep using it because I used to.

MIX “When we started our project, a wiki fit our immediate needs better than any available CMS; inside the wiki world, I picked the most active project. This was in 2009, and a visual editor, etc., was just around the corner. I'm using it nowadays because of the momentum - switching just seems to be too hard now for our single-developer outfit. Also, I keep hoping for those changes right around the corner...”


PRIVATE “Best in class collaborative document writing. […]”PUBLIC “Collaboration” – MIX “Group editable knowledge base” – “Community knowledge building” – PUBLIC “Why wikis? Most shareable, evergreen platform I've found for professionals to share their stuff.


PRIVATE “[…]automation (bots, api).”

Structure Information.

PRIVATE “Information structuring.” – “Structured information handling and presentation.”


PUBLIC “template and semwiki functionality”


PUBLIC “Because it replaced phase1 / and was PHP based.”

Use cases in public wikis[edit]

Specific use cases especially in public wikis circle around public documentation for cultural institutions and NPOs, fun sites and last but not least knowledge sharing.

Public cultural archive.

“To support a cultural archive site for a not-for-profit foundation”

Public game/fantasy wiki.

“To host a wiki farm of gaming content comprised of 900+ individual wikis.” – “I use media wiki for text RPG games, where we house game information and records of roleplay.” – “We house the largest gaming wiki community.” – “Encyclopedic historical database for a medieval/fantasy combat organization with 35+ years of history and culture.”

Public website with comic strips.

“I use MediaWiki in a similar fashion as Wikipedia, but as an "encyclopedia" exclusively for my comic strip and the rest of my site built around it. As of this writing, this wiki is publicly readable, but I am the only sysop and the sole contributor. MediaWiki makes this relatively easy, and having an interface familiar to my users (who are likely to already be familiar with Wikipedia) makes my wiki easier to use. (I once considered building my entire site around Wikipedia, but for reasons outlined in the following question, I'm glad I didn't go that route.)”

Public collaborative knowledge creation tool.

“Collaberative knowledge and information organization tool” – “Collaborative authoring potential, ease of content entry and editing, easy integration with other tools, fostering the perception of an open system (even though few choose to take part)”

Public knowledge presentation tool.

“Knowledge base for manufacturing equipment” – “trying to provide alternative for Texas attorneys to non-attorney corporate owned websites” – 

Public documentation tool.

“We run our customer-facing documentation site on MediaWiki and the PonyDocs extension. We chose MW for documentation because we wanted to enable every employee to edit documentation.”

Use cases in private wikis[edit]

In corporate and therefore private (non-public) situations, wikis are mostly used for internal communication and internal knowledge transfer. The wiki also serves as a document repository or for manuals and machine documentation.

In personal situations, wikis are used for a personal knowledgebase (e.g. as a collection for research material in scientific contexts) or as a publication platform among a chosen few, like the family.


“Testing for Wikipedia” – “I provide online spaces for Wikimedians, so MediaWiki is a natural choice for their familiarity with the software.”

Internal communication. Knowledge transfer. Knowledge base.

“Internal communications” – “Intranet solution” – “I wanted to improvisieren The Knowledge Transfer and - Exchange in my workplace / professional Group.” – “It provides a easy way for co-workers to provide a low-friction way of sharing and finding information within our organization.” – “To share information company-wide.” – “Knowledge sharing and management, Requirements analisys, Development Tools discussion and documentation, Internal education.” –“Internal site used for engineering knowledge management”

Machine documentation.

„Machine documentation”

Manuals. Document repository.

“manuals and info” – “Document repository for internal corporate handbooks. […]”



Special wikis.

“FERCipedia will be built during 2016”

Scientific research material, datasets.

“Am building a personal knowledgebase to house research materials for my Phd.” – “Building research dataset and Data integration”

Family history.

“It's a nice flexible system for doing what I want (I've adapted it to support a family history site for my relatives).”

Specific use cases MIX:[edit]

Organize data.

“MediaWiki is the best and best known tool to organize data in an open way for many users. My private Wiki is used to remember things and organize notes and ideas, another Wiki I host is an informationportal for my hometown, to integrate the people in collecting and organizing data about the town.” – “To bring order to massive amounts of rapidly changing knowledge.”

Information sharing system. Intranet system.

“Because it provides a very good platform for developing information systems for businesses.” – “Sharing knowledge in an organisation, * Sharing information about a game” – “It's has been the primary intranet system at Cimpress/Vistaprint for sharing knowledge since 2007. It is low-cost and scalable. The wiki model is ideal for an educated community of users.”

Self-study and education.

“Part of my Self-Study About How network goes” – “Archive presentations and tutorials.”

Public facing technical documentation. Internal technical documentation.

“We use MW for our public-facing technical documentation. Originally, because free and open source. As time went on, the ability to customize as we needed - stable platform, can make it look and work how you need it to. As opposed to asking a vendor to make changes.”– “We make documentation about our technical project, 3d printing, "fablab all day making" “ –

Personal notebook.

“To store my online notebook...” – “Personal wiki for technical notes.” – “Website, internal documentation”


“Web based document collaboration (sharing editing duties).”


“For the same reasons as the Wikipedia project that it was originally authored for. Our site(s) are enycopedia-like rather than news, current afffairs of social-media based.”


“For activities related to the Wikimedia community (MW development, chapter activities)” – “Closely related to wikimedia, we use a convenient and extensible platform called MediaWiki for a crowd sourced translation website”

Special wikis.

“Uncyclopedia is a parody of Wikipedia, which uses MediaWiki.” – “To host the Orain farm”

Simple praise. (And unclear answers.)  Public wikis.[edit]

Central platform.

“As a platform for almost everything.” – “It's an efficient platform to host content and information”

Just because.

“because i make wikis” – “I like wikis.” – “The perfect platform for our needs (PetroWiki)” – “my main goal at begin was: create my personal learning space, see more at (1). The current mission for my wiki is at (2). (1),_where_is_the_learning_%3F (2)” (links don’t work) – “to run a wiki” – “Because I can :P”

It wasn’t my choice.

“Started because of my job, and now I see the value in the software.” – “Was there when I joined” – “Because it's a part of the job.” – “ I was told to install MW by senior management. I still have no idea actually 'why' - despite asking. Usually I am asked to look into providing a 'service' (eg a wiki), and am then allowed to determine a suitable product. For some reason that didn't happen with the wiki.”

“It's most convinient for me.”

“Bad habits die hard.”

“Best Wiki Software”

“No better free wiki”


“Only way to capture free form information about our customer based on top of structured relationships”

“We use MediaWiki as base for semantic wikis on top of SMW.”

“Market traction”

“Developing a public Semantic MediaWiki site.”