MediaWiki Community Docs

1.Introduction #

Welcome to Sites at Grinnell’s guide to MediaWiki! This guide will walk you through how to get started with your new MediaWiki website. Please note: many users receive access to MediaWiki and other Sites at Grinnell applications on the site level, with a username and password that allows you to log into and make changes to your site. If you would like access to and control over your own domain, which allows you more control over your digital presence and the ability to create additional sites and subdomains, DLAC is here to help! Simply email dlac@grinnell.edu to request domain-level cPanel access.

2.Mediawiki #

MediaWiki is an open-source publishing platform that can be used for creating a collaborative document repository. It’s the software that drives the Wikipedia website.

You can learn how to use this application at the official MediaWiki Help Pages. This support documentation wiki will show you how to manage all aspects of your wiki, including customizing its appearance, editing content, and changing user settings.

3.Managing Permissions #

The default Mediawiki installed has been customized to make it a bit harder for spammers to overwhelm wikis with illegitimate content and comments. This is done by modifying the LocalSettings.php file (a file that is included in every install in which it is possible to provide configurations details).

Please note that if you are not sure how to access your cPanel, you will not be able to modify the LocalSettings,php file on your own in order to limit anonymous editing of your wiki. Please email dlac@grinnell.edu for assistance or to request domain-level cPanel access.

By default, Mediawiki allows anonymous users to create pages and edit pages in the wiki. The modifications change this in the following ways:

  • Anonymous users cannot edit existing pages
  • Anonymous users cannot create pages
  • Registered users must click the confirmation link in the registration email in order to edit or create pages

This approach should drastically reduce unsolicited content and comments on Mediawiki installations. One further step that administrator might take is to turn registration off after a predetermined amount of time. Users must create accounts by this date; after that, the settings are changed so that registrations are no longer open.

To add this setting, you must edit LocalSettings.php in your Mediawiki install:

  1. Login to cPanel and browse to your File Manager.
    Screenshot of cPanel search bar searching for File Manager
  2. In the File Manager, browse to the folder within public_html that contains your Mediawiki install. If you installed the wiki at the root of your domain, you won’t need to go any further than public_html. If you installed the wiki in a subdomain or subdirectory, you’ll need to find the directory that is associated with that space.
  3. Locate LocalSettings.php. Once selecting the file, click download in the top menu bar to download the file as a backup before proceeding. Then click Edit in the top menu bar to edit the file.
    Screenshot of File Manager wiki folders with LocalSettings.php file highlighted
  4.  Confirm that you want to edit the file.
    Screenshot of file edit confirmation pop-up
  5. Browse to the bottom of the document, and locate the custom settings that were added during the Mediawiki install and the following line:
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false;

Screenshot of code configuration options

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