Are you looking for tools to help you build a modern Wiki website?
Do you want something more easy to use and powerful than the traditional wiki software?
Here’s my guide to help you create an awesome wiki website with WordPress.
Wait. Can you create a Wiki with WordPress?
Yes, you can. You can use WordPress and even get help from some WordPress plugins to create your own wiki website.
Who needs a Wiki website anyway?
If you want to collaborate on content in any way, you need a Wiki. You might want to create a wiki for a game, your favorite sports team, content sharing within your organization, etc.
You could even want to create a private/personal wiki for yourself to collect and organize your learning.
So what should you look for in a Wiki software? Let me walk you through just that.
The ability to edit content from the frontend or the same page as the content is very important for a wiki. This is where most people who try WordPress give up because by default WordPress does not come with front-end editing.
But, with Helpie plugin installed to your WordPress website, you have the frontend editing feature that makes Wiki what it is.
You might want only your fellow Starwars fans to access your Starwars wiki or you can allow only your company’s employees to access your company’s wiki.
This is where Access Restriction features become a necessity.
With Helpie plugin + WordPress, restrict access to specific people ( by WordPress’ user roles ) to your entire wiki. You can also restrict access to specific user roles for each topic.
There’s also access restriction that works by password protection, ie. you create passwords for specific topics and send them to people who you want to access those wiki articles under those topics.
Any properly organized wiki should have topics under which articles are organized. The wiki also should have topics with subtopics under them when necessary.
You could do this well in WordPress based wikis.
Table of Contents:
To make navigation easy on your wiki website, you can use a site-wide Table of Contents in your sidebar.
Your Table of Contents should let you show all your topics and subtopics with corresponding links. This will make it super easy to navigate the entire wiki.
Rich Text Editor:
Rich Text is the way of the modern web. Almost every category of web tools now feature rich-text editors, but some traditional wiki software still have not-so-rich rich text editors.
But while choosing a wiki platform, you should definitely expect a rich-text editor.
This is another place where WordPress shines.
The Rich Text Editor is incomplete without the ability to insert rich media files like images, videos, gifs, etc.
Not to worry, WordPress + Helpie is definitely the best way to go if you care about rich media.
You can upload media to your WordPress directly or use videos from a third-party like Youtube or Vimeo. If you are using a shared hosting service and expect a high volume of traffic, I would recommend hosting your videos on third-party platforms like Vimeo or Youtube.
Wiki Front Page:
Creating a clean, clear and organized front page for your wiki is very important. This is also where you can brand your wiki in a way that stays in your audience’s mind.
Your wiki WordPress plugin/theme should have a way for you to brand your wiki, have a simple and organized listing of topics and most importantly a search tool that’s located prominently in your front page.
Your users should be able to share their feedback on your articles. Feedback could be
Your wiki’s feedback system can be used even by your fans who do not contribute to your wiki. Feedback in the form of comments or votes is an easier way for them to communicate and contribute to the discussion in the article.
The more your wiki grows, the more prominent the search feature is going to be.
This is why your search needs to be powerful and super fast. These are some of the must-have features for your wiki’s search:
Live Search Suggestions:
No one wants to type in their entire search term. If your wiki’s search can auto-suggest as they type in the keyword, it’s a good experience for your user. Users nowadays expect this by default as it’s how all popular websites including Google work.
Your wiki’s search should be able to look through thousands of articles and return the correct search suggestions and results within a second. All this with hundreds or thousands of users searching through at the same time.
People don’t often remember the exact keyword or phrase to search for. That’s why we need our search to return suggestions and results based on a partial match of the keywords in the content.
Keyword Weighted results:
Somewhere the simple match might not return the correct result, this is why you need a search engine that can weigh the keyword usage in the content and turn the most important results first.
These search features might not be something that’s part of a visible element in your wiki, but nevertheless, these features make a robust wiki.
Integration with Drag and Drop Page Builders:
The WordPress is rich with powerful page builder plugins that make your inner designer come alive.
To fully utilize the benefits that come from page builders, you should choose WordPress Wiki Plugins that are compatible with these page builders.
Helpie is compatible with almost every major page builders. If you want my recommendation for a page builder, I suggest Elementor.
Best WordPress Wiki Plugins:
Helpie WordPress Plugin:
First comes a little shameless self-promotion. Helpie is Pauple’s Knowledge Base / Wiki plugin. It has got you covered with the basic features that you need in a Wiki plugin.
It has all the must-have features mentioned above.
The only place it lags is the revision system for wikis. This is where we are working on right now. You can use WordPress’s default revision system to tackle this as of now. Or you can use other WordPress revision plugins to handle that.
UserPress Wiki is another WordPress Wiki Plugin that has some small use cases covered.
Get a preview of another related wiki page without browsing to / opening that page.
Create basic user access restriction settings.
Archives & Sorting:
Sort and organize your wiki by categories, sub-categories, by alphabetical order, by date, etc.
Track the changes to wiki articles.
Flag the wiki article to show if something is incomplete or incorrect.
History and Revision Notes:
See the history and revision notes of the wiki.
Get Live search suggestions as you type in your search term.
Pressapp’s Knowledge Base | Wiki WordPress Plugin:
Pressapp’s Knowledge Base | Wiki plugin has features that are good for a Knowledge Base and somewhat basic wiki websites. Even though it’s not enough to run a proper wiki, it suffices for some people’s basic usage.
- Live article search
- Drag and Drop article reorder
- Article voting
- Layout options
- List articles shortcodes
- Article and category widgets
- Responsive Design
Best WordPress Wiki Themes:
Most WordPress Wiki Themes you see in the market are Knowledge Base / Wiki themes, so they are suited for a Wiki website in some cases, but in certain aspects like frontend editing/revision interface, they might not be.
Knowledge Base – A WordPress Wiki Theme
Knowledge Base is the name of this WordPress Wiki Theme. This is a clean and feature-rich Wiki theme built with Twitter Bootstrap. This theme is used in around 700 websites.
- Responsive Layout
- 4 Color Skins
- BBPress Integration to support forums
- Ajax Based Live Search
HelpGuru – A Self-Service Knowledge Base WordPress Theme
HelpGuru is one of the more popular Knowledge Base WordPress themes from Herothemes. It’s being used around 2,300 folks and has an average rating of 4.7/5.
- Live Search
- Article Feedback
- Content Ordering
- Article Attachment
- Widgets Included
- Configure With Ease
- SEO Optimised
- Translation Ready
- Multi-Language Support
- Premium Support
HelpGuru also has considerable integrations with WordPress’ customizer to help you customize your front page with ease.
KnowHow – A Knowledge Base WordPress Theme
KnowHow is another WordPress Knowledge Base Theme from Herothemes. This can well work as a substitute to a WordPress wiki theme. This is the most popular WordPress Knowledge Base / Wiki themes in ThemeForest which over 4,000 people using it. This comes with a few good WordPress wiki templates as well.
- Provide Instant Answers
- FAQ Page Included
- SEO Optimised
- Translation Ready
- Multi-Language Support
There are other free WordPress wiki themes as well, but these are the themes that are well suitable for people who are serious about making a good Wiki website.