There are 6 main applications that are used for websites: Mediawiki, Drupal, Joomla, Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress.
MediaWiki is used by fewer sites, but the sites that do use it tend to have higher traffic. Although, all of the wikipedia family of sites is included in this. WordPress is used by many sites, but those sites tend to have less traffic.
I can talk about the pros and cons of each system, but that goes beyond this article. Needless to say, for a majority of people, if a site uses WordPress, it probably means that the articles, for the most part are independent of each other and an article is written and it gets published. Similar to what one would expect in a Newspaper. Not all people use WordPress for that method of web publication, but that covers a majority of websites that go beyond a simple company website.
MediaWiki is a different category of data presentation. It is designed for articles to be modified over time, and for there to a lot of interrelationships between the articles.
Say, for example, that you wanted to create a website called ‘Everything that you ever wanted to know about online casino games but were afraid to ask’. Your vision is that you are going to create well thought out documents that describe all games of chance, including their history, pictures, video lessons, information about websites and in person casinos … whatever. This is not the type of website where you would write an article and then say, ‘Next’. You want to put thought into the articles, do research from a variety of sources, to become an authority in the area of games of chance.
WordPress is not going to cut it. You really need something that can handle the job better, a product like MediaWiki.
But MediaWiki out of the box is missing key features. At this time in history, you cannot even just copy an article from Wikipedia to test things out. There is too much interdependency that you need to deal with first. But once you install a few extensions, a lot of these problems go away.
Unfortunately, at this time, MediaWiiki does not have the ease of use that WordPress has (one click installation of extensions with autochecking to make sure the extensions will work with your installations).
I am currently using MediaWiki 1.31 (most current long term release). The next long term release is 1.35 which is scheduled to be released in August 2020. 1.31 LTS end of life is June 2021. 1.32, 1.33, and 1.34 are intermediate releases and have end of life dates before the end of life date of version 1.31. So either go with 1.31 or 1.35, not one of the ones in between.
Although I like all of these extensions, they have not yet all been updated to MediaWiki 1.35. This is the main reason why I have not yet updated to 1.35, not to mention that it has not yet been officially released.
- Vector (default, will always work)
- Timeless (new official MediaWiki skin release)
- MetroLook (3rd party skin)
- Cite this page
- Data Transfer
- Delete batch
- Maintenance shell (works on 1.31, but not currently updated to work on 1.35)
- Page Forms
- Rename user
- Replace text
- Simple Batch Upload
- Code Editor
- Page Schemas
- PareserFunctions (must install to get most templates copied from WikiMedia to work)
- Scribunto (must install to get modules to work and most templates copied from WikiMedia projects)
- TemplateStyles (must install to get templates to import from WikiMedia projects)
- PDF Handler
- BetaFeatures (other extensions may depend on this, including gadgets and some dealing with mobile)
- Gadgets (must install to get gadget imported from WikiMedia projects)
- Highlight links in category
- Purge (not sure if it is still being maintained)
- SocialProfile (must install to get Timeless and Metrolook skins to work)
- TextExtracts (must install to get popups to work)
WordPress or MediaWiki
It depends on what you are trying to do. Some types of websites work better with a WordPress system, while other types of websites work better with a MediaWiki type of system. As in life, in general…it comes down to using the right tool for the right job.
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