Help:Starting a new page

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MediaWiki Handbook: Contents, Readers, Editors, Moderators, System admins, Researchers +/-

You may want to create a new page on the wiki you are using. This page tells you how to create a new page.

Permission

In order to be able to create a new page, the wiki software must know that you have permission to do so. If you don't have permission, when you follow these instructions you will see an error message something like "You do not have permission to create new pages".

Many wikis are set up to allow any user to create pages. Others restrict the "createpage" user right to certain user groups. Some wikis (such as the English Wikipedia) allow only users who have logged in to create pages.

If the wiki you're using does not allow you to create a page, first try logging in, if you aren't already. If that doesn't work talk to one of the administrators. Assuming it fits with their policies, they will have to add you to a user group that has the "createpage" privilege or add the "createpage" privilege to a user group you are already part of.

Starting a new page from a link

Some pages contain links to other pages that don't exist yet. These are called "new page links". To start one of these new pages, you can click on its link.

New page links typically look different from links to existing pages. Depending on settings, a different color or a question mark is used. (Sometimes links to new pages are called "red links", because a common setting is to display them in red).

Links to non-existing pages are common. They are typically created in preparation for creating a new page, and/or to encourage other people to do so. Some people may see the presence of new page links on a page as a sign that the page is broken. However most wikis are intended to be constantly added to, so in this sense a new page link is only an indication that a particular page is needed. New page links are not really broken as long as the name correctly identifies the intended content. (A new page link with a "wrong" or misspelled name, or that duplicates content found under another name is "broken", but in a different sense.)

Links to non-existent pages are created the same way as links to already existing pages. For example, adding [[New page name]] in the wiki editor will create a new page link to the page "New page name".

If there isn't already a new page link to the page you want to create, you can always add such a link yourself. You would add the new page link typically in a related page, an index page or your own user page.

Sometimes it may be better to wait with creating links until after the new page is created, such as when the new link replaces one to an existing page. In such cases, you can create the link but press Preview instead of Save. In the preview area, clicking on the new page link will start you creating the new page. Later you can go back and add the new link again in the referring page (or if you have the preview still open in another tab, finally pressing Save).

Starting a new page from a search

Another way to start a new page works on many wikis (e.g. the English Wikipedia).

Type the name of the page that doesn't exist in the Search box, and start the search. The search results will say that no such page exists, but on many wikis it will also include a new page link to the page.

Depending on the wiki, the link may say something like:

  • Create the page "New page name" on this wiki!
  • You searched for new page name
  • There is no page titled "new page name". You can create this page.

Click on the link and you will be starting to create the new page.

The text and whether or not there is a link can be different depending on whether you pressed enter, or clicked on Search or Go. ("Go" often works best.)

Some wikis don't give you a new page link after a search. This depends on what the administrators have set the wiki to produce using w:MediaWiki:Nogomatch.

Starting a new page using an Inputbox

Some wikis have an extension known as Inputbox.

These wikis can create a form where the user can enter a page name and click on a button. If the page doesn't exist, a new page link is shown from which the page can be created.

Here is an example of an Inputbox:

See Extension:Inputbox.

Starting a new page through the URL

Using the browser address bar to enter an URL to a new page is an easy way to start the new page process. Easier still is editing the pagename part of a URL for an existing page.

For instance, if the URL for a wiki currently shows

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Starting_a_new_page

you could edit that to say instead

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/new_page_name

and press enter.

Using the URL for the new page displays the default 'no article' message (see MediaWiki:Noarticletext). The default page has an Edit this page link, which can be used to begin adding content.

An interwiki link to a non-existent page gives the same result, but is not recommended.

Editing the new page

Once you've started creating a new page, you still have to say what you want on the page.

Any of the above methods of starting a new page will take you into edit mode on the non-existing blank page. You edit the new page the same way you edit any other page. The edit page has a link for Editing help, so you won't be lost. For general editing matters and details on the markup language of the wikitext, see Help:Editing.

When you have finished adding your initial text, click on "Save page". The new page will be created!

Guidelines

Before you create a new page, consider whether you're following the guidelines for the wiki involved. Most wikis have guidelines similar to these:

  • If you want to experiment, use a sandbox first. Note: A sandbox page often starts out blank. The purpose of this blank page is to use as a whiteboard for your experiments.
  • Search to see whether someone has written a similar page before you start one yourself.
  • Choose the title carefully.
  • Review conventions of the project you are working in regarding e.g.:
    • Naming conventions; see also Help:Page name.
    • If the text is not very long it may be better to add the text to a related page; that page can always be split later, after it has grown.
    • You can check out "How to write a great article" for guidance.
  • While creating the page and before saving it, check the What links here link on the creation page. Align the new content with existing links, or change the new title, or fix the other links.
  • If nothing points here, the page is isolated. Links to it will need to be added on other pages. You can make your contributions accordingly.

Creating a blank page

A non-existing page is distinguished from a blank page: a blank page has a page history. However, creating a new page is just like editing a blank page, except that a new page displays the text from MediaWiki:Newarticletext (which may vary by project).

Occasionally it is useful to create an empty page - For example a template can be made such that, depending on a parameter, it produces either just a standard text or also an additional text. This is done by having it call another template, of which the name is a parameter; one version of the other template contains the additional text, the other version is blank. See optional text.

To create an empty page, save a page with the wikitext __END__. This code will not be saved, it just prevents refusal by the system to create an empty page. Alternatively, first create a non-empty page, e.g. with just one character, then edit the page to make it empty. A page with one or more blank spaces at the end, including a page only containing one or more blank spaces, is not possible.

Protecting a page from being created

It is not really possible to protect a page from being created, but one can create a page with a standard text such as in w:en:Template:Deletedpage and protect that page. Note that sometimes a terminology like "This page should not be created." is used even though for the system the page does exists. Therefore it is not suitable for demonstrating a link to a non-existing page.

Non-existing pages showing info

Category and image pages are partly dynamically generated, and partly editable. A category page contains a list of pages in the category, an image page may contain an image and info from Commons. Thus if the page does not "exist" it may still show info.

The edit page of a "non-existing" category page shows the pages it contains. However, the edit page of the local page of an image on Commons neither shows the image, nor the editable content on Commons, not even in preview, it does not even indicate that viewing the page provides an image and other content from Commons.

A link to a "non-existing" category page is treated as a link to a non-existing page, even if the category is non-empty. A link to a "non-existing" local image page of an image on Commons is treated as a link to an existing page, e.g. Image:Cow-on pole, with horns.jpeg, except in the case of a link from an edit summary or log. An indication of the "non-existence" is the lack of a page history link and a related changes link.

Adding documentation

Anyone, including you, can write these help documents at m:Help:Contents, and you are most likely allowed to edit the site, Meta, that you are looking at now! Just use the instructions on this page to create a new article, and start writing.

See also


Links to other help pages

Help contents
Meta · Wikinews · Wikipedia · Wikiquote · Wiktionary · Commons: · Wikidata · MediaWiki · Wikibooks · Wikisource · MediaWiki: Manual · Google
Versions of this help page (for other languages see further)
What links here on Meta or from Meta · Wikipedia · MediaWiki
Reading
Go · Search · Stop words · Namespace · Page name · Section · Backlinks · Redirect · Category · Image page · Special pages · Printable version
Tracking changes
Recent changes (enhanced) | Related changes · Watching pages · Diff · Page history · Edit summary · User contributions · Minor edit · Patrolled edit
Logging in and preferences
Logging in · Preferences · User style
Editing
Starting a new page · Advanced editing · Editing FAQ · Edit toolbar · Export · Import · Shortcuts · Edit conflict · Page size
Referencing
Links · URL · Piped links · Interwiki linking · Footnotes
Style and formatting
Wikitext examples · CSS · Reference card · HTML in wikitext · Formula · List · Table · Sorting · Colors · Images and file uploads
Fixing mistakes
Show preview · Testing · Reverting edits
Advanced functioning
Expansion · Template · Advanced templates · Parser function · Parameter default · Variable · System message · Substitution · Array · Calculation · Embed page
Others
Special characters · Renaming (moving) a page · Preparing a page for translation · Talk page · Signatures · Sandbox · Legal issues for editors
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