Deciding to edit on Wikia for the first time can be daunting. Questions such as "how do I edit?," "what can I edit?," or "will I get in trouble for editing?" are a few that might roll through the mind of a potential editor. This blog hopes to address some of these questions as well as give tips (most of which are specific to Munkapedia) that might just help make one's initial edits smooth sailing.
There are a few important facts you should know about Wikia wikis before editing. Wikis are created and maintained by a community of fans, like yourself, who continuous build pages through editing. Everyone's edits are edited by someone else at some point with the goal of creating the best pages possible for the fandom. Given the diversity of wikis and users, there are naturally an equally varied mix of editors, policies, and helpful resources. These three areas are the main hurdles for new editors.
Note: On this wiki you must create an account in order to edit.
What are Wikia's editors?
Wikia has three main editors users can use to edit:
- The VisualEditor - This editor is the one all first time editors will encounter. It's a combination editor meaning the page's content can be edited visually and through the page's source code (primarily wikitext). The visual aspect (which is what's seen on hitting the "Edit" button) takes the wikitext and hides it behind buttons. Since the wikitext is hidden and the page displays in the editor as it would if published, this is the preferred editor new users typically use to edit.
- The Classic editor - This editor is also a combination editor but adds emphasis to the source mode. The visual mode also has buttons to hide wikitext but doesn't display the article how it will be published. Given the emphasis on the source mode and the fact the editor causes errors with the page's source less frequently than the VisualEditor, this editor is sometimes preferred over the VisualEditor.
- The Source editor - This editor allows users to always edit in wikitext and very rarely ever causes errors on articles because edits have much higher precision than visual editors. Given wikitext generally isn't something a new editor knows, this editor is generally only used by advanced editors.
- You can change the editor you use in your preferences (must have created an account).
- Never copy-and-paste anything into one of the visual editors. Only do so into a source editor.
- Creating new pages is harder in the VisualEditor because the editor doesn't have access to the wiki's preload templates. These preloads make creating common types of pages easier by automatically including a page's formatting, if used.
- Visual modes won't allow editing of the wiki's song pages. Edits must be made in a source mode/editor.
- Heavy use of the VisualEditor isn't recommended on the wiki due to the increased likelihood of causing problems to the page's source coding.
What are the wiki's policies?
Once you are familiar with the editors and have an understanding of how they work, the second hurdle is a wiki's policies. Wikis can have written policies as specific as to what headers go where on an article to as broad as to having none at all. Policies are generally included in the wiki's welcome message (the message you receive after making your first edit) and in the wiki's navigation bar at the top of every page. Every editor should read these before editing articles.
- Have a question about a wiki's policies? Don't hesitate to ask an Admin about them.
- Munkapedia has a number of polices including a
- General Ruleset - a very basic list of guidelines that serve as quick points to remember.
- Site Policy - outlines how the wiki runs and contains unacceptable edits as well as blocking lengths.
- Image Policy - outlines how images are treated on the wiki.
- Video Policy - outlines how videos are treated on the wiki.
- Manual of Style - documents how articles should be written.
- Forum Policy - a very basic list of expectations on the wiki's forum.
Where can I find helpful resources?
Helpful resources are plentiful; you just have to know where to go. For a general overview of topics on Wikia in a video format, Wikia University may be the best place to go. For more detailed, text-based help, check out the horde of help pages available on nearly every aspect of Wikia.
Wikis commonly, though not always, create their own pages that seek to provide useful supplemental information about editing and even about larger community projects.
- Most of Munkapedia's helpful resources can be found under the "Community" tab on the wiki navigation bar at the top of every page.
- New users are strongly encouraged to check out our Community Portal, which contains multiple ways to help the wiki as well as additional projects and links that seek to improve the wiki experience.
- Editing notices are sometimes included at the top of the editor to provide information on how to construct specific information such as Character Relations on Character Pages.
- The Admin Blog also contains useful topics about various practices on the wiki.
Get to know the wiki
Familiarizing yourself with a wiki is a great way to get started editing. Notice a pattern in which information is organized/formatting? Perhaps that's a standard, or unwritten guide, all future edits should follow. For example, trivia sections on episode pages typically have a consistent order that can easily be picked up on by reviewing articles. Deviating from the norm seen on the wiki without discussing it with the community is bound to cause turbulence so review other similar articles before making a large change.
Want to receive updates on the latest Admin blog posts? Then click here to follow this blog.