Nick Padley

Personal Wiki

24 August 2013

I recently set up a family wiki to keep all our things organized at home. I'm using it to store information so I don't forget things when I'm cleaning up the house. It's been a great resource.

When choosing a wiki, I tried out a whole bunch and eventually whittled the list down to two: Mediawiki and Dokuwiki.

Here's my comparison table for how I chose a specific wiki:
Criteria Mediawiki Dokuwiki
Ease of Use
Default Theme is Responsive
Free/Open Source
Data Storage SQL Flat Files
Access Control
Markdown Support With a Plugin
Plugin Manager


As you can see above, there are a few places where Mediawiki fell short of my expectations. Most importantly in three areas: being easy to use, having a plugin manager and being able to lock the wiki down with an exclusive login. I know that there are ways of getting plugins installed in Mediawiki, but I found the documentation very poor and when I encountered errors upon installing plugins, there was little to no information to help me trace the errors. As a result, I felt like it would be too much trouble to set up and maintain Mediawiki for personal use.

I ended using Dokuwiki and, while some of its documentation leaves a bit to be desired, it's an easier platform to get started and the plugin manager has really been thought through. An extra plus is that Dokuwiki and its related plugins are hosted on Github, making it very easy to find plugins and install them.

If you are currently looking to start a wiki up for yourself, I highly suggest you check out Dokuwiki, as I feel that unless you are trying to host a wiki that is expected to have high availability and scalability, Dokuwiki will certainly meet your needs.

What do you think? Have you created a wiki of your own? If so, what software did you use?

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