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Happy Monday everyone! :) Recently over on the MLP Wiki as well as few other wikis I participate in, we've been working on customizing our welcome message. When any user stops by and leaves a comment or makes an edit it's important to thank them for contributing to the wiki and hopefully encourage them to return. I’ve noticed that each wiki's admin team debates the same things over what the best way is to go about creating a welcome message: What tone should we use when welcoming a new user? What links should we include? How can we showcase how awesome our community is?

One of my favorite welcome messages that I've seen was over at the Left 4 Dead Wiki and at the Call of Duty Wiki. I love them both as they keep in with theme of their wiki and reflect a friendly tone for those who are new to the community. They make me feel welcome and encourage me to post more.

How have you customized the welcome message on your wiki?

What are some important links to include in the message? Did you choose to keep your welcome message simple, or make it flashy with images and borders? Which way do you feel is best and why?

Please share with us your welcome message below or offer your own feedback on what you think is important to be included in a welcome message.

If you're lost or curious as to what the Welcome Tool is (or simply need a refresher course), be sure to check out the help article at Help:Welcome_tool.

--Trellar WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 00:47, September 20, 2011 (UTC)

Here are two examples of customized templates:
Cheers! TK999 19:03, September 22, 2011 (UTC)
Oooo, great examples! I love all the links Wookieepedia showcases! It seems like it would be a great start for not only users who are new to the wiki, but for those who are new to wikis in general. Thanks for sharing! --Trellar WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 23:48, September 22, 2011 (UTC)
Exactly! Also, Wookieepedia disabled automatic welcoming by User:Wikia, so the user who gets the message also gets a link to the welcoming user's talk page (first parameter). It's also a good idea to use an image with a transparent background for messages with custom backgrounds. Thanks! TK999 14:58, September 23, 2011 (UTC)

I've customized the Welcome Message at Pokémon Wiki. It looks pretty decent. My next stop is on Video Game Wiki since our welcome message is the basic one since we're still picking ourselves up. – zzi 20:18, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Oh wow, I love the look of the Pokemon Wiki welcome message! It's nice how the image matches your work mark. Awesome job, Jazzi! :) --Trellar WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 23:43, September 22, 2011 (UTC)
Not changed much, but the Welcome template on Aion has a CHOICE tag added to randomize the image shown on each cache of the page. Rappy 23:50, September 22, 2011 (UTC)
It's <choose><option></option><option></option></choose>, no? TK999 14:21, September 24, 2011 (UTC)
My two cents? An improved welcome message indeed is smart to have. But the pokemon wiki would really tick me off and scare me away from editing any further. The negative tone regarding the skin used at wookieepedia is really not helpfull for a user unaccustomed to wiki editing, as are all the guidelines/ rules of conduct/ policies you need to read through BEFORE you can make an edit from some of the 'almighty' admins. Personally i would insists on toning down, even if you have made 150,000 edits on the wiki and am completely outraged by every anon contribution which does not follow your line of perfection. RTFM is not the way to treat a valuable new editor if you really want to make him feel welcome. That's something i regularly meet on the more grown wiki's: they tend to get an air of: get out you unknowing new contributor: first read through 200 pages of policies and rules before even attempting to correct one single typo. I saw it happen on mass effect wiki, but also got to there at lyrics wiki where i recently stumbled upon. I quit editing there right after my first edit because i was overwhelmed with all things i needed to think about before making an edit. Come on, i don't need to edit there... Especially if the manual is so big.

But again, it's yust my 2 cents.

Actually, most new editors on the Wook simply disregard the message and go on to add their fan fiction into articles before eventually being warned. TK999 12:50, September 25, 2011 (UTC)
A good welcome message is really quite hard to write. As WikiPim points out, you don't want to overwhelm people with rules. But games wikis, like the two at which WikiPim admins, aren't really burdened by the same administrative problems of TV wikis.
I mean, just to take one example, there is no spoiler problem on a game wiki like w:c:swordsandpotions. You know that if you go to that wiki, you're going to be spoiled to some degree. There's only one, discrete entity under discussion — the game known as Swords & Potions — so the wiki, to be of any use to anyone, must necessarily spoil it. At a TV wiki, with new episodes coming out all the time, you do actually have to define where the spoiler line is.
Therefore, I think a completely rule-less welcome just wouldn't be practical for every wiki situation. There are some rules which simply must be stated from the start of a person's editing experience on a wiki. At the same time, Pim's admonition is a reasonable one that we need to keep in mind.
Thus, at w:c:tardis, we've tried to strike a balance between being rules-heavy and just . . . welcoming. We've stressed the two most important rules of the wiki, then suggested, in a more casual way, that the user might want to read some other material when they can. Hopefully it comes across as friendly, but firm-ish.
czechout@fandom    fly tardis  <span style="">14:50: Thu 29 Sep 2011 
Czechout, You guys do a great job at giving a good idea of how things are run on Tardis. It's straightforward and welcoming I like that you mention you've all been new at editing at some point -- letting the newbie know it's ok to be new. Then you go one step further and give reference to pages for guidance. Nice work! --Meighan WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 03:38, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
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