Sometimes you need to export pages from one wikia to another, or from an outside MediaWiki installation to import here. MediaWiki, the base software Wikia runs on, provides a Special:Export page which allows you to create an XML file containing the pages you choose. Anyone can export, but only admins can use Special:Import.


The Special:Export interface. In this photo, the user is exporting the pages in Category:FAQ.

Before Exporting

Special:Export is the cleanest way of adding a series of one MediaWiki site's articles to another MediaWiki site. This is because when imported, licensing data and attribution transfers over, keeping the content CC-BY-SA compliant.

That said, it is not always appropriate to export content from a site. The content should be exported so that the importing community can use the content in a new and unique way or using it in a different context (for example, importing Marvel's page about w:c:marvel:Thor into a community about the movie Thor or importing a series of pages from an English community into an international community so that they can be easier translated).

As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that Wikians have contributed to the pages you are exported expecting it to be used to expand and inform. Simply importing their work for no other reason to have their work is something you would likely not appreciate if the shoe was on the other foot.


How to deal with a "collision"
When importing content you may come across pages at two different communities that have the same name. In this case one of the pages is going to have to be renamed BEFORE doing the export/import - you can't do it afterwards. A warning: If you forget to do this, the edit histories of both articles will get fused! Aside maybe from the rare case when the edit histories of the two articles don't overlap chronologically, it is going to be a big mess!
Generate a list of articles
The simplest way to get a list of articles is to use the "Add pages from category:" field at the top of the Special:Export page, which will automatically add a list of articles in a given category to the Export list.
If that isn't possible, you can copy and paste lists of article titles from a Category page, Special:Allpages, a DPL list, or any other source of page titles. (You might need to work with the pasted list in your favorite external notepad, word processing or spreadsheet program to get a list of plain page titles with one title per line.) You must include the namespace if you wish to export from anything other than the main article space (e.g., Talk:Something, User:Someone, Template:Infobox).
If the list is long, or the pages have many revisions, you will probably need to break the list down into smaller chunks, as MediaWiki cannot import XML files larger than about 1.8MB.
Choose whether or not to include page histories.
Including page histories is almost always the desired choice, as it makes the required Creative Commons attribution for authorship much simpler. Unless you have a specific reason to want only the latest version, uncheck "Include only the current revision, not the full history".[1]
Choose whether or not to include templates.
Checking this will export all templates and sub-templates required by the page. If you do not export them, the pages may not display properly when imported. You will either need to add the templates to the destination site later, or edit pages to remove template code.[2]
Save the exported file.
Check "Save as file" to save the export to your computer as an XML file. If the reported file size is larger than about 1.8MB, you will need to reduce the size of your Export list and try again, so that you can import the desired pages in smaller chunks.
Import the file to the new community.
Go to Special:Import on the destination community and click the "browse" button to find the XML file on your computer. The imported pages will be listed on Recent changes and on Special:Log/import.
Provide credit, as required by license
New wikias are automatically provided with a Template:Wikipedia page; you can add {{Wikipedia}} to the bottom of your imported page to provide the required attribution for anything copied from Wikipedia. You can also create copies of this template to use for other sources. For example, if your specialized cooking community borrows a set of recipe and ingredient pages from Recipes Wikia, then you could create a similar "Template:Recipes Wikia" to provide links back to that wikia.
Make changes for your community
Once imported, you might like to move/rename the articles, and edit them as you would any normal page. Most importantly, you want the pages to fit with everything else on your community -- you should change the tone and vocabulary used in the text if it's out of place, add links to existing pages on your wiki, and add appropriate categories. You might also split long pages into multiple shorter ones, remove or simplify template code, and either remove unwanted red links (links to non-existent pages), or change them to interwiki links that point back to the source community.


  1. Note: You may need to leave "only current revision" checked for Wikipedia articles that have very long histories. If you do, please mention Wikipedia in the Special:Import comment field so that anyone investigating the page history of an imported article can track it back to its source.
  2. Note: Wikipedia articles tend to use lots of intricate and flexible templates and sub-templates, developed over many years by people who specialize in their construction; they're often a lot more complicated than you need at Wikia. Be prepared to either import a lot of templates and sub-templates to make imported Wikipedia pages display properly, or to edit the pages after import to remove or simplify the template code.

See also

Further Help and Feedback

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