Community Central
Community Central

A namespace is a way of separating types of content on a wiki; groups of pages with similar purposes can be grouped together, and can be searched and listed separately from each other. Each page belongs to exactly one namespace.

The namespace of a page is indicated by the word preceding the colon in the page title. For example, "Talk:Pagename" is a page in the "talk" namespace, and is used to describe a page called pagename. If there is no prefix (or the prefix does not match an existing namespace) the page belongs to the "Main" or "article" namespace of that wiki.

Custom namespaces can be created on a wiki if the standard ones do not meet the needs of that community's project.

Namespaces are used for the following reasons:

  • allow separation of wiki content from help and policy pages about the creation of content;
  • allow separation of different kinds of unrelated content;
  • allow control of which content is indexed by search engines;
  • provide some special features related to the namespace's intended purpose;
  • provide facilities to limit searches to a particular area;
  • allow easy exporting.

What namespaces do all communities have?

By default, every wiki has 18 namespaces, and 2 special namespaces. Custom namespaces can also be created.

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:-2}} Media
{{ns:-1}} Special Special pages on your wiki
{{ns:0}} Main Main namespace for regular wiki articles
{{ns:1}} Talk Discussion pages for regular wiki articles
{{ns:2}} User
{{ns:3}} User talk
{{ns:4}} Project
("Community Central")
Uses the wiki's sitename
{{ns:5}} Project talk
("Community Central talk")
{{ns:6}} File
{{ns:7}} File talk
{{ns:8}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} Template
{{ns:11}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} Help
{{ns:13}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} Category
{{ns:15}} Category talk
{{ns:110}} Forum See Help:Wiki-style forums
{{ns:111}} Forum talk

An API query can be used to list all namespaces on a community, including custom namespaces. To do so, replace 'NAME' in the following URL with your community's:


For example, Community Central's list.

Namespaces added by default extensions

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:400}} See Help:Video embed tool
{{ns:500}} User blog See Help:Blogs
{{ns:501}} User blog comments
{{ns:502}} Blog
{{ns:503}} Blog talk
{{ns:700}} See Top 10 List
{{ns:701}} Unsupported: Top 10 List talk
{{ns:828}} Module See Help:Lua
{{ns:829}} Module talk
{{ns:1100}} Related Videos See Help:Videos module
{{ns:1200}} Message Wall See Help:Message Wall
{{ns:1201}} Thread Used by both Message Wall and Forums
{{ns:1202}} Message Wall Greeting See Help:Message Wall
{{ns:2000}} Board See Help:Forum
{{ns:2001}} Board Thread See Help:Forum
{{ns:2002}} Topic See Help:Forum

What are the basic namespaces?

You can see a list of all the namespaces on your wiki by going to Special:AllPages and clicking the dropdown menu next to "Namespace"

The Main or article namespace ({{ns:0}}) is the informational content of the wiki. In Wikipedia, this would be an encyclopedia article. It is the default namespace and does not use a prefix. Only the Main namespace is indexed by public search engines such as Google or Bing (unless the magic word __NOINDEX__ is inserted.)

The Project namespace's prefix is the title of your wiki (the same title displayed in the {{SITENAME}} variable). On some wikis, this namespace is used for policies and guidelines, deletion discussions, requests for administratorship, and other behind-the-scenes details; other wikis use it for other purposes, or don't use it at all. If you don't know the name of the wiki (or just don't want to bother to type it,) you can use the shortcut, "Project:" as a substitute. This will be converted automatically to the real name of the wiki. For example, on the Community Central wiki, Project:Admins and mods will link to the same page that Community Central:Admins and mods does.

The User namespace has the prefix User: and is used for information about users of the wiki. A user has a main user page and possibly some sub-pages. The main user page is linked from page histories and from recent changes. A user page has links to a user's talk page and contributions.

The File namespace is prefixed with File:. Pages in this namespace are also called image description pages. They are used for information about images or other files. Every image uploaded will show the information given in the upload summary on the image description page. (note: the previous prefix Image: will continue to work)

The MediaWiki namespace (prefix MediaWiki:) contains behind-the-scenes code and messages such as link labels and color schemes. These are only editable by a wiki's administrators. An automatically generated list of all interface messages can be found at Special:Allmessages. See Help:System messages for more.

The Template namespace can be used for small standard texts which need to be inserted on a number of pages. Templates can be things like infoboxes or items in a list. They can be inserted with {{Template name}}; see Help:Templates for a more in-depth description.

The Category namespace contains categories of pages, with each displaying a list of pages in that category and optional additional text; see Help:Category.

The Help namespace is for help pages. The Shared Help system automatically provides pages from Fandom Help to each individual wiki, but projects can add their own notes about local practices above the shared text, and add new help pages that are unique to their projects in this namespace.

The Forum namespace can be used for threaded forum messages. These are normally conversations and questions for the entire wiki to contribute in. See Help:Forums. Note: It is suggested to now use the Forum tool instead.

What are the talk namespaces?

Except for special pages, each namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the unprefixed main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the User: namespace has the prefix User talk:. Most of the pages in the talk namespaces are used to discuss changes to the corresponding page in the associated namespace.

Pages in the user talk namespace are useful for leaving messages for a particular user, since they will get automatic notification of any messages left there; see Help:User page.

What are virtual namespaces?

There are two virtual namespaces that do not relate to pages stored in the database.

Special pages, or the special namespace, are automatically generated and uneditable pages, such as Special:RecentChanges or Special:UserLogin. They're vital to the MediaWiki software.

The Media prefix can be used to link directly to an image or sound clip, in the form [[Media:Image.jpg]] or [[Media:Sound.ogg]], rather than linking to the image description page.

See also

Further help and feedback