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. They are used for various 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.

The namespace of a page is indicated by the word preceding the colon in the page title, a prefix. 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. If a namespace doesn't exist, pages with prefixes can be created, but will be automatically placed in the main or article namespace. If a namespace is created after these articles are created, they will have to be manually moved to the new namespace.

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"

Main or article namespace ({{ns:0}}) is the informational content of the wiki. On 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.

Project namespace's use varies. On some wikis, this namespace is used for policies and guidelines, deletion discussions, requests for administrator rights, and other behind-the-scenes details; other wikis use it for other purposes, or don't use it at all. Its prefix is the title of your wiki (the same title displayed in the {{SITENAME}} variable). 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 will link to the same page that Community Central:Admins does.

User namespace 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.

File namespace is used for uploaded files, and pages in it can also be referred to file description pages (in fact, the previous prefix Image: is a synonym for this namespace). They are used for information about images or other files. Every image file uploaded will show the information given in the upload summary on the file description page.

MediaWiki namespace 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.

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.

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

Help namespace is for help pages. Links to the Help namespace will redirect you to Community Central, if the article exists on Community Central. Wikis can also add new help pages that are unique to their wiki in this namespace.

What are the additional namespaces?[]

Forum namespace can be used for threaded forum messages. These are normally conversations and questions for the entire wiki to contribute in. See Help:Wiki-style forums. Note: It is suggested to use Discussions 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:Profiles.

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 any file or sound clip, in the form [[Media:Image.jpg]] or [[Media:Sound.ogg]], rather than linking to the image description page.

What namespaces do all communities have?[]

By default, every wiki has 18 namespaces and 2 special namespaces from MediaWiki core, 18 namespaces provided by currently supported extensions. Custom namespaces can also be created.

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:-2}} Media
{{ns:-1}} Special See Help:Special pages.
{{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

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 currently supported extensions[]

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:110}} Forum Used by the DPLforum extension. See Help:Wiki-style forums.
{{ns:111}} Forum talk
{{ns:420}} GeoJson See Help:Maps Extension.
{{ns:421}} GeoJson talk
{{ns:500}} User blog See Help:Blogs.
{{ns:502}} Blog Used for bloglists. See Help:Blogs.
{{ns:503}} Blog talk
{{ns:828}} Module See Help:Lua.
{{ns:829}} Module talk
{{ns:1200}} Message Wall See Help:Message Wall.
{{ns:2300}} Gadget See Help:Gadgets.
{{ns:2301}} Gadget talk
{{ns:2302}} Gadget definition
{{ns:2303}} Gadget definition talk
{{ns:2900}} Map See Help:Interactive Maps.
{{ns:2901}} Map talk

Namespaces that were added by deprecated extensions[]

The following namespaces were used by extensions which are deprecated and are not in use anymore. They may or may not be accessible.

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:501}} User blog comment Article and blog comments now use a different system. See Help:Comments.
{{ns:1201}} Thread Was used by the old-type Message Walls.
{{ns:2001}} Board Thread Was used by the old-type Special:Forum.
{{ns:1202}} Message Wall Greeting There is a script-based alternative. See WallGreeting on Dev wiki.
{{ns:2002}} Topic Was used by the old-type Special:Forum.

See also[]

Further help and feedback[]