The Unified Community Platform (UCP) is a new wiki platform running MediaWiki 1.33. All Fandom wikis and all Gamepedia wikis, which currently run on separate platforms, will eventually live on the UCP and use the same underlying technology. There is a series of blogs and Forum threads discussing the development and rollout of UCP, a list of which can be found in the Zendesk UCP release accouncement.
Why create a new platform and why move existing wikis onto it?
Fandom's legacy platform is running a much older and heavily customized version of MediaWiki. All the custom features Fandom added over the years, such as Message Walls, threaded Forums, Chat, Achievements, the Admin Dashboard, Special:WikiActivity, and many more, made it nearly impossible for Fandom to update to a newer version of MediaWiki. That meant losing out on lots of improvements and new features developed by the Wikimedia Foundation that come natively with newer MediaWiki versions.
After Fandom and Gamepedia joined forces in 2019, we finally decided that it was time to untangle Fandom's complex and heavily customized platform, remove or replace outdated features and unite all the wikis in our network on a single platform running an up-to-date version of MediaWiki. This will give Fandom users access to newer and better MediaWiki features and Gamepedia users access to features that were previously only available on Fandom. Our development teams will no longer have to maintain two separate platforms, one of which is heavily outdated, and are instead able to focus on building new features for our users.
Every week, we also share which bug fixes and new features have gone live in our Release Hightlights.
Which wikis live on the UCP and which ones live on the old platform?
All Fandom wikis created after March 11th, 2020 live on the UCP. Fandom wikis created before that date will be gradually migrated to the new platform in the coming months. Gamepedia wikis currently still remain on their own platform and will eventually be migrated to the UCP as well.
A wiki that has been created on the UCP cannot be moved to Fandom's legacy platform.
Can you tell whether a wiki lives on the UCP or lives on the old platform?
Since UCP wikis still use the same Fandom skin you're used to, there's no obvious difference at a glance. The most straightforward way to tell whether you are on the UCP or on a legacy platform wiki is to go to Special:Version. Does it say MediaWiki 1.19.24? You are on the legacy platform. Does it say MediaWiki 1.33.3? You are on the UCP.
You can also check your toolbar (found at the bottom of your screen). At a glance, you can see that the chevrons (arrows) used to expand or collapse the toolbar look different on the different platforms. See the image below:
Another way to check is to look at the notification icon(s) on the right side of the global nav. Legacy wikis will have a bell icon and an envelope icon, whereas UCP wikis will just have a bell icon.
What's different between the UCP and the Fandom legacy platform?
The key difference between the UCP and Fandom's legacy platform is that the UCP runs on MediaWiki 1.33, while the old platform uses version 1.19. We will not cover the differences between these versions here, since they are not unique to our platform and you can compare MediaWiki versions elsewhere.
The UCP is a work in progress. That means several custom features you may be used to from the old Fandom or Gamepedia platforms are still being worked on and are not yet available on the UCP, but will be at a later date.
If you are here because you're wondering why a specific feature can't be found on the UCP, whether it will be replaced, added later, or not exist on the UCP at all, or if you're curious about differences you've noticed, please see the following list. If you're curious about a feature that is not mentioned here, please leave a comment.
For regular updates on which new features and bug fixes we release every week, follow our Release Highlights.
Fandom's old platform has three distinct tools for editing articles: The RTE, the Visual Editor, and the source editor. None of these are available on the UCP. Instead, on the UCP you'll find the new MediaWiki Visual Editor and its wikitext source mode. We have made some interface and design changes to integrate this editor fully with the Fandom brand and platform. Your editor preference that you've set on the old platform carries over to the UCP. That means, if you've chosen the source editor as your default editor in your preferences, articles you want to edit will open in source mode on the UCP as well.
Mobile editing is not available for wikis on the legacy Fandom platform. UCP wikis can be edited from mobile devices, using either a mobile visual editor or source mode. Recent Changes on UCP wikis will show which edits were made via a mobile device.
Mobile edit preview
It's currently not possible to preview how your published page will look like on mobile when you're editing on desktop. This feature saw very little use on Fandom's legacy platform and has therefore not been ported to the UCP so far.
Special:Videos and Special:Images
Both of these pages have been replaced by MediaWiki's standard page Special:NewFiles that allows both for the upload of new images to the wiki and the addition of videos from supported video sources. Special:NewFiles also introduces convenient filters for searches, such as search by file name or type.
You can edit your personal code on ucp.fandom.com in the User namespace. Any custom code you add there will apply on UCP wikis only, while code added to your user space on community.fandom.com will continue to be applied to legacy platform wikis until they are migrated to the UCP as well.
Admins can customize their wiki via CSS just as they do on the legacy platform. Please note, however, that your custom code may need to be adjusted before it achieves the same results on a UCP wiki as it does on the legacy platform.
The following extensions that you can request staff to enable for your wiki on Fandom's legacy platform are also available upon request on the UCP:
These extensions are enabled by default on all UCP wikis:
These extensions are not on the UCP yet, but will be made available later:
- SMW - this extension is in use by several older wikis on Fandom. They will continue to use it on the UCP. However, communities that are not currently using this extension can't have it enabled due to site performance concerns.
On the legacy platform, an extension to display RSS feeds is available. This is a third party extension with some changes made by Fandom. This custom extension will not be available on the UCP.
The Fandom legacy platform has introduced a custom set of keyboard shortcuts several years back. These are now on the UCP.
When you are editing a page and are adding a link via wikitext, Fandom's legacy platform offers suggestions to complete your link for you. This feature will be added to the UCP at a later point.
Profiles have received a re-design on the UCP, but contain the same basic elements as on the legacy platform: a global header with your avatar and some information about yourself, and local tabs for your profile text, your messages and your list of wiki contributions (labeled “Activity” on the UCP). The main difference to legacy platform wikis is that UCP profiles use new message walls that are not based on MediaWiki - see below.
Fandom's threaded forums feature consists of old code that is very difficult to maintain and update. It is not easily usable on mobile devices. Therefore, it will not be available on the UCP and is being replaced by Discussions. Existing forum threads will be migrated in their entirety to Discussions so no content is lost. We are working on several enhancements to Discussions to make it feel more familiar to forum users and to make it more powerful. These enhancements are a result of user feedback and a User Experience Research study on forums and Discussions use cases.
Much more in-depth information on why and how we're retiring forums can be found in this Community Central forum thread.
Article comments on Fandom's old platform are based on the same technology as threaded forums and therefore needed to be replaced for the same reasons. A new feature allowing users to comment below wiki articles has been made available on UCP wikis. Existing comments will be migrated to the replacement feature so no content is lost. Admins are able to switch this feature on or off via the Admin Dashboard, according to what suits their community best, just as they can on the old platform.
Just like threaded forums and article comments, Fandom's old message walls run on code that is outdated and not suitable for a modern community platform. A replacement user-to-user communication feature is available on the UCP with much of the same functionality. However, wikitext isn't supported on the new message walls on the UCP, and several features necessary to make them as convenient as Fandom's old message walls are still under development. Once the new message walls are more fully developed, existing message threads from Fandom's legacy platform will be migrated to the new walls feature, so no content is lost.
Admins can switch this feature on or off via a toggle in the Admin Dashboard. When message walls are off, the wiki defaults to user talk pages for user-to-user communication.
Message Wall notifications
Since Fandom's old message walls are not available on the UCP, the associated notifications dropdown (the one behind the letter icon) is not available on the UCP either. Notifications from Fandom's new message wall feature appear amongst Discussions notifications in the bell dropdown instead. If you have notifications from your message wall on a wiki still on the old platform, you won't be able to see it while you're browsing a UCP wiki. Likewise, you won't be able to see notifications from UCP message walls while you're browsing a legacy wiki.
Blogs are available on the UCP and support wikitext. Existing blog content (blog posts and any comments they may have) is transferred in full when a wiki is migrated to the UCP. Just like on the legacy platform, newly created wikis have blogs enabled by default, but admins are able to turn the feature off in the Admin Dashboard.
Fandom's wiki-style Polls (AKA AjaxPolls) are not available on the UCP, and wikis that migrate to the UCP will not have this feature available. The global usage of the feature was not sufficient to merit the required effort for replicating the feature on the new software, given some rather tricky technical issues. Discussions has a built-in polls feature which can be used instead. For archiving poll data for historical reference, this Dev wiki script has been raised as useful.
Creating a New Wiki
All Fandom wikis are created on the UCP since March 11th, 2020. This works exactly as on Fandom's legacy platform, with one exception: If we suspect your wiki covers the same topic as another wiki that already exists on Fandom, you will be warned that you are creating a potential duplicate, and your wiki may be reviewed and closed for that reason within days of its creation.
Special pages and admin tools
This Special page that shows who has edited how much on a specific wiki is available on the UCP.
This Special page does not exist on the UCP. However, admins can still turn specific extensions on and off for their wikis. These toggles are now located directly in the right rail of the Admin Dashboard.
This tool, meant to make monitoring a wiki's activity more accessible to new admins and casual users, is not available on the UCP. Instead, users can use Special:RecentChanges to stay up-to-date on what is happening on the wiki. We have received feedback from users who miss Special:WikiActivity and who used it on Fandom's old platform in ways that Recent Changes does not support. We are looking into what we could do to bring functionality similar to Special:WikiActivity to the UCP.
The Community Page, which provides an overview over the community's members and suggestions on how to improve the wiki, is available on the UCP.
This maintenance tool that highlights unclassified templates, non-portable infoboxes and other maintenance issues on a wiki won't be available on the UCP, since it saw only little usage by communities on the Fandom legacy platform. These maintenance tasks can still be accessed through MediaWiki's special pages.
Achievements are now available on UCP wikis and offer the same experience as on the old platform. You can to get this feature enabled on your wiki.
The UCP supports image sharing. They can be shared across platforms. That means a UCP wiki can share images with a legacy platform wiki and vice versa.
Database dumps and “closed wiki” page
When you visit a wiki URL that has been closed, Fandom's legacy platform shows you a page explaining that the wiki has been closed. On this page, you can download a dump file with the wiki's text contents. This is not yet available on the UCP.
The option to request a dump file for an active wiki via the page Special:Statistics is also not yet available on the UCP.
Category Exhibition was an extension on the legacy platform that had negative impact on search engine optimization (SEO), making categories rank lower for visibility. After being disabled for logged-out users 2 years ago, it was replaced with an SEO-friendly version on UCP, alongside the core MediaWiki category view.
Wikia Activity Monitor
WAM (Wikia Activity Monitor) has been inaccurate for 4+ years now, due to how the platform evolved with Discussions and other social features. As a result of feedback from users, we are exploring a replacement for this feature in 2021 that allows wikis to understand how they stack up to their peers.
Features that remain the same on the UCP as on Fandom's legacy platform
Once all wikis have moved to the UCP, we will be able to innovate and introduce broader improvements and new features. At least until then, though, the following elements of the Fandom platform won't change.
- The Fandom skin: With the exception of some adjustments for new and replaced features, such as the new message walls and profiles, wikis on the UCP look the same as on the old platform.
- Account creation and login
- Discussions: With the exception of some improvements based on User Experience Research and feedback from Forums-heavy communities.
- Search: We've made a lot of changes to improve Fandom's internal search under the hood in the past year, but it still looks and works the same. Search works the same on the UCP as it does on the legacy platform.
- The customizable bottom toolbar for logged-in users
- The Admin Dashboard - except for Special:WikiFeatures, which is no longer a separate page on the UCP but a list of toggles in the right rail of the dashboard.
- The Mobile Main Page curation tool
Play around on the UCP
You'd like to give features on the UCP a try but don't want to create a new wiki just for testing? We hear you. Here is a UCP test wiki where you can't break anything. Have fun!