Followup to the old blogs Some key elements for a growing wiki and Ways to promote your wiki.

You can survive in this harsh wiki universe...

It's been quite a long time since I've written a blog on the topic of attracting users to your wiki and things to do to help it grow, so I figured I should do an updated one. Let me preface that I'm not an expert, but I've been working on wikis of various sizes as an admin for a long time and have tried to keep up with the new things Fandom has been putting out.

Things covered in the old blog

Most of the main points…

Attracting users

  • Have a nice main page with good graphics. Graphical links that look like large buttons usually look nicest, so if you can recruit someone with decent graphic design skills it can be a major plus.
    • Add a nice slider - A short slide show with captions about major parts of the wiki.
    • For books, games, movies, and TV shows, it helps to have a set of thumbnail images with links to main characters. A logical extension would be thumbnail images with links important item/object, locations, etc. If you're ambitious, you can add sequels, expansions, or spinoffs.
    • Featured articles, images, quotes, videos, etc.
    • Social media feeds in main page sidebar.
    • For games, links to large categories of items or things like missions/quests, can be added.
    • For movies and TV shows, you can link to categories for cast and crew as well.
  • If the subject of your wiki has an official site with forums, you can link to your wiki to answer questions asked about the subject.
    • Use the same username on sites where you comment about your topic as your Fandom username.
    • Link to the best pages on your wiki when talking about your topic on other sites, but only to provide more info on something topic relevant and not as obvious advertising.
  • Add a shared footer navigation template to the bottom of your main page from Community Central. The full list of available footers can be found at Category:Footers. NOTE: Not all the footers were created by staff, but many were (those starting with "Footer…" generally were). Make sure to review the footer carefully before adding it. You would use wikitext like {{w: FooterFantasyLit}}.
  • If you're ambitious and like to do a little video editing, you could post videos related to your wiki (like this) or have your own Youtube channel (like this or this)!
  • Ask Wikia to promote your site with a Community Central spotlight advertising image and link that will appear on other related wikis. Don't forget to follow the guidelines to qualify for a spotlight.

More ways to grow your wiki

  • Try to work on the high level stuff first and encourage other users who have interest in specific stuff to fill out what they like.
    • High level stuff includes the main page; well-organized pages on major characters, events, or items; clear and sensible guidelines and policies; and a minimal style guide (aka Manual of Style).
    • Make sure your menus are setup nicely at MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation. NOTE: You can't publish changes until after you click Preview.
  • Learn how to code wikitext. Very few experienced or well-known admins of good wikis don't know how to do this. At least learn how templates work including the basic types like infoboxes, navboxes, and notice box templates.
  • Try to make sure spelling and grammar is decent. It makes everything look better. If this is not your strength, try to find a user who will help.
  • Check out Special:Community on your wiki and list some pages for helpful editors to work on (Community Central doesn't have this, so it will be a red link here). You (as an admin) may need to request it be enabled via Special:Contact/general.
  • Fill in your community corner which shows up in the bottom of the right sidebar on the WIki activity page.
  • Check out the welcome tool and learn how to leave a message on new users' Message Walls or talk pages that points them to useful info and tell them how to get help.
  • Publish a blog about your wiki on your wiki. This can be fun for those who are more into writing, but if you like writing less, you can make it a bunch of bullet points (like I usually to do). Style doesn't matter so much as long as it gives good info and has a friendly tone (except maybe on horror wikis… LOL).

Other things to consider

  • Search Engine Optimization - basically getting your wiki to show up more prominently in Google or other searches.
    • There is way to much to know about this, but the help page is a start. Fro my experience, admins worry about this too much and your time is better spent on just making your wiki better. If readers find it, but have a bad experience, SEO won't help too much.
  • Identifying and encouraging the best users - this can lead to having more good moderators and new admins.

More help

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