Tips and tricks: Wiki templates

Odds are, as a dedicated Private Label site admin, you’re spending a fair bit of time building wikis, maintaining wikis, and talking to your wiki organizers about ways to make wikis even better. And you’ve probably run into some wikis that are so successful that you know your users will want to make similar wikis again and again. Which is why we suspect that, if you aren’t using wiki templates already, it’s because you don’t know about them. We thought that this would be a great time to remedy that.

Fair enough. Tell me about “wiki templates.”
Happy to oblige. A wiki template is the answer to the question, “This wiki over here was really successful, and we’d like to use it again. How can we do that?” It lets you copy all of the pages, files, and settings (with the exception of individual page permissions) from your successful wiki into as many new wikis as you want.

Let’s say you’re running a Private Label site for your nonprofit. You are setting up local volunteer offices around the country or world, and you want to make sure that every time someone opens a new office, they have a wiki that’s pre-packed with all the reference files and pages that you already know are going to help them. Set up a New Local Office wiki template, and all that work is already done.

Or say your school wants to have e-portfolio wikis for each of its students. Just set up an e-Portfolio wiki template, and they can open their wikis and get to work right away.

I like the sound of that.
We thought you would.

How do they work?
Go to Site Administration > Wikis and follow the View and Create Templates link. There you’ll be able to manage any existing templates, or create a new template based on any wiki in your site.

A wiki template is a designation that you assign to a wiki — much as you would promote a site user to site admin, or a wiki member to a wiki organizer. Any wiki on your site can serve as the source for a wiki template, or you can create a new wiki specifically for that purpose. The name of the template will let your users know what kind of template it is, and can help you keep track if your site has multiple wiki templates.

When someone creates a new wiki, they will be able to pick a Wiki Template from the drop-down list. Be sure to give your templates clear, concise, descriptive names so that your users know what they are looking at. Once the user has chosen a template, their new wiki will be a snapshot of the source wiki at that moment, all ready for fresh modifications and a new batch of members.

If you make any changes to the source wiki, any new wikis built on the template associated with it will reflect the changes. But the changes won’t have any effect at all on existing wikis.

If you have any tips for your fellow site admins on how wiki templates have been useful for you, add a comment below or email us at help@wikispaces.com.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The templates sound great, but I can’t find them, I’m sure it’s obvious…….

  2. Posted June 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I would like to view the templates but I too can’t find them. I must be missing the obvious

  3. Debbie
    Posted June 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sarah,

    Wiki templates are only available on our Private Label plan (http://www.wikispaces.com/site/privatelabel). On a Private Label plan you can find wiki templates by going to the site, selecting site administration, selecting the Wikis tab, and selecting Create or Edit Templates on the page.

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  4. Posted June 27, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance this service will be extended to K-12 wiki’s is there? It’s a bit of a grind to manually copy pages of class wikis for each of the grades.

  5. Debbie
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi DrJ,

    At this time wiki templates are only available on our Private Label plans. However, you can use page templates to easily copy pages in a single wiki. If you have more than a couple pages to copy from one grade wiki to another you can e-mail us at help@wikispaces.com and we’ll help you get the content copied.

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  6. Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    We have a Private Label site; Is the Blog-Style Template you use for blog.wikispaces.com available to us? If so, where can we find/access it?

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