It all seemed so simple in the beginning: You had your home page, and you made a few edits. Wrote some killer intro copy, added some pictures, maybe embedded a video or a recording of a welcome message. And, for a while, that was enough.
Then, one day, you went and hit the New Page icon. The rush! The power! The endless possibilities! With that one click, you entered a world where your every need could be met. Where every project, every document and class and project could have a page all its own. Every student (or collaborator) was suddenly custodian of his (or her) own private URL that would take her (or him) right to that one, single page where all the work was.
But, before long, those heady days gave way to sinking frustration and regret. Before you knew it, you had dozens, even hundreds, of pages in your wiki. What was a humble wiki organizer to do?
Well, to begin with, you can set up Links to create master pages and subpages. Then you can edit your nav bar to provide simple navigation. Wikispaces doesn’t currently have a rigid page hierarchy. Instead, we’ve given you a whole mess of simple tools so that you can build a wiki architecture that suits the way you and your group work.
Let’s take a look:
Bring unruly pages in line
First, take a deep breath. Then remember that you can always find a complete, alphabetical list of all the pages in your wiki at Manage Wiki > Pages. Now that you’ve had a chance to review the pages that already exist, it’s time to get them in order.
- Start another New Page. This is going to be your new master page, so give it a name that tells you exactly what it is: Math Lab Group Work, or Table of Contents.
- Add some explanatory text, images, videos, widgets — or not. Whatever you want.
- Using the Link icon, create links to your existing pages.
- Hit Save.
- Repeat as needed.
Master your pages before they master you
If the story above sounds like a fairy tale to you, then there’s still time. And you can start by creating a new master page.
- Create a New Page. As above, give it a name that tells you exactly what it is, like 2010 Newsletters.
- Create subpages by adding Links — see Sarah’s intro tutorial if you need pointers.
- Hit Save.
- Follow your links and start editing your shiny new subpages.
Every time you need a new bunch of pages, just follow these same steps with a new master page. Or, if you find you want to arrange them in a different way, refer to the section above and change your links around.
Pull your navigation together
Just about now you’re probably noticing that all of your brilliant subpage architecture isn’t really being reflected in your navigation bar. That’s because, by default, we populated your nav bar with a Pagelist widget that lists the first ten pages on your wiki in alphabetical order. But never fear: it’s easy to change.
- Click the Edit Navigation link.
- Your navigation bar will open as if it were a normal wiki page. Delete the blue Pagelist widget box, and add in all the links you need, in exactly the order you need them to be. You can format the text if you want, or even add horizontal rules.
- Hit Save.
Any time you want to change it again, just repeat these steps. And if you ever want the old Pagelist back, just Edit Navigation and replace all the contents with a Pagelist from the Widget icon menu.
Know your tools
You’ve already met some of the most valuable, versatile tools in your wiki navigation toolkit: Manage Wiki > Pages, New Page, the Link icon, and Edit Navigation. You might want to play around with some of the others:
- Tags. You can find out more about how to use tags in our previous tips and tricks blog post.
- Pagelist widget. This will put a list of all the pages on your wiki on any page, in alphabetical order, up to any number of pages you set, filterable by tag.
- Pageinclude widget. This will paste the entire contents of one wiki page into another. You can use it to create useful bits, like headers and footers, that you might want to use over and over in your wiki.
You can find more specific instructions about adding links to your navigation bar on our Navigation Help page.
If you’ve discovered a great trick for subpages and wiki navigation that we didn’t cover, let everyone know about it in the comments section below. Or, if you have a question or a problem you just can’t figure out, shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Update: In April, 2011, we released a new navigation bar that gives you more options for organizing your wiki.