Tips and tricks: Reusing a wiki

A great wiki takes time. Of course, you can always just start a new wiki, but sometimes you have a lot of great formatting and content that you want to save. Just because the project is over or your students have moved on to the next class or grade, it doesn’t mean that all your hard work has to go to waste.

This month, we’re giving you some tips on how to take a great wiki and get it ready to use again.

Manage membership
First, you’ll want to clear out all the old members who won’t be using the wiki anymore:

  1. Go to Manage Wiki.
  2. Under People, click Members.
  3. Check the boxes for anyone who won’t be using the wiki anymore, then click the Remove button. (This won’t delete anyone’s Wikispaces account; it just removes their membership to this particular wiki.)

Next, you’ll want to add all your new members. If you have an education wiki (either K-12 or higher ed) or a wiki on a Private Label site, you can use the User Creator tool to create Wikispaces accounts (with or without email addresses) and add those users to your wiki.

  1. Go to Manage Wiki.
  2. Under People, click User Creator.
  3. Follow the prompts in the tool to create accounts and add them to your wiki.

If you have a Basic-, Plus-, or Super-plan wiki — or if the people you want to add already have existing Wikispaces accounts — you can invite them to your wiki by username or email address.

  1. Go to Manage Wiki.
  2. Under People, click Invite People.
  3. Enter up to 100 usernames or email addresses, separated by commas or line breaks.
  4. Customize the invitation message for your new members.
  5. Click Send.

Create templates
Page templates are an amazing time-saver. You just have to build a page once, and you can use it over and over and over again:

  1. Go to Manage Wiki.
  2. Under Content, go to Templates.
  3. Under Create a Template, enter the name for your new template (use a name you’ll recognize later), and, if you want, the name of an existing page you want to base the template on.
  4. Hit Create Template.
  5. Make your edits to the page, if any, and hit Save.

You can use your templates any time you create a new page, and you can manage and edit them whenever you like by going to Manage Wiki > Templates. Learn more about templates with this tips & tricks post from May, 2010.

Wikispaces Private Label also lets you create wiki templates. If you are on a Private Label site and would like to templatize your whole wiki, contact your site administrator.

Revise navigation
Brush up your navigation bar to make sure it’s still appropriate for what you want the wiki to accomplish.

Then you’ll want to go through your wiki and manage your pages for the next year:

  1. Go to Manage Wiki.
  2. Under Content, go to Pages.
  3. Review the full list on the All tab. Follow the links on the list if you want to review or edit a page. Edit your tags. Delete any pages that are no longer applicable.
  4. Go to the Orphaned tab and check for any pages that are not linked to from anywhere else on the wiki. Do you still want these pages? Should you create links for them?
  5. Go to the Wanted tab. Here you have a list of all the links in your wiki that lead to pages that don’t exist yet.
    • Follow the links to each page, where you can create the page by editing it.
    • When you get to the page, you can use the down arrow on the Page tab to see the Backlinks. This will help you go to the place where the dead link exists so that you can edit it, if needed.

Clear out old discussions
Sometimes it’s helpful to keep an archive of old discussions, but many of you want to clear out discussions from year to year. The easiest way to do that is to delete the page and start over. A few simple steps will let you do that without needing to create the page all over:

  1. Go to the page with the discussions you would like to delete.
  2. Using the down arrow on the Page tab, Rename the page to something temporary (like “temp”).
  3. In another tab or window, create a new page and give it the name you liked for your original page.
  4. Copy everything on the original page into the new page.
  5. Save the new page.
  6. Delete the original page, now called “temp.”

Now you’re ready to start over, with a fresh Discussion tab and a fresh History.

If you have any questions, send us an email at

Update: If you want more tips, we cover saving old work and more in our post on prepping your wiki for summer.

This entry was posted in Tips and Tricks. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted July 12, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    It’s very helpful Thank you so much for this.

  2. Steve Partridge
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Excellent tips, I’m sure that, like me, many teachers will find this really helpful, thx

  3. Kathy Toldo
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! I always love to hear of new ways to save time.

  4. Posted July 28, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The ‘Tips and Tricks’ are great! I’ve been a wiki spaces user since Feb. 2008 and it is the foundation of each class. I’m still learning from you so keep the ‘Tips and Tricks’ coming!

  5. Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    It would be nice if there was an easier way to remove all discussions from a page without having to create a new page and copy all the content over then delete the old page. Perhaps this can be a feature enhancement for the future.

  6. Posted August 5, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Hi David,

    That would definitely be a big help. It’s on our list for future development.


  7. Posted August 17, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    thanx david,its nice tutorial kind a useful.

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