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Adding A WIKI To Your Site

What is WIKI?

A WIKI is a database of terms and definitions which your visitors can contribute to. It's a community effort type of system. You can have a WIKI on just about anything you like. People can log in and create pages, add definitions and even edit pages that already exist. For more information on WIKIs, please see the WikiPedia Page.


To install your own WIKI, you need to be sure your CGI account is set up. Please see How To Request A CGI Account for more information. You may also need to have a MySQL account set up if the script accesses a MySQL database. Most PHP-based scripts require this. Please see How To Request A MySQL Database. You will also need to download a copy of MediaWiki. The version used in this tutorial was MediaWiki 1.4.0. MediaWiki is provided in a gzipped tar archive, which most Linux users can extract, however Windows users will need a separate program to extract the files from these types of archives. PowerArchiver is a free program that will let you extract just about any type of archive in Windows, including gzip and tar archives.

Always be sure you have installed the latest updates and/or patches for the script as well as for any additional add-ons. Updates are very important to the security and proper functioning of the script! Our instructions may be for earlier versions of scripts due to the fact that we are not able to keep up with updates to every script at all times. It is still up to the domain owner to install and use the latest version of these scripts.


Remember that only your main account can access CGI scripts on your server. Any hosting or extra FTP accounts that access these scripts may cause your account to be deactivated and you'll have to contact support.

For your WIKI to work correctly, please do not put it or it's directories inside your cgi-bin directory. If you do, the script may not work. It's best to use a separate directory and leave the cgi-bin directory for your smaller scripts.


  1. Extact all files to a separate directory on your hard drive.

  2. Log into your CGI server and create a new directory for the WIKI to reside. For the purpose of this tutorial, we'll be naming the directory wiki. Upload all the files and directories from the wiki directory on your hard drive to the new directory on your CGI server. Note that there are quite a few files, so this may take awhile if you are on a dial-up connection.

  3. Change the file permissions of the config directory to 777.

  4. Point your browser to - be sure to replace with your actual domain name. You will be taken to the setup page.

    Note: You may see a few errors on this page because Active Web Server has PHP Safe Mode set to on. This is not a setting which can be changed.

  5. Scroll down to the Site config area of the page. Enter in your WIKI site name, email address and primary language of your WIKI (usually set to English).

  6. In the Copyright/license metadata area you can determine the documentation license for the information contained in your WIKI. Most choose either none or GPL.

  7. Choose an admin name and password. Be sure you pick something easily remembered or write it down somewhere as you'll need it to maintain your WIKI.

  8. Leave the Shared memory caching to no caching.

  9. In the Database config area, set it up as follows, replacing yourdomaincom with your actual domain name, omitting the dot:

    MySQL server: localhost
    Database name: yourdomaincom
    DB username: yourdomaincom
    DB password: (Type in your MySQL database password.)
    again: (Type in your MySQL database password again.)
    Database table prefix: mwiki_
    DB root password: (Leave this blank.)

    Click the Install button when done. You will see another page, with more error messages and warnings (ignore these).

  10. Log onto your CGI server and move the file config/LocalSettings.php to your main wiki directory (you may have to download the file to your hard drive and re-upload it to the main wiki directory, depending on your FTP program).

  11. Change the file permissions of the config directory back to 755.


  1. Point your web browser to and click on the Create an account or log in link in the upper right corner of the page. Log in as the administrator using the username and password you created above.

  2. Click on the preferences link in the upper right corner of the page. From here you can change and create your user preferences, and other items. See the list of links to the left of the main area of the page. Be sure to visit the Misc settings page as well, and set these options as you wish. Under the navigation area on the left, you can find a toolbox area which includes a link called special pages which give you further administration options.

Now you can start using your wiki. If you would like to learn how, consult the WikiMedia Help page. You may want to write your own help page on your WIKI site so that others can learn to use your WIKI. Be sure not to copy any information without permission of the original authors.


I get a database error when I try to run my Wiki.

Be sure that you have set up the configuration properly. For more information, please see I get a database error when I try to run a script that accesses the MySQL database.

I get a lot of errors and warnings when trying to install the Wiki.

This is normal due to the fact that PHP on Active Web Hosting servers are set to run in Safe Mode. You can safely ignore these warnings. However, if your Wiki does not install at all, please go back over the above instructions and be sure you have followed them precisely.

I can't upload images and/or files.

Due to the PHP Safe Mode being set, you may encounter problems uploading images or files. If you do, you can still use embedded images in your pages. Just put the URL to the image into the document as follows:

where is the URL to the image which you should upload onto your web server or CGI server. Do be careful that you only upload images on your CGI server and not other types of files. If you want to use other types of files, you will need to upload them to your web server. WIKI will detect it's an image and display it instead of the URL text.


If you have any problems or questions about Wikis, please see the WikiPedia page.

Active Web Hosting may not be able to provide support for this program or it's installation.


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