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A Review of Wikidot

The Scoop on Wikidot

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Wikidot is a wiki farm that supports advanced editing, tag clouds, a flexible permission system, custom themes, and the ability to generate revenue through Google AdSense. With a slick design that is easy to pick up and use, Wikidot makes it easy for users to edit or add to an exiting wiki, or create their own wiki.

What Wikidot doesn't have is a major emphasis on existing wikis. The main Wikidot page seems more interested in promoting Wikidot than in promoting individual Wikidot sites.

Pros

  • Easy to set up your own wiki
  • Clean Interface
  • Revenue sharing

Cons

  • Main site doesn't do enough to promote individual wikis
  • No WYSIWYG editor

Features

  • Each site gets its own subdomain on wikidot.com
  • Flexible permission system suitable for both public and private wikis
  • Customizable themes to create a unique look and feel
  • Numerous widgets available to embed in the wiki
  • Generate revenue through Google AdSense

Wikidot - What's To Like

Wikidot has a very clean interface that, for the most part, is easy to pick up and learn. Experienced wiki users will be able to hit the ground running, and those new to wikis should be able to start editing articles and adding new pages in a matter of minutes.

The process of starting your own wiki is quick and easy. After choosing a name and a tagline, your wiki is created and you are taken to the main page where you can start customizing it and adding content.

The editor is not WYSIWYG, but it does have buttons for commonly used features such as embedding pictures into the article or creating a bulleted list.

Revenue sharing through Google AdSense. This is not mandatory, so you can create an ad-free wiki, and if you choose to include ads, there are several options for the placement of those ads. You can simply put a small ad under the left navigation bar, or you can sprinkle the whole page with ads.

Wikidot - What's Not To Like

The main Wikidot site does a poor job of spotlighting the individual wikis. The first page a users is taken to doesn't even have a list of wikis on the site. Instead, it welcomes the user, tells them what is new on Wikidot, and invites them to create their own wiki.

The main site's focus should be on advertising and promoting the individual wikis being hosted. In turn, this would create stronger communities for those individual sites, which creates a stronger community as a whole, which would make the ability to create a wiki on Wikidot that much more valuable. Unfortunately, they are dropping the ball on this one.

The account creation process sends the user an email with a verification code. But, unlike just about every other website in the entire world, you are required to go to your email, copy the verification onto the clipboard, and paste it into their account creation form. Why not just have a link in the email like every other website?

The explanation for why they don't have a WYSIWYG editor. According to the frequently asked questions, WYSIWYG editors are not very suitable for editing wiki content. This isn't exactly true. While some elements of page design, like image placement, might become awkward, other elements like bolding, linking, bulleted lists are easy to implement in a WYSIWYG fashion.

Wikidot - The Bottom Line

Wikidot has some good features for a wiki farm. The wiki creation process was relatively painless, and the interface is easy enough that most people will be able to focus on the important thing: content creation.

But the lack of emphasis on promoting the community on the main site is worrying. It left me with the impression that wiki owners would be mostly left on their own to get their site up and running.

Overall, Wikidot is a great choice for those that would like to turn a wiki into a revenue stream but don't want to host their own wiki. For the rest, Wikidot still needs a little work around the edges, but it is off to a pretty good start.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
One of the best out there, Member tomstak

I moved my wiki away from Wikia to Wikidot over the summer. I can't begin to express how happy I am with the decision to move. I still have a lot of work to do to get the wiki to look the way I want, but that in itself is an advantage, because on Wikia, it can only look like how Wikia Inc. wants it to look. Take a look at a Wikia wiki, and you notice that (with a few exceptions for favored wikis) they all look the same. Then look at Wikidot, and you find users make them look like what they want. Though I still encourage people to avoid Wikia at all costs, Wikidot may still not be for everyone. The learning curve is a bit steep, and if you are unwilling to learn some very different ways of doing things, you may want to look elsewhere. The same markup you use for Wikia or Wikipedia will not work on Wikidot. Getting your site to look the way you want may require some CSS editing. Fortunately, there is a translation tool available though that can translate some basic Wiki markup to Wikidot's style. The Wikidot community is very helpful too. If you are a paying member of Wikidot, you will also get extra help when you need it. For less than US$50 a year, you can get control over whether ads are placed on your site, in addition to several other considerations. On Wikia, they want US$19.95, (or almost US$240/year, nearly 5 times as much) just to remove ads and nothing else.

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