Mission “Choose a Wiki”: Accomplished

As mentioned previously, I finally decided to learn more about and choose a Wiki. It didn’t take long to figure out that C2 was the best site for comparisons. After reading that site and narrowing it down a bit, it came down to three.

  1. Twiki
  2. MediaWiki
  3. PmWiki

The features I needed for my purposes were;

  • The ability to password protect pages and groups of pages easily.
  • File uploads
  • User registration
  • RSS feeds
  • Open Source

Aside from that, I really only needed the standard Wiki features, everything editable, simple markup etc. etc.

The first Wiki I installed was (as I’ve mentioned before) MediaWiki. The install was simple, and it’s pretty obvious it can handle large sites. It doesn’t come with RSS feeds and I just wasn’t impressed with the way it handles uploads and user registration. Before you write MediaWiki off, I have to say I probably didn’t give this Wiki a full fair shot. I didn’t like the default template and I couldn’t find an online user community with plugins and support and that turned me off from it.

Next was Twiki. This is far and away the Wiki with the most features. It supports uploads (better than any of the others), advanced plugins, it has a great community built around it and is used by some huge companies (Disney for example). It’s also hard to install. I got it up and running in one evening, but getting it running right was much more difficult. Even after I got it running right, password protecting a section of my site was a challenge and getting sessions to work was yet another challenge. I could tell that theming the site was going to be another challenge. I’m not one to run away from a challenge, but after having my share of them and spending a week and a half setting the thing up, it was just too much.

The decision: PmWiki. PmWiki was the easiest to install. I never had to switch to root or create a database or even touch the command line. It supports uploads (not the best support, but support), it’s easily themable, it’s super fast, easy to understand, easy to password protect portions of the site, yet at the same time powerful. It comes with RSS support, a good community, good plugins and add ons and it feels very stable and solid.

My recommendation for a general purpose, intranet or group Wiki is PmWiki. My recommendation to PmWiki is to revamp your website. it’s way too plain and boring (I’m not against simple but this is too much…) and was the reason I tried PmWiki last.


A Wiki I may use for quick, personal sites is the great looking Instiki. I’m looking forward to file attachments for this one.

Where’s the wiki? It’s here.

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