All of us are aware of Wikipedia, an ocean of information. It is basically a wiki, which allows easy creation and and editing of all the pages by all the visitors which either can submit as normal visitors or they just need to create an account and edit the pages or create some content. Wikis can be edited by using a normal Web Browser, without any extra plugin or add-on or extension. Some sites provide WYSIWYG editor to edit their wiki while others ask us to learn a simple markup language, that depends on what Wiki Software is used by that site to create the Wiki and what are their administrative settings.
So, now a days, many sites are as well creating their own wiki, either for their internal knowledge management, or note taking or making a collaborative knowledge portal or to make a community website. Do you also wish to let your visitors easily contribute to your website and add their content on a particular topic so as to enhance the value of your web pages with their personal thoughts, learning and experiences? Wiki is a best solution for such kind of platform creation. There are many cool Wiki Software platforms or Wiki engines available, which are open source and free. I am listing below 10 most popular and widely used Wiki engines, which have a lots of administrative control options so that they can create a easily manageable functional wiki in no time. So you decide which is the best wiki software for you to create your fully operational wiki and do let us know which wiki software platform you think is best suitable for you and why thru our comments section.
Used by Wikipedia, this is nearly a 44 MB wiki software package available in more than 300 languages. It is released under GPL, and written in PHP.
The basic package does not have a WYSIWYG editor, but there is an extension that you can use to enable this editor. There are quite many extensions or plugins available for free download, which will help you get any number of features to your wiki.
It is a well documented, PHP based, highly customizable (over 70 design templates) and fully extensible wiki software platform available. The best part is “It requires no databases!!!”. All the data is stored in plain text files. It is very popular and used by many sites.
It is another popular wiki software platform released under GPL and coded in PHP.
Custom look-and-feel: A site administrator can quickly change the appearance and functions of a PmWiki site by using different skins and HTML templates.
Access control: PmWiki password protection can be applied to an entire site, to groups of pages, or to individual pages. Password protection controls who can read pages, edit pages, and upload attachments. PmWiki’s access control system is completely self-contained, but it can also work in conjunction with existing password databases, such as.htaccess, LDAP servers, and MySQL databases.
Customization and plugin architecture: It includes only essential features in the core engine, but make it easy for administrators to customize and add new markup. Hundreds of features are already available by using extensions (called “recipes”) that are available from the PmWiki Cookbook.
WikkaWiki (often shortened as Wikka) is a free, lightweight, and standards-compliant wiki engine. Written in PHP, it uses MySQL to store pages.
Twiki is a flexible, powerful, and easy to use enterprise wiki, enterprise collaboration platform, and web application platform. It is a Structured Wiki, typically used to run a project development space, a document management system, a knowledge base, or any other groupware tool, on an intranet, extranet or the Internet. Users without programming skills can create web applications. Developers can extend the functionality of TWiki with Plugins. It is coded on Perl platform and is released under GPL.
I found this as a most organized and a professional looking wiki and good for companies and enterprise structures. TWiki got nominated as a finalist for Best Project for the Enterprise at the SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards 2009.
XWiki is a platform for developing collaborative web applications using the wiki paradigm. This is what makes XWiki a second generation wiki. All XWiki software is developed in Java and under the LGPL open source license.
XWiki Enterprise is a professional wiki with enterprise features such as Blog, strong rights management, LDAP authentication, PDF export, full skining and more. It also includes an advanced Form and scripting engine making it a development environment for data-based applications. It has powerful extensibility features such as scripting in pages, plugins and a highly modular architecture. See the full feature list for more.
MindTouch Deki is a web-based collaboration, wiki software and mashup platform. It is divided into a front-end (written in PHP) and an API, written in C#. The Deki front-end and API are distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License while the Dream services layer is released under the Apache License, making it free and open source software.
It is having user friendly WYSIWYG interface. MindTouch has one of the most advanced permission systems available. MindTouch administrators can make wikis public or private, anonymous or not. There is user groups support. Users can permission entire hierarchies to create private or non-editable workspaces or permission single pages. MindTouch has built in support for LDAP, Active Directory,Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla.
View Complete Feature list here.
BoltWire is an easy to use web development engine with surprising flexibility and power. It has the various strengths of a CMS, a wiki, a search engine, and more, all rolled together into a software system of ground-breaking design.
It is free wiki engine and is coded on PHP and no databases are required as it uses simple text files system. Currently there is no WYSIWYG editor, but there is a plugin in the wanted list, so we can wait for it 🙂
If you do not want to download and maintain a wiki engine on your web server, then Zoho Wiki is a beautiful online wiki solution from Zoho, and it is free with a limit of 2 wikis per user. Zoho Wiki is an intuitive, user friendly tool that allows you to build a website of your dreams complete with pictures and multi-media contents.
Again, I must say, it is a very beautiful wiki interface, with inbuilt WYSIWYG interface, collaboration tools and fine-grained access privileges to create groups, set wiki or page level permissions. It has a feature to keep up-to-date information through instant RSS feeds, subscribe to watch pages and follow thread of discussions.
This is also a free online platform which would help you create your a beautiful wiki on their own server. Wikia is having more features than zoho in some headings, I must say. The most important thing is, you can embed your ad codes in a wiki created on Wikia, which is not available on Zoho. It is having an attractive interface and web page looks. It offers categories, which zoho does not.