MediaWiki is one of the oldest knowledge bases in the game. But can it accommodate modern users’ desire for simplicity and integration with remote work apps? In this article, we discuss whether MediaWiki is an accessible solution for MS Teams users and teams that want a user-friendly solution.
This post is brought to you by Perfect Wiki, a tool that helps you create a database of your company resources right in Microsoft Teams. Try us out for FREE today, no sign-in or credit card required.
For a birds-eye view, we compared Perfect Wiki with the built-in wiki side by side in the table below. What features are you looking for in a wiki? Keep those in mind when choosing where to store your valuable company knowledge.
Table. Perfect Wiki vs Media Wiki: Comparing Features
Easy to install?
Uses MS Teams credentials
Difficult setup and installation process
Microsoft Teams integration
A separate tool
From built-in wiki and device (Word, Web Page)
XML/ docx with no formatting preserving
Import files from built-in wiki
From built-in wiki and device (Word, Web Page)
Navigable table of contents
See all pages from any channel
PDF, Web Page or print
Sophisticated backup process
Search through all channels
Limited search options
Can edit pages in MS Teams app
Access & editing permissions
Theoretically possible, but requires complex setup
Not available for MS Teams
Free for up to 25 wiki pages and 3 users
Starts from $4/month if paid annually with unlimited number of pages
Forever free version
Upgrade account - EUR15/month with memory quota of 64MB RAM
Upgrade Plus account EUR25/month -128MB RAM
MediaWiki is the software behind our beloved Wikipedia. It is a free, open-source platform for creating large knowledge databases and document libraries. It’s scalable, has a pretty robust set of features and configuration options, and is available in around 350 languages.
Perfect Wiki is an easy-to-use knowledge base system for Microsoft Teams. It has all the defining features of an internal team wiki without the complexity of most high-status knowledge management platforms.
How easy is it to set up?
MediaWiki is geared towards organizations that have a developer team. It is not a one-click installation process in the slightest.
To set it up, you need to either have a developer that can manually configure the MediaWiki layout to fit your needs, or you will need to find a hosting service that will package MediaWiki for you (which is not always free). I had to install MediaWiki through a third-party configuration service and it was very time and energy-consuming.
And once you do have MediaWiki up and running, you will have a long road ahead of you. Be prepared to feel like you’re relearning how to walk while figuring out how to do the most basic actions like add content to a page.
Bottom line, MediaWiki is not an intuitive solution for users that want a ready-to-go knowledge base for their team.
If you need an internal knowledge base that takes care of all the set-up for you, try Perfect Wiki. The wiki is ready to go in seconds right inside Microsoft Teams, absolutely no set-up or sign-in required. Your whole team will have access to Perfect Wiki from the start using their MS Teams credentials.
Does it integrate with Microsoft Teams?
No, MediaWiki is a separate web-based tool. Right now there is no option to set up alerts or search through your MediaWiki content inside MS Teams, let alone edit your wiki content. And you and your organization will need to create separate logins and passwords to use MediaWiki.
Despite how quickly the times are changing, MediaWiki is in no rush to adapt to people’s increasing demand for cross-app integration.
Yes, Perfect Wiki was designed for MicrosoftTeams. It integrates perfectly, with all its features available inside your channels. You can add Perfect Wiki to as many channels as you want from the same account, and it uses your MS Teams credentials, so your team won’t need to sign in every time they use it.
How easy is it to add and manage members?
You have to add members manually with MediaWiki, and setting up user groups is quite complicated too. I had to consult a few user forums before learning how to get to the “members” menu.
Assigning admin can be done either manually in code using PHP (MediaWiki’s language), or in a separate simplified menu in your workspace if you’re not configuring your wiki from scratch.
All your organization members in Microsoft Teams are automatically added to Perfect Wiki. You do not need to manually invite users. Right from your channel, you can assign admin and regular user roles.
How easy is it to create and share pages?
An action as basic as adding a new page should be the first thing you see when you open up a wiki. This is not the case with MediaWiki - after 15 minutes browsing my workspace, I still didn’t find a way to create a new page from scratch. There are a few ways to do it, but I as a user should not have to Google “how to add a new page in MediaWiki” to perform such a simple task.
As far as page sharing goes, it looks like I can download any page as a PDF, or send someone a link to a page to view it.
You can create a page instantly from the main menu - simply hit the “+” on the left sidebar. You can also import existing files from Word or from the MS Teams built-in wiki easily.
Perfect Wiki also has multiple options for sharing your content - you can download any page as a PDF or HTML doc, send links to pages for MS teams users, and share select read-only pages with external users and customers.
Can you lock the wiki content from being edited?
In theory, it looks like you can protect separate pages from being edited, as well as assign designated editors who will be allowed to change and add content. Although when I tried to this the “simplified” (a.k.a. no coding required) way, my own profile didn’t even show up as a member or admin.
There are detailed instructions for how to do this for users that are configuring MediaWiki on their own with PHP, but no explanations for the rest of us. So I would have to get help from a system administrator to learn how to, again, perform a pretty standard wiki action.
You can also capitalize on the collaborative aspect of knowledge management by leaving all your pages open to anyone to edit. You can choose from the following roles: editor, reader or admin. Admins function as editors but with access to billing and role managing settings.
Is there AI Assistant integrated?
There're no updates containing any AI powered component, chat bot or AI Assistant in MediaWiki. So the current tendency on AI elements implementation isn't present in this solution.
The AI Assistant offered in Perfect Wiki is a powerful tool that can be used to create templates, fulfil mundane tasks, and even do creative work.
It is very convenient and effective, as it can quickly generate content that is tailored to the user's needs. It can also be used to generate ideas for projects, create reports, and even generate content for websites. The Perfect Wiki AI Assistant is also a great way to save time and energy when it comes to routine tasks.
The result can be immediately inserted to the page. You can start your work on a page with the AI or just use it during your work process if you need assistance.
Where is the data stored?
If you are hosting your MediaWiki server (a.k.a. you are doing all the coding and configuration yourself), your data will be stored on your servers. If you choose to use a pre-packaged hosting service to launch MediaWiki, then each hosting tool will have a different storage location (usually the US and Europe).
All user content is encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2+ with perfect forward secrecy and full GDPR compliance. Our servers are located in the US and EU (Ireland and Germany) and use full disk, industry-standard AES 256 encryption.
Customers who wish to have their data processed within the EU will have the option to specify it as their data region of choice.
MediaWiki Summary: Pros and Cons
- Could work for organizations with a dedicated team of technicians and content managers.
- Very customizable
- The layout is familiar to anyone that has used Wikipedia
- It’s free
- Difficult to set up and maintain without coding skills
- Inconsistent onboarding and help pages
- Unintuitive interface
- Does not integrate with Microsoft Teams
In the end, MediaWiki may be a free knowledge base solution, but the funds and effort you will spend hiring someone to configure the wiki for you invalidates that advantage.
With so many user-friendly solutions out there, you should not have to have software development skills to do something as simple as start a team knowledge database.
Perfect Wiki has all the features of the most advanced wiki solutions, simplified so that anyone can create a wiki for their company in mere minutes.
Try Perfect Wiki for Microsoft Teams today, and see what a difference user-friendly design can make for your productivity and peace of mind.