While Wikipedia is arguably the most famous wiki out there, there’s another kind of wiki that helps you out with your company’s personalized needs: an internal wiki. An internal wiki is a type of online database filled with things about your company so your employees and team members can easily look them up whenever they need it.
Many companies use these wikis as a way to pool together important workplace information that can be quickly accessed by all team members. They can be an especially helpful tool for companies that have employees that work remotely, or who may be working on projects that don’t require their constant attention.
Wikis can be used to store all sorts of information, from meeting agendas and contact info to company policies and procedures. This post will teach you how to create an internal wiki, the benefits it can provide, and some good apps you could use to make your internal wiki as user-friendly and effective as possible.
What is an Internal Wiki?
But first, what exactly is an internal wiki? Just calling it an online database can be a somewhat misleading oversimplification, as there’s a lot more to it than that.
An internal wiki is an index that anyone within a company or organization can read and modify. The “modify” part is important, since that’s what separates it from an employee handbook. Team leaders and project managers can make new pages about their newest projects, for example, and their members can add new information as they reach their project milestones.
Internal wikis help new and returning members get up-to-date with the latest progress in their projects. Plus, they also won’t have to ask too many questions after reading it, unless their specific questions weren’t actually used in the wiki in the first place.
Types of Wikis
There are three types of wikis:
- Single contributor wikis
- Group or team wikis
- Internal-use encyclopedias
Single contributor wikis are those made by one person. You can think of it as a sort of self-made notebook that links to different pages. Meanwhile, group or team wikis are those made by several different people for an organization.
When we talk about internal wikis, we’re mainly referring to group wikis made into internal-use encyclopedias. These internal-use encyclopedias are quite similar to Wikipedia and other wiki sites, but instead of being for public consumption, they’re only meant to be read by the organization’s members.
Internal wiki for Dunder Mifflin as imagined by Almanac…
Why Should You Use Internal Wikis?
With that out of the way, why else should you use internal wikis? After all, everything you need to know is in employee handbooks (which are also very helpful). But, internal wikis really shine because they allow for:
Ever forgot how something works, even though you might’ve already been told once (or maybe even twice) how to do it? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.
Sometimes you may be tasked to do something that you rarely do, which means that you’ll then have to ask someone else how to do it. Or, instead, you can turn to your handy internal wiki. Internal wikis help in these cases, since all the information, documentation, and methods that you and your coworkers need would all be there at-a-glance.
You can quickly refer to the internal wiki for every process–saving time and therefore improving productivity.
When you’re new to a company and still learning about how it functions and the project details, internal wikis can help by showing you how things have already been done within the company.
While having an internal wiki won’t replace workplace immersion or replace training altogether, it’ll still help newer staff and team members learn things much faster. Plus, it allows those doing the onboarding to have a guidebook and reference point for everything a new employee needs to know, even if it’s not in their area of expertise.
From project details to standard operating procedures, you can include everything you need in the internal wiki, and everybody else can just look them up whenever necessary. Internal wikis help organizations make information more user-friendly and easily accessible to all members.
They make sure that everybody has access to information as long as they have access to the internet. And of course, since the internet is literally everywhere – on the smartphones in our pockets, the laptop computer at our desks, and even through our televisions – this information is always readily on hand.
Plus, they also make sure that important stuff (like key operation information) can still be readily accessible to the rest of the company when needed.
Security & Privacy
With larger companies, there is a way of stealing information that doesn’t even need to rely on hacking. It’s called social engineering, and it relies on the fact that it’s possible to fool information out of people.
But with secure login credentials, you can make sure that the only people who can access this information are those trusted enough to hold a company ID: it never has to go outside the organization.
Lastly, internal wikis improve collaboration by making it easier for teams to talk about certain topics and share their experiences on company-related subjects with ease. By being fairly simple and straightforward, an internal wiki makes it easier for teams to:
- Share their knowledge with one another
- Engage with all members of the team
- Encourage contribution across the board
In turn, all members of the team are able to work together and share the burden of responsibility, instead of relying on just one or two to do the heavy lifting.
How to Create an Internal Wiki
With all the types, benefits, and tools considered, it’s time to learn how to create an internal wiki. There are four things you need to know before starting one:
- Information architecture
- Content creation
- Maintaining the internal wiki
Each one should be done in stages in this order. After all, you can’t just start building one without being sure who gets to read what or where you’re supposed to put certain information, right?
When trying to figure out how to create an internal wiki, you first need to know about information architecture. This will be the skeleton that gives shape to your wiki. Information architecture is about structure. You will need to make classifications on things so everybody knows where to put the things they write.
For example, suppose you have four departments:
- HR (human relations)
You could divide all the information into those four groups. That means HR things would go to the HR folder, and so on. And then you could add your SOPs (standard operating procedures), tools, policies, employee profiles, and all the other things you need to fill up the internal wiki.
Just make sure the architecture is something that makes sense for everyone using the internal wiki, so it will help to get feedback from all departments you’re including.
After setting the architecture, your wiki developers should then decide who gets to see which folder and what they can do. For instance, anyone from HR can change anything from all the other folders–but the only people who can edit the HR folder are HR personnel.
Then with these established permissions, each one would be able to edit only the parts they have expertise in.
When all of that is done, you can start creating the internal content, as well as urging all other departments to do the same. An internal wiki takes a group effort, so its usefulness can only be as good as the people who write it and read it!
Maintaining the internal wiki
Over time, you will have a ton of entries to sift through. Operation instructions, personnel records…whichever they are, there will be too many for just one person to read. Errors will come up. Pages might go missing.
This is why you will also need to maintain the wiki. Luckily, most internal wiki softwares have built-in tracking functions. They can tell who edited what and when. You could also revive old versions in case the latest ones aren’t the most efficient.
Best Internal Wiki Softwares
Traditionally, you would have to code your wiki from scratch if you wanted one back in the early days of Wikipedia. Today, though, there are countless other apps that make the whole process much simpler.
Here are the five best internal wiki softwares you could use for your company!
Almanac is a comprehensive collaboration app and internal wiki software, all combined into one useful and user-friendly package. Designed to replace antiquated word processing software like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, its many features make drafting your internal wiki remarkably easy.
For instance, you can:
- Instantly send messages and assign tasks
- Create linked pages for your internal wiki
- Edit and collaborate in real-time
- Track changes, then compare and merge versions
What really makes Almanac stand out the most, though, is their unique Almanac Core feature. Here, you could access a vast open-source library of everything that’s been built into the Almanac platform.
Even better, if you’re curious about Almanac and want to try it out first before investing in their Enterprise version, you could start building your internal wiki with their free version. Once you fall in love with it, then you can simply upgrade to a premium account.
- Includes Almanac Core, an open-source library on their platform
- Easily send messages to team members and other users
- Custom fonts and rich-text formatting
- Syncs with external services for ease-of-use
- API support, as well as SAML + SSO security
Check out an interactive demo here:
- Has a huge open-source library to choose from
- Fully programmable with API support
- Can make custom contracts and invoicing
- Lets you have guest users view your internal wiki
- Help center and live chat for Free, Pro, and Enterprise users
- Slack support encourages instant communication
- Free version is limited to 25 documents
- Quickly growing, so there are new features to stay up-to-date on
Notion is another app that lets its users make internal wikis. Notion has the standard SAML and SSO security features and allows guest users to see the contents. With Slack, multiple users can work collaboratively on a single project, and the API can be used to create other applications that depend on it.
- Allows guest users
- Real-time collaboration
- API support
- SAML + SSO security for Enterprise users
- Allows link and knowledge sharing
- Unlimited pages for all users, including free users
- Does not have task management support
- Free version has a 5MB upload limit per file
- Higher learning curve
- Search and navigation features aren’t always intuitive
- Offline version is challenging to use
- Personal Pro: $4 per month for one user annually / $5 per month for monthly
- Team Pro: $8 per month for one user annually / $10 per month for monthly
- Enterprise: custom pricing
As a wiki editor, Guru is an app with a decent amount of functionality. With its browser extensions and organizational tools, it can help promote team collaboration. However, it does lie on the more expensive side of the price range compared to other apps.
- Browser extensions
- API support
- SAML + SCIM security
- Has AI-suggest tags
- Slack support
- Has mobile version
- Lacks in-app messaging
- Difficult to edit existing cards
- Hard to use its search feature
- Starter: Free for 3 Core users / $5 per user per month for more
- Builder: $10 per user per month
- Expert: $20 per user per month
As an app for internal wikis, Slab is quite straightforward. It features Uptime SLA support to see how long the system’s server has been running and offers a variety of organization tools. Overall, it seems more focused on appearance instead of functionality, which is a major downside.
- Uptime SLA support
- Free accounts can have up to 10 users
- SSO, SAML, and SCIM security
- SSO for all users
- SSO, SAML, and SCIM for business users
- Version history has a limit (90 days for free users, 1 year for startups)
- Emphasizes appearance over functionality
- Lacks sub-page option
- Clunky interface makes it hard to find files
- Not enough templates offered
- Startup: $6.67 per user per month billed annually
- Business: $12.50 per user per month billed annually
Based on the Git system used by programmers, Gitbook is an internal wiki software that provides syncing to GitHub and GitLabSync. Its main purpose is to help teams document different types of knowledge, then share that knowledge with others.
- Free for plan for open source projects
- Custom domains
- API support
- GitHub and Gitlab Sync support
- Unlimited pages for free version
- SAML + SSO security features
- Free account must be accessible to public
- Need to pay for the minimum number of users for paid versions
- Documentation process not very user-friendly
- Tends to be overly complicated
- Community: $0 per user
- Team: $6.40 per user per month, minimum 5 users
- Business: $12 per user per month, minimum 20 users
- Enterprise: custom pricing
Conclusion: Make Your Wiki Software Work For You!
Knowing how to create an internal wiki shouldn’t be too hard. With automation tools at your fingertips, you can create the best software for your company without taking too much time. And with its affordable price point, a wide array of useful features, and unparalleled customer service, Almanac is arguably the best one of them.
ou can easily try out their services, risk-free, by checking their free version. Or why not contact Almanac’s friendly sales team today to get a quote for their Enterprise package? Either way, with Almanac on your side, creating your company’s next internal wiki will be a breeze!
- Create a structure. A well-organized wiki structure makes it easy for users to find the information they need. ...
- Keep it up to date. An outdated wiki is of little use to anyone. ...
- Use plain language. The wiki should be easy to read and understand. ...
- Encourage collaboration. ...
- Provide training.
- Organize your information architecture. Once you've selected your wiki solution, you'll need to spend time creating categories or sections for your wiki. ...
- Start importing or creating content. ...
- Plan the launch of your wiki. ...
- Configure who has access to what content. ...
- Launch your wiki.
- Choose what type of wiki you want to create (internal or external).
- Pick the platform you're going to use.
- Set security protocols and community guidelines.
- Start adding content - make sure to use simple language, visuals, and hyperlinks.
- Assign roles and permissions for editing access.
- On the Your Apps page, type Wiki into the search field and click Search . ...
- Click Wiki Page Library.
- In the Name box, type a name for the new wiki page library, such as Wiki Pages.
- Click Create.
- In the Contents list, click the new wiki to open it.
- To add users, Click Share.
It may take months for an employee to become fully productive. Creating an internal wiki for your business is a great way to get new employees up to speed faster, because it gives them access to all your internal company knowledge, minimizing repetitive questions.What is a wiki example? ›
The best-known example of a wiki website is Wikipedia. Common wiki features, such as page comments, search functions and discussion forums, make them ideal collaborative platforms for many organizations.What is the biggest advantage of a wiki? ›
A main advantage of a wiki is that it provides the ability to collaborate asynchronously, or without any time constraints. Team members working on a report can log in and work whenever they are able.What is the most popular example of a wiki? ›
The most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia. Wikipedia actually isn't considered an individual wiki, but rather a digital encyclopedia or collection of hundreds of wikis in different languages. In 2021, the English Wikipedia contained over 6 million articles and was the 13th most popular website in the world.Can you create a wiki for yourself? ›
Some systems allow you to design your own wiki in full, while others provide templates or can even produce the "foundation" wiki pages for you. Free software packages such as MediaWiki allow you to create wikis on your existing servers.How do I create an intranet in my workplace? ›
- Decide what functionality you need. ...
- Figure out what functionality you want. ...
- Consult with your workforce. ...
- Choose the best intranet software. ...
- Develop a usage policy. ...
- Decide who has ownership of what. ...
- Create a launch pad. ...
- Roll out your employee intranet.
- Step 1: Identify wiki goals. ...
- Step 2: Choose a wiki software. ...
- Step 3: Identify key contributors. ...
- Step 3: Create a brief outline of your wiki. ...
- Step 4: Have a kick-off meeting. ...
- Step 5: Use a template for faster document creation.
- Use Basic English words and shorter sentences. This allows people to understand complex terms or phrases.
- Write good pages. The best encyclopedia pages have useful, well-written information.
- Use the pages to learn and teach. ...
- Simple does not mean short. ...
- Be bold!
- Wikimedia Commons.
Wikipedia is a great place to start your research, giving you background information on your topic and possible keywords to help you conduct more in-depth research elsewhere. 4. Sources used in the articles are cited, allowing further investigation into any topic.Why do people create wiki pages? ›
Many users use their user page to maintain a list of the articles they are most proud of, or to collect other valuable information from Wikipedia. You will also have a permanent talk page you can use to communicate with other users.Why is wiki important in business? ›
An internal wiki should boost employee engagement in a number of ways. Most crucially, it's by getting your team to collaborate more and improve their ability to share and transfer knowledge. Collaboration is crucial for any teams who need to share information and documents, which also constantly need to be updated.What are the main features of wikis? ›
- Wiki pages may include text, links, images, audio, and video. Many wikis also have a discussion/comments. ...
- Additions and changes are tracked in the wiki's history.
- Wikis are fully searchable. This makes them useful for accessing up to date resources.
- The best-known example of a wiki is Wikipedia.
There are two main types of wikis: private and public. While both are powered by the same technology, they serve very different functions. Private wikis, or internal wikis, contain your company's proprietary data, knowledge, and expertise.What is wiki for dummies? ›
For Dummies is an extensive series of instructional reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered. The series has been a worldwide success with editions in numerous languages. For Dummies. Author. Various.What are some well known wikis? ›
- Wikimedia Commons.
- Superpower Wiki: The encyclopedia for superpowers. ( 464 active editors)
- VS Battles Wiki: The world's most popular character statistics wiki. ( 639 active editors)
- Wookieepedia: A complete guide to the Star Wars universe. ( 607 active editors)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Collecting all of the Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards. (
MediaWiki is trusted by thousands of companies. It's the most popular open-source wiki software available on the web and a solid choice for companies handling large volumes of content. As mentioned earlier, sites that run on MediaWiki include Wikipedia, but also Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, and many more.Can anyone make a Wikipedia for themselves? ›
Anyone can create a Wikipedia article, but it may only last for a very short time before being deleted. The biggest reason a newly created article on Wikipedia is deleted is due to a lack of notability of the subject. Notability for the subject of a Wikipedia article is proven by its references.How do I create a personal wiki? ›
- Step 1: Select the right private wiki software. ...
- Step 2: Populate your wiki with content. ...
- Step 3: Link related wiki pages together. ...
- Step 4: Configure access rights. ...
- Ask for feedback on your new private wiki.
Anyone can create a Wikipedia page for themselves, but it is important to remember that the page must be neutral and meet the site's guidelines.Can I make a Wikipedia about myself? ›
Wikipedia content is also required to be verifiable and original research is forbidden on Wikipedia. Wikipedia seeks neutrality. An article about you written by anyone must be editorially neutral. It will not take sides and will report both the good and the bad about you from verifiable and reliable sources.Can any one write a Wikipedia? ›
Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but there are special guidelines for editors who are paid or sponsored.Can a normal person edit Wikipedia? ›
Wikipedia is a wiki, meaning anyone can edit nearly any page and improve articles immediately.Do you need a license to edit Wikipedia? ›
If you make modifications or additions to the page you re-use, you must license them under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 or later. If you make modifications or additions, you must indicate in a reasonable fashion that the original work has been modified.Can anyone upload anything on Wikipedia? ›
You can't upload files to Wikipedia unless you have an account.
Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute. This is a motto applied to all Wikimedia foundation project: use them for any purpose as you wish.How do I get my name on Wikipedia? ›
“Wikipedia articles follow certain guidelines: the topic should be notable and be covered in detail in good references from independent sources. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia—it is not a personal home page or a business list. Do not use content from other websites even if you, your school, or your boss owns them.