How to create a Wikipedia page

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Since Wikipedia began, the quality standards for a new Wikipedia page has increased significantly. Today, if you want to create a new Wikipedia page, you need to invest some time to learn the ropes. Based on our experience at Wenard, we estimate that newcomers require an average of 40 hours of study and practice before they start creating new Wikipedia pages without the risk of immediate deletion. People with prior knowledge to front-end web development and HTML language can master the process faster.

Here is what’s important.

You need to create the content. Wikipedia content must be free of copyright so everyone in the world can freely read and reuse its content. Therefore, you cannot copy and paste material from elsewhere, or reuse texts or images already published on internet. You have to write the text, and you have to create visuals (or use pictures or photographs already created by other Wikipedia editors.) Even if you want to re-publish texts or pictures you have already created in your blog or on your website, you’ll have to take special steps to ascertain that no copyright infraction ensues. (More on this later.)

You must cite sources. However proficient you are in the field you’re writing about, you cannot simply state facts and write conclusions. In Wikipedia, your credentials (such as degrees or tenures) are irrelevant. Ideally, every fact you include needs to be clearly referenced to published, reputable sources, and you need to master at least the simplest mechanics of referencing.

Thus, there is a lot of paraphrasing and knowledge-reshuffling as Wikipedia writers rewrite, recombine, and juxtapose statements from other sources. They need to paraphrase to make sure that copyrights are not violated, yet stay close enough to facts published elsewhere to satisfy the verifiability requirements.

You should not have a conflict of interest. This is particularly important if you are thinking about creating a Wikipedia profile about yourself, your company, or your organization. The short answer is that you can’t do this yourself and you cannot tell your staff to do it. Later in this document we share how you can handle these situations in Wikipedia profiles for people and Wikipedia profiles for businesses and organizations.

Notability. The subject of your Wikipedia page needs to be important enough to warrant a separate article about it. There are many policies related to notability of subjects in different areas. The benchmark is generally whether there are enough good, independent sources on the subject for a Wikipedia writer to cite in the article. Wikipedia articles about non-notable subjects are deleted.

Once you are clear on these four principles, you can delve into the mechanics of writing in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia pages consist of MediaWiki-formatted plain text. This language references other formatting and media elements: templates, images, videos, etc. In this respect, MediaWiki’s text is similar to the HTML language used in web development, but the MediaWiki language is simpler. As with HTML, users can format the plain text directly, or use a built-in “visual editor.” The visual editor is more intuitive, but lacks certain capabilities.


A template is a formatting block already created and stored in Wikipedia that any Wikipedia page can use. For example, articles about biological species always begin with template “Speciebox.” Once properly filled out, the template creates a nicely formatted box on the right side of the page. The templates are called for by using double curly brackets ({{…}}) which enclose the name of the template and the values of needed parameters that differ from one template to another.



Media—mostly images—are inserted into Wikipedia pages either via templates (for example, the Speciebox template has a species image as one of its parameters), or directly with MediaWiki language, using [[Image:…]] or [[File:…]] mark-ups. If the image you need has already been

uploaded to Wikipedia by someone else, its incorporation is relatively straightforward. If you want to upload an image yourself, some new intricacies are coming your way. You need to understand who owns the copyright of this image, and how to attribute to it the appropriate license.

Even if you took the photograph yourself, there may be problems publishing it on Wikipedia. For example, your photograph of a recent artwork (or in many countries, even a photograph of a building or an exhibit item) is not “yours” to donate to Wikipedia. In other cases, if you try to publish a picture on Wikipedia that is already on your own website, you’ll run into problems. You will have to prove that this website is yours and that all its owners authorize the release to Wikipedia.

If you didn’t create the photograph yourself, the situation becomes infinitely more complex. In most cases, you won’t be able to publish it on Wikipedia at all. There are some important exceptions; very old photographs, photographs of stamps, bills, and coins (in most countries), or recent photographs of very old artwork are among them.

Text formatting can be done using either the visual editor or MediaWiki tags. For example, to make the text bold, you need to put it between these two tags: <b> </b>. The blue links to other Wikipedia pages —the famous feature of Wikipedia interlinking—are inserted with square brackets. For example, using a word “fox” in these brackets ([[fox]]) will insert the word fox highlighted in blue and linked to another Wikipedia page titled “Fox.” One of the most complicated formatting features is tables. Unless you already have HTML experience, try to avoid them altogether in the beginning.

Familiarize yourself with the general Manual of Style of Wikipedia, as it differs from most other style guides out there. Make sure to follow the links to specific style guides for your topic, if one exists.

Once you’re ready to experiment, use the Wikipedia sandbox before writing to the main name space. You also have an option to create a new page that begins with the “Draft:” prefix, allowing you to explore how the page will look when it is ready to be published. After you publish your first page, be ready to review edits by others and defend your writing on the talk page attached to each article. Be prepared to withstand formally civil but occasionally quite confrontational and surprisingly unfriendly discussions. Gather all your patience. Before each reply, carefully consider what is thrown your way and evaluate whether you need to stand your ground or yield to reasonable objections. Read more on Wikipedia writers and their ecosystem.