Creating a website can feel like a massive undertaking, especially when you want to model one after a major site like Wikipedia.
Just a few years ago you had to find a website coder or digital marketing agency to build it from scratch, which could take anywhere from months to a year and thousands of dollars.
Luckily, it’s now much easier and cheaper (less than $200) to have a site like this ready to go in a couple days if you want.
Create a site like Wikipedia
Developers have pre-built templates which take all the coding out of your hands. So, you have a need to make a website like Wikipedia.
Where do you start and what other steps are involved?
The process and tools required to do this are explained below, so you can have your business up and running in no time.
1. Buy a Domain Name
First, you need a domain name (the URL) for people to visit. If you already have one selected you can skip to the next step.
If you can find an unowned domain, it can usually be purchased for about $10 per year depending on the domain extension (.com is usually $10-15/year). Popular sources for this include GoDaddy and NameCheap.
This is a very important step in the process for the sake of marketing and your branding. Your first choice should be your business’ name, but if that is already taken or costs thousands of dollars, it’s best to find the closest, simplest variation you can. You’ll also ideally want to choose a “.com”.
Here is a more complete explanation with more detail.
2. Get Website Hosting
For your website to live on the internet 24/7 the files need to be stored on an active server, and that is what a host will do for you.
While there are free hosts available, the performance is dreadful and they often aren’t secure. I’d highly recommend purchasing hosting instead.
One reputable and reliable host you can use is Bluehost. I hosted my first WordPress site using Bluehost over 8 years ago and they continue to work great for hundreds of thousands of websites around the world.
When someone types your URL into their internet browser, the computer connects to these servers and then shows your website.
Hosting companies have a huge amount of high-performance servers for hosting sites and many offer good tech support to answer any questions you may have.
3. Setup WordPress
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that will give you a dashboard for adding content and customizing your site.
The main reason for using WordPress is that you get access to the tens of thousands of themes and plugins made for WordPress. The massive developer community making these products is the reason why you can create a site like Wikipedia so easily.
One advantage to using BlueHost is its WordPress auto-installer which will make the process simpler. Once you finish creating your account, a WordPress site will be created for you right away. Read this complete step-by-step guide for a more thorough explanation.
Once you’ve created your account and generated your site, you’ll be able to login anytime at yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Now it’s time to find your Wikipedia template!
4. Install Wikilogy Theme
WordPress uses “themes” and “plugins” to completely customize your website without touching a line of code. A theme is essentially a pre-built set of templates and assorted customization features.
One highly recommended theme for a Wikipedia site is called Wikilogy. This robust template gives many options for all sorts of site capabilities depending on your needs and it has a more modern approach to the wiki website design.
Read more about the features below and browse the demo here.
Wikilogy is jam-packed with every feature you could ever need to make a website similar to Wikipedia.
You’ll have five different Wiki-style layouts to choose from for the homepage, and two homepage design options with a blog front-and-center. Every layout and page of the site is completely responsive. This theme has attractive layouts for all device shapes and sizes.
The support team regularly provides updates and new features to improve the theme and keep it updated with today’s best design and functionality standards. Don’t worry about manual updates either; simply turn on automatic updates and you’ll always have the most current version.
Some of the more notable features include:
- An encyclopedia-style system of content, as well as an archive
- Data tables that are flexible and can be as large as needed, with text, photos, maps and more
- A convenient toolbar is included for sharing on social media, printing, changing text, and commenting
- There is a simple visual content index which makes it easy to see how each site topic and sub-topic is organize
- Easily drag-and-drop page elements with the Visual Editor. No coding knowledge necessary.
- Fully compatible with WordPress language plugins for multilingual websites
- If a blog or e-magazine is more important to you, the features for this are very user-friendly and have a great modern design
- Tech support is readily available to answer questions and resolve any problems you may have
- Choose from a variety of theme options to allow for even more customization when needed. This includes over 700 Google fonts, sidebars and their locations, custom backgrounds, colors, and more.
You can learn more about the features here.
After Downloading Wikilogy
Once you purchase Wikilogy, you’ll receive a zip file which you can easily upload via the Appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard.
The theme will automatically install and can be activated in one click. Your site’s design will immediately update and you’ll have access to all of the customization tools and features included in Wikilogy. There’s also a file you can quickly import to add all of the conent featured in the live demo website.
Alternatives to Wikilogy
There are other themes that are comparable to Wikilogy if you’d like to try a few variations and see which one your favorite is.
Our collection of the top wiki WordPress themes compares six other themes of 2018. While many of these themes cater more towards a business wiki site and knowledge bases, you might find exactly what you’re looking for.
There are also some great community themes available too that integrate with the BuddyPress plugin to create a social environment for your site. You can check out this list of social network themes to see what they have to offer.
Launch Your Website
The last and most exciting step is to finally launch your new website!
With the tools and steps listed above, you can quickly get your own website online just like Wikipedia. The Wikilogy theme has a cool modern twist on the classic Wikipedia design and will be excellent for creating an archive of structured encyclopedic content.
Remember to choose a short and memorable domain name for your website and signup with Bluehost to get your domain name for free.
With your site online, it will time to start publishing! With the right marketing plan, you’ll be able to attract and recruit excited editors to help contribute to your growing encyclopedia like Wikipedia.