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Help:Starting a new page

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Below you can find links to guides for how to set out pages, and what information is needed. New pages can also be started by following a "broken link" (by default formatted as red) to a non-existent page, which likewise leads to an edit page, or you can create pages using a URL (see #Starting a page through the URL below).


Here are some important things you should know before creating your first article:

  1. Be bold. Don't be afraid to jump in and add something new.
  2. Sign in with your account name. If you do not have an account, you can Create one.
  3. Please don't create pages about yourself, your friends, pages that advertise, or personal essays.
  4. Be careful about:
    • Copying things. Copyrights do cover the Internet too, even for non-profit Wiki's.
    • Redundant articles or extremely short articles (short articles should be marked as Stubs using a {{Stub}} tag so they can be identified and expanded easily.
  5. Understand that any articles contributed to this wiki are open to be changed by other users - this is the point of a wiki. Please do not be overly sensitive if others make changes to your contributions.

When creating a new article, bear in mind that:

  • The title that you choose is important.
  • Un-doing mistakes is rarely easier than avoiding them, so it's always a good idea to do a little homework first.
  • Use a spell checker (Firefox has an in-line spell checker as standard!).

Basic Steps

  1. Search First
  2. Create page dialogue

    Do a search first to see whether someone has already started a similar page before you start a new one yourself. If nothing relevant comes from the search, you can find a link to create a page at the top of the search results, as shown in the example to the right.

    If there is already a page about the river, but not the specific section you want to write about, then please DO NOT create a new page. Read our page guides to see how we deal with new sections of a river.

  3. Naming the Page
    • For a NEW river name the page after the river (e.g.: Ottawa River, Beaver Creek, etc.) All words in the title should be capitalized.
    • For a NEW park and play spot, name the page after the most common name of the play spot (e.g. Electric Chair, Parkhill.) Again, all words in the title should be capitalized.
    • For generic descriptions such as categories, disambiguation pages, etc., only the first word in the title should be capitalized.

    Note: Many pages will already have links created to them in preparation for their creation. It is best to start a page from a "broken link" that is already expected, if you can find one, than to create a page out of the blue. You can find a list of these on the WantedPages page.

  4. What To Write on the Page
  5. Boilerplate selection

    This depends on what the page is about. We have written a number of page guides as a rough guide to what needs to be on different types of pages. During the initial Create Page dialogue a "Select a boilerplate" box should appear near the top, as shown in the illustration to the right. Select an appropriate boilerplate and the edit area will be prefilled with the appropriate headings and some sample text.

  6. Categorizing the page
  7. Wikis are all about keeping your information clearly organized and easy to find. A Category page is meant to provide links to other categories, called subcategories, and to articles. You can relate an article or subcategory to a Category using the command while editing a page. This will cause the name of your article or subcategory to appear on the category you have called up.

    At the very least, Rivers (creeks, etc.) should be in the Rivers category If they are whitewater runs, then they should also be in the Whitewater category, and should also be categorized by class and by location.

    When categorizing by location, try to use one of the existing locations whenever possible. If the river or play spot is in a location that is not currently defined in the Whitewater Ontario River Wiki, then you will have to create one. Locations are actually Special:Categories, and as such are not very useful when they contain only a single item. Try to choose a location category that can be reused when writing up other rivers in the same vicinity.

    A current list of categories is provided here, and, when editing a page, a selection list of defined categories is displayed at the bottom of the page.

  8. How to use Templates
  9. A template is like a piece of wiki markup that can be continually reused in other pages. You can call it up for use simply by naming it within the appropriate {{}} brackets.

    While creating the page and before saving it, check the What links here link on the creation page. Align the new content with existing links, change the new title, or fix the other links. If nothing points to your new page then it is isolated and links to it will need to be added on other pages.

Starting a page from a red link

Links to non-existing pages are common. They are typically created in preparation for creating the page, and/or to encourage other people to do so.

Links are not only convenient for navigation, but also make people aware of the new page (those who read a related page and also those who watch the related page). New page links are not really broken, as long as the name correctly identifies the intended content. (A new page link with a "wrong" or misspelled name, or that duplicates content found under another name is "broken", but in a different sense.)

New page links typically look different from links to existing pages. Depending on the user settings, a different colour or a question mark is used. (Sometimes links to new pages are called "red links", the default display option in the settings). Links to non-existent pages are created with New page name from the Wiki editor. (In this case, the empty page "New page name" would be created).

Of course, you can also create the link yourself, in a related page, index page or your user page. However, it may be better to wait with creating links until after creating the new page, especially if the new link replaces one to an existing page. In this case, create the link but press Preview, instead of Save. From the preview area, clicking the new link will create the new page (without updating the referring page).

Starting a page through the URL

Using the browser address bar to enter a URL to a new page is an easy way to start the new page from scratch. Easier still is editing the pagename part of a URL for an existing page. Using the URL for the new page displays the default 'no article' message (see MediaWiki:Noarticletext). The default page has the usual Edit this page link, which can be used to begin adding content.

To get access to a MediaWiki project page, with the links at the edges but without the superfluous loading of a page, use a bookmark to a non-existing page. The default 'no article' page will display the edge links.


Thanks to the wikipaddle site for their starting a new page article upon which this is based.

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