Help:Starting a new page

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Anyone, including you, can write for the Dystopia Wiki!
Type a title:
then click "Create article"

"Create page" takes you to an edit page where you can enter the new text. The edit page also has a link for Editing help, in case you need it. Other helpful links include Help:Filling the page and Help:Editing. You do not have to always return to this page to create a new article. New pages can also be started by following a link to a non-existent page, which likewise leads to an edit page (see Starting a page through the URL, below).

When creating a new article, bear in mind that:

  • The title that you choose is important, as this will be the title of your new article.
  • Un-doing mistakes is rarely easier than avoiding them, so it's always a good idea to do a little homework first (see General principles below).


General principles

  • Search to see whether someone has written a similar page before you start one yourself. Choose the title carefully.
  • Review conventions of the project you are working in regarding e.g.:
    • naming conventions.
    • how-to guidance for writing regarding style, content and formatting.
    • the Dystopian theme page to make sure your writing will fit canonically into the wiki.
  • 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, or change the new title, or fix the other links.
  • If nothing points here, the page is isolated. Links to it will need to be added on other pages.

Starting a page from a red link, after a search

To start a new page, please sign in with your account name. If you do not have an account, you can create one here. After signing in, you can click the red link to that new page. This takes you to edit mode of the new page, which allows you to edit that page.

Another way to start a new page is to perform a search for the new title with the Go button (as you should have done before). When the search finds nothing, press "this exact title". This will take you to the edit page of the article with that title.

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 settings, a different color or a question mark is used. (Sometimes links to new pages are called "red links", the display option of one of 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 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 process. 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.

An Help:Interwiki linking|interwiki link to a non-existent page gives the same result, but is not recommended.

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.

Creating an empty page

A new page is distinguished from a blank page: the latter has a page history (see the "History" tab at the top of the page). However, creating a new page is just like editing a blank page, except that a new page displays the text from MediaWiki:Newarticletext (which may vary by project).

Occasionally it is useful to create an empty page - For example a template can be made such that, depending on a parameter, it produces either just a standard text or also an additional text. This is done by having it call another template, of which the name is a parameter; one version of the other template contains the additional text, the other version is blank. See optional text.

To create an empty page, save a page with the wikitext __END__. This code will not be saved, it just prevents refusal by the system to create an empty page. Alternatively, first create a non-empty page, e.g. with just one character, then edit the page to make it empty. A page with one or more blank spaces at the end, including a page only containing one or more blank spaces, is not possible.

Using the sandbox and user sub-pages

The sandbox can be used for temporary experimentation, but is emptied on a regular basis. For persistent draft material, you can use your user account sub-pages, and move the sub-page to the main article namespace when ready. (Requires a user account). To create a user sub-page, use a reference (title) like: 'User:UserName/New sub page'. User sub-pages can be also be used for testing new template material with the syntax {{User:UserName/Sub page name}}.

Using text from some other editing environment

Although pasting existing text into the wiki is often the simplest way to start, you may want to try converting from Word or HTML to wiki markup.

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