Despite the misleading title, this is not a tutorial on how to use MediaWiki to build a website. Rather, it is an observation that MediaWiki can be used to build sites that look and feel like tradition (non-Wiki) websites.

What the heck is a “wiki”?

First, some background. A wiki is a special kind of website that anyone can edit. Pages on a wiki-powered website have an “edit” button, and anyone can make a change. MediaWiki is one of many software systems that can be used to power wiki sites. MediaWiki is most well known as the software behind the Wikipdia.

When I first started playing with MediaWiki to do some visual customization for the Mozilla wiki, I felt a little bit like I was wandering lost through a jungle of PHP, HTML, and CSS. However, after stripping out a lot of the features I didn’t want or need, I started to get the hang of visually customizing the MediaWiki interface.

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