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How to migrate a website from MediaWiki to WordPress

How to migrate a website from MediaWiki to WordPress
Wondering how to migrate a website from MediaWiki to WordPress? In this article we will tell you how to do it. As you know MediaWiki is an opensource Wikipedia project that has been very popular in the past. Nowadays, WordPress seems to be more and more well-known. For this reason, migrating to WordPress can have several advantages. In this article, we will see what MediaWiki is and its characteristics. Next, we will see the particularities of WordPress. Finally, we will see the steps to follow to migrate to WordPress.

What is MediaWiki?

MediaWiki is free and open source software designed to manage wiki-style websites. It was initially developed to support Wikipedia. As you know, Wikipedia is one of the largest online encyclopedias. MediaWiki is now used by many other online projects. Here is an overview of the main features and uses of MediaWiki.

main Features

Below are the main features of MediaWiki.

Open Source Software

MediaWiki is licensed under the GPL (General Public License), which means it is free to download, use, modify and redistribute.

Collaborative content management

MediaWiki allows multiple users to create and edit content pages collaboratively. Each change is saved, allowing you to track the history of changes and revert to previous versions if necessary.

Marking system

MediaWiki uses a simple and intuitive markup system for content creation. Users can format text, create links, insert images, and organize pages without needing HTML knowledge.


MediaWiki has a modular architecture with many extensions available. These extensions allow you to add additional features, such as forms, complex tables, user management tools, and much more.


MediaWiki supports multiple languages, making it ideal for multilingual projects.

Security and permissions

MediaWiki offers robust security controls, including granular user permissions and protections against spam and vandalism.

Common uses

  1. Encyclopedias and educational resources : MediaWiki is widely used to create online encyclopedias like Wikipedia, as well as educational resources and online textbooks.
  2. Project Documentation: Many companies and open source projects use MediaWiki to document their internal software, products or processes.
  3. Communities and Collaborative Groups : MediaWiki is used by online communities and collaborative groups to share knowledge, information, and resources.
  4. Reference Websites : Due to its content management capabilities, MediaWiki is ideal for reference websites that require rigorous management and easy access to information.

Benefits of MediaWiki

MediaWiki has several advantages. We will list some of these benefits below.
  • On the one hand, it's a very easy-to-use tool : The simplified tagging system allows users to contribute without the need for advanced technical skills.
  • Then, it promotes Collaboration : Promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing between users.
  • On the other hand, it seems to be a Reliable tool : Used by Wikipedia, which testifies to its robustness and reliability.
  • Finally, MediaWiki has a large community and support : A large community of developers and users provides active support and a wealth of online resources.

Limitations of MediaWiki

Although MediaWiki has several advantages, it is a solution that also has its limitations. Among the limitations, we can cite:
  • First, Complexity for large customizations : Although MediaWiki is extensible, complex customizations may require advanced technical skills.
  • Next, Performance on Very Large Sites : Performance management can become a challenge for very large sites with millions of pages and users.

Why migrate from MediaWiki to WordPress?

Migrating a site from MediaWiki to WordPress can offer several benefits depending on the specific needs of your project. Here are some common reasons why organizations and individuals choose to make this migration:

1. Ease of use

WordPress is known for its user-friendly and intuitive interface. Indeed, users, even those without technical skills, often find it easier to create and manage content on WordPress compared to MediaWiki. And also, WordPress offers a visual editor (Gutenberg). This editor allows you to create and edit content in a simple and visual way. Because of this, you can create content without having to handle complex tags.

2. Extended Features

WordPress has thousands of plugins that can add various features to your site. Among the features, we can cite:
  • referencing (SEO),
  • e-commerce,
  • contact forms,
  • And much more.
This allows for convenient customization and expansion of your site. Plus, with thousands of themes available, you can easily change the look of your site to match your brand or aesthetic preferences.

3. SEO and Marketing

WordPress is usually considered more suitable for SEO due to its powerful plugins (like Yoast SEO) and search engine-friendly permalink structures. And also, WordPress makes content marketing management easy with built-in tools and plugins. Therefore, it can help you plan, publish and promote content effectively.

4. Simplified user and role management

WordPress offers more flexible and intuitive user management, allowing you to easily assign different roles and permissions. Additionally, With a large community of users and developers, WordPress offers abundant support and online resources to troubleshoot issues and improve the site.

5. Flexibility and extensibility

WordPress allows you to create custom content types tailored to your specific needs. This is because it provides greater flexibility for organizing and presenting information. On top of that, it gives you a powerful REST API that makes it easy to integrate with other systems and services. This makes it easier to create web and mobile applications.

6. Support and community

  • Large community: WordPress enjoys a huge community of developers, designers and users who constantly contribute to its development and improvement.
  • Support and Documentation: There is extensive documentation and numerous support forums, tutorials, and online courses available to help users get the most out of WordPress.

How to migrate from MediaWiki to WordPress

Migrating a site from MediaWiki to WordPress may seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and the right tools, it can be accomplished efficiently. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you with this process.

1. Prepare your environment

Before you start the migration, make sure your WordPress environment is ready. This includes :
  • Installing WordPress : If you haven't already done so, install WordPress on your server or web hosting.
  • Backups : Make full backups of your MediaWiki site and your new WordPress installation. This will allow you to restore your data in the event of a problem.

2. Export MediaWiki content

To export the content of your MediaWiki site, follow these steps:
  • Access the MediaWiki export tool : You can usually find it at votresite.com/wiki/Special:Export .
  • Select pages to export : You can choose to export all pages or specific pages by entering their titles.
  • Download the XML file : After selecting the pages, click "Export" to download an XML file containing your data.

3. Prepare to import to WordPress

To import MediaWiki content into WordPress, you will need a specific plugin. Here's how to do it:
  • Install and activate the plugin : There are several plugins for importing MediaWiki content to WordPress, such as Wiki Importer . Install and activate this plugin from the WordPress plugins directory.
  • Import the XML file : Go to the plugin's import tool (often located under "Tools" > "Import"), select the previously exported XML file and import it.

4. Check and fix imported content

After importing, you will need to check the content to make sure it was transferred correctly:
  • Review pages and posts : Review the imported pages and posts to ensure the formatting is correct and all content is present.
  • Fix internal links : Internal links in MediaWiki may not work correctly in WordPress. Use a search and replace plugin to fix broken links.
  • Adjust categories and tags : MediaWiki uses categories which may be different from WordPress tags and categories. Rearrange them as needed.

5. Customize your WordPress site

After migration, you can customize your WordPress site to suit your needs:
  • Choose a theme : Select a WordPress theme that suits your site.
  • Install plugins : Add plugins to improve the functionality of your site, such as SEO plugins, contact forms, galleries, etc.
  • Optimize for SEO : Make sure your content is optimized for search engines by using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO.

6. Test and launch your new site

Finally, before making your WordPress site public, do thorough testing to make sure everything is working properly:
  • Test the navigation : Make sure all links work and navigation is smooth.
  • Test features : Verify that all plugins and custom features work as expected.
  • Optimize performance : Use speed testing tools to ensure your site loads quickly.
Once you are happy with your new site, you can officially launch it.


Migrating from MediaWiki to WordPress can provide many benefits, including better content management and greater flexibility. By following these steps, you can perform a successful migration and enjoy the powerful features of WordPress. Do not hesitate to contact professionals if you need additional help with your migration. Good luck with your new WordPress site!

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