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OOjs UI icon listNumbered-ltr-invert.svgFrequently asked questions

Welcome to Miraheze, we're glad you're here! This page answers some frequently asked questions users may have. If you have any further questions, please ask on the Community noticeboard.

This page is not a policy document but an introductory guide. It refers to some actual policy documents, such as the Dormancy Policy. Please read those documents for more specifics.

General

What is this place?

Welcome to Miraheze! Miraheze is a wiki farm which means that we host a number of wikis on all topics. While we do host many wikis, please note that we don't officially operate them. If you have questions regarding local policies on a wiki, please reach out to a local wiki administrator.

Miraheze uses MediaWiki, the same software that powers Wikipedia, which lets several people edit the same page, supports highlighting, illustrations, and special effects, and retains a copy of every page at every point in the past, which can be copied from or can replace the current copy.

We have a commitment to our users which has been the same for over 7 years. Check out our main page for more information.

Who runs Miraheze?

Unlike many companies and projects, Miraheze doesn't officially have "staff" who run the service. Instead, Miraheze is run by a group of volunteers who manage the day-to-day operations of the farm. Below are a few important ones:

  • Stewards - Stewards are the highest ranking users in a community role. They are responsible for matters concerning the global community as well as any global wiki actions. For instance, disruptive behavior on a wiki that cannot be resolved sufficiently by local administrative action there can be referred to Stewards. You can contact them at the Stewards' noticeboard.
  • System administrators - System administrators are responsible for the technical functioning of Miraheze and making sure everything is working as intended.
  • Board of Directors - The Board of Directors is the governing body of Miraheze Limited. Currently, it mains full financial, decision and goal making authority for the company. There are currently 3 directors.
  • Meta Administrators - Meta Administrators are in charge of matters involving this wiki, Miraheze Meta. Meta administrators are only in charge of this wiki.

What types of wikis do you host?

Miraheze hosts all types of wikis, from tight-knit small communities to big fan-bases and collaborative projects, we host it all, as long as it meets our Content Policy.

There are currently 5337 hosted on Miraheze. You can see a list of some wikis at Gazetteer of wikis with an author-created thumbnail description of the wikis. Many of these wikis welcome you to read them or even make contributions. For a list of all wikis hosted on Miraheze, see Special:WikiDiscover.

Why are you called Miraheze?

When one of Miraheze's co-founders worked for the Wikimedia Foundation, some of their servers were named after stars. Two servers specifically were named mira and heze so mashing those names up resulted in our name, Miraheze! Mira and Heze are both stars.

As for the official pronunciation, there isn't one really. A lot of people pronounce Miraheze differently though general consensus as of 2022 seems to be "meer-ah-heez".

Business model

How do you finance your hosting?

Miraheze is a not-for-profit and entirely depends on donations from people like you! We don't display ads nor are we financed by a company or a government so we depend entirely on our generous donors. Please see Donate and Finance for more information.

Why don't you display ads?

People dislike ads, ads won't gain us more money than donations (and ads could induce people to stop donating to us), ads are a privacy leak, and ads raise the risk of pressure from the companies doing the advertising that we adjust the content on wikis. We defend our editorial independence, and that of authors working on individual wikis.

How can I donate to Miraheze?

Miraheze currently accepts all payment methods accepted by PayPal. You may [paypal.me/mirahezelimited click here] or send a donation directly to Special:MyLanguage/Donate. For more information, please see Donate or contact Owen.

Can I contribute in other ways?

Of course you can! We always need more volunteers so please check out Contributing for more information. If you want to learn more, you can also ask on the Community noticeboard.

How many servers do you have, and where are your servers located?

Since January 2022, we have our own physical hardware where we host most of our servers. Our datacentre which we call SCSVG is located in Stevenage, United Kingdom. Other than our own hardware, we also host cache proxy servers with OVH and ns1 (nameservers) with RamNode.

You can see more information and documentation about each of them on our list of servers and on their specific pages

Wikis in general

How do I request a wiki?

First, create an account, then go to Special:RequestWiki while logged in, and fill in the form. Please make sure to include a lot of details about your wiki so that we can approve it. Wikis that lack detail in their description may be declined.

How do I confirm that my wiki has been created?

If you have an email attached to your account, you should get an email telling you your wiki has been created. If you don't, you should add an email to your account because if you lose your password, you'll be permanently locked out of your account. You'll also get an on-wiki notification when your wiki is created.

You can also track your request via the request wiki queue. The Farmer log also displays a log of all wiki approvals and rejections.

There are some cases where a wiki can't be created, such as when a wiki with the same name already exists, when you didn't provide enough information in your request, or when creating it is against either the Content Policy or any other Miraheze policies. In those cases, a wiki creator will inform you of that via the wiki request.

What is the initial state of my new wiki?

We will put a Main Page on your wiki, with wording (in your chosen language) that is as inviting as possible, given that no wiki member has written anything real yet. We encourage you to edit this with whatever material you want a visitor to see first.

What if something goes wrong?

This unfortunately can happen from time to time. Stay calm! Check your request in the Farmer log to be sure the request got into the log and was serviced. The quickest (and recommended) ways to report an issue are Phabricator, IRC, Discord, but you can also leave a message on the Community noticeboard, or contact a system administrator. If you were shown an error message when you tried to view your wiki, or tried to take an action that should have been allowed, copy this information and include it in your report.

How do I transfer my wiki to Miraheze?

We have an entire page which explains how to transfer your wiki to Miraheze. Generally, you will need to send an XML dump to us, and an image dump if you also want to import images. Please check the page for more information.

Wiki governance

Who owns a wiki?

Since the early beginnings of wiki communities, wikis have generally operated on community consensus. This was the case with WikiWikiWeb, the very first wiki and is also the case with all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia. As such, Miraheze takes the stance that wikis are owned by their community and operate based on community consensus. No single person owns a wiki and can act as an autocratic dictator.

Wikis should generally try to strive to take local users into consideration where possible. Where possible too, administrators and bureaucrats should be elected by the local community and local communities should pass policies based on a community vote and community consensus. Local administrators are sometimes afforded extra leverage when it comes to wiki governance. Some wikis sometimes pass policies and rules without consulting the community. While not the best, as long as the policy is not seriously challenged, it may stand. If the policy is challenged though, bureaucrats should not try to suppress the users in question but instead, the policy in question should go before a community vote for endorsement. Bureaucrats do have discretion though to ignore the challenge if they feel that the contesting was done in bad-faith or by a user trying to circumvent a long-standing rule for their benefit. If a matter is not resolved adequately, Stewards may intervene if requested by local users or administrators. Stewards will first analyze the wiki, it's approved scope and policies and will decide from there whether intervention is needed or not.

What is consensus?

Consensus is defined by Wiktionary as "General agreement among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision-making and follow-up action."

Consensus is just that. When users come to an agreement on how a community should be run. Consensus isn't just counting votes though, it's about seeing who makes the best, most thoughtful argument. For example, imagine User A is nominated for adminiship. User B, C, and D vote in favor but give no reason why or just say "I like them". User E votes against and cites proof that User A has been rude in the past to other users, that they have very little experience, and that they are not very active. In weighing votes, User E's vote weighs much more heavier than User B, C, and D's because they gave solid reason to back their opinion while User B, C, and D did not.

Bureaucrats are generally in charge of determining local consensus unless they are inactive in which case a Steward may do that in their stead if requested. Bureaucrats should never try to override community consensus or suppress the will of the community because of personal opinions. There are only very limited sets of times when community consensus can be ignored such as in extreme cases where the consensus would lead to a danger or instability in the community or where there are concerns with the voting process such as concerns of sockpuppetry, etc. In those cases, a Steward should be contacted to help. If the community is dissatisfied with the outcome of a decision, they may challenge it. If the community feels that consensus on any challenge was still interpreted wrong, they may contact Stewards who will attempt to mediate the issue.

What is Stewards' role within wikis?

Stewards' are users elected by the global community at large to assist wikis with any issues that face them along with doing advanced tasks (such as deleting big pages, CheckUser, Oversight, assigning rights on wikis without bureaucrats, etc.) and acting as administrators/bureaucrats on wikis without active administrators/bureaucrats. Stewards try not to intervene locally where possible. If an issue can be resolved locally, Stewards try not to take any action and will try to leave it local administrators. Very rarely (if ever) do Stewards get involved in mediating editorial conflicts unless the issue has escalated to a point where global policies like the Code of Conduct are being broken or where the issue has escalated to threats.

Stewards should not be the first people contacted when you have an issue on a wiki unless the issue is severe and it breaks our global policies or where you feel you uncomfortable raising an issue with local administrators because of fear of reprisal. If local administrators do not resolve an issue such as a conduct issue within a reasonable amount of times, Stewards may be called in at the request of users.

Stewards are always expected to act in the community's best interests, after researching what the community is and how it works. They are not sole arbiters or dictators either. If there is an issue with how a Steward has assessed or interpreted an issue, please bring it to public attention on the Stewards' noticeboard. Individual Steward actions are superseded by a consensus of Stewards, and even the consensus of Stewards must be informed by the will of the global Miraheze community and the policies that users have elected.

As mentioned above, Stewards' act as bureaucrats on wikis without local bureaucrats. This means that they have the ability to promote or demote administrators and bureaucrats on wikis without local bureaucrats and can do other administrative tasks. Global Sysops' help Stewards' do some administrative tasks related to countervandalism on all wikis.

To what degree are wikis autonomous?

Much like Wikimedia, Miraheze allows for local self-rule and autonomy. All wikis are granted autonomy to act as their local community wishes, so long as they obey all global policies. Wikis are free to elect their own leaders, establish their own policies, and more. Stewards and other global officials very rarely meddle with local affairs unless requested to or a violation of our global policies occurs. Unlike other wiki farms which may forcefully take actions that go against the will of the local community, Stewards will not do that, again, unless there is a violation of global policies.

Do note though that while communities are autonomous, they are not independent. All wikis are subject to our global policies and are subject to British law. Some wikis erroneously get the idea that they are not subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use or anything else. That is not the case. Miraheze has policies that were elected by users and legal obligations so while wikis are free to do as they wish for the most part, they must follow our global policies.

Private wikis

How private is a private wiki?

A private wiki can only be viewed and edited by its members. To allow someone to view and edit your wiki, please go to Special:UserRights on your wiki (not this wiki, Miraheze Meta, whose rights are only editable by local administration) and enter the name of any registered Miraheze user to put that user in the member group on your wiki.

If you don't see the username of the person who you want to add to your wiki, that means their account doesn't exist locally. Please tell them to visit the wiki so that our login system can create a local account for them.

Under very rare circumstances, Stewards, System administrators and Trust and Safety can check private wikis. This is almost always to ensure compliance with all global policies, legal requirements, or to troubleshoot a problem on a wiki.

Why can everyone see the Main Page on my private wiki?

The main page is always public, by rule. You can get around this rule by putting your main content on some other page (say, "Real Main Page"), then edit your main page to redirect it there:

#REDIRECT [[Real Main Page]]

Wiki management requests

What is ManageWiki?

ManageWiki is a special tool that lets wiki bureaucrats edit their wiki's local configuration without needing a system administrator to do it for them. It is divided into 5 sections: Core settings, additional settings, extensions and skins, permissions and namespaces. ManageWiki is a very powerful tool so please be careful to who you grant the right. For more information, please check the ManageWiki page.

What is Phabricator?

Phabricator is a system by which wiki bureaucrats can report technical issues to system administrators or request configuration changes for configuration variables that are not in ManageWiki. Phabricator is not meant for general support requests like help with CSS, only for technical issues. For general support, check out the Help center

Phabricator is separate MediaWiki, which is the software powering your wiki, but it is still under the control of Miraheze.

Please check out the Phabricator page for a guide on how to sign in to Phabricator. Generally, it's pretty straightforward. In the sign in page, click the MediaWiki logo to be signed in to Miraheze.

Why does my wiki not have the same features as other wikis?

All new wikis feature an ordinary vanilla MediaWiki installation which may lack the feature you're looking for. Many people have written extensions for MediaWiki which extends MediaWiki and adds new features but most of these, by default, are not enabled on new Miraheze wikis. Some popular extensions enable:

  • Additional functions in the MediaWiki meta-language
  • Assembling lists of pages on your wiki, which can be inserted into a page
  • Helpful ways of linking to additional media from other websites, such as Google Maps
  • Translation of pages
  • Usage of a social profile system

The page Extensions describes extensions that are pre-enabled on your wiki, extensions you can enable yourself via ManageWiki, and extensions we won't add for privacy and other reasons. Check that page out to see how to request extensions not in ManageWiki.

How do I change my logo or favicon?

Please check out the ManageWiki help page for details on how to make the change.

How can I get a custom domain for my wiki?

If you don't want your wiki to use a miraheze.org subdomain, you can request we change the domain name to any domain you own and point to us. Please see Custom domains for more information.

How do I get a backup of my wiki?

If you are a local administrator, you can go to Special:DataDump on your wiki and request a backup.

For more details, please see Backups.

How do I make my wiki read-only?

For making your wiki read only from everyone (including yourself) for specific periods of time you can enable the "ProtectSite" extension in ManageWiki.

For making it read-only to specific users/groups only you can utilize the ManageWiki/permissions feature.

How can I remove a bureaucrat from my wiki?

Bureaucrats are the highest-ranking officials of a wiki. If you wish to remove a bureaucrat, please request that on the Stewards' noticeboard. You must have a valid reason, such as abuse, resignation, or there must be consensus in the wiki to do so. The Steward will want evidence (such as specific edits) that shows you are not just asking them to take one side in a clash of personalities.

Bureaucrats can also change ManageWiki permissions to empower them to remove other bureaucrats, including you. Note that this change should not be done without community consensus. If Stewards feel a bureaucrat demotion was unjustified, they reserve the right to revert the demotion and may take local action to resolve any issues.

Can I use CheckUser and Oversight?

Stewards have the sole authority to delegate these rights to other users but generally speaking, the Steward body feels that it can handle all of these requests in a timely manner. CheckUser and Oversight may be locally granted following a local election that meets the requirements for Stewardship. Please see their respective pages for more information.

  • If you require Oversight of an edit, please privately contact a Steward via email to stewards miraheze.org, Discord or IRC. DO NOT REQUEST THIS IN PUBLIC!
  • Where CheckUser assistance is needed, you may request help on the Stewards' noticeboard in most cases. If you are not comfortable requesting help publicly or you believe private information is involved which you should reveal, please contact the Stewards via the above methods.

I just enabled an extension or changed a setting but I don't think it is working, what should I do?

Please try turning the extension off and on again or re-saving the configuration change and then wait a few minutes. If you are still having an issue, please ask for help on Phabricator and we will try to get it working as soon as possible.

Closed wikis

How does a wiki close?

A wiki closes (becomes inactive) when you go to Special:ManageWiki and tick the Closed button. It is reopened when you return to Special:ManageWiki and uncheck this button.

A wiki is also automatically after a period of inactivity, as specified by the Dormancy Policy. Read the actual policy document rather than relying on this summary. The Dormancy Policy went into effect on 5 January 2016 and applies to all wikis.

If you have perused a closed wiki and believe you could take it further, please go to Requests for reopening wikis.

How do I move my wiki?

Exporting pages from a wiki, such as to a mirror site or to a host other than Miraheze, is the reverse of importing pages from another wiki onto your Miraheze wiki.

If your wiki consists of a small number of pages, Special:AllPages lists them. You can copy this list and paste it into the Special:Export page to produce a content dump in XML format.

If your wiki is larger, Miraheze can provide assistance. You should request this assistance by opening a ticket on Phabricator.

If the target host does not use the MediaWiki software, the pages may require conversion into the format that the target host uses. Miraheze cannot help you with that.

Miscellaneous

Where can I find your configuration?

We have a GitHub organization where we store our Puppet configuration, extensions, MediaWiki install and other code.

The config for wikis can be found in the mw-config repository.

Why can't I access the site using HTTP?

HTTP is prone to attacks and your connection can be eavesdropped by anyone who knows how to. For your safety, we use HTTPS to secure your connection between your browser and our servers.

I've got an issue with a user or wiki

If you've had issues with users or wikis, there are steps you can take to settle the dispute. Please try and remain civil and calm at all times. All users are bound to the Code of Conduct. No one is above it, including wiki administrators and Miraheze's own volunteers. Incivility will not be tolerated at all.

If it's a user

  1. Talk to them
  2. Raise the issue to a local wiki administrator. On this wiki (Miraheze Meta) only, you can use Administrators' noticeboard.
  3. If there is no resolution and the problem you're facing involves violations of the Code of Conduct, please email stewards miraheze.org. Stewards' will investigate the matter and bring a satisfactory resolution.

If it's a wiki

  1. Please raise all local issues with local wiki administrators first.
  2. If there are still issues or if the issue involves a severe violation of our global policies and you do not feel comfortable contacting the wiki's administrators, you may contact a Steward for help either on the Stewards' noticeboard or via email to stewards miraheze.org. If you are reporting violations of the Content Policy or other global policies, please make sure to include plenty of evidence.

Editorial disputes usually are not resolved by Stewards. Stewards will always defer editorial disputes to local administrators. Coming to Stewards attempting to get them to overturn a local decision will not work.

Still have questions?

If you have any questions that this FAQ does not answer, feel free to ask at Community noticeboard or contact us.