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Hi everyone! Several months ago, we announced the release of a new Shared Help feature, which provides help pages from on your local wiki. You can read more about Shared Help here. Since the initial release, we have enabled Shared Help on a number of wikis, and on Monday, January 19th we plan to roll it out across all of Wikia.

Shared Help is a great way to easily get help pages for MediaWiki and Wikia features in your local wiki. The shared help pages will not replace any of your existing help pages, but we understand that Shared Help isn't right for every wiki. If your community would prefer not to use Shared Help, please send us an email at and we can disable it at any time.

Thanks! --KyleH@fandom (talk) 00:58, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea of Shared Help, as a number of things (like wikicode) are going to be identical and it doesn't make sense for every wiki to have to duplicate the generic help. But it would be nice to be shown a few examples about how people can use Shared Help with local help.
I think it would also be good to have more options than "if you don't like it, we will turn it off". Maybe it could be possible for wiki admins to keep Shared Help, but turn off specific pages that they don't like. David Shepheard 23:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Original Announcement

Note: Several messages from this forum page related to the initial Shared Help announcement are archived here.

Good morning! It's time for another feature announcement - today, it's Shared Help :)

Shared Help allows Wikia to show centrally maintained help pages from locally on all of Wikia's 9,000 plus wiki communities. The benefit of this system is that every wiki community will have the most up to date help pages without having to leave their wiki.

Starting today, all new wikis created will come with Shared Help pages. Next, we will enable Shared Help on all existing wikis that have the out-of-date "starter" Help namespace. Those of you who have customized your local help pages will be able to choose whether to adopt this new system.

We are trialling this on English wikis, but hope to build up similar help pages for other languages in the future. These will then be available to all non-English wikis in the same way.

If you have yet to see it, the new central Wikia Help is full of great content and documentation on editing tips for newbies, all the features and extensions that are available on Wikia's platform, plus a few best practices guides we've put together. Just like everything else on Wikia, this wiki is open for input from everyone in the community and we are excited to see it grow and become more and more useful to all of Wikia's communities.

For full details on how Shared Help works, please see Help:Shared Help on Wikia Help. Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  16:23, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Known issues

We are working to resolve the following issues in a future release of Shared Help:

  • Currently Shared Help cannot be searched from the local wiki. Users must visit to search within Shared help articles. Locally written Help namespace articles can be searched as normal.
  • Shared Help pages appear in Special:Wantedpages if you link to them (unless you create the page on the local wiki as well).


Shared help can be disabled on a per-user basis (for example, if the user prefers to see only the local help pages and doesn't want to scroll down). For that, the line div.sharedHelp { display:none; } needs to be added to the User:username/monaco.css page (similar files exist for other skins). To disable shared help for the wiki as a whole, please refer to whatKyleH wrote above. --◄mendel► 04:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


If Shared Help is enabled on wikia - will all old help pages be deleted or will they be available as well? SkywalkerPL 20:18, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

The old shared help pages should be displayed as "local" help below the shared help on the same page - just scroll down to see it. --◄mendel► 09:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

If I didn't misunderstand this, Wikis in other languages (non-english) will have those english help pages also? --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, but wikis in other languages will have them translated to their "native" language. --Gp75motorsports REV LIMITER GT-PT/GT-EN/CSW 11:31, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Bugs discussions

I'm having problems with Help:Help or c:newamsterdam:Help:Help (to give an example where shared help is already enabled) when I enter the page name from the search bar. Supposedly this redirects to c:help:Help:Help_pages_-_sorted, but instead simply crashes the parser and then ends up with a blank page in my browser. The Firefox message I'm getting is "Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete."

Anyway, I suspect there may be a more significant bug here. Yes, this is a reproducible case and happens to me every time, both on Firefox and Internet Explorer for me. IE simply crashes and just waits and waits. I'm curious if there are other problems. I think this may be related to redirects on the main help wiki, with that not cascading down to the local wiki.

I also have an intermittent bug where on occasion help pages from shared help don't show up, and instead I get the "page not found" display suggesting to create the page, with the help page name displayed with a blue link. Clicking on that link will subsequently bring up the help page in every case, but I haven't identified what causes the missing page display to show up in the first place. One way I can have this happen more often is to click on the "Search" button when I type in a help page (like Help:Templates) when I'm using the Monobook skin and then click on "Search" instead of "Go". --Robert Horning 13:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Does the former bug still occur? Atm it appears to be showing the correct content: that is, none. Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  20:38, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Did anything get fixed or changed? The bug with "Help:Help" seems to be fixed however and doesn't appear to be a current problem, with whatever change did happen. It may have just been some weird race condition that showed up in this one case. --Robert Horning 10:53, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It may have been a brief teething problem. Glad that it's okay now :) Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  16:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Redirects & Shared Help

I noticed something weird while browsing Central, just now.

I browsed to Will Wikis Work?, which is a redirect to Help:Will Wikis Work?. Since it's in the Help: namespace, it tries to bring up the shared help. However, c:help:Help:Will Wikis Work? is a redirect to c:help:Advice:Will Wikis Work?. Somewhere in all this, it gets confused and tries to show the user Http:// Wikis Work?, a non-existant page on Central (note: it doesn't try to send the user to that URL, rather it tries to send the user to a page on the wiki with the name of that URL).

(on preview, I see the inter-wiki links don't quite work, because it's stripping off the question marks at the end .. I don't know if there's a way around that)

--Azkar 15:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Good spot! Thanks for pointing it out - the Advice namespace isn't included in Shared Help, so I'm not surprised it got a little confused. I've edited the redirect here and on Wikia Help, which should help prevent it happening again. Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  17:43, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
This is still a problem. For example, c:newamsterdam:Help:Starting this wiki pulls up the appropriate page, but the link at the bottom to the advise page doesn't work via the redirect. This page could be fixed by editing the "Starting this wiki" page to avoid the redirect, but the redirect doesn't carry forward as it would on the Help wiki. It is an example of a larger problem when pages are moved out of the "Help" namespace to some other part of the Help wiki.
Shy of editing the redirects on every Wikia wiki, the "solution" you made above isn't going to work.
This does redirect to a page called "Http:// on starting a wiki", so I think this is a mangled bit of script that needs to be fixed, and would be a minor tweak in the shared help code. --Robert Horning 22:46, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure it's specific to Shared Help, so I've checked over and fixed any more such links on there which should prevent this happening again. I'll pass on the underlying bug though. Thanks :) Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  15:17, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Upcoming order change

We plan to change the order of Shared Help pages next week as a result of feedback from the users. Shared Help was originally ordered at the top due to the large amount of old help content on many wikis - our wish was to lessen confusion by showing two copies of help, with the old version first. However, over the past few weeks we have gone through and cleaned out a large number of these, which means this should no longer be as much of an issue.

Therefore, Shared Help will soon follow any local content. If you know you still have old local content (which shared help has updated versions of), we recommend blanking it, or removing everything not specific to your wiki. Thanks! Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom 

Bug: Double [hide] buttons on the first toc, none on the second

As in the header, I'm seeing two [hide] buttons on the first ToC with pages that has a Wikia Help equivalent in Fx 3.0.6 on Vista 32 bit. It happens when redirected to the help page (as by accessing c:ssb:Help:Namespace) or when accessing the actual page (c:ssb:Help:Namespaces). --Sky (talk) 03:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Good spot! I'll pass that on. Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  15:57, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Fixed. Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  00:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Thumbnailed images link to non-existent pages

Thumbnails in shared help content link to non-existent image pages. See the images in wowwiki:Help:New editor and others. --Pcj (TC) 19:42, 15 June 2009

I noticed this too. The images should link to -- LordTBT Talk! 19:47, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Again? Argh, I'll report it and get it fixed. Thanks! Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  20:09, 15 June 2009 (UTC)