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Managing Wiki Features Just Got Easier!

Meighan September 13, 2011 User blog:Meighan

In the next week, you'll see a new button on the Admin Dashboard called Wiki Features. In this post, I'll tell you what it is, why we decided to create it, and how you can use it to improve your wiki:

What is Wiki Features?

Wiki Features is a new SpecialPage that will allow admins and founders to enable or disable more of Wikia's optional features.

The backstory

We created Wiki Features so that some of our optional features, both new and old, can be controlled from one place. Right now we have Wikia Labs, where you can find some of the newest features, but there are no admin controls for other optional features. Often it's not even clear that those optional features exist!

For example, right now Wikia Labs lets you enable or disable Chat, Article Comments, Achievements, Category Exhibition, and Top Ten Lists. But if your community decides they don't want Blogs — you'd have to write to Special:Contact and request disabling Blogs on your wiki. Wiki Features will cut out that extra step and give admins more control. And that, my friends, is the main reason why we created Wiki Features: to empower admins to better manage their wiki.

Wiki Features & Wikia Labs
Wiki features screenshot
Wiki Features

What does this mean for Wikia Labs? This will now be a section within the new Wiki Features page. Wiki Features will have two different areas: Features and Labs.

The Features section will show full-fledged features that are not actively in the development phase. You'll be able to see a description, and if you're an admin, toggle those features on and off. When Wiki Features launches, this section will be home to Polls, Top 10 Lists, Achievements, Layout Builder, Blogs, Article Comments and Category Exhibition. Chat will live in the Labs section, since it's still in beta.

Labs will still function the same way that the old version worked, but with a few small tweaks. You'll see items listed in the Labs section that are currently in the development and feedback phase. And you'll still have the option to give input on each feature and see how many other wikis have turned it on. We've removed the star rating system, as this was rarely used and didn't give good information.

Moving forward, when a new item is added to Labs, you'll see a blue ribbon for the first 14 days — this will let you know that there's a new feature you should check out. Once a feature has gone through a wider release, or is no longer in development, it will be moved from Labs to Features.

As with Wikia Labs, any logged-in user can visit Wiki Features, but only admins and founders will be able to enable or disable the features on their wiki.

Wiki Features release

You'll see Wiki Features on the Admin Dashboard within the next week on all EN wikis. As soon as it's ready, we’ll be updating this blog post and publish a site-wide message to all admins.

If you have a question about Wiki Features, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

UPDATE 9/14/11:

Wiki Features is now live on EN wikis! You can check it out in Admin Dashboard or Special:WikiFeatures. Have fun enabling and disabling! If you have any questions, please ask below.

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