Your wiki's average page size

Hello, Wikians and other readers!

A lot of people know how many articles, files or even active users their favorite wiki has, and the shortest pages and long pages can easily be found as well. However, what about the average page size of your wiki? How long is the average article users land on when hitting the "random page" button?

In this blog, I will be discussing a way to find your wiki's current average page size in bytes (300 bytes is one small paragraph). If you want to keep track of this on longer term, feel free to re-use this method every week or month as you please.


Planet size comparison

Wikis can have thousands of pages, yet contain less content than one of 200-300 pages because of page length: a 5000-article wiki with one paragraph per article may not be very interesting to read to people who like to have a lot of info at once. So rather than just looking at the size of a wiki, it may be important to look at how indepth it is before you judge that one contains more information than the other.

The method I will be explaining in this blog is one way to find out a wiki's average page size in bytes. There may be others, and if you know a way, feel free to share, but this is the one that I know of. Additionally, I'd also like to mention that it may especially be helpful for small or medium-sized wiki. Larger wikis will take a little more time.

Step 1: raw page sizes

The first step is to get your wiki's raw page sizes. For this, you need to go to Special:ShortPages on your wiki, where all the page sizes are listed behind the article names. From here, you have a couple of options to get to the raw page sizes:

  1. Typing the page sizes manually in another document, OR
  2. Copying the page list and deleting everything but the page sizes, OR
  3. Using a regular expression

The first two options will definitely do for small wikis with only a (couple of) dozen articles, but definitely aren't advised for any wiki bigger than that. Therefore, I will go step-by-step through how to use regular expressions for this. Credit for Regex help goes to Rappy!

Page sizes with regex

These are the steps to get your raw page sizes with regex:

  1. Go to REGex TESTER
  2. Put .+\[(\d+),?(\d+)? bytes\] in first field of REGex TESTER
  3. Open Special:ShortPages in extra tab and set to ?limit=5000 so all articles are on the page
    • I think only admins get to see 5000 pages? Regular users may see up to 500 iirc.
  4. Copy paste everything and paste into REGex TESTER
    • If there are more pages than the ones you see on one ShortPages page, you need to press "next 5000" and copy those too.
  5. Put $1$2 in last field of tester
  6. Done! Your page sizes all appear at the bottom.

Step 2: find average

Bunch of numbers

Now that you have all raw numbers, you can calculate the average between them. As always, you can do this manually, but that may be a little time-consuming with bigger wikis. Therefore, there are two tools I think can be used:

  • Microsoft Excel (unfortunately not an option if you don't have it installed)
  • Average Calculator (works only up to 2500 pages)

In the case of Microsoft Excel, you can paste all numbers in one column. If I select that column at the entire top (by clicking "A"), the average appears in the bottom right corner, next to "number" and "sum". You can also do the following:

  • Clicking a cell below or next to the numbers you want to find the average of.
  • Clicking the arrow next to "AutoSum" on the top toolbar, click "Average" and then press ENTER.

With the Average Calculator (see link above), you just need to paste all numbers (up to 2500) in the white box and then press the "Calculate" button below it. Your average will be written at the entire bottom.


Want me to prove that it works? Just for this blog, I have recalculated the average page size of the following wikias:

  • w:c:RP → average page size of 3147 bytes (pretty long, hm!)
  • w:c:Hvetshran → average page size of 712 bytes (wow, that difference)
  • w:c:WLB → average page size of 2823 bytes (nice nice)

What about yours?

So want to try this out? Even if you don't, I'm quite curious about the average page length of your wiki :) feel free to let me know, to ask any questions if you don't understand this method, or to share your thoughts in general, in the comment section below.

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