Help:How to Create an Article

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Help-content.png This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.
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Before Creating an Article[edit | edit source]

Before you create, edit, or add to your first article, you will need to:

1. Obtain Editing Rights on the Wiki.

2. Understand Wiki Publishing Policies. The articles you create or edit will be viewed by millions of people around the world. You are responsible for your work. Therefore, it is important that you understand the Wiki's policies on copyrights and privacy. Click on the following links and become familiar with these policies before you create, edit, or add to any Wiki article.

3. Sign in to FamilySearch Wiki. Enter your user name and password in the fields in the blue bar in the upper right corner of the page.

4. Select a title for a new article carefully. See the Tips Section at the bottom of this page.

5. Search to see if there is an article similar to the one you want to create. Someone may have already created it. Adding to an existing article is easier than creating a whole new article. Duplicating an already existing article wastes your time and causes confusion for others.

  • To search for a similar article, type your proposed title in the Search box and click the Search button. A list of Wiki articles will appear.
  • If the search did not find your proposed title, it will appear as the first item, but in red. This means the article does not yet exist. Do not click on that item in red at this time. First check out all articles similar to the one you propose, to see if they are better suited to add the content you envision.

Follow These Steps to Create an Article[edit | edit source]

1. To Create a New Article. Do the search again, but this time click on the item with the red title. A blank editing box with an editing toolbar will appear.

  • Add text to this article and save it, then the article will be created. Creating an article and added text to an existing article are very similar.

2. To Edit the Article. Begin typing new text or pasting text you copied from somewhere else. You can use the edit toolbar for basic formatting and linking. To learn how to do more complex formatting, see the Tips Section below.

NOTE: To make your page better, link your article to other pages in the Wiki. Make absolutely sure that you create a back-link to a more general article. For example, if you create a city page, make sure there is a link to both the county and the state. Failing to create a link back results in orphan pages in the Wiki.

3. To Save Your Work. When you finish your article, scroll to the bottom of the page and add a edit summary of what you did. Make it brief, less than one sentence. Then click the Save page button.

  • We suggest you save often (a minimum of every five minutes). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save page button. Warning: If you navigate away from your article without saving it, your work will be lost.
  • After saving the article, if you want to add or make changes to it, then just click Edit again.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Help-content.png Questions?
Visit the Get Help to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.

FAQs[edit | edit source]

  • Why does my sign in session go away when I edit?

You need to save your edited content every few minutes to keep your edit session alive. However, if you've signed in, navigated to your User page and immediately close the edit links on the left, most likely you're looking at a version of the page that the Web browser has cached on your machine. Just click the "refresh" icon in your browser while holding down your shift key and chances are, you'll see the edit links appear.

  • Why aren't the changes I made showing up?

There are a couple possibilities. Perhaps you only "previewed" your changes and did not actually save them. Another reason could be that your page was cached by your browser, so you are seeing an old version.

  • Can you set the session timeout longer? I lost my edits.

The session timeout is set for the PHP server, not for MediaWiki specifically. Session timeout is intended to help prevent other people from walking up to your computer and editing things with your Username when you've stepped away. Most PHP session lengths are 24 minutes by default. Therefore, it's a good idea to save your edits, say, every 10 minutes.