Pick a Winner: How to Choose the Right Wiki for Your Business

WikiYesterday, I wrote about wikis and all of the ways you can use them to support your business and various projects you have in the works (see: Use a Wiki to Run Your Business More Efficiently). Today, I’m going to provide a list of criteria you should consider when making your wiki selection, as well as a list of wiki tools and a site that provides comparisons to help you narrow down the options so you can get started with a wiki right away.

Wiki-Selection Criteria

Not only are there hundreds of wiki tools available, but there is a vast list of features you can choose from. Here is a rundown of some of the primary criteria you will want to consider before you pick a wiki for your business.

  • Hosted or self-installed
  • Maximum storage capacity
  • Wiki syntax or HTML formatting
  • WYSIWYG editing or plain text
  • Page templates or freeform
  • Version tracking and page history
  • File upload functionality
  • Cost

Some other usability criteria you may want to consider includes the ease of registering and sharing data, a spell-checker, hyperlink support, RSS feeds, search functionality and rich text formatting (such as bulleted lists, tables, etc.).

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The best way to get started is by outlining how you intend to use the wiki and making a list of your must-haves. Since this will be specific to your needs, it pays to spend some time thinking through the process before testing out various wikis.

Using a Wiki Comparison Site

Once you have an idea of how you want your wiki to serve you, WikiMatrix is a great starting point. On this wiki comparison site, you can use the wizard function to walk you through a process that narrows down the list of available Wikis that fit your needs.

The wiki wizard also provides explanations about what the different criteria means in a generalized way that’s easy to understand. And it gives you a summary of how many wikis fit your criteria after each step.

8 Wiki Tools Worth Your Consideration

Whether you’ve used a comparison tool, or if you want to find the perfect wiki on your own, you will likely have a list of wiki tools that you’ll want to test out. Here is a listing of some of the most popular wikis and what you can expect from each.

  1. BusinessWiki: A paid SaaS professional wiki solution that provides visual editing, PDF creation, backups, RSS feeds and a lot more.
  2. CentralDesktop: A wiki designed for business teams that provides discussions, blogs, file management, task lists, light calendaring and permission management. Free and paid versions available.
  3. MediaWiki: Self-installed free software that was originally created for use on Wikipedia.
  4. PBwiki: A very popular wiki solution for business and education that includes free public and private wikis, custom subdomains, unlimited pages and traffic, and text and WYSIWYG editing support. A paid option is also available.
  5. ProjectForum: A free locally installed wiki for small-to-medium teams who need to collaborate. Features include WYSIWYG editing, attachments, page templates, RSS feeds, cross-platform compatibility and more.
  6. Springnote: A free online wiki that works like a notebook and provides easy collaboration, quick WYSIWYG editing, an autosave feature and a lot more.
  7. TiddlySpot: A simple, free browser-based JavaScript wiki that you can update online or offline.
  8. Zoho Wiki: A free hosted wiki service, with features including version control, notifications, custom domain names, unlimited storage, WYSIWYG editing, page templates and more.

Do you use a wiki in your business? Which service do you recommend and how did you choose it?