Entrepreneur - - By Alyssa Gregory

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.).

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?

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