Wiki confusion: Just give me WYSIWYG

wikiI’m looking for wiki software for a project I’m resurrecting and I’m mystified by the overwhelming number of fragmented versions available, defunct or otherwise. My requirements are pretty simple: support my server (PHP4, mySQL, CGI), WYSIWYG editor, and free. Doesn’t sound too complicated does it? Well apparently it is. I’m still looking. Looking at this comparison, MediaWiki is the closest as it has alpha-level support. Twiki is another possibility, as is Wikka. MoinMoin 1.5 has WYSIWYG, but it requires PYTHON on the server, which won’t work for me.

Basically, I’m overwhelmed and frustrated. I guess I’ll just have to try a few and see which I like best. The WYSIWYG editor seems to be the most difficult aspect. TinyMCE and FCKeditor are both great, free WYSIWYG editors, but I’m not sure if they are easily integrated into any wiki server. Basically, I believe that users should have to learn some type of odd wiki-tags to contribute and format, so I’m holding out until I find what I want.

Written by in: Web | Tags: | Last updated on: 2014-May-27 |


  • Carlton Bale says:

    Quick follow-up. I found this site to be extremely useful:

    I’m pretty sure I’ll be going with MoinMoin because I found out that my host does support Python.

  • Carlton Bale says:

    Upon further inspection, using the Wizard at, I’ve narrowed the search down to the following three wiki engines. Here they are, in order:

    1.) PmWiki
    2.) PhpWiki
    3.) PukiWiki

    Time to start testing!

  • Carlton Bale says:

    After doing some more research, I’m back to my original group. PmWiki is not at all what I was expecting; I was extremely displeased with it after playing around in their sandbox test site. PhpWiki and PukiWiki are also lacking.

    Some I’m basically back to my original group, the four main wiki engines as far as I can tell. Twiki, with plugins, has be best feature set for my needs. However, I’m having difficulty getting it up and running. CGI/Perl stinks and I greatly prefer PHP. However, I’m going to give it another try, and hopefully I can find/install the perl modules missing from my default server install.

    I also have MoinMoin on my “to install” list. It’s on the sever, but I haven’t started the actual install/config process. Best to get one working before trying the second. Since I haven’t used PYTON before, I’m not too excited about it since Perl has given my so many issues.

    MediaWiki is my third option. I really like that it is PHP/MySQL. The only thing lacking is a WYSIWYG editor — the alpha-level editor is way too spotty right now. But if the other options don’t work, this is what I’ll use as a last resort, hoping for improved features in the future.

    DukuWiki also has alpha-level support of WYSIWYG through the use of wikiwyg and it uses PHP, but I’m still looking for something with WYSIWYG integrated into the distribution.

    Here is the comparison chart:

  • Thai Bui says:

    I’m looking for similar features that you’re looking for. Can you give an update of your work and your research? Thanks!

  • Carlton Bale says:

    Thai, I waited a few months, conducted another round of testing, and still came up with nothing. So, I picked MediaWiki and went ahead with the current version, which lacks WYSIWYG but is extremely feature-rich otherwise. There were back-end features added to version 1.8 of MediaWiki to allow for development of a WYSIWYG plug-in, so the functionality is on the drawing board and will be here eventually. So I’m making do without the feature for now and will add WYSIWYG when it is available.

  • Techknight says:

    I have been using PmWiki in my intranet and it has performed way beyond my expectations. The reason why PmWiki is better than the rest is:
    1. It is easy to setup and install – takes 2 minutes, just unzip in the web root
    2. It is extremely easy to configure – mostly enabling variables or pmwiki parameters
    3. It is feature rich : almost every known feature (recipe) is available
    4. It has a very active community so you do get support not just from the wiki developer but just about anyone who knows whats happening. I have been following up with PmWiki community for the past two years now and the level of activity has never reduced.
    5. Is file based yet highly scalable. And is based completely on php.
    6. If you are woried about its simple and plain looks then- “don’t judge a book by its cover” It is easy and quick to reformat the look any way you want it to. Patrick (the developer of PmWiki) is not selling PmWiki and hence has no reason to make it look flashy! 🙂
    7. Last but not the least PmWiki markup – its like any other wiki and has its own syntax agreed. But it is this markup that gives it the ability to really scale in terms of features which I am sure others cant give or are difficult to setup.
    8. Have been waiting myself and for a large section of my wiki they are happy to have a wysiwyg editor in PmWiki. This simple editor is based on FCK and works like a charm except on some special cookbook features. But nonetheless a novice and intermediate user would be more than happy to have a full blown graphical editor for formatting.

    Well basically do I need to say more? 🙂

  • Mark says:

    I have to agree with TechKnight I built and found it a godsend as it very easy to create a website in next to no time with little experience.

    I also have been looking for a WYSIWYG interface and looked at wordpress and was very disappointed, found it much too hard I think I was spoiled by PmWiki (I just wish they had a bigger user base).

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