GIST Support Wiki

Help:Organizing pages

There are several ways to organize wiki pages. Although people can view a list of all pages, or search for pages, it often helps to organize pages. The wiki is best thought of as a collection of independent pages that can link to each other in different ways. This is different than thinking of pages as files that are saved into folders (something that we are used to using on our home computers).

Below are a few ways that pages can be organized in a wiki. In general, you'll want to start out with the simple techniques discussed first. More advanced techniques (e.g., categories) are usually only needed once there is a lot of content already on the wiki.


Internal Links

The most basic way to link pages is to create an internal link (also called a wikilink). To do this, you type two square brackets around the page name you would like to link to. For example, typing [[Main Page]] gives you Main Page. You can also link to a page using different words than its title by using a piped link. For example, typing [[Main Page | the front page]] results in the front page). See Help:Link for details.

In general, every page should be linked to from another page and include a link to another page. Pages that don't link to any other page are called "dead end" pages (listed at Special:Deadendpages). Pages that are never linked to are called "orphaned" or "lonely" pages (listed at Special:Lonelypages).

Linking to other pages as part of a typical sentence

One way to connect wiki pages is to link to other pages as part of a sentence. Piped links make it possible to do this without disrupting the flow of a sentence. For example, the prior sentence uses a piped link to link to the Help:Piped link page in a natural way. When reading the sentence, a person can easily click on the link to the piped link page if they would like to know more about it.

Creating an index with internal links

Another way to connect wiki pages with internal links is to create an index page or section of a page. In other words, you can create one page that points to lots of other related pages. For example, see the Main Page and Help:Contents. Other pages can include a small section at the end of the page that includes links to other related pages (perhaps called "See Also" or "Related Pages"). For example, see Help:Editing or Wiki_Guide.

It is often helpful to use a bulleted list when creating an index page (as the prior examples did). the Help:Editing page will show you how to create bulleted lists.

Don't forget to add a link to the relevant index pages when you create a new page. In fact, you can even create links to pages that don't have anything on them yet! Just create an internal link as usual, by surrounding your proposed page title with double square brackets. For example, typing in [[Empty Page Example]] creates a link to the Empty Page Example page, which does not yet include any content. The red color of the link means that there is no content on the page. People that want to create the content can follow the red link and then click on the "create this page" link and enter in their content. Creating links to empty pages (especially on index pages) can be a great way to encourage others to provide the content.

Page Sections

When pages include a lot of content, it is often helpful to include page sections. If enough page sections are included on a page, readers will see a Table of Contents at the top of the page. However, once a page is large enough you may want to consider splitting it into multiple pages. This is especially true when people may want to link to only a portion of the page. Although it is possible to link to sections of a page (as the former links do), it is more difficult than linking to an entire page.


Each wiki page is part of one namespace, or section of the wiki. Nearly all of the pages of interest to typical visitors are in the "Main" namespace, although people may also visit the "Help" namespace or the "User" namespace. The Help:Namespace page describes all of the namespaces and their typical uses. Note that the prior page is in the "Help" namespace as indicated by the page title beginning with "Help:". Pages without a ":" are in the "Main" namespace.

In most cases, people will be searching the wiki for medical and support information (in the "Main" namespace), rather than information on how to use the wiki (in the "Help" namespace) or policy information (in the "Project" namespace). Putting pages into the right namespace is important because people browse all page in a given namespace using the Special:Allpages page or search only certain namespaces (see here for details)

Categories and Category Pages

A category is a way of linking related wiki pages. It is similar to creating an index with internal links (as described above). The idea is to tag all related pages with the same category link. When this is done, a category page is automatically created that links to all of it's "member" pages (sorted in alphabetical order). Pages can be added to multiple categories if desired. A complete description of how to use categories can be found at Help:Category. If you do use categories, it is often useful to have a few Wiki Helpers who help maintain the categories, since using them can take a little getting used to.

See also

Help Pages

Special Pages