GIST Support Wiki

Help:Starting a new page

This help page describes how to create a new page, as well as some related best practices. It is best read as a whole.


Check if a new page is needed

Before you create a new page you should decide if a new page is needed in the first place. To help you decide, you may want to:

  • use the Search function to see if other pages already exist that relate to your topic
  • consider reviewing the All pages list
  • review related pages to determine if a separate page is justified. Perhaps it is better to add the text to an existing page?
  • consider emailing the community list to ask others for input. For example, you could tell the community that you are planning on creating a new page about topic X and if others email you with their ideas related to topic X, you will compile them and add them to a new wiki page.

Select a page name

Select a page name that describes the page accurately, is not too long, and reflects any naming conventions that may be in use. You may want to look at the list of All pages to get an idea of how others have named pages. You (and others) can rename the page later, but it is better to keep it the same since pages that link to it may get mixed up when it is renamed.

Decide what Wiki Genre to use

It is often helpful to think about the purpose of your page and the best way to present the content. In other words, you may want to consider which Wiki Genre is best for your page. For example, pages are created to introduce a topic to newcomers (e.g., Guide_Genre), collect and organize resources (e.g., Links Genre), and help compare various options (e.g., Comparison Genre) among other things. You certainly don't need to follow any of these genres exactly, but considering them may help you to determine how to best organize your page, what tone to use, and what content should be included or excluded.

Create the page

There are a few different ways to create a page.

  • Type the proposed page title into the search box and click on the "Go" button. If the page does not already exist, you will be given an option at the top of the page to "create this page". Just click on the link and you will be taken to the edit mode of the non-existing new page with the name you originally searched on. Just add your content to the edit box (see Help:Editing for details) and click on "Save Page" and your page will be created.
  • Any time there is a red link to a page, it means the page currently has no content. Just click on the red link and you will be taken to the edit view of the new page.


  • You may not be able to create a new page if you are not logged in. This varies for different wikis.
  • When you are editing an existing page you can put in a link to a non-existent page and save the page. For example, to create a page called New page you would type in [[New page]]. When the page is saved, the new link will then be red and can be followed by you or others to create the new page. This is one way of encouraging others to create new content if you have a good idea for a page but don't have the expertise or time to fill it in yourself.

Let others know about the page

Once you have created the new page it is important to let others know about it. Here are a few suggested ways to do so.

  • Link to it from other related pages. Just edit the related pages and add a link to your new page in an appropriate place. This may be in the middle of the content or in a separate "Related Pages" or "See Also" section at the bottom of the page. It is especially important that it is added to the Main Page or pages that are linked to from the Main Page.
  • Email the community mailing list and send the URL of your new page. This is a nice time to thank others for their input and ask for others to review and update the page. You may want to ask for others to add specific content (e.g., "the section on Y could be filled in a bit more").
  • Add it to an existing Category if one exists.
  • Reference the new page when related questions or concerns are raised in the email list by including the URL to the page and a comment about why it is relevant. This should not replace other comments you might make in your email response, but it will help other people know that the page exists and may be helpful for additional information.
  • You may consider watching the new page, which allows you to get email notices when it is updated. In this way, you can serve as an unofficial editor of the page.