what wiki engine?

Wiki enginges seem to be growing. I’ve played around a lot with pbwiki, which is my current favourite, over jotspot, which I have also tried and wetpaint which is growing on me.

Recently, I received an email asking me what I saw as different features in Wet Paint and PBwiki. I wrote:

The factors that are important to me I think are;

  • easy ediiting; not necessarily wysiwyg but wetpaint is easier than pwbiki here. I learnt the *=bold thing pretty quickly, but I’m not sure if students will. pbwiki is moving to wysiwyg and I think this will become the new default setting for wikis.
  • master admin password and normal user password possiblities, maybe even the ability to lock pages that are ‘finished’: I’m worried about vandalism accidental and deliberate
  • flexibility in moving pages around; wetpaint seems a bit inflexible in this area, though it is possible to move them around with effort. wetpaint though creates its own navigation on the fly, which saves a big issue of organising the wiki. As long as a page is a logical sub-page of the one above it, it works well.
  • plenty of templates are good; wetpaint wins here, though the premium versions of pbwiki offer a lot more as well.
  • I liked the sidebar idea of pbwiki; wetpaint builds in that as a feature but it doesn’t seem very modifiable
  • rss feeds; they all seem to work
  • the ability to upload pictures both have, but I don’t think wetpaint allows you to upload files; I might be wrong about that.

One thing is that I KNOW pbwiki works, I’ve had teachers working together on this one http://tabletpc.pbwiki.com/ without any problem. I’m not sure that wetpaint will work with 20 students on it at once. I’ve set up a trial one on http://peninsulacreeks.wetpaint.com/ but haven’t had multi-user participation yet

Wetpaint LOOKS better, but pbwiki seems more flexible and intuitive to me so far.

Here’s a rough overview of what I’ve found from the main contenders.


pbwik is quick and easy, and works. You need to learn some basic coding (!!=level 2 heading) but not a lot, and that’s changing with WYSIWYG editing coming. The sidebar provides navigation and it works well with multi-users. I’ve created over half a dozen pbwikis and never had a problem with the software.


Jotspot has just gone to version 2.0, and describes itself this way: “Traditional wikis are too nerdy and only offer one type of collaboration. This has been a barrier to the mainstream adoption of wikis,” said Joe Kraus, co-founder and CEO of JotSpot. “JotSpot has redefined what a wiki is by removing the limitations of traditional wikis and marrying the wiki metaphor with some of the capabilities of Microsoft Office. We’ve combined the familiarity and functionality of desktop applications like Office with the collaborative power and flexibility of wikis so users can quickly and easily collaborate on all types of information.” Too nerdy! Come on Joe! Jotspot is offering new features as kinds of plug-ins or templates: photo galleries, spreadsheets, filing cabinets, which look kinda good.


Check our a wetpaint powered Bob Dylan site, a site I made about Peninsula Streams and Creeks or how my Cat’s Eye site might look in that mode. At first I thought Wet Paint looked too basic, but it does everything you want including some nice auto-navigation features, creating it’s own ‘side-bar’ as it goes.


A new kid on the block for me is wikispaces. I’ve set up a sample page here: http://teachingandlearning.wikispaces.com/ It looks pretty basic, which some might see as free-form, and a feature in its unconstrained way.

From the good people who brought you wikpedia.

There’s also comparison of wiki engines at wikipedia here:

The Wiki Matrix also features detailed comparions

Top Ten Wiki Engines

Other wiki resources are listed below:

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