How to Install MediaWiki

Updated on October 1, 2022

In this article you will learn how to create a new MediaWiki wiki.

MediaWiki is a fantastic platform for knowledge management, public knowledge bases, community-driven websites and more. It is flexible, transparent, and powerful. Unfortunately, MediaWiki can be tricky to install, and even more challenging to maintain.

Complicating the matter is that you typically need one or two dozen MediaWiki extensions to make the wiki optimal for your use cases.

Option 1: Install MediaWiki via ProWiki

ProWiki is the easiest way to create a new wiki. It is a modern MediaWiki hosting service that focuses on usability. Quick MediaWiki installation via a form. No-code configuration via an admin panel. Dozens of extensions.

  1. Choose a plan (free trial available!)
  2. Sign up
  3. Create wiki via form
  4. Start editing right away
Creating a new MediaWiki wiki via ProWiki

ProWiki just works. Start using your wiki right away without worrying about

  • Creating a server
  • Technical installation of web server, PHP and MediaWiki
  • Configuration of MediaWiki using PHP variables
  • Figuring out what extensions you need, and then installing them
  • HTTPs, backups and other security
  • Configuring SMTP so that the wiki can send emails
  • Keeping MediaWiki and the rest of the stack up to date

Start your free trial today.

Changing MediaWiki theme via the Admin Panel

Option 2: Install MediaWiki via Docker

Installing MediaWiki via Docker is a good option for technically skilled people, especially those already familiar with Docker.


  • At least an hour of time
  • Access to a server to install MediaWiki on
  • Basic knowledge of Docker

Choose a Docker Image

There are three good foundations for creating a MediaWiki docker image:

  • PHP images – Build MediaWiki yourself on top of php:8.1-apache or similar PHP image
  • Wikimedia's images – Basic MediaWiki images, typically with older PHP versions
  • Professional Wiki's images – Enhanced versions of the basic images. Modern PHP, Lua, extra packages

Customize Your Image

For nearly all wikis, you need various MediaWiki extensions. Unless you wish to mount these into your Docker container, you will need to extend the image of your choice.

Launch Your Wiki

You will need to do additional configuration to make your wiki accessible via a domain name and to enable HTTPS.

Option 3: Install MediaWiki Manually

You can install MediaWiki directly on a server, without using Docker. This is option is for those who do not know how to use Docker but are still somewhat technically skilled.


  • At least an hour of time
  • Access to a server to install MediaWiki on
  • Basic knowledge of how to use the command line

You will need to do additional configuration to make your wiki accessible via a domain name and to enable HTTPS.

Option 4: Install MediaWiki via One-click Installer

Many cloud hosting providers provide one-click installers for dozens or hundreds of software, often including MediaWiki.

We recommend extreme caution when using hosting solutions by providers that do not specialize in MediaWiki.

A good portion of our customers come from such hosts because they run into problems. While they simplify MediaWiki installation with a one-click installer, there is no good way to configure or upgrade these wikis. You are typically left with a bare-bones MediaWiki without many of the much-needed extensions and without a smooth upgrade path.

You can easily create a new wiki via ProWiki, which has user-friendly wiki creation without the complications. You can customize your wiki via the admin panel and enable dozens of extensions. ProWiki comes with good default configuration and extensions, saving you from needing to learn which MediaWiki extensions are important and how to install them. Upgrades happen automatically. Start your free trial today!

Compare MediaWiki Installation Options

ProWiki Docker Manual Generic hosts
Installation Simple and quick Technical skills required Technical skills required Likely incomplete
Configuration Admin Panel UI Via PHP variables Via PHP variables Via PHP variables
Features A wide selection Whatever you install Whatever you install Many things missing
Total setup time Under 5 minutes Hours Hours Hours
Upgrades Automatic Manual and technical Manual and technical Manual and technical
Cost Some $ Your time, tech skills Your time, grey hairs Some $, time and greying