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Defining and Configuring Wiki Permissions

A defining characteristic of Wiki technology is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. Generally, there is no review cycle when users edit wiki pages or add or delete pages. You can create a Wiki that is open to the general public that allows users to make changes without registering, or you can limit access to Wiki content to specific user groups and allow only those users view and edit permissions. You can also configure permissions on your Wiki to allow users to view but not edit or change Wiki content. Private Wiki servers typically require user authentication to edit pages, and sometimes even to read them.

Depending on the type of Wiki, the Wiki administrator can configure different access and editing privileges for users and groups. For example, MoinMoin supports hierarchical access rights, while MediaWiki and Confluence allow you to configure access based on namespace (for MediaWiki) or space (for Confluence) or page (for both MediaWiki and Confluence).

By default, most Wikis do not require users to register before viewing content. As you plan your content deployment to a Wiki, determine if you want to allow all users to view your content, or if you want to configure access so that only certain users or groups of users are able to view the content you deploy to a Wiki. For example, in a corporate environment, you may want to allow all internal employees to view specific pages on your Wiki, but limit the ability of contractors to view certain pages. You may also want to allow a group of internal employees to edit some Wiki pages but allow only customers to view Wiki pages.

Also ensure you identify the users or groups of users you want to allow to view, update, and create Wiki pages. Most Wikis require that anyone who wants to add or update Wiki content first register as a user on the Wiki. Once users register, the Wiki can create a signature cookie at the start of an editing session and track the edits the user makes.

For example, on a MoinMoin Wiki, Wiki pages display as Immutable if the user is not logged in, and the user cannot make any changes to the page. Once the user logs in, MoinMoin tracks the changes the user makes and displays the changes in the Recent Changes area of the Wiki.

Once you have defined appropriate user permissions for content on your Wiki, configure the permissions on the Wiki. For more information about configuring Wiki permissions, see the documentation for your Wiki server.