Forums: Index WoWWiki general Should WoWWiki leave Wikia?

On IRC we've been bouncing around the idea (for awhile) of leaving Wikia, checking out options, etc... Wikia plans to move us to a new skin in October (phasing out the old Monaco skin) and has already enacted rules limiting customization. Sadly, this leaves little control in the hands of WoWWiki users and admins to make the wiki look like WoWWiki always has and to maintain it in a way that reflect's WoWWiki's own interests. WoWWiki (and myself personally) have nothing against progress or change, but sadly the "new" look is not conducive to the wiki experience (you can see examples if you would like on other Wikia wikis) - the focus is on getting traffic to other Wikia wikis.

In any case, I feel strongly that we need to investigate our options and see if there is another choice. One problem is getting Wikia to let go of the WoWWiki domain name - they own it and may be reluctant to let it go. Most importantly, I want to make sure we have consensus on this; if we "move" the wiki to another host Wikia policy is to continue it on their own servers, so if we move without getting consensus there will be a split involved in the userbase.

Anyway, I would like comments on this. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 00:10, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

The timeline for the upcoming Wikia changes as they pertain to WoWWiki

October 6, 2010
  • All logged in users will be able to "switch on" the new look for themselves.
October 20, 2010
  • All users will see the new look.
  • Logged in users will have the temporary option of viewing and editing wikis in Monaco.
November 3, 2010
  • The option to use Monaco will be removed.

Comparison of skins

By the way, I spent some time today customizing the new WoWWiki skin (it's a work in progress), and this is how the main page looks:

I should note, improvements should be coming to reduce the height of the top areas, and exact colours are easily tweaked (e.g. making the buttons more "gold"). Kirkburn  talk  contr 19:31, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Very well, here are screenshots of a content page comparing the new skin and my own customized version of the old Wowwiki skin, as well as the custom Monaco skin most users probably are on. Note that I've hidden the floating toolbar and the feedback button on the Wikia skin to get a clean screenshot, and it looks like one of the ads failed to load, but it is otherwise unmodified.
I definitely prefer the WoWWiki skin myself. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 03:58, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Important changes with the new skin

Here is a list of issues with the new skin affecting WoWWiki and article appearance on WoWWiki. Note that these changes can't be fixed just by cosmetic "tweaks" as Kirkburn and the others at Wikia seem to think. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:16, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

  • The WoWWiki "brand" is reduced in importance. Wikia branding occupies the entire top of the page - navigation leads away from WoWWiki to other wikis. Also, an ad occupies the space below the Wikia header, pushing the WoWWiki navigation lower.
  • The loss of the sitenotice prevents WoWWiki from communicating important messages effectively to its community.
  • Navigation links are greatly reduced. This makes it hard to get around. A floating toolbar designed to provide some of the missing navigation links barely achieves its purpose and is again difficult to use. Links to "Random Page" and "Wiki Activity" are strangely given precedence over "Recent Changes" and "Wanted pages".
  • Talk page links are reduced to a small button. Common page maintenance tasks, such as protection, are reduced to a drop-down menu. "Full" history is hidden behind another drop-down menu listing the most recent editors to the page.
  • Seemingly random categories are added to a "read more" link which is not controllable.
  • In certain viewing modes (such as editing), important features (such as the search bar) do not appear.
  • JavaScript is used in abundance. JavaScript-less users/browsers beware.
  • The skin uses HTML5 which is not supported by certain browsers.
  • Fixed width to 1024px doesn't use the abundance of resolution available in most gamers' screens. This causes most articles with tables or infoboxes to be scrunched to be almost unreadable. A rather large, pointless sidebar (with ads) further complicates this - the content area is reduced to about 600px wide. Text does not wrap around the sidebar, nor do horizontal scrollbars appear (specifically disabled by Wikia) for those times when tables manage to make it off-screen.
  • More corporate branding at the bottom of the page again takes users away from WoWWiki.
  • Image attribution gives credit to users who may not deserve it.
  • Display of semantic data in-page is not implemented, despite WoWWiki admins requesting this.
  • Changes to the Wikia Terms of Use prevent admins from making site-wide changes which would benefit WoWWiki's interests but not Wikia's.

Things that would change if we left Wikia

I'm going to compose a list of stuff that would change if we move off - no matter where we go. Feel free to add if you think of anything. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 00:52, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Not sure what section to put this in, go ahead and move it if you've got a decent idea: in moving, we would essentially enter a situation in which there are two WoWWikis: the new one, and the old one on Wikia. The consequences of this are... Interesting, to say the least. It would likely cause some confusion for awhile, and have a serious effect on both the current userbase and the previous one. As has been brought up previously, see vs. for an example of this. -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 03:27, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Part of the potential move to new hosting is that there would be all kinds of news posts/press releases getting sent out to the other fansites/news sites/et al about our "earth-shattering change wrought by the Cataclysm!" Links to the new site in the elinks templates... and so on. The user split has been my biggest fear behind all of this, but if we get the news out widely hopefully people will update their bookmarks. --k_d3 03:37, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

What we would leave behind

  • Monaco would be gone - either way it will be gone in a month or so, but if we leave there's no way we're maintaining it. WoWWiki would switch back to the old WoWWiki skin or a re-color of Monobook or Vector (Vector and other skins as an option of course). We would not adopt Wikia's new look - obviously.
  • Problem reports are gone; again, either way, because Wikia is planning to phase these out too. But obviously we can still get things fixed, just the notification system will change.
  • Ads would be different - depending on where we set up shop we should be able to get something reasonable worked out. Most of our options currently look very reasonable.
  • Avatars, Facebook Connect, MyHome and the like, all of the Wikia social features would be gone.
  • The automated welcome bot would be gone (though if it mattered we could probably code something like it) - we might actually have to come together as a community and welcome newcomers *shock*
  • "Following" would probably revert to "watching". Any remaining instance of "photos" would revert to "images" or "files".
  • The Rich Text Editor would be gone. CategorySelect (easy-add/remove categories) would be gone too.
  • Our domain name - sadly probably the thing we're all most attached to. As we mentioned above we would have to change the domain name. Currently we have no plans to move to a subdomain of another domain (like WoWInsider just did), but we still have to come up with something that we like and can agree on.
  • The domain itself and all its current content would stay with Wikia for use as they see fit. A copy of all content would go to the new site.
  • We'll probably lose some users - inevitable in a transition. Since we don't have the raw user database users would be required to re-register on the new site. All of the site history and images will carry over, however.
  • Unified login with other Wikia sites will not work.
  • Shared help - help pages from the Wikia Help wiki - would not be available, but we could re-create the important ones from MediaWiki help pages, and we still have a lot of the help pages from before we merged with Wikia. Also, Wikia just nuked most of their Help pages so this probably doesn't matter as much.

What we would gain

  • Things should work better - Wikia has been having some issues lately, and while obviously we can't promise 100% uptime (and the quality of service depends on where we go), removing a lot of the Wikia bloat can't hurt - WoWWiki would use only what it needs (we can trim almost 5 seconds off load time just by not having legacy Wikia code which they keep around to support other wikis and tools we don't use)
  • More direct control of the backend means better optimization of WoWWiki-specific code.
  • Site speed may increase if the wiki is centrally hosted instead of distributed across multiple cache servers - reducing DNS lookups reduces load times.
  • More stability resulting from the lack of daily changes to the codebase.

What would stay the same

  • All of the content existing at the time of the split would be carried over. This includes edit history and images.
  • Relevant extensions will be kept.
  • Any relevant JS or CSS code.
  • Our relationship with Blizzard and other sites will probably stay the same. Depending on where we go it may even improve (for example if we enter an existing network of gaming sites).
  • Policies, guidelines, and user rights will largely stay the same.


I've been firing off emails of my own in preparation for this forum post (rather, the one I was planning on posting a week from now once more people had a chance to see the new skin)... The new ToU has decidedly pushed me away from the "let's see if we can fix it" stance I've attempted to carry until now. I'm nearly ready to fork at this point, to be quite honest. I hardly expect wikia's going to give up the domain -- we're 10% of their global page views! They would much rather we fork and split contributors than completely move away so that they can still have some ad impressions. (look at tfwiki vs transformers.wikia). Instead I've been trying to come up with a new domain name we can use that'll forward wherever the new wiki ends up. Anyway, the skin still is beta and I'm going to try to hold out hope for sanity from wikia for another week or two before I start pushing my hosting proposals along. --k_d3 00:22, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you want to pay for it - and preserve the whole database (all 87,000 articles of it, lol) - be my guest...but if it's a matter of looks, I honestly don't see a problem. As long as we can still read it, and still edit it...then does it matter? --Joshmaul (talk) 00:31, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
The main problem outside of appearance is navigation is going to suck. I'm on the new skin right now and basically the only way to get around is to type in the URLs. The search box doesn't even show up the whole time. Plus, if we want a change, we're at Wikia's mercy - we can't change most things on the interface now. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 00:33, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Hmm...I see where that would be a problem. And I apologize if my previous comment came across as rude - didn't mean to be so. I didn't see any other problem besides the potential for getting the crappy white Wikia backgrounds. *chuckles* --Joshmaul (talk) 01:44, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry, I asked for comments. Anyway, next week you'll be able to try it for yourself on WoWWiki, but I wanted to get the ball rolling ASAP. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 01:47, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

I am slightly more optimistic about retaining the domain name, though only about || this much. essentially looks available if we really have to go that route (having a looksee at godaddy), and I think that would be a more appropriate TLD anyway, given our content.
My question is: Where do we go? We have too many hits to just walk up to any old random provider and say "gief bandwidth". If we do, who knows how much in the necessary fees we'll need to come with? Who, of us, have the money? I don't expect much help from the community, but maybe I'm being doom-and-gloomy. Going the other way and finding us a random provider that would take us in for free, what will we pay for in advertisements?...
Then, of course, there's the route of "approach these companies which are familiar to the WoW crowd", which kd3 hints at [perhaps admins could get a summary via the email list about what exactly he's been emailing around about?], as well as those tossings around on IRC. I'm most favorable to this option as I know a few here who have previously discussed it are as well, but who would do so? We usually end up with "not a one", but we haven't really contacted (m)any of them...
Yeah, this looks bleak to me. But I'm tired and stressed with schoolwork. --Sky (t · c) 04:10, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
If there's an issue about money, I would be able to help. But we'll see how this progresses, and how much it'll cost in the end. --User:Gourra/Sig2 06:06, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'll be sending a heads-up to the sysop list once I'm done with school today (9-10 hours from now). --k_d3 17:17, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not an editor here on the WoWWiki, but I thought I'd mention this here since you guys are probably the highest profile wiki considering moving: With regards to independent hosting, what about pooling resources with another few wikis who are considering moving? I'm not familiar with the current rates for hosting, but it seems like the cost would be a little easier to swallow if it were divvied up among several communities. I'm waiting until the 6th to talk with my community about migration, so I can't vouch for us yet, but there are already a few other wikis who could join forces with you if you do decide to move. -- Nonoitall 09:08, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

I do like the idea of banding together with other communities that are looking to move, if it means that we have to ask for donations from people then so be it. If we get as many page views as people have been saying, then it would only take a small percentage of people to donate relatively small sums before it all added up. Also, what do people think about asking for help from Blizz? I know that I use WoWWiki for everything, whenever I try and use the official WoW site, it seems clunky and not as informative as this site. Perhaps we might be able to talk to Blizz about becoming the official WoW encyclopaedia? Jeffajaffa (talk) 19:55, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

WoWWiki is already an official fansite. As for becoming the official WoW encyclopaedia, in the stead of the small one on the official site, WoWWiki is by no means perfectly accurate. I like to think that we are slightly more accurate every day, but it still contains content that was made up or misinterpreted by fans.--User:Sandwichman2448/Sig 20:55, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I don't support banding together, only because it will add to the logistical quagmire. It sounds good in theory and emotion, but the complexity of the move will only go up. Also, people are cheap. Asking for donations won't last. They'll probably just go to some other resource.--Hobinheim (talk · contr) 22:08, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Hobinheim, if WoWWiki is going to go independent then it needs to be independent. We can applaud and advise other sites' efforts to leave Wikia, but I don't think we should provide monetary support. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:15, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

As much as I love the idea of us going independent, the question remains, how are we going to fund this? It seems whatever we do, we are going to need money. Whilst adds may be able to cover the running costs, any move to go independent is going to need a reasonable amount of start up cash. Perhaps people would be more willing to pay if they knew that once the start up fees had been covered, there would be no more need for donations. --Jeffajaffa (talk) 01:05, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't sound like you guys understand the true cost of hosting this site. Unless you've got a handful of users each willing to drop thousands of dollars just for the initial move and set up - it won't work. But you've gotten way ahead of yourself - Wikia isn't selling WoWWiki. If the users, even the core ones, split off - this wowwiki will stay - and it'll still get most of the hits from the general populace. Trends will stay the same. The new forced skin is horrible for wikis, but sadly they've got this particular site by the balls - no matter how much people don't want to admit that.HooperBandP (talk) 01:03, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
The only reason that this site is as popular as it is is because it is the best source of information for WoW. If there is a split, then it looks likely that the key members of this site would move to the new site, thus making it bigger and better, and leave this site to wither and die. If we can get a vote on how many people would stay and how many would be prepared to move, that might give us an idea of where to go from here. --Jeffajaffa (talk) 01:10, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
True, the "key members" would indeed move, most likely, and continue to do great with a second site. But this site would still be here. And the common user would still come to it. And, especially with a new expansion looming, new users would fill the void. They may be slower to get even half as good as those that leave, but for every one person who is aware enough and goes to the new site, 100 will still come here. Its just how it is.HooperBandP (talk) 01:20, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
I doubt it, you are assuming other sites will stay the same in how they link to the current WoWWiki and ignoring word of mouth. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 01:26, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Don't think that most people would have the loyalty to stay with the "True" site? If the new site is better than what this site would become, then people will use it. --Jeffajaffa (talk) 01:29, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
First, to Hooper and true cost: We're getting estimates up there. The cost is high, we know. Ads would probably be required. :)
Second: We're not ahead of ourselves. We're actually operating under the assumption we don't end up with the domain. For hits in general (as well as new contributors!), we can do things to shift users away from here which are fairly non-malicious for Wikia. If the main contributors up and leave, this wiki will die. It's held up as it is by the threads of a select 30 or 40.
Third: We're already talking to WoW sites about linking elsewhere. They know what it means to have a community (else they wouldn't have userbases of their own), and that's what Wikia doesn't have. For all that Wikia has increasingly pushed the "social" aspect, that's not what community is.
Fourth for Mgg: Suffice it to say now that we have a secure option that is not Wikia and are looking at the others/doing price checks for individual hosting. :) --Sky (t · c) 02:14, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, hosting costs money but "thousands of dollars just for the initial move and set up" sounds a little exaggerated to me. If you got a few dedicated editors together who were each willing to commit a few bucks a month on their hobby, I don't think that hosting costs would be so high as to be unmanageable — even without ads. (Though ads could certainly help.) I'd certainly be willing to part with a bit of cash each month for my wiki. That's kind of why I suggested getting several wikis together. Bandwidth tends to cost less per GB when you're buying more of it, lessening the load for everyone in the group.
Still, I understand and appreciate the logistical complications of working in other communities, and I'm not criticizing if you guys would rather stand alone. -- Nonoitall 02:30, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
I have been using wowwiki for years now (and more recently started doing small changes) and I don't know how I could enjoy WoW never mind make Addon's without it! After looking at the examples wikia came up with for wowwiki and how cramped it looks never mind the other changes I really feel a new host would be better. I know I would donate (ether a decent one off to help the move or maybe even a fixed amount of a few £ a month) to get us a decent host that we could add features to and never worry about some board of money grabbers trying to squeeze every last penny out of the users. Zasurus (talk) 22:12, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
One thing I would like to ensure is that if we did lose the domain and where forced to get a new one the new one wasn't locked to the new host... No mater how good a company is/seems it is easy for them to get eaten by a much bigger company and if that was the case and the decision was made again we wouldn't be in the boat of having to split and risk confusing people Zasurus (talk) 22:16, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Very true. We'll need to figure out how to handle that when the time comes too. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:17, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

My opinion means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but Wikia seems only concerned with revenue from advertisements these days. It seems now that it doesn't care a lick about its users. Depressing, but that's the direction most places on the internet often go. WoWWiki should depart from Wikia if only to dictate its own terms. --Magecake (talk) 22:22, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

We're seeing that more and more, every skin revision they seem to have more ads, less room for content. Content is why people come to WoWWiki, not ads. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:30, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Plain & simple: I hate the new skin. The list of upcoming 'fixes' to be posted are a joke. I'm for moving away from wikia if at all possible. Wikia's made it quite clear they don't give a damn what their experienced editors think - all they care about is addng more ad space for the all-important dollar. Resa1983 (talk) 05:39, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

If they make more room for content before the final version, then I say stay. If they keep adding ads, or keep it the same as the current one for the new skin, then I say leave.-WoWDeathknight (talk) 21:45, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Well, that's pretty easy. The final version rolls out this Wednesday (as an option, mandatory is next month) and they have shown no sign of giving. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 21:47, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Then I guess I say we go.-WoWDeathknight (talk) 22:48, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

The one really horrible thing as things stand now, in my opinion, is the video ads that play audio without your permission -- we're naturally all playing WoW with WoWWiki open in the background, so having the web browser make unauthorized noise is kind of a dealbreaker, ESPECIALLY if WoWWiki is open in multiple tabs, and thus is playing multiple unauthorized noisy videos. Whatever decision is made should be to give us maximum control over saying "No" to these abusive ads. Mizzes (talk) 07:31, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Ugh, I hate those, and no matter how many times we complain to Wikia they keep coming back. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 12:17, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Please keep letting us know of these, they are not something we allow, but they do sneak through sometimes. The way this works is that we set certain limitations (no auto-audio, no gold-sellers...) and our ad providers send ads with tags that don't conflict with those limitations. The problem comes if the ads are miss-tagged and get sent to us anyway. Auto-playing audio are at the top of our own annoying ads list too -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 18:46, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

I'm a newer member to the Wikia zones, as honestly, their format has been difficult for me to use for a long time now. WoWWiki is really the only reason I joined. I will say that, as WoWWiki is my favourite and the only one I use regularly, I hope they DO move! When I'm looking something up, I'm not interested in ads or other sites, I want to find my information, perhaps read other articles relating to my question, and get back to WoW. Any extra content or, as someone else said, "abusive ads" shouldn't be the main thing I see on a Wiki page, especially when I have a specific inquiry in mind.Myrric (talk) 13:11, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Since my opinion was asked, I shall give it :P I'm personally still on the fence about this. I've always been one to 'wait and see' before making a final decision - and seeing as how I'll be able to do just that this week, I'll have a more definitive answer further down the line. If I were completely honest, though: I'm not beholden to any particular warcraft site in general, seeing as how my main function exists on the official game forums. If you guys do decide to move, I'll likely help at the new site while continuing to edit this (and other) ones. User:FrejyaFrejya 22:12, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with moving. It looks at this point that Wika has no interest in working with us for a more useful skin and so breaking free is probably the best bet. In terms of hosting I offered a suggestion in that section. For problem reports I'd suggest something like bugzilla, for forums I'm sure we could connect phpbb to the wiki's user database. Otherwise, I'm not seeing a big issue, except there become two copies of wowwiki. In terms of search engines, as long as all our inbound links switch over and we don't try to force the changeover with bad SEO the search engines should detect and adjust to the move in a fairly decent manner. -=- IconSmall DrakeAzure.gif Drazisil [t/c] 22:21, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Domain and Hosting Issues

So, if we do fork, there's no way wikia's going to sell us (our new host) the domain. So, short of going to "", which would be kinda shady in most users' (and google's!) eyes... what else could we use? --k_d3 21:50, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

What about --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:20, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the issue of hosting, it's a bit of a long shot but what about asking Blizzard to host? -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 03:29, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

We are asking multiple places, it's a bit premature to go over options at the moment. Mainly we want to get users' opinions and solidify what we can do before presenting what we've got. Expect to see more details in the coming week(s) as the skin rolls out and we get more interest in moving off Wikia. :P Feel free to suggest ideas though, especially if you have contacts. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 03:35, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Get Curse to host it.User:Ackis/Sig 18:14, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I think not! --Joshmaul (talk) 18:40, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Let's keep our options open at the moment, Curse is a valid option but I agree with Joshmaul, let's not jump from one corporate overlord to another without considering our other options. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 22:16, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

OK, one of the users of Wikisimpsons contacted ShoutWiki and they said that they would have an option to upgrade to Monaco once they reach MediaWiki 1.16. It will cost though apparently. I am not sure if this is one instalment or monthly although I hope it is not the latter. Vector will be available once they update too. ☆The Solar Dragon☆ 06:16, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

ShoutWiki is an option, they're just getting started though so I'm not really excited about it but we'll see. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 11:41, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Once we find a place to host this, we might consider asking Blizzard to give us a sub-domain. That is "" would be nice. Not sure they would go for it, but could solve some of our name change problems for the better. I still think that hosting it is going to be the major deal. I could do it easily at my place of employment. At least the technical aspects would be easy. Polictical, not so much. And would you want to tie into a "Free" hosting environment if it meant you had to move if I changed jobs? Mgg4 (talk) 23:32, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Do you work for a webhost or something? Any idea what it would cost without your "employee discount"? --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 23:37, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

I do web hosting, but it's for our own software as a service. We are not a "Web Hosting Company" in the way you would think of one. I could check into that if it becomes necessary, however, there are web-hosting services that we could look into, if we wanted to maintain the code/pages ourselves. Some of the other groups I belong to get some pretty good deals. Now the volume of this wiki might be a problem at some of those ISP/ASPs, but I'm sure something could be negotiated. Are we at the point where we want to start seriously looking at this yet? Mgg4 (talk) 23:58, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
We're at the point where we're considering the costs/benefits of each option so we can decide what is attainable vs. not, so yes I would say this would be a good time for that. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 00:03, October 1, 2010 (UTC) I totally support moving it if puts power back in our hands. ::coughs up dust:: Timing it with the release of Cataclysm would be great. How much does it cost to keep a site like WoWWiki afloat anyway?--Hobinheim (talk · contr) 04:00, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Bandwidth would probably be the biggest concern - according to [1] WoWWiki gets about 2 million pageviews per day. As far as space needed, the database size (not including images) is about 2.6 GB, including images is probably quite a bit more. And then room for growth. It could be a fair penny if we went independent, and then we would probably have to negotiate for ads to pay for it, which would be more work. Best option would probably be to get into some other existing system, but we shouldn't rule out the independent idea out if that sounds like fun to someone. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 04:05, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

I like the independent idea because it helps keep us out of messes like this. And a raw 2M hits per day won't be a big deal at the start since people will be initially confused and divided about the split. But once people start to get the message and Cataclysm comes out, all bets are off I guess. It doesn't sound like fun as much as it might be a necessary evil. Can Google ads at least put a dent in that? =)--Hobinheim (talk · contr) 04:10, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Just a general FYI if anyone's still looking for me (pretty sure I've got all of the off-list emails answered): I'm crashing for the night--gotta open at work tomorrow (later today >.<). I'll be back around 14:00 EDT (18:00 UTC/10:00 PDT). --k_d3 04:14, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
(oops, sorry hob. didn't mean to edit over you there. >.<) --k_d3 04:19, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
2.6 MM pageviews equates to what in terms of bandwidth. There are hosting companies out there that have certain limits on bandwidth, but those are limits like "700 GB/month". I suppose if we knew what the average size of a wowwiki pageview is, we could figure out what our average monthly bandwidth would be. Most of the hosting providers are going to allow 30-40 GB of storage with that level of account, so storage of the database shouldn't be a problem. Mgg4 (talk) 00:07, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
According to [2] we have 48,231 images. Assuming about 600KB per image adds about 30GB of data. A blank, uncached page is about 800KB in bandwidth (on the wowwiki skin). Our biggest (by code) commonly-loaded page is Patch mirrors which is about 1.22MB. A big, popular page with lots of images is Thrall at 1.60 MB. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 00:18, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

So, if we look at a nice round number like 1.0MB/page, and 2 million hits per day, we are looking at about 2GB of data transfer per day, or about 60GB per month. I just pulled up one of the hosting companies I've worked with, and they have shared server solutions for about $25/mo, with 40GB of storage and 320GB of transfer per month. A Virtual Machine (VM) solution (still shared, but a bit more isolated and secure) is $100/mo and gives you 40GB of storage and 700GB of transfer. Additional disk storage is available on either plan for an up-charge. The "Shared" hosting is on a Linux platform (I believe they use RedHat), and the VM solution is available with either Linux or Windows Server 2003 (a bit old now, but still servicable). We would need to look into what the revenue stream from ads would look like to see if this was going to make sense financially. If the adds are not going to pull in the $$ to cover the costs, we would be well advised to stick with Wikia, regardless how bad they make our pages look. Mgg4 (talk) 00:42, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Your calculations are off by 2^10; assuming 1MB/pageview, the bandwidth figure is closer to 2 TB / day. -- foxlit (talk) 13:11, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Well, we also need to somehow account for cache and knocking off all the crap Wikia code adding to bandwidth. Knocking out all the common stuff in cache brings average page loads to 200 KB, which is closer to 400 GB daily (assuming we have 2.0M pageviews). --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 13:16, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

My main point was that he was off by a factor of 1000; shaving off a factor of 5 still lands us in >10 TB / month land, which is basically infeasible without multiple dedicated servers. Furthermore, bandwidth is not the only consideration: concurrency and dynamically generated content hurts at this amount of page views. In short, we're looking at thousands of US dollars per month.
That is not to say that self-hosting is not a fun thing to consider -- just that any individual saying "I'll pay for this out of my pocket!" is probably not estimating the size of the problem properly. -- foxlit (talk) 16:35, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
With self-hosting, you still have to consider ISP costs and their "unlimited" clauses. Also, I didn't know Wikia owned the domain name. That sucks, think of the countless thousands of links from external websites, especially addon hosting sites and the WoW forums. —EGingell (T|C|F) Treader of Cenarion Circle 18:01, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Getting links switched really wouldn't be a problem. The Blizzard community is quite close. Its not that difficult to go talk to an admin of any of the other fansites as most have IRC channels on freenode as well (wowuidev, wowhead, wowace, etc), even Boub from mmochamp idles in wowwiki's channel. It would be the work of maybe 10 minutes to talk to heads of each section of the community to ask them to begin to switch their links around, and/or ask Boub to post something on MMOChamp about a wowwiki split, and maybe send an email to WoWInsider to inform their readers as well. It wouldn't take long at all for an email to hit a Manager at Blizz (I do believe kd3 has multiple contacts there, as do other sysops/users) to tell them the move happened, and ask if they could change the Official Fan Site page to link to the new address. The biggest problem would be google - would show up before the new site. :( Resa1983 (talk) 18:30, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Worrying about bandwidth sounds a bit premature. Sure going out of pocket isn't sustainable, but it's only not sustainable if the fork is successful. And we don't have know that much yet. We don't even have anything planned! So I wouldn't worry about it for now. We're not going to be a runaway hit right off the bat. WoWWiki via Wikia will still absorb a lot of shock to the system for as long as they carry the WoWWiki banner, which in the foreseeable future should be forever. Sad face.--Hobinheim (talk · contr) 19:31, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

So I read through this entire page of comments... and peeked at some of the never ending stream of negative comments on the blog. I'm pretty much going to say, until I see good evidence in the contrary, it's probably best to leave wikia, and there couldn't be better timing than Cataclysm if that is how it goes down. It's a pity that the community would have to rebrand in order to make it happen, but that does open up opportunities to pair with Blizzard (at least in theory, whether they would be willing to entertain the possibility of a subdomain is another thing entirely).
However, it does seem pretty likely that wowwiki as we know it is coming to an end, one way or another, as do all good things. The trick it seems is what to make of this. To just let it happen or try to take some initiative and attempt to make a fresh start work. If it doesn't work out, what's the worst that will happen? Some how or another, the people who have enjoyed contributing to wowwiki will do so in another fashion.
I have a friend who does hosting as a small business on top of his 9-5, and who said he really enjoys working for non-profits. I might see if he'd be willing to at least chat in private with admins and give some estimates, to get a rough idea of what the cost would be to truly go independent versus the piggy back route. I know he's familiar with wikis, although I'm not sure about mediawiki in particular.
Just my 2 cents. I don't know how much it means at this juncture while I'm on haitus from WoW. /chomp‎ Howbizr(t·c) 07:38, October 5, 2010 (UTC)
I'd hate to see WoWWiki die off, due to this... short of buying every RPG book, novels, etc this is the one and only source to find out information of so many Warcraft characters, events, and overall lore of the Warcraft Universe... now while the main WoW site tries to have a simple history encyclopedia, it is very inferior to what is here. And the same goes with WoWWiki being an inferior database site for items, compared to WoWhead or Thottbot, but the main purpose of WoWWiki is about the lore aspect of the game, so if it can be salvaged in anyway... I'd gladly continue using it for information. If of course it stays on wikia and the new skin makes it too annoying to edit stuff, then sadly I will stop editing. But if we can move and take most of the community with us, then I'd happily support it. User:Coobra/Sig4 21:32, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

I'm really big fan of HostGator, fairly cheap and great customer service. They offer unlimited space and bandwidth (the gotcha is INODE counts and no chat servers) and I think they actually honor that. May be something to look at, though I know everyone has a preferred web host. -=- IconSmall DrakeAzure.gif Drazisil [t/c] 22:14, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Some thoughts from Wikia

The new skin is something we have been working on very intensively over the last few months, and I know that several here have been heavily involved in the beta testing stage of the project. Right from the start we knew this was going to be a difficult move for many established wikis and long-term users. There are big changes in this skin, and the first look is a shocking one to anyone used to the old look. But I’ve been using it for a while now, and I can honestly say that it's now jarring to me each time I have to switch to Monaco.

We've talked on the staff blog about why we are making this change. We want to make every wiki on Wikia the best it can possibly be. Your content is the biggest part of that, of course, but our part is in making an interface and features that attract people to the site and help them understand what it is and how they can take part.

The new look will be something we will be working on well beyond the release date. The beta testing has been vital in developing this skin, and feedback as it's released and used by more people will be helpful as well. We'll also be watching very closely to see how it's used and what the effects of the changes are on editors and readers.

Some of you have tried the skin, and hopefully will have seen how the beta version has changed over the last few weeks. For the others, I'd urge you to give it a go as it's released. I think that, like me, you’ll find this is a skin that will really take the WoWWiki interface to the next level. -- Sannse (talk) 22:06, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

How long would you conservatively estimate until the next massive skin refresh/revamp? One, two, three years? I'd also like to thank you and the other staff for all the hard work you do. Over the last few weeks you've taken a lot of bile and abuse over this reskinning. Putting aside all the technical issues and details I wish I could wave a magic wand and lower the stress levels in the Wikia offices a couple notches. --Kollio (talk) 08:03, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
The intention is that this skin will be the base for a long time to come. It’s been designed to be a foundation for the future, something we can build on long-term... rather than needing another large shift. I wish I could answer your question more specifically, but we don't want to make predictions that we can’t back up 100%
And thanks for your kind words about the staff :) -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 18:35, October 4, 2010 (UTC)


I don't care either way. I just wanted to chime in with this: if you abandon Wikia, you will lose some features (Forums, My Home, etc.). You'd also, probably, pay out the ass for hosting since most website hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space also have a buried "within reason" clause that allows them to charge overages despite the literal meaning of "unlimited". —EGingell (T|C|F) Treader of Cenarion Circle 03:04, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Forums aren't a Wikia-exclusive feature. MyHome...I don't care about MyHome. At all. We're discussing the other things too. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 03:05, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really a contributor here and all I ever used WoW Wiki was to learn more about how I can create great infoboxes, etc. I'm greatly disturbed by the new skin and I totally support the move of major wikis as a protest to Wikia's mandatory changes. I just wanted to note you have more options than ShoutWiki --which is rather new and has some bandwidth problem from what I can tell. Wikkii is a free wiki hosting service I read about in GuildWiki's discussion page about moving. It offers complete control of a wiki --you even have to install MediaWiki yourself in case of free Advanced Hosting. ~ Akadirgun (userpagetalk) 07:23, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Except you get to use a .net domain, which search engines hate. Ajraddatz Talk 12:31, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
It looks like some Wikkii wikis are on .com. But I doubt we'll be going there anyway. --PcjGamepedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!

CSpecial:Editcount/Pcj contributions and counting) 12:40, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Most of them are, except the advanced hosting ones are required to have a .net, from what I've read. Ajraddatz Talk 13:44, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
I've never seen a case of search engines hating .net domains. -=- IconSmall DrakeAzure.gif Drazisil [t/c] 22:15, October 5, 2010 (UTC)
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