Web Design & Development Guide



Latest release: 1.9.7 / December 6, 2006
Available language(s): Multilingual (14)
Genre: Content Management System (CMS) / Geospatial Content Management System (GeoCMS) / Groupware web application
License: LGPL
Website: TikiWiki.org

Tiki CMS/Groupware, originally and more commonly known as TikiWiki, is an open source (LGPL) Content Management System (CMS) / Geospatial Content Management System (GeoCMS) / Groupware web application enabling websites and portals on the internet and on intranets and extranets. TikiWiki is a customizable modular multi-feature package; each component can be enabled / disabled and customized by the TikiWiki administrator. TikiWiki extends the customization to the user with selectable skins / themes

The project is hosted on SourceForge, and was the July 2003 Project of the Month.

Major Components

TikiWiki provides components in these general categories:

  • Content Creation and Management Tools These features enable administrators and users to create, display, and maintain online-accessible content of all kinds, including text, binary data, images, links, and much more.
  • Content Organization Tools and Navigation Aids These features enable administrators and users to organize, structure, and present content in a manageable way.
  • Communication Tools These features enable administrators and users to communicate with each other (and the outside world) by means of numerous media, including internal messaging, voice telephony, data interchange, and many more.
  • Configuration Tools and Administration Tools These features enable administrators (and users who have been given the appropriate permissions) to configure and administer all aspects of a TikiWiki site.

In addition, TikiWiki allows each user to choose from several different pre-defined visual styles/themes/skins. These themes are implemented using CSS and the open source Smarty template engine (which is included in the TikiWiki installation). Additional themes can be created by the TikiWiki administrator for branding or customizing the look of their website, but requires familiarity with CSS and Smarty.

For more information, see the Features page at doc.tikiwiki.org.

Content Creation and Management Tools

  • Articles — fast-breaking news, announcements
  • Blogs — online diaries or journals
  • Charts — like polls, but more feature-rich; displayed in center column
  • Comments — user comments that can be appended to articles, Wiki pages, forum posts, and more
  • Cookies — taglines drawn randomly from tagline database
  • Directory — user-submitted Web links
  • Dynamic Content — snippets of text or code that can be incorporated by reference
  • Ephemerides — content that varies by date
  • FAQs — frequently asked questions and answers
  • Featured Links — external Web pages that open in an iframe
  • File Galleries — computer files and software for downloading
  • Forums — online discussions on a variety of topics
  • HTML Pages — static and dynamic HTML content
  • Image Galleries — collections of graphic images for viewing or downloading
  • Maps — navigable, interactive maps with user-selectable layers
  • Newsletters — content mailed to registered users
  • Polls — brief list of votable options; appears in module (left or right column)
  • Quizzes — timed questionnaire with recorded scores
  • RSS Feeds — newsfeeds from external Web sites
  • Surveys — online questionnaire
  • Trackers — facts and figures storage & retrieval, useful for to-do lists, inventories, or bug tracking
  • Wiki — collaboratively authored documents

Content Organization Tools and Navigation Aids

  • Calendar — show when content was created or modified
  • Categories — classify content according to subject descriptors
  • Content Templates — give a consistent look and feel to Wiki pages
  • Hotwords — automatically attach links to specified words or phrases
  • Modules — control appearance and content of boxes that appear in the left and right columns
  • MyTiki — provide content organization and communication tools for registered users
  • Search — provide full-text search capabilities
  • Structures — create hierarchically organized "breadcrumb" navigation aids for sets of Wiki pages
  • UserMenu — create custom menus to aid site navigation
  • Workflow — control routing of documents based on objectively defined actions

Communication Tools

  • Chat — real-time text chatting
  • Communication Center — exchange data with other TikiWiki sites
  • Live Support — notify admin by e-mail when a user needs help
  • Mail-In — submit Wiki pages via e-mail
  • Messaging — enable users to send internal messages to each other
  • Mobile Tiki — make a TikiWiki site accessible to users of Web-enabled cell phones
  • Shoutbox — provide a "graffiti" box on the site's home page.
  • Tikibot — respond to data queries originated via IRC
  • Voice Tiki — provide voice-based browsing capability
  • Webmail — give users Web-based access to their POP3 e-mail accounts

Configuration Tools and Administration Tools

  • Feature specific configuration of: articles, blogs, directory, FAQs, features, file and image galleries, forums, maps, polls, RSS feeds, trackers, webmail, and wiki
  • General configuration (set up, name, and configure the TikiWiki site)
  • Login configuration (how users register and log in)
  • Quota configuration for user files
  • Admin drawings — set up drawing tools for Wiki pages
  • Admin DSN — create links to external databases
  • Backups — make dumps of TikiWiki's SQL database
  • Banners — insert, track, and manage advertising banners
  • Banning — block access from individual IPs or ranges of IPs
  • Cache — control and flush cached data
  • Edit templates — edit SMARTY templates
  • External Wikis — enable direct links to external Wikis
  • Groups — manage user groups
  • Import PHPWiki — import data from a PHPWiki site
  • Integrator — automatically import external HTML pages into the Wiki
  • Phpinfo — view PHP information on the server
  • QuickTags — define QuickTags for inserting Wiki syntax
  • Referrer Stats — view referrer stats
  • Search Stats — view search stats
  • Stats — view site stats
  • Theme control — assign different themes to various TikiWiki components
  • Users — manage registered users


TikiWiki is an international project, providing translations of the interface in several languages. The default interface language is English/en; but TikiWiki is designed to support any language encodable with UTF-8. As of 2005-09-29, TikiWiki is fully translated into eight languages and reportedly 90% or more translated into another five languages. There are also partial translations for nine other languages. A list of languages and current translation status is available on the TikiWiki website.


TikiWiki is developed primarily in PHP, but has some JavaScript code. It makes extensive use of a database, being developed initially using MySQL, but now, via the ADOdb database abstraction library, has support for PostgreSQL, Oracle, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server. TikiWiki will run on any server, including Apache and Microsoft's IIS, that provides PHP 4.1 (or later) and one of the supported databases. See the TikiWiki website for specific requirements.

Components of TikiWiki utilize other open source projects, including ADOdb, HawHaw, Graphviz, TouchGraph, phpCAS, FeedCreator, htmlArea, Overlib, PHP Layers Menu, JGraphPad, Morcego and Mapserver.

If mapserver is used then TikiWiki becomes a Geospatial Content Management System with maps, location on maps of registered users, geographical images, geographical metadata and more.

Project team

TikiWiki is under active development by a large international community of over 300 developers and translators. Project members have donated the resources and bandwidth required to host the extensive TikiWiki.org website, which exclusively utilizes TikiWiki. The project members refer to this dependence on their own product as "eating their own dogfood".


The initial release of TikiWiki, version 0.9 (code named "Spica"), was in October 2002. It was primarily the development of Luis Argerich (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Eduardo Polidor (São Paulo, Brazil), and Garland Foster (Green Bay, WI, United States). Over 300 developers and translators have contributed to TikiWiki since then. The project has been hosted on SourceForge since its inception.


The name TikiWiki is written in CamelCase, a common Wiki syntax indicating a hyperlink within the Wiki. It is most likely a compound word combining two Polynesian terms, Tiki and Wiki, to create a self-rhyming name, which together rhymes with wikiwiki, a common variant of wiki.

External links

List of wiki software
Comparison of wiki software

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