Wiki How-To


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Wiki Freeze - October 17th (11:59 PM -EDT)

W Do not wait till the last minute! There will be a lot of traffic on the iGEM wiki starting as early as Wednesday (October 15th). Upload your content early and avoid issues caused by server load.

Your team's project must be documented on the iGEM 2014 wiki, the parts used in your project must be documented on the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. You have the freedom to be creative, but a few specific rules apply:

Wiki Dos and Don'ts

Do Don't Why?
Make sure all wiki content, from code and scripts, to files, is hosted on Don't host your wiki or parts of your wiki elsewhere. iGEM content is preserved on our servers so future teams can learn from what you've done. When content is stored on other sites/servers, links may become broken (example), sites may go down, and information will be lost.
Work on your wiki throughout the year and save small edits for last Don't wait to add/edit large portions of wiki content the day of the Wiki Freeze Just before the Wiki Freeze, iGEM websites experience increased traffic and server loads. This can be a difficult time to make larger changes or additions to your wiki. Don't wait till the last minute!
Name uploaded files clearly and uniquely (TeamName_Header.png) Don't use generic names for you files (Header.png) Using unique names makes searching/identification of uploaded files easier, and helps prevent files from being overwritten.
Load your CSS and Javascript into the wiki, either directly into your page or using templates (see below) Don't try to host your CSS and Javascript on a third party server You are required to host all content on the iGEM servers (see below)

Wiki Requirements

iGEM Logo

All iGEM Team Wikis must include the iGEM logo at the top of the page and a visible link back to the iGEM 2014 Wiki Main Page in the header (or at the top of the page). All wiki pages must preserve the user editing menu (notifications, username, messages, history, edit). In the case where the user heading is not visible, an automatic heading will be overlaid on top of the wiki page(s) where the heading is missing.

The iGEM Login Bar

The iGEM Login Bar is a 20 pixel high, full-width menu bar that exists on all pages. It contains:

  • wiki tools (edit, history, watch, etc.)
  • login
All iGEM 2014 Team Wikis are required to have the Login Bar. All wiki pages must preserve the user editing menu (notifications, username, messages, history, edit). Please keep this in mind as you design your wiki.

No Adobe Flash

Flash is not permitted on the iGEM 2014 wiki. Adobe flash is 100% proprietary and you cannot view the source like you can with our wiki. We chose wikis for teams to build their projects so the source code would be available for future teams, to build on the concept of open source. Flash can also be hosted on external sites and we want 100% of the content of our wikis to be on our wikis.

Upload to server

All team pages, images, documents and code must be hosted on the server. We preserve all iGEM content on our own servers so future teams can learn from what you have done. When you store content on your own sites or servers, after time, links might become broken, sites might go down, and information will be lost.
Additionally, hosting content outside of allows teams to change/add information to their wiki after the wiki freeze. Please note, that altering content after the wiki freeze is a form of cheating.
Load your CSS and Javascript into the wiki, either directly into your page or using templates (see below)

No iframes

iframes are not permitted on the iGEM wiki. If an iframe was used to access content outside of

  • it would break when there was an issue with the outside server
  • it would allow a team to show change/add content after the wiki freeze. Please note, that altering content after the wiki freeze is a form of cheating

All iGEM 2014 teams are given a namespace on the iGEM 2014 wiki with their team name. Teams are allowed to create and edit pages within their respective team namespace. Teams are not allowed to create or edit pages belonging to another team's namespace.

Wiki Freeze - October 17th

The wiki freeze for the 2014 Giant Jamboree is on October 17th, along with other deadlines. iGEM experiences higher than normal traffic on this day which can lead to strain on our servers and sessions timing out for users. iGEM HQ recommends that users do not wait till the last day to work/finish their wikis. Once the wikis are frozen, users can no longer make any changes until they are unfrozen after the Jamboree.

Other deadlines

The team's project description must be documented on their iGEM Team Wiki by the deadline. The project description should be 1-3 paragraphs and only needs to include an up-to-date explanation of the project.

The team's wiki must include an attributions section.

Creative Commons

All content on this wiki is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (or any later version).

Wiki Editing

Add a wiki page, change a wiki page, delete a wiki page, etc.

All iGEM wiki sites are powered by Mediawiki. See the Mediawiki Help page for details on how to edit wiki pages and more.

Using/editing the wiki is a trial-and-error process. Editing the wiki is a simple, fun thing to do and you definitely get better the more you play around with it. The key is to take a look at other wiki pages and see what you like. Then all you have to do is go to the source (either view source if you're not logged in, or edit if you are logged in), copy it, and modify it to fit your needs. It doesn't have to be perfect before you can take a look at what it looks like. Try things out and see what results they yield.

Adding a page to your team's namespace?

You must keep your team's pages in your team namespace. For example, take a look at

Specifically, when you create a new page, you just have to name it Team:OFFICIAL team name/PageName. For example, if you were on Team Example and wanted to create a Biosensor project page you would name it Team:Example/Biosensor_project.

Using html in wiki pages

Instead of using wiki markup, you can use html in the wiki editor. Just put your html code in between <html></html>

Using CSS and/or Javascript

You can also use CSS and Javascript on the wiki by adding your <style> and <script> tags into your <html> code.

If you want to use a CSS stylesheet or Javascript on multiple pages, you can create a wiki template page.

Using Wiki Templates

If there is standard text/code that you want to add to more than one page, like a CSS style or script, then you can use MediaWiki templates

You can create a wiki template page to house your HTML/CSS/Javascript, by entering {{Team:YourTeamName/CSS}} into your wiki markup. Saving the page will create a link for a new template page, which you can edit and enter all of your CSS code. You can then call {{Team:YourTeamName/CSS}} on other pages.

Take a look at a few 2013 team wikis to see how other teams setup the styling. You can do this by going to a wiki, and looking for view source in the default wiki links at the top of the page. See MIT's and TU-Munich's for examples.

Uploading videos and using HTML 5 to display them

You can upload videos (ogg, mov) to the 2014 wiki by using Mediawiki's Upload tool.

You can display videos by using the HTML 5 <video> tag, along with <source src="file_url" type="video/mov" />.

Take a look at the 2013 Leed's team wiki to see how they displayed their video. You can do this by going to their wiki, and looking for view source in the default wiki links at the top of the page.

Perspectives from an iGEM veteran

Hello iGEMers!
I was also part of an iGEM team!
In 2011 and 2012 my role was to design and create our team’s wiki. So wiki freeze was my major deadline. I am by no means an expert but let me share with you some of the things I learned with two wiki freezes under my belt.

1.- Test your webpage layout: is information easy to find?

I made the terrible mistake of not asking for a third party’s opinion about the layout of information on our site. It was obvious for me how things were laid out and organized. It wasn’t for the people evaluating us.
Also, stick to the 3 click rule: content must reachable within 3 clicks so the user does not feel lost or confused. If someone wants to read your abstract, their path should be something like this (Menu –> Project –> Project Description -> Abstract)

2.- Look at other teams’ code, see how they documented and what resources they used.

It is always good to get inspiration from other iGEM teams. See what you liked that they did and strive to improve!

3.- Start working on your documentation early on.

This was a good thing that we did; we created a common file that more than one person can edit at a time. Divide the documentation into smaller files and assign a team member to fully document that topic. In the end you will have a printable version of your project that you can share as a pdf file with other people!

4.- Name your images according to the project and keep them all in a folder on your computer.

Sometimes naming your gel image “gelthingy_whyiamworkingat3am” sounds perfect at 3AM but later it may not be easy to know what or when that photograph was taken or that image created.
Also, the iGEM database doesn’t know that you created that file so if someone names their file with the same name it can end up being replaced! Avoid using generic names like “banner.png” or “logo.jpg”.
Try using your team’s name and the webpage where the image will appear, this helps you remember where to place it and reduce the risk of another team overwriting. “JoyUniversity_TeamBios_Richard.jpg”

5.- Do not leave everything to the last minute!

Plan ahead. The last thing you want to be doing at 11:30PM the night of wiki freeze is uploading images. It is very stressful to be looking at the clock and hoping some kind of coding miracle helps you fix bugs faster. Plan to have everything online at least one week ahead so you can go enjoy a nice dinner with your team that night!

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to email me or send me a tweet!

ana at igem dot org

Wiki Templates

This year we have created a set of template pages that you may for your wiki!
Feel free to edit them as much as you want

Wiki Template A
Wiki Template B