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Codex:Maintenance

There are thousands of pages on the Codex, and though that includes pages which are not a part of the documentation, managing this huge list of pages and resources is challenging.

The goal of the administration and maintenance effort is to organize the content in a useful fashion, to maintain high standards for the quality and quantity of documentation, and to make the website intuitive to use for the visitors.

It is impossible for a person, or even a small team of volunteers to do this even if they work round the clock! We depend on the help and assistance of everyone who uses the Codex to maintain it as a highly relevant and useful resource.

You can help maintain the Codex by:

  1. Checking Recent Changes
  2. Tagging Pages for Maintenance
  3. Working on Tagged Pages
  4. Helping Categorize the Codex

Checking Recent Changes

On the homepage, as well as on all other pages of the Codex, there is a link to the Recent changes page. Visit the Recent changes page often, and check the changes that have taken place recently. Are there new spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or bad wiki markup in the newest version of the changed page? Worse still, was it an act of vandalism where someone defaces pages? If you see something that wasn't just right, change it. Also, if you click on the link to "diff" on the Recent changes page, you will see a link titled "Mark as Patrolled". Once you have verified that the changes are legit, and error-free, please click the "Mark as Patrolled" link. This will remove the red exclamation mark preceding the page on the Recent changes page, so that others know that it has been checked for vandalism, and correctness. This will help prevent others from checking the same changes that you already checked.

Tagging Pages for Maintenance

In order to simplify the task of maintaining the pages, various Template Messages are used to "tag" pages requiring attention. You can help by tagging pages requiring messages, whenever you see one. The various kinds of templates are listed and explained here. You can "tag" a page by clicking the "edit" tab at the top of the page, and including {{name-of-template}} in the page text, at the very bottom after all other content. Adding the tag at the bottom will help maintain a good experience for a non-contributing end user who visits the page. The following list should give you the names of the templates that are available for assisting in maintenance.

Copy Edits

The {{Copyedit}} tag should be used to mark pages that require copy editing. Such pages generally have poor organization, incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes, improper links, etc. If you find a page to be lacking in quality, mark it using this tag. Edit the page and add {{Copyedit}} at the top or the bottom. The curly braces {{ and }} are essential.

Merges

Some pages, or sections may need to be merged into one another, due to duplication of content or misplaced information. There are three tags that can be used for tagging pages that requires merges.

If you are not sure what other page a particular page should be merged into, use {{merge}}. As you can see, this won't be too helpful, so—as far as possible—you should use one of the two following templates instead.

Use this tag to specify which page to merge the current page into. Suppose you are on the page, with the title "Page-A" and you want to tag the page for merging into another page, with the title "Page-B". To do this, edit "Page-A" and add the following to the page:

{{merge-into|[[PageB]]}}

Similarly, if you want a particular section to be merged into another page, say "PageB", you should add the following at the beginning of the relevant section.

{{merge-section-into|[[PageB]]}}

Requests for Deletion

If you think a page is redundant or unnecessary, or that it has no purpose in life, you can mark it for deletion. Add {{rfd}} to the top of the page by editing it. An admin will soon come around and delete that page, if neccessary.

Stubs

The {{Stub}} template can be used to tag pages that are too short, or incomplete. Mark stubs as soon as you see them, so other volunteers looking for things to do will know that there are pages they can complete!

The two Stub templates above are used by the Dutch and Spanish translation teams to mark stubs in the Dutch and Spanish wiki pages, respectively. These should be of interest to you if you speak those languages.

Requires Renaming

Some pages are badly named. The name is just too long, or senseless, or has weird characters in it, or it could just be that you can think of a better name for the page. In this case, tag the page as requiring renaming, by adding the {{Rename}} template to the top of the page. Also, leave your suggestion for the alternate name in the Talk page for that page.

Old Pages

These are pages that were made to accord with old versions, and should be updated at some time.

To mark a page as old:

  • Old-ness by WP version: {{Oldpage|WPVersion}}. For example, if the page was not updated since WordPress 1.5, type {{Oldpage|1.5}}
  • Old-ness by date: {{Datedpage|Date}}. For example, if the page was not updated since March 24, 2006, type {{Datedpage|March 24, 2006}}

Using {{Datedpage}} is preferred over {{Oldpage}}

To easily find old pages, just go to random pages and check the last time they were updated by clicking on the History tab.

Working on Tagged Pages

There are lists of already categorized, or tagged pages, that you can use to start working on. All the tagged pages are improved upon using the skills and effort volunteers, like you. Pick one or more of the categories below and start working on improving those pages!

Copy editing

These articles have enough information, more or less, but are in need of a spelling and grammar review, reorganization, clarification, or other editing. Edit these articles, applying your elite grammar skills, or your feel for organization. Improve the content, layout, organization, language and anything else that you think need improving, and when you are done, and satisfied, save the page. You need not worry about removing the Copyedit tag from the page, some admin will be glad to do that later.

  • List of pages in need of editing (as marked with the Copyedits category)
  • After visiting that page, click on "What links here" in the sidebar, to get a list of other pages that might need editing (the Copyedits template 'links to' the Copyedits category, but doesn't necessarily mean those articles are 'in' the Copyedits category)

Expanding articles

These articles are underdeveloped, and need more information. Some are more developed than others, but please feel free to add to all of them. Often, these are created by users who probably stopped working on them halfway, or when there wasn't enough available time or information to complete the page. Help the Codex by completing the page, adding information, and making it the best you can. Leave the Stub tag in there, and some admin will soon un-stub it.

Merging articles

Occasionally two users will create similar, separate articles unwittingly. Such similar pages, or pages with content similar to that which is covered elsewhere, are marked for merging to consolidate the duplicate information. You can help by merging the content of the articles, or checking if they really need merging at all.

Requests for deletion

Some articles are really unnecessary and should be deleted. Pages can only be deleted by an administrator, but run through these pages to be sure you don't object to their deletion, and make sure they weren't marked in error:

Old pages

These are pages that were made to accord with old versions, and should be updated at some time. Check all functions, variables, and other things that could change in newer versions in the page, and make sure they didn't. If something did change, update the information in the page so it is correct.

WordPress Codex Categories

All pages on the WordPress Codex must be categorized. Instructions and guidelines are found in the WordPress Codex Guidelines on Codex Categories and in the Help:Editing reference page.

To help the WordPress Documentation Team categorize the WordPress Codex:

Use the Exact Category Tag
Use the right category tag from the Special:Categories list, spelled and capitalized exactly as shown. The use of alternative spellings and capitalization will result in the creation of new categories, confusing the category structure.
Use Best Judgment
Use your best judgment in deciding which articles belong in which categories. Follow the recommendations on the Codex Categories guidelines if in doubt or check with the WordPress Codex Documentation Team via the mailing list.
Misfiled Content
If you feel an article has been put in the wrong category, remove the category tag and add the appropriate one, if necessary. If in doubt, contact the Documentation team for help.
Do Not Create New Categories
To suggest new categories, contact the Codex Documentation Team mailing list for help and suggestions on categorizing content and creating new categories.
Inappropriate or Deprecated Category
If a category is inappropriate or no longer valid, advise the Documentation team so proper action can be taken to change the category.

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