- Unregistered users are restricted to making 5 edits every 24 hours (to protect the site).
- You will be able to protect articles you create.
- You will be able to create a 'PAGE ABOUT ME' with details about yourself and links to your own web site.
- You will be able to include your signature on articles you have created. Your signature will automatically link to your user page.
- Other people will be able to contact you if you choose to enable this feature.
How to register
It's easy - just click on 'REGISTER' at the top of the page, enter your name, password, and username (the name that you will be called on the site). A confirmation email will be sent to you and that's it.
Managing your account
Once your account has been created, you can change your log-in details and preferences. Just log in and click on 'MY PREFERENCES' at the top of the page.
Creating a 'page about me'
First log in, then click on PAGE ABOUT ME at the top of the page. This will take you to your page about me. Click on 'CREATE' and a text editor will open. You can type in information about yourself, your experience, qualifications, interests and so on, and even link to your own website. Click on SAVE - and that's it.
DO NOT click on 'Submit Comment' this will just send a comment to us, and whilst we love to receive comments, it will not go into your page about me.
Now, if you write an article, you can put your user signature at the end and this will automatically link to your page about me. So when people find articles you have written - they will also find you.
Creating new articles
You can watch our video tutorial: how to create an article on our You Tube channel.
Creating a new article
You MUST first check that the article doesn't already exist by typing your article title into the search box at the top of the page and clicking go.
If it doesn't already exist, a message will appear asking you if you want to create it. Just click on the link and a new article will be created for you.
If an article appears in the search results that covers the same subject as the one you want to create, but with a different name, don't create a new article, add to the one that already exists.
Make sure you give your articles unambiguous titles. For example call an article 'Planning permission' rather than 'Planning', otherwise people will not know what it's about from the title, and inappropriate links will be made from other articles. Only include text in the title that describes its content - for example 'Planning permission' rather than 'An explanation of planning permission'.
Articles that have several possible names
Some articles have several possible names. For example the article 'planning permission' could be called 'planning application' or 'planning submission'. To help people find your article, it is possible to create redirects.
First create your article, giving it the name you think people will be most likely to look for. Then create as many articles as you need with other possible names for the main article, but in the body of those articles type
then click on the insert link button
and insert a link to the main article by typing its name and selecting it from the list that appears. Anyone searching for these other possible names will then automatically be re-directed to the main article.
Writing and editing articles
You can watch our video tutorial: how to create an article on our You Tube channel.
For detailed guidance on writing style see our quick style guide.
The most reliable way to write an article is to create it from scratch within the text editor provided. Designing Buildings Wiki uses CKEditor, which is the most user-friendly WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor currently available. It does have its limitations, and is most effective when article formatting is kept simple; with plain text, simple bullet points and simple numbered lists. More complex formatting can cause difficulties. Most difficulties we have found are to do with internet explorer. If you encounter problems - try using Firefox or Chrome instead.
You can write your article in another application (such as word) and then paste it into the text editor. You can paste with formatting, or as plain text - plain text is the most reliable, but will require re-formatting.
First upload your image to the site. This can be done by clicking on the 'UPLOAD FILE' link at the bottom of any page (other than the home page). Be careful to keep a note of the exact name of the image you upload.
Then open your article and click on the insert image button.
Type in the name of your image and it will appear in the dialogue box. Select it, then click OK and the image will be inserted.
Once your image is in the article, you can change its size just by clicking and dragging the corners -although this only works in some browsers (such as internet explorer). For some other browser, you may need to re-size the image before you upload it.
Internal links are created automatically. If your article contains a phrase that is the title of another article, a link will be generated automatically when you view the page. These links will not appear when you are editing your article, only when it is saved and viewed.
For Designing Buildings Wiki to be able to generate these links, you must use unambiguous terms. For example the word 'planning' is ambiguous. To link to an article on planning permission you must use the term 'planning permission'.
To create links to information on other sites, just click on the create link button.
Then type in the address. You must remember to start the address with http://. The easiest way to do this is to open the page you want to link to, then highlight and copy the address from your browsers address bar.
First upload your file to the site. This can be done by clicking on the 'UPLOAD FILE' link at the bottom of any page (other than the home page). Be careful to keep a note of the exact name of the file you upload.
Then open your article and click on the insert link button.
Type in the name of your file and it will appear in the dialogue box below. Select the file, and a link to it will be inserted into the article.
References and footnotes
If you want to include a reference in your article, either insert a hyperlink into the body of the text (if it's an online reference) or insert a number in brackets in the body of the article (1) and the full reference at the end of the article.
Adding your user signature
If you are a registered user and you are the main, or sole contributor to an article you can insert your user signature at the bottom of your article which will automatically link to your 'PAGE ABOUT ME'. To do this, just log in, open the article, go to the bottom of the article and click on the insert signature button.
You must be one of the main contributors to the article.
It is important to allocate categories to your articles so that other people can find them easily.
To allocate categories to your article, simply expand the relevant section of the category tree that appears below the text editor when you are writing an article, and then click on the tick boxes of the categories you want to add.
You can allocate several categories to your article. To remove categories just uncheck the tick box.
Protecting an article
If you are a registered user, you are the main or only author of an article, and you are an expert who does not want other people to be able to change your article, then you can protect it. This will prevent others from changing your article.
Simply save your article, then from the options at the top of the article, click 'PROTECT', then select 'restrict editing to authors' and click on the 'change protection levels' to confirm.
Be aware that by doing this, you become responsible for that article. If you do not keep the article up to date, or if we receive requests from other users wishing to contribute to the article, we may un-protect it. We will attempt to discuss this with you first.
If you have written or contributed to an article, or if you have a special interest in the subject, you can track any changes that are made to it:
- If you click on the HISTORY link at the top of the article you will be shown a history of all changes made to that article or its discussion page. It is possible to 'roll back' changes that have been made to previous versions of the article.
- You can add the article to your 'WATCH LIST'. If you click on the link to your watch list, which appears at the bottom of any page (other than the home page) when you are logged in, you will be shown a summary of changes to the articles on your watch list. You can make your watch list into a feed that you can access direct from your browser.
If you click on the FEED link that appears at the bottom of all pages it will show you a record of all recent changes that have been made across the entire site.
Problems writing articles
CKEditor is a simple, online text editor and does have its limitations, particularly regarding formatting. We advise you to keep your formatting as simple as possible and to SAVE REGULARLY.
If you are having a problem formatting your article, it may be that you have imported it from another application that CKEditor has trouble processing.
Try inserting text from other applications by using the 'paste as plain text' option.
If you are still having difficulties, try highlighting the text and then clicking the 'remove formatting' button.
Most difficulties we have found are to do with internet explorer. If you are still encountering problems - try using Firefox or Chrome instead.
Changes do not save
There can be very occasional problems where the contents of an article have been copied and pasted, either from another application, or occasionally within an article itself. The problem occurs on saving, when the most recent changes do not save. If this is the first time the article has been saved, it will revert to the previous, ie blank version.
This is a problem with internet explorer, it is not encountered when using other browsers.
The problem can be avoided, either by using a different web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, or by using the 'paste as plain text' option...
...rather than the 'paste from word' or Ctrl+V options. This strips out any formatting in the pasted text (including any hyperlinks).
Losing your work
We recommend you save your work regularly. You should then be able to find previous saved versions of your work in the article history.
If you are still having difficulties, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as long as you have saved your article we should be able to recover it for you.
Most difficulties we have found are to do with internet explorer. If you encounter problems - try using Firefox or Chrome instead.
Text turning into unformatted wikitext code
Very occasionally, normal article text can turn into wikitext when the text editor is opened or closed. This is an internet explorer issue. It happens when your internet options (in Tools / internet options / general / browsing history / settings) are set to check for a newer version of stored pages every time you visit them. If you change this to check for a newer version of stored pages automatically, the problem will stop.
Alternatively use a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome.
You should be able to get back to the previous version of your article either by clicking 'cancel' if the problem occurs on opening the text editor, or if it happens on saving, opening an older version of the article from the page history.
Unable to edit an article
To protect the site, unregistered users are limited to performing five edits in any 24 hours. You will then be prevented from performing any more edits until 24 hours have past. You can continue to create or edit articles either by registering, using a computer from a different IP address, or coming back after 24 hours.
We may also block users or IP addresses from editing articles if they are carrying out inappropriate activity on the site such as adding spam articles. If you think you have been wrongly blocked, email us at email@example.com.
If you are accessing Designing Buildings Wiki from a large organisation you may find you are locked out because other users from your IP address have already created or edited articles that day, or have been blocked becuase of inappropriate activity. Try using a computer from a different IP address or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some articles are protected from any editing, see 'Why are some articles locked' in the FAQ's below?
When a table is pasted from another application, it can look correct within the text editor, but it may then lose its formatting on saving. This is because the table you have pasted contains complex formatting that the text editor cannot process.
To correct this, select the contents of the table, then click the 'remove formatting' button.
Frequently asked questions
Can I edit an article written by someone else?
Unless it has been locked (see below), then yes you can. Designing Buildings Wiki is a collaborative site, we encourage multiple authors to contribute to the development of articles.
Why are some articles locked (protected)?
Some pages are locked because they contain expert or complex information that would suffer if it was edited by multiple authors.
You can propose changes to locked articles by clicking the 'submit comment' button at the end of the article. You can also ask us to unlock articles.
If you are a registered user you can lock or unlock a page you have created by clicking on the 'PROTECT' link at the top of the article. However, given the collaborative nature of the site, it is not our aim to have articles that are locked unless there is a good justification. We will review locked articles and may decide they should be unlocked.
How do I report abuse?
If you think there's a problem please let us know by clicking on the 'REPORT ABUSE' link at the bottom of the page.
Alternatively you can click on the 'SUBMIT COMMENT' button at the bottom of articles, or you can email email@example.com.
How is the site is moderated?
We try to keep an eye on any changes that users make to the site, but we are also reliant on you to tell us about problems. If you think there is a problem, you either fix ti yourself (just click on EDIT) or can let us know by clicking on the 'REPORT ABUSE' link at the bottom of the page, clicking on 'SUBMIT COMMENT' at the bottom of articles or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your terms and conditions?
Click here to see our terms and conditions.
Is self promotion allowed?
No. You can write about your specialist subject, but only by writing about the subject itself, not by writing about yourself or your products.
You should not insert hyperlinks to your own website in articles, other than in a references section, and only if there is specific reference material on your website that someone reading the article would find useful.
If you are registered, you can add your signature to an article you have written, but only if you are one of the main, or the sole contributor. This signature will automatically link to your PAGE ABOUT ME where you can do as much self promotion as you like, including linking to your own web page.
For more guidance about whether a subject could be considered self-promotional, or whether it merits the creation of an article, see out notability test.
How do I carry out a full text search?
If you want to search for articles containing specific text, click here to go to our special search page.
How do I sponsor a page?
See our article sponsor this page.
You can also watch our video tutorial: How to sponsor a page on YouTube.
Can anyone sponsor an article I have written?
Articles that are not protected can be sponsored by companies that supply related goods or services.
However, if you are a registered user and you protect your article, because you are the main or only author, and you are an expert who does not want other people to be able to change your article, then we will not allow sponsorship of your article.
If an organisation has already sponsored an article before you protect it, they will be allowed to continue sponsoring that article.
Why are there some pages I cannot sponsor?
You cannot sponsor site admin pages (like this one) or protected pages. Protected pages are articles written by a single author, that they have protected from being changed by other users.
How do I cancel my sponsorship?
Just go to your paypal account and cancel the payment for the sponsor advert you want to cancel. You should only do this at the end of your monthly payment cycle as the advert will be removed from the site immediately.
How do I change my sponsor advert?
Just email us at email@example.com and we will change it for you.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help.