Help:Starting a new page
A new page is distinguished from a blank page: the latter has a page history. However, creating a new page is just like editing a blank page, except that the message that is in MediaWiki:Newarticletext appears, which can be different per project.
- Search to see whether someone has written a similar page before you start one yourself.
- Review conventions of the project you are working in regarding e.g.:
- the naming; see also Help:Page name.
- whether a separate page is justified; perhaps it is better to add the text to a related page (especially if the text is not very long); that page can always be split later, after it has grown.
To start a new page, you can start from a link to the title of the new page. On the English Wikipedia, due to w:MediaWiki:Nogomatch, another way is to perform a search (as you should have done before) with the Go button and coming up with nothing, pressing "create the article".
Internal links to non-existing pages are typically created in preparation of creating the page, and/or to encourage other people to do so. Typically they look different from links to existing pages, depending on settings: a different color or with a question mark (sometimes they are called "red links" after one of the default settings).
Such a link is to the edit mode of the non-existing page, which allows creating it, just like editing a blank page.
Before following the edit link, decide whether you want to give the new page the suggested name. If not, first edit the link on the referring page.
Of course you can also create the link yourself, in a related page or index page. However, it may be better to wait with creating links until after creating the new page, especially if the link would replace one to an existing page. In that case you can create the link but just press Preview, not Save (a previewed link also works) or create the link first only on your user page.
Note that links on related pages are not only convenient for navigation, but also make people aware of the new page (those who happen to read a related page, but also those who watch such a page).
Starting a page through the URL
The URL corresponding to a non-existing page gives a webpage like that of an existing page, showing the text that is in MediaWiki:Noarticletext. Note: This is really confusing!
It has the usual edit link, which allows you to create the page.
Thus a "broken link" from within or outside the project is, in a way, not really broken, as long as the first part of it is correct.
An easy way to produce the URL is editing the last part of the URL of another page in the same project.
An interwiki link to a non-existing page (not recommended) gives the same result.
To get access to a MediaWiki project with all the links at the edges, but without superfluous loading of any page, you can bookmark a non-existing page.
Creating an empty page
Occasionally it is useful to create an empty page. For example a template can be made such that, depending on a parameter, it produces either just a standard text or also an additional text. This is done by having it call another template, of which the name is a parameter; one version of the other template contains the additional text, the other version is blank.
A blank page cannot be created directly; first create a non-blank page, e.g. with just one character, then edit the page to blank it.
Reading: Go | Search | URL | Namespace | Page name | Section | Link | Backlinks | Piped link | Interwiki link | Redirect | Variable | Category