|MediaWiki Handbook: Contents, Readers, Editors, Moderators, System admins +/-|
Administrators are wiki users who have "sysop rights". The wiki software has few features whose use is restricted, but they are quite important.
See also: Protect
Administrators can edit protected pages and protect and unprotect pages from editing and moving.
Versions of edit protection are:
- Semi-protection: protection of a page against editing by an unregistered user.
- Full protection: protection of a page against editing by a non-admin.
- Cascading protection:
- in combination with full protection: protecting a page against editing by a non-admin, but also protecting images embedded on the page, provided that they are on the same site (not on Commons), and also applying the same protection to transcluded pages for as long as they remain transcluded in the page (thus it works recursively).
Cascading protection in combination with semi-protection does not make sense and should be avoided (see bugzilla:8796); applies full protection to transcluded pages for as long as they remain transcluded in the page (again recursively).
Move protection is protection of a page against moving by a non-admin.
- To protect a page, click the protect tab. In the monobook skin, the shortcut alt+= can alternatively be used. This will lead to a confirmation screen with two menus and a checkbox. In the menu, the administrator can choose to protect the page from editing by unregistered users or all users. Similarly, the page can be protected from moves by either unregistered users (although this seems standard anyway) or all users (the system automatically adds the same level of protection to moves as it does to edits, but the protection level can be changed by checking the "Unlock move permissions" checkbox). Cascading protection is enabled by checking a separate checkbox. Enter the reason for page protection in the box and press "confirm." This will be logged.
- To unprotect a page, click the unprotect tab. This will bring up the exact page as above, only this time the two menus will already be selected. Unprotection only involves selecting "(default)" under the "Edits" menu and pressing confirm. A reason for unprotection should be given as well. This action will likewise be logged.
- MediaWiki namespace: full protection applies automatically in the MediaWiki namespace, which contains deviations from the default interface messages (such as the blocked text, tab text, et cetera).
- Edit or view source: Depending on the status of the user and the status of the page, a user is provided an edit link or a link to just view the wikitext. After pressing edit on a fully protected page, an administrator is presented a warning at the top of the page informing about this page status.
- Images: Protecting an image is mostly the same as protecting a page (see above). When the protect tab is clicked on the image description page, both the page and the image are protected. The image description page will be protected, and non-sysops will not be able to revert the image to an earlier version, or upload a new version over it.
- Cascading protection of an important page is a crude measure, mainly for emergencies. If a template has to be protected just because it is transcluded in an important page, while it is also used elsewhere, it is better to make a copy for the transclusion in the important page, and use the other copy elsewhere. When this care is taken it makes little difference whether we use the automatic cascading protection or "manual cascading protection", i.e., protect the special copy of the template in the ordinary way. The main application of cascading protection is therefore the protection against creation, by transcluding non-existing pages on a page specially prepared for this purpose, like Meta:Protected against recreation; protection of a non-existing page is not possible directly (an attempt gives the message with id 'badarticleerror' (talk)), but it has been announced that this will soon be possible, see w:Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Protecting_non-existent_pages.
Administrators can delete pages and their history, and can view and restore deleted pages and their history. They can also delete images, which can be undeleted as normal.
- To delete a page, click the delete link on the page that is to be deleted. If an administrator is using the monobook skin, the shortcut alt+d can alternatively be used. This will bring up a new page asking for a confirmation that the page should be deleted, as well as an explanation of the deletion. A message should be typed into the input box to explain the deletion to other users. After the page has been deleted, it might have an existing talk page which should be deleted as well. Any links that point to the deleted page should be removed or corrected—whichever is the most appropriate action.
Pages can be undeleted for as long as they are in the archive. This archive is occasionally lost in database crashes. If a page has not been recreated since it was deleted, there will be a message on the page indicating how many deleted revisions there are. Clicking on this (or the undelete tab) will bring up a page displaying all the deleted revisions which can each be looked at separately. To undelete a page, click the restore button which appears on the confirmation page; this will restore all deleted revisions by default. Undeletion occurs as soon as the button is clicked, and will be logged just like deletions; if some revisions are not restored, the log will record how many were restored.
If a page already exists but an administrator wants to restore previous revisions, the administrator must go to the page history. There will be a link to undelete as described above.
- Delete revisions
- Delete article revisions
- Delete article revisions for the first time: To delete/keep just one or more revisions from the history, delete the article normally, then begin the undeletion procedure. Before clicking the "Restore" button, check the revisions you want to restore—all others will remain deleted.
- Delete article revisions not for the first time: if the article already contains previously deleted revisions, be sure to follow Wikipedia:Selective deletion.
- Delete image revisions: To delete one version of an image, click the (del) link beside that version under the "File history" heading. The most recent version cannot be deleted without deleting all previous versions.
- Delete article revisions
- Merge edit histories: the edit histories of two articles may be merged into one. To merge histories, delete the page where all the histories are supposed to be restored. Move the other page to the page just deleted, and then restore all the deleted revisions. This cannot be manually undone, and it is very difficult to split edit histories.
- Split an edit history: To split an edit history, manually delete all revisions, then restore those belonging to one article (which may be difficult to recognize). Move the undeleted page to a new title to split off those revisions. Restore the revisions belonging to the deleted page (now a redirect), then revert to a the penultimate revision (before the redirect).
Any user can revert a page by going back through the page's history. Administrators have a rollback button to expedite the process. To revert the edits of one user to the last version by the previous editor, click rollback on the page history, the user contribution list, or on the diff page. The reversion will be marked as a minor edit and given an automatic edit summary based on the contents of MediaWiki:Revertpage.
Sysops can hide vandalism from the Recent Changes page. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the url used to access a user's contributions. For example, ...index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=Username&bot=1. When the rollback links on the contributions list are clicked, both the revert and the original edit that you are reverting will be hidden from the default Recentchanges display. This mechanism uses the marker originally added to keep massive bot edits from flooding recentchanges, hence the "bot". These changes will be hidden from recent changes unless you click the "bots" link to set hidebots=0. The edits are not hidden from contribs, history, watchlist, etc. The edits remain in the database and are not removed, but they no longer flood Recentchanges. The aim of this feature is to reduce the annoyance factor of a flood vandal with relatively little effort.
Block and unblock
Sysops can run read-only queries on the database if the AskSql special page is enabled. This page has been removed in MediaWiki version 1.5 .
Users with "bureaucrat" status can turn other users into sysops (but not remove sysop status). Bureaucrats are created by developers.
(Note that the following applies to version 1.5; I don't know about earlier versions.) The configuration script which runs when you first access your newly installed MediaWiki creates the first account, and automatically gives it "bureaucrat" and "sysop" status. To grant "bureaucrat" status after installation, a developer, or someone with developer skills, needs to directly manipulate the database records within MySQL.
Users with ordinary access, including visitors who haven't "signed in", can still do many things, including the most important: editing pages and helping with maintenance tasks. But only signed-up users can upload files or rename pages.