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This page outlines general guidelines and best practices for portals.

Please bear in mind that portals should be about broad subject areas, which are likely to attract large numbers of interested readers and portal maintainers. Portals which require manual updating are at a greater risk of nomination for deletion if they are not kept up to date. Do not expect other editors to maintain a portal you create.,[disputed ]

In general[edit]

A portal helps to browse on a particular subject, hence the subject of a portal should be broad so that it presents a diversified content. The portal subject area should have enough interest and articles to sustain a portal, including enough quality content articles above a Start-class to sustain the featured content section. To aid in this, the portal should be associated with a WikiProject (or have editors with sufficient interest)[1] to help ensure a supply of new material for the portal and maintain the portal.

The portal layout should be complete or there should be ongoing efforts to make the portal layout complete. The portal should be maintained and serve a useful purpose.

Portals should not be a vehicle for advocacy or advertisement, should not have too many red links, should not be redundant to another portal, should not cover too narrow a scope, and should adhere to Wikipedia's policy on neutrality. For speedy deletion of portals, see Wikipedia:CSD#Portals and for deletion by discussion see WP:MFD.

It is common practice not to include references in portals. As on the Main Page, readers should be able to verify the portal content by following a prominent link to a relevant article, and checking the references there.

How to create a portal[edit]

Before creating a portal, see Portal:Contents/Portals and Wikipedia:Portal guidelines/Instructions.

What content to include[edit]

  • Introduction – A short summary of the topic. If possible, this should contain an attractive image emblematic of the topic.
  • Categories – Links to the most important categories related to the topic.
  • Topics – Links to the most important articles related to the topic.
  • Selected article – A representative excerpt from one of the articles described in #Article selection below, which should be changed periodically.
  • Browsebar – The general {{browsebar}}.
  • Selected articleThe first instance of the article title should link to the full article. (The text must be clearly linked to the main article) Images should not use thumbnail formatting unless the background color of the portal content is specified as "transparent" (typically in the box-header subpage). Keep images small; 100px (as on the Main Page) is best. Remember that in compliance with WP:NFCC, non-free images cannot be used outside of articles.
  • Things you can do – Any relevant ongoing collaborations, as well as lists of editing requests for related articles
  • Wikimedia, Other projects, or like – Links to material on other Wikimedia projects (e.g., Arts)
  • Selected picture – Images should have captions detailed enough for viewers to understand the context. Be sure to test the portal at 800x600 resolution to be sure images are not too large. Do not use thumbnails; instead, let the caption stand free below the image (e.g., History of science).
  • Portals footer – The brief {{portals}}.
  • Subportals or Related Portals (if there are any) – Some portals have these appear near the top, just below the "Introduction" (e.g. Arts or Technology). Others have them appear near the bottom (e.g., Biology or Literature). A topic-specific browsebar may be used as an alternative (e.g., Religion).
  • WikiProjects – A list of any WikiProjects related to the topic. This may be combined with "Things to do".
  • In the news – Frequently updated headlines related to the topic (e.g., Politics). See the Wikinews Importer Bot for a method to automatically update a portal news section from Wikinews items.
  • Did you know? – Interesting trivia related to the topic (e.g., Science). The number of entries should be fixed, with old entries moved to a Read more archive. See the random subpage template for a method to display a list of randomly selected items from a group of numbered subpages (e.g., Sustainable development). This template also can be used to randomly rotate items such as images within a section (e.g., the Philosophy of science introduction). DYK selections harvested automatically should be regularly curated to remove false positives and inappropriate selections.
  • Selected biography – Follow the same conventions as for "Selected articles."
  • Selected picture – Images should have captions detailed enough for viewers to understand the context. Images should not duplicate the image on the featured article. Be sure to test the portal at 800x600 resolution to be sure images are not too large. Do not use thumbnails; instead, let the caption stand free below the image (e.g., History of science).
  • Selected anniversaries or On this day – These should be updated automatically based on the date. For broad topics, daily content is preferable (e.g., War); for more specific subjects, monthly may be appropriate (e.g., Scouting).
  • Selected quotes - Add some good quotes on the topic, it can be a good additional asset to your portal (e.g. London).
  • Many other content boxes are possible. For ideas, see London, Cricket, and the other featured portals, or browse through other complete portals.

Article selection[edit]

For the Selected article, Selected biography or other Selected content items, find a good number[1] of articles, as many as you can, that could be showcased on the portal. Each of these articles should be:

  • of high quality, either a featured article, a good article or one which deals with its subject substantially or comprehensively;
  • describing a major topic or person notable within the portal topic area;
  • have no tags displayed denoting clean-up, copyright violation, controversy or similar;
  • not marked as a stub.

^ Good number means a bare minimum of 20 non-list, in topic articles.

Linking to portals[edit]

To optimise access to portals, each portal should have the following links leading to them:

  1. From the root article of the portal
  2. From the category of the same name or whatever are the root categories in the Category box section.
  3. From the corresponding navigation template(s)

When a portal is complete the portal should be added to Portal:Contents/Portals. Consider adding links to the portal from the selected articles.

How often to update?[edit]

The more often portals are updated, with fresh content, the more interesting they will be to readers and attract returning visitors. Some portals update the selected articles and pictures once a month.[disputed ] Others update them weekly,[disputed ] which is preferred. Other update schedules—ranging from once every few weeks to every time the article is refreshed—are also sometimes used.

Queue features in advance[edit]

One way to facilitate the updates is to queue them up in advance. Wikipedia contains some system variables (see Help:Variables), such as {{CURRENTWEEK}}, and {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}. These can be incorporated into wikilinks.

For example [[Selected picture/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTYEAR}}]] would link to [[Selected picture/May 2006]] during May 2006. This link would automatically update to [[Selected picture/June 2006]] in June.

Knowing this, you can set up several of the Selected picture monthly subpages in advance. You can instead use the {{CURRENTWEEK}} variable to make the selected picture update weekly, rather than monthly.

Portal culling[edit]

In 2018, the number of portals became controversial, and the community was divided on what to do about it. A proposal to delete all portals was resolved in the negative. Subsequently, via WP:MfD, many portals have been deleted individually or in small groups.

Reasons for deletion have included:

  • Very narrow breadth of the portal topic
  • Out-of-date content
  • Negligible page views
  • Negligible edits providing needed maintenance
  • Dependence on attribution-failing subpages
  • Point-of-view failings of the presented material.
  • Point-of-view abuse vulnerability of the portal

Alternatives to deletion[edit]

Per deletion policy (ATD), consider alternatives to deletion.

  • If editing can fix the problem, do it.
  • Disputes over page content are usually not dealt with by deleting the page, except in severe cases.
  • Deletion should not be used for archiving a page.

Alternatives to deletion of a portal include:

  • Redirection of a too-narrow portal to a higher level portal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "You don't have to join our project to work on military history articles. We welcome everyone who wants to help improve these topics, and encourage you—project member or not—to participate in all of our activities and take complete advantage of the support we offer."