Wikipedia:User page

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For usernames in general, see Wikipedia:Username (WP:USERNAME).

Wikipedia provides user pages for easier communication among people in its project to build an encyclopedia.

If your username is Example:

The Special:Mypage and Special:Mytalk special pages will take each user to her or his own user and user talk pages. Others will not be able to find your user page using Special:Mypage, they will be able to visit it only by going to User:Example (for the example user).

Details about you generally should not go in the main namespace, which is only for encyclopedic content.

If you do not want to have a user page, then you should redirect it to your user talk page to make it easier for other editors.

What can I have on my user page?

To start with, you could add a userpage notice. The text "{{userpage}}" will make a tag which looks something like the one below. You do not have to do this but it can be helpful, especially for viewers new to Wikipedia who might not know what a personal page is doing on an encyclopedia.

This is a Simple English Wikipedia user page.

If you find this page on a site that is not Wikipedia, you are viewing a mirror site, or a different website that is a copy of Wikipedia. The page may be old and the owner of this page may not have a relationship with sites that are not Wikipedia. The original page is here.

Your user-page is for anything that is about the Simple Wikipedia project. It is wrong to think of it as a homepage: Wikipedia is not a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site. Instead, think of it as a way of organizing the work that you are doing on the articles in Wikipedia, and also a way of helping other editors to understand with whom they're working.

Some people add information about themselves, such as their email address and instant messaging, a photograph, their real name, where they live, what they are good at, their interests, likes and dislikes, homepages, and so on. If you are concerned with your privacy, you may not want to and do not have to do this.

You can use your user page to help you to use Wikipedia more effectively: to list "to do" information, works in progress, reminders, useful links, and so on. It's also good for trying out things (that is, as a personal sandbox).

Another common use is to let people know about what you are doing on Wikipedia, and what you think about Wikipedia. So you might include current plans, your recent edits on Wikipedia, and your helpful ideas on how Wikipedia articles or policies should be changed. If you won't be editing Wikipedia for a while, put a note on your user page to let others know.

You might want to add quotations that you like, or a picture, or some of your favorite Wikipedia articles or images (freely licensed only – see the What can I not have on my user page section below), or the like.

Others may also edit your user page, giving you a barnstar or leaving other images for you. In the event that your editing rights on Wikipedia are stopped, a notice of this may be placed on your user page.

If you want to dual-license your contributions under an extra license or declare them all public domain, you may put a notice to this effect on your user page. Because of the large templates and long category names, some editors move the license templates to a subpage (see below). Whether you include a license statement or not, all your edits on Wikipedia are also licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

You may include one or more Wikipedian categories, such as Category:Wikipedian musicians. Wikipedian categories help Wikipedians with similar interests to meet and talk. They are like Wikiprojects, but are much less formal. Wikipedian categories should not overlap with article categories. It is important to include the word "Wikipedian" in such category names. Also, they should be categories within the general Wikipedian category. See also: Wikipedia:User categorisation. Many users include mentions of the languages they know (see Wikipedia:Babel).

Many users like to add userboxes to their user pages. These are similar to the Babel templates but are usually more about what users do on Wikipedia, what their interests are, their political and religious beliefs, etc. Note that some userboxes also exist in user space, and a directory of them can be found here.

You are welcome to include a link to your personal home page, although you should not include it with any promotional language.

Note: user pages are often reached through user signatures on talk pages.

What about user subpages?

If you need more pages, you can make subpages. More or less, you can have anything here that you might have on your user or user talk page.

Examples:

  • A work in progress, until it is ready to be moved into mainspace (this is not necessary, though some people do this)
  • Archives of user talk
  • Tests; for testing a template, make it a separate subpage.
  • Parts of the main page that are big enough to need their own page, e.g. a page of awards you have received or pictures you have taken.
  • A userbox which can be used by other users.

What can I not have on my user page?

Generally, you should avoid a lot of content on your user page that is not about Simple Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a hosting service, so your user page is not a personal homepage. Your page is about you as a Wikipedian. Examples of unrelated content include:

  • A weblog about your non-Wikipedia activities
  • Discussions not about Wikipedia
  • Too much personal information (more than a couple of pages) not about Wikipedia
  • Too many personal opinions on matters unrelated to Wikipedia, wiki philosophy, collaboration, free content, the Creative Commons, etc.
  • Other non-encyclopedic material
  • Polemical statements:
libelling people on userpages is a bad idea, and in fact, using userpages to attack people or campaign for or against anything or anyone is a bad idea
- Jimbo Wales,[1] Wikipedia co-founder
  • Games, roleplaying sessions, and other things about "entertainment" and not "writing an encyclopedia," particularly if they involve people who are not active participants in the project. (cite as WP:UP#Games) (compare Category:Wikipedia games and Category:Wikipedia Word Association.)
  • Communications with people uninvolved with the project or related work
  • Images which you are not free to use (see below)

In general, if you have material that you do not want others to edit, or that is not suitable for Wikipedia, it should be placed on a personal web site. There are many free and low-cost web hosting, email, and weblog services which are a good alternative for content non Wikipedia content. You might also want to think about Wikia for wiki-style community collaboration.

The Wikipedia community is generally friendly and offers a lot of freedom in using these guidelines to regular editors. Particularly, community-building activities that are not strictly "on topic" may be allowed, especially when started by committed Wikipedians with good edit histories. At their best, such activities help us to build the community, and this helps to build the encyclopedia. But at the same time, if user page activity becomes disruptive to the community or gets in the way of the task of building an encyclopedia, it must be changed.

Redirecting your userpage to another page (other than your talk page or a subpage of your user page) is annoying for some people. Doing so makes it difficult to follow links to your userpage and thus to leave you messages or to look at your contributions. You could, of course, redirect the userpage for an older account of yours to the userpage of your current account.

Do not put your userpage or subpages, including work-in-progress articles, into categories used by Wikipedia articles. Be careful of templates and stub notices that put a work-in-progress article into categories. You can "quote" categories by adding a colon before "Category", like this: [[:Category:Bridges]]. This turns it into an ordinary link. Templates and stub notices can be turned into links to themselves by putting tl| ("tl" followed by a pipe character) in front of their names, like this: {{tl|stub}}

Copies of other pages

While userpages and subpages can be used to make new content, this space is not meant to keep your version of disputed or previously deleted content forever. In other words, Wikipedia is not a free web host. Private copies of pages that are being used only for long-term archival purposes may be deleted.

Pages kept in userspace should not replace articles or Wikipedia space pages. If you find that your user subpage has become as useful as a normal article or project page, think about moving it into the proper namespace or merging it with other similar pages already existing there. You should never create links from a mainspace article to any userpage, nor should a userspace essay be used as the main source for any Wikipedia policy, guideline, practice, or concept.

Images on user pages

Please do not include non-free images (images uploaded to Wikipedia without the permission of the copyright owner, or under licenses that do not permit commercial use) on your user page or on any subpage thereof (this is official policy and the usual wide user page latitude does not apply, see Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria for details). Non-free images found on a user page (including user talk pages) may be removed (you could replace it with a link to the image) from that page without warning and be deleted if not used in a Wikipedia article.

What is discouraged on my user page?

False credentials

  • The Wikipedia community does not want users making false claims to academic or other professional credentials on user pages.

Simulated MediaWiki interfaces

  • The Wikipedia community generally does not like copying the MediaWiki interface, and it should be avoided.

Inappropriate content

There is broad agreement that you may not include in your user space material that is likely to bring the project into disrepute, or which is likely to give widespread offence. Wikipedia is not a soapbox is usually means user space as well as the encyclopaedia itself. You do have more freedom in user space than elsewhere, but remember: don't be a dick about it.

Ownership and editing of pages in the user space

As a tradition, Wikipedia offers some freedom to users to use their user space as they see fit. However, pages in user space still do belong to the community:

  • Contributions must be licensed under the GFDL, just as articles are.
  • Other users may edit pages in your user space, although by convention your user page will usually not be edited by others.
  • Community policies, including Wikipedia:No personal attacks, apply to your user space just as they do elsewhere. Article content policies such as WP:OR generally do not.
  • In some cases, material that does not somehow further the goals of the project may be removed (see below), as well as edits from banned users.

In general it is considered polite to not make big changes to another's user page without their permission. Some users are fine with their user pages being edited, and may even have a note to that effect. Other users may object and ask you not to edit their user pages, and it is probably sensible to respect their requests. The best option is to draw their attention to the matter on their talk page and let them edit their user page themselves if they agree on a need to do so. In some cases a more experienced editor may make an important edit to your userpage, in which case that editor should leave a note on your talk page explaining why this was done. This should only be done for important reasons.

Policy does not prohibit users from removing comments from their own talk pages, though archiving is preferred. Please note, though, that the removal of good-faith warnings, even though permitted, is often frowned upon.

See also: Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments

Removal

If the community lets you know that they want you to delete some content from your user space, you should think about doing so — such content is only permitted with the consent of the community. After you've been here for a while, and written lots of great articles, the community may be more inclined to let you get away with it. You could move the content to another site, and link to it.

If you do not cooperate, the inappropriate content will be removed, either by editing the page (if only part of it is inappropriate), or by redirecting it to your main user page (if it is entirely inappropriate).

In some cases, your user subpage may be deleted, following a listing on Requests for deletion, subject to deletion policy.

How do I create a user subpage?

In all namespaces except for the article namespace (where articles are created), it is possible to create a subpage of a "parent" page. So if a page is called "PAGE", a subpage of "PAGE" with the name "SUBPAGE" would be located at "PAGE/SUBPAGE".

User:Example/Lipsum is an example of a user subpage for User:Example. Your user page, if it exists yet, is here. If you wanted to create a user subpage called "Sandbox", you would find it here.

New editors and experienced Wikipedians can use subpages to their user page to work on templates and articles, test wikitext markup, and create new articles before moving them to the main Wikipedia space.

There are several common uses for user subpages:

  1. To place user page-appropriate content on a separate page in order to avoid having a large user page or merely not to conspicuously display it (for example, an awards page).
  2. To plan large changes to articles, new articles, or allow Wikipedians to draft graphical layout overhauls.
  3. To discuss views on Wikipedia, how it works, or behavior of Wikipedians in general.
  4. To test wikimarkup or LaTeX. User pages and user subpages can be transcluded and substituted, so they behave like templates, and can be tested as such. Pages meant for testing are called sandboxes; there is a sandbox for general testing, but not for long-term development, as it is regularly cleaned by a bot.

To link to a user subpage called "Sandbox" from your main user page, place the text

[[/Sandbox]]

On your page, or use a piped link with the same source. Make sure to experiment on your user page, not on this page! Do not forget the first forward slash or you will put the page in the main namespace as a regular article and will have to ask for quick deletion if you save what you write (by tagging the page with {{QD}}). If your user page does not have a subpage named "Sandbox", the link will appear to be red, showing that a page has no content, and if you just navigate away without saving any content the page will not be created and there is nothing to delete.

Sandboxes are useful for testing changes to pages, but once you are sure of yourself regarding an edit, you can just click on the "Show preview" button, and proof-read thoroughly. If you need help creating a user subpage, you can get assistance at WP:UPH.

How do I delete a user subpage?

You can easily ask for the deletion of any of your user subpages (or possibly your user page) by adding {{qd|U1}} to the top of page, or you might consider simply making the page redirect to your user page. This is normally enough for most people's needs. There may however be a reason for the page to be kept.

Only tag for deletion your own personal pages, and only if you have a proper reason for requesting a personal subpage of yours to be deleted.

Pages which were once in a different namespace and moved to a subpage of the user namespace may not be deleted in this way. These must be listed either at Articles for deletion, or if they were not found originally in the article namespace, at Miscellany for deletion. On the other hand, if you'd just like them to be moved back, then by all means ask at Wikipedia:Requested moves.

How do I delete my user and user talk pages?

Where there is no significant abuse and no administrative need to keep the personal information, you can ask that your own user page and user subpages be deleted. This usually happens when a long term editor decides to leave.

Just add to the page: {{QD|U1}}. A sysop will then delete it after checking that the page does not have evidence of policy violations that may need to be kept. If there has been no disruptive behavior meriting the retention of that personal information, then the sysop can delete the page straight away in order to eliminate general public distribution of the history containing the information. Others may ask for undeletion if they feel there was in fact a need to keep the page. In such a case, the page should be undeleted and listed on Miscellany for deletion for a period of five days following the deletion of the user page. If a user page was deleted because an editor left, it may be restored by a sysop if the editor comes back, particularly if the history contains evidence of policy violations.

As a matter of practice user talk pages are usually not deleted, barring legal threats or other grievous violations that have to be removed for legal reasons; however, exceptions to this can be and are made on occasion for good reason (see also Right to vanish).

User pages that have been deleted can be remade with a blank page, or a link to Wikipedia:Missing Wikipedians to stop red links pointing to them.

What other information is accessible to others from my user page?

In addition to the usual information accessible from an article page such as page history, "Discuss this page" and the like, other users at Wikipedia can also click "User's changes" (in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page) to see what contributions you have made at Wikipedia over time. See MediaWiki User's Guide: User contributions page for more. Please note that having your user page deleted does not delete this list of your contributions.

Visitors to your user page can also click "E-mail this user" if you have opted in your user preferences to be able to send and receive email. See Wikipedia:Emailing users.

Old IP talk pages

Talk pages of anonymous users may be blanked or deleted as part of routine housekeeping if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Never been blocked
  2. Not using any unsubstituted templates (e.g., {{SharedIPEDU}})
  3. No edits within the last year
  4. No talk page activity within the last year
  5. No incoming links to the page

Footnotes

  1. Jimbo's comment on libel on userpages