[Portal] Portal

Portals serve as enhanced "Main Pages" for specific broad subjects. Portals are meant primarily for readers, while encouraging them to become editors of Wikipedia by providing links to project space. Portals are created for encyclopedic topics only and not for article maintenance categories.

Where to find portals

To see if a subject you are reading has a portal, check the bottom of the page (in the article's See also section) for a link to a corresponding portal. Such links may look like this:

or this (see the box to the far right):

Or, in the search box, type "Portal:" followed by the subject, like this: Portal:Biography.

Portal:Contents/Portals is the main listing of portals, arranged by subject. Note that there is a delay between a portal's creation and its addition to the listing.

Category:All portals is a comprehensive listing, including all old and new portals, and even portals under construction.

Portals are also largely inter-accessible with users able to navigate from one portal to another. Universal features, such as the portals browsebar (which links to top-level portals), and the portals template (which links to Portal:Contents/Portals), allow for convenient browsing. Moreover, portals are also categorised according to hierarchy. Portals, in most instances, also link to their Related portals (those lateral to them) and their Subportals (those that descend from them).

Portals for top-level subjects are also linked from the Main Page.

You can also use the Special:Search box below to locate Portals and sub-pages.

The nature of portals

What is a portal?

Portals are pages intended to serve as "Main Pages" for specific topics or areas. They are analogous to Wikipedia's Main Page, the subject of which is knowledge (the broadest subject of all). Portals narrow down the scope a bit to a more specific subject, and they vary in format and approach. Like the Main Page, which itself is not an article per se, portals are supplemental to the encyclopedia, and provide various alternate approaches to exploring a subject. Innovation is desired and encouraged.

Each portal is named for the subject it covers. We have a portal called "Geography", for example. To set them apart from articles, portals have their own namespace, and so the title of each portal is always preceded by "Portal:". So, the one on geography is called Portal:Geography.

It may help to look at a couple definitions for the word "portal" from Wiktionary:

  1. An entrance, entry point, or means of entry. For example: The local library, a portal of knowledge.
  2. A website or page that acts as an entrance to other websites or pages on the Internet.

While these definitions may also fit Wikipedia's regular articles (like Geography, for example), such articles are constrained primarily to presenting a description of their respective subjects. The essence of regular articles is that they are prose overviews. That makes them less than ideal for navigating their entire subject.

When a subject goes beyond the capacity of a single page, that page is called the subject's root article (its title is the name of the broader subject). But, Wikipedia's coverage of subjects goes way beyond what is on a root article's page. For example, there are over 40,000 articles on mathematics. While the article mathematics summarizes the general subject in descriptive terms, it becomes obvious that there can be other approaches to navigating Wikipedia's overall coverage of this and other subjects.

That's where Wikipedia's various navigation systems come in, including portals. Portal:Mathematics, for instance, provides a selection of reading samples and links to delve into Wikipedia's coverage of mathematics further. A good synonym for a portal is "doorway to knowledge".

Purposes of portals

Each portal on Wikipedia acts as an alternative entrance to a subject. Portals supplement the encyclopedia. They support their subjects in various ways, including but not limited to:

  1. Providing a variety of sample content of subtopics ("topic tasters"), from within each portal's subject, that the reader may find interesting. Kind of like a magazine. Like what Wikipedia's Main Page does in general.
  2. Aiding navigation. Portals are one of Wikipedia's navigation subsystems, designed to help users find their way around the vast amount of knowledge on Wikipedia to material within a particular subject. So, in addition to sample content, a portal may also present in various ways, links, and lists of links.
  3. Providing bridges between reading and editing, and between the encyclopedia proper and the Wikipedia community, via links to pages in project space (and the other namespaces) that are relevant to the portal's subject. A portal may be associated with one or more WikiProjects; unlike a WikiProject, however, it is meant for both readers and editors of Wikipedia, and should promote content and encourage contribution. Note that portals are created for encyclopedic topics only and not for article maintenance categories.

Features of portals

Most portals have some combination of the following features...

Selected content

Portals typically include one or more selected content sections that display one or more images or article excerpts. Such as:

  • Selected featured article
  • Selected featured picture
  • Selected general article
  • Selected general articles
  • Selected image
  • Selected images
  • Selected biography
  • Selected biographies
  • Selected team
  • Selected teams
  • Etc.

Excerpts in portals of the new design are selectively transcluded so that they do not go stale. Unlike copy/pasted excerpts, they always match their source (which, however, is usually not written with the use on portal pages in mind), and do not fork. See Portal:Canada for an example that uses {{Transclude random excerpt}} and {{Transclude lead excerpt}}.

The slideshow components are powered by templates/modules that present excerpts or images from designated sources in a slideshow interface (the slideshow gizmo itself was developed elsewhere in the community). For an example of a single-page portal with multiple excerpt slideshows using {{Transclude files as random slideshow}}, see Selected images in Portal:England.

In the news

Most portals include a conditional In the news section, that only shows up if there are items to display. It is powered by a search of the content of the current events portal, a major department in its own right, including its events by month subpages. To improve the results, change the parameters of the search (you can edit or add search parameters).

Manually maintained news sections, in which entries are posted by hand, that have fallen out-of-date, should be replaced with a conditional news section. See {{Transclude selected current events}} for more information.

Did you know

Most portals include a conditional Did you know section, that only shows up if there are items to display. It is powered by a search of the content of Wikipedia:Recent additions and its subpages (the Did you know archives). To improve the results, change the parameters of the search (you can edit or add search parameters). See Wikipedia:Portal/topicons This task imports certain dynamically-generated Wikinews pages into:

  • Wikipedia portals that use a /Wikinews subpage and
  • Wikipedia articles that use a {{Wikinewshas}} subpage with the same name as the article.

Lists on Wikinews are rendered dynamically, so the items are extracted from the resulting HTML.

These imports are accomplished by implementing the setup steps described below. The bot checks for updates on an hourly basis and only updates if there has been a change.


1. Create a subpage at Wikinews using the DynamicPageList function, e.g., n:Portal:Film/Wikipedia (if there is a category instead of a portal, do not make a category subpage, instead, make a subpage of n:Wikinews:Wikinews Importer Bot). Insert code similar to the following. (See n:Wikinews:DynamicPageList for more info on DynamicPageList syntax.)

category=<category name>
notcategory=No publish
</DynamicPageList><noinclude>'''Note.''' This page is used by the [[w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot|Wikinews Importer Bot]] to update the [[w:Portal:<destination page>|Wikipedia <destination> Portal news]].

2. Create a sub-subpage at a portal news section, e.g., Portal:Film/Film news/Wikinews, and insert the following code.

{{User:Wikinews Importer Bot/config|page=Portal:<source page name>}}

Remember, the bot checks for updates on an hourly basis and only updates if there has been a change. You can wait for the first update or manually copy over the original links from the source page. Insert code similar to the following for an initial manual copy of Wikinews items.

* [[wikinews:<first news item>|<first news item>]]
* [[wikinews:<second news item>|<second news item>]]
* etc.
{{User:Wikinews Importer Bot/config|page=Portal:<source page name>}}

Optional parameter: A custom indentation string can be passed using the |indent= parameter (which defaults to |indent=* if not specified). See example below.

{{User:Wikinews Importer Bot/config|indent=**|page=Portal:<source page name>}}

3. Transclude the above page to the news section page, e.g., Portal:Film/Film news. Insert code similar to the following.

'''[[:wikinews:Portal:<source>|Wikinews <source> portal]]'''<div style="float:right;margin-left:0.9em"> 
default [[n:Main Page|Read and edit Wikinews]] 
desc none</imagemap></div>
{{Portal:<destination page in step 2>}}


The setup for articles is very similar to the setup for portals. The basic steps, with important differences and examples are listed below.

1. Create a subpage at Wikinews the same way they are made for portals. In fact, if the source specifications are the same, e.g., number of items and date usage, it is possible to use the same source for both a portal and an article, although the following setup steps differ. In this case, the "Note." directs to an article instead of a portal. (Include all destinations used by the same source.)

category=<category name>
</DynamicPageList><noinclude>'''Note.''' This page is used by the [[w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot|Wikinews Importer Bot]] to update the [[w:<destination page>|Wikipedia <destination> article]].

2. Start a subpage at {{Wikinewshas}} that matches the article name where you want the list to go, e.g. {{Wikinewshas/Film}}. Include code such as the following:

{{User:Wikinews Importer Bot/config|page=Portal:<source page name>}}

3. Place {{Wikinewshas}} on the desired article, typically in the "External links" section. Use the Only header, "automatic" content option. Link to a Wikinews portal with code such as the following, e.g. at Film#External links:

{{Wikinewshas|related<br />[[wikinews:Portal:Film|Film news]]}}

After a topical subpage is created, its news can be added to related articles by explicitly including the subpage as the second parameter. Add code such as the following:

{{Wikinewshas|related<br />[[wikinews:Portal:Film|Film news]]|{{Wikinewshas/Film}}}}

User pages

Two templates, {{Wikinewshas}} and {{Wikinews table}}, can be added to user pages for selected Wikinews topics. For example, the following parameters will display film Wikinews as shown.

{{Wikinewshas|the latest<br />[[n:Category:Film|film news]]|{{Portal:Film/Film news/Wikinews}}}}
{{Wikinews table
|width     = 
|topic     = film
|newspage  = Category:Film
|pediapage = {{Portal:Film/Film news/Wikinews}}
Latest film news from Wikinews
Read and edit Wikinews

Visit Category:Film to read and write news articles in more detail.

See also

Some portals also contain manually curated Did you know section that only shows recent topic-related DYKs.

Need help?

The reference desk is designed to assist editors with improving articles and is not a place for readers to ask random questions. The Need help? section that looks like this should be removed when found:

Need help?

Do you have a question about Portal to which you can't find the answer?

Consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Get involved

On most portals, the Get involved section is conditional, showing up only when a corresponding WikiProject exists.

It provides a link between the encyclopedia and the Wikipedia community, serving as a bridge to draw readers into becoming editors in collaboration with other editors.


The Subcategories section presents a Special:CategoryTree. It is expandable/collapsible, and is configured to show categories only.


The Subtopics section displays a navigation template, automatically reformatted to blend into the page's format. If there isn't one available, the editor can change the parameter to one that does exist, or provide links manually.

Recognized content

Recognized content sections are maintained by User:JL-Bot, which keeps an updated list of relevant featured and good articles there, and featured lists, if any. The bot has been around for years, and is very well tested. This section is conditional, and only shows up if there are entries to display.

Associated WikiMedia

The Associated Wikimedia section displays the {{Wikimedia for portals}} template and links to sister projects with a search query matching the portal's title.


A portal developer (you) may be creative and provide features not covered above. Innovation is desired and encouraged. Try to develop low-maintenance features.

Portal development and maintenance

How to get involved

Just as with Wikipedia at large, portals can be edited by anyone. However, it is important to pay due regard to the established work of others. Editors are always welcome to maintain individual portals; if you would like to participate in the upkeep of a particular portal, note your intention on its talk page, list yourself as a maintainer at Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Specific portal maintainers, then get to work – thank you!

A WikiProject on Portals has been founded to coordinate portal activity. Current priorites include developing standards for all portals, further improvement to portal design, and the ongoing maintenance of portals. Other tasks include the integration of portals into the encyclopedia, and their categorization.

Immediate attention is needed on portals listed in Category:Portals under construction and Category:Portals needing attention.

How to add portal links to articles


The location used to place a portal template in an article is normally the See also section. If there is no See also section, make one. Note: The Manual of Style for medicine-related articles advises against creating See also sections.


Inline format for the left side with normal sized text and a coding that is supported by mobile versions of Wikipedia pages: See Template:Portal-inline for a listing of parameters.

The bar format is normally used for multiple portals. Note: this coding is only supported on mobile versions if the border=no parameter is used. This template does not belong in the "See also" section. Per MOS:SECTIONORDER, this template is bottom matter and goes below standard navigation template.

{{Portal bar|Canada|Example|border=no}}

The box on the right format with small text can incorporate multiple portals. Note: this coding is not supported on mobile versions:



For portals that don't have an icon assigned to them yet, the default portal puzzle piece will display larger, like this:

How to make a good portal

Most portals present the following:

  • A selected article and/or picture;
  • Links into the main category for the topic and possibly subcategories (some portals actually appear in the description page for the main category);
  • General information about the subject, or links thereto;
  • Links to other related portals (using templates);
  • Links to related WikiProjects (mainly for editors);
  • {{Sister project links}} can be used to add Wikimedia sister-project links to a portal;
  • Links to specific showcase articles within the scope of the portal topic;

You may want to embark on an effort to fill the related categories with appropriate articles if this has not been done already (or add it to the portal's "to do" list so visitors can help out).

How to create a portal

Before creating a portal, check to see if the subject is already covered at Portal:Contents/Portals (look for synonyms).

There is no single standard design for portals. For further ideas on portal design, browse existing portals. Unlike WikiProjects, portals should not be created for an article maintenance category, but only for encyclopedic topics.

Creating an individual portal does not require pre-approval.1 However, when creating multiple portals you must comply with WP:MEATBOT and WP:MASSCREATION.

How to categorize a portal

  • For a simple portal, simply add a specific subcategory of Category:Portals to the bottom of the portal page.
  • For a complex, multi-page portal, a portal category is needed.
  • Portal categories are generally named [[Category:TOPIC portal]] where the portal itself is named [[Portal:TOPIC]].
  • Portal categories are categorized under Category:Portals subcategories just like portals.
  • Portals with their own categories are only categorized in that category, which in turn is put into the other categories that the portal would have been in.

Portals and the core content policies

Portals are subject to the Wikipedia's five pillars and must comply with Wikipedia's core content policies (neutral point of view, no original research, verifiability, etc.).


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. This is called "follow through".

Content that is unique to a portal may be challenged in the portal, and must then be referenced in the portal, in the usual way, by inline citation using any of the accepted methods.

Content that is transcluded from another article does not need to be referenced in the portal as it should already be referenced in the original article. Any challenges to transcluded content must be done in the original article and not in the portal.

This page was last updated at 2021-02-15 08:54, update this pageView original page

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