Forum:Migrating from FANDOM to a new host

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hello i think it is time for The Sims Wiki to consider migrating from FANDOM to a new host.

FANDOM runs an old version of the wiki software that is not updated anymore and forces extensions that you dont seem to want such as Related Videos.

FANDOM staff are not helpful, take a long time to respond, do not allow freedom for the community and only care about money.

if you move to a new host you will have freedom, you wont have to use extensions you dont want and you will have full control to do what you want with your wiki.

i am willing to donate $10 and if everybody here gives some money then this will be a success.

what do you think?LaVemNana (talk) 11:47, March 9, 2019 (UTC)


Discussion[edit source]

I was hoping to try to keep discussion about this quiet for a bit, but I guess I should spill the beans...

While I am well aware of the arguments against migration (and they are still very valid and reasonable points), I was most put off by the migration of holocaust.wikia.com to holocaust.fandom.com, which pretty much did it for me.

So, I would like to unofficially officially say that The Sims Wiki is currently working on a possible migration away from Wikia onto a new wiki hosting platform. We are planning on moving to a service called Miraheze, a non-profit wiki farm that runs on donations. We at The Sims Wiki don't need donations (although we do appreciate the support); however, Miraheze certainly does. If you would like to help support the future of The Sims Wiki, the best way you can do so is to donate to Miraheze. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 20:00, March 9, 2019 (UTC)

But Miraheze is very unstable with frequent outages and security issues. Why would you want to move your wiki there? 135.0.165.219 (talk) 19:30, March 10, 2019 (UTC)
Then do tell us about a better wiki farm if you know one. Miraheze allows for a lot of customizability and their support is better than ShoutWiki, which is why I chose them over ShoutWiki. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 19:34, March 10, 2019 (UTC)
The holocaust wikis has been added to the wikia.org migration list. When the first pass of wikis slated for wikia.org was done, that wiki did not get picked up in the filter. That has been corrected. MisterWoodhouse (talk) 16:58, March 11, 2019 (UTC)


Hey gang! I'm Will and I'm new on the Gaming Community Team here on Fandom, coming in from Gamepedia team as a result of the Curse acquistion. Wanted to discuss what we can do to help improve the situation. Cheers. MisterWoodhouse (talk) 16:53, March 11, 2019 (UTC)

I dislike being blunt, but one thing that can be made better is if Fandom allowed communities to leave its ecosystem and supported their decisions to migrate, say by allowing wikis to be redirected, and not simply buying out companies that are hosting wikis that have left so they can be reintegrated into the ecosystem. It is these kinds of malicious business practices that make me not want to continue contributing here anymore. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 17:21, March 11, 2019 (UTC)
I am in a pretty unique position to speak to this, having come over in the acquisition. Many of the identified Crossover games so far indicate that they wish to have the combined community reside on Gamepedia. While it's now part of the ecosystem, it's operating as normal, with community-focused improvement on the horizon. Part of what's happening with the company right now is that we're evaluating past mistakes and moving forward with this community-first focus. MisterWoodhouse (talk) 17:29, March 11, 2019 (UTC)

To clarify (this goes for everyone reading this) this thread and my above posted comments do not constitute an official or definitive statement. Details on this migration are still scarce and there is even the chance it may not actually happen. All I can say is that we do have plans to migrate, but there is no knowing when such an event will actually occur, if ever. The current plan is to stay on Wikia for now. However, personally I am supportive of migration due to a long history of grievances with Wikia that I feel have been consistently failed to be addressed. This does not mean that the migration will for certain happen. Of course, if Wikia improves themselves to the point that it is supportive of wiki communities and editors and not simply catering to fans under a "fandom" label, then yes, we can stay, but as of now I personally doubt the needed changes will happen. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 17:53, March 11, 2019 (UTC)

So, let's talk! Beyond Featured Video (program is being worked on to improve based on NUMEROUS points of feedback) and MediaWiki upgrades (no news on this), where are areas we can improve to make you happy? Right now, we're working on bad ad reporting, partnering with the Warframe wiki to see how we can improve the process (to report bad ads, click here ). We're also studying the admin workflows on Fandom and Gamepedia to see where there's room to improve the lives of our admin users. MisterWoodhouse (talk) 18:07, March 11, 2019 (UTC)
I don't know if it's really my place to be commenting here given that I retired almost 5 years ago and mainly just lurk on Discord nowadays, but hey be bold and all.
There are many long-running issues that communities tend to have with Wikia, some of which are dating back years and despite their attempts to communicate their grievances across, they ultimately feel ignored and betrayed that their thoughts are seemingly not taken into consideration. I understand that it's impossible to please everybody, but I'll go ahead and list some key issues that communities, including but not limited to The Sims Wiki, have with Wikia:
  • Skin options - Wikia only has one skin available to use, which is the proprietary Oasis skin which was developed by Wikia. While I have no problem with the skin existing, users would like a choice. They want to use the Vector skin, used by Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia and pretty much every stock MediaWiki installation, but this is not and never was offered by Wikia. Monobook was removed allegedly due to GDPR violations (please enlighten me - this is not a problem for any other wiki on the internet whatsoever) and this move was extremely unpopular (Google "wikia monobook gdpr" and you'll see what I mean). Grievances regarding skin options also date back to when Monaco was deprecated back in 2010, so this is nothing new.
  • Forcing unpopular/unwanted extensions - Seeing this as the first thing when I load up the Community discussions forum speaks volumes. People tend to consider videos autoplaying on articles and following you as you scroll down to be a nuisance. There's also the fact that the Visual Editor is enabled by default unless users switch their Preferences to Source mode - not an option for anons and can make it easier to completely mess up an articles formatting as a result. Any requests to have these disabled per community consensus are denied, and if we use CSS/JS to disable them, we are reverted for breaking ToS. Even if Wikia gave communities more flexibility over what extensions they want to use - similar to what Miraheze has in place - it would at least be a step forward.
  • Preferential treatment of some wiki communities over others - When I was an admin, I often liased with Wikia staff to get new tools and features onto The Sims Wiki. They managed to meet me halfway on some of these issues - AbuseFilter (after multiple attempts), Gadgets, Bureaucrats flagging bots... I even enquired into the possibility for us to have local check users, even if it was just two or three admins, and I was declined every time citing privacy concerns, and while I can see why that would be a sticking point, other wikis seem to be exempt from this. We don't want these tools because we're power hungry or just for the sake of it - we want them so that we can work more effectively. So that we can better track problematic users. So that we can make our communities a better one to be a part of. I am a local check user on another wiki and the tool has been extremely valuable to me when it comes to dealing with problematic users. Same with Nuke, Revision Delete, AbuseFilter, you name it. I don't see why it is okay for some wikis to be granted these tools while others of similar sizes are left in the cold (I understand other hosts such as Miraheze and ShoutWiki also don't allow for local check users, but I'm not here to talk about those).
  • The direction of Wikia as a company - Look, I get it. Wikia wants to diversify and they've made that clear with the FANDOM branding. Fine. They can do what they want. What they need to understand is that in the process of moving towards more news outlet-like content, they are also alienating a significantly large portion of their userbase that know Wikia as a wiki host first and foremost. The rebranding has also been a major issue especially with URLs. Holocaust, Genocide, Terrorism... do I really need to explain what is wrong with this? A wikifarm that previously enabled you to write about anything, whether it be books, gaming, films, music, medical advice, historical events, stock trading, really isn't a suitable candidate for re-branding into a pop culture-influenced entertainment site.
  • Outdated software - Wikia runs on a frankenstein of MediaWiki 1.19 which is ridiculously out of date. New extensions won't work and security fixes have to be backported, and even then it doesn't always work because the base is so antiquated. The current stable build of MediaWiki is 1.32. Routine software updates are not only great for adding new features to the site but also contain vital security updates which are a must in this day and age.
These are just a few of the reasons why communities are looking to jump ship. People are generally passionate about the subject matter of their wiki, hence why they work to make it a better source of information. Whilst a more open minded approach towards what editors are saying as well as perhaps a more flexible approach to allow communities to tailor their wikis to what they want, such as with extensions and user rights, would be a step forward, I feel that ultimately the Wikia/FANDOM platform in its current state is not an optimal solution for hosting a wiki that wants to evolve on their own communities' terms.
May I suggest that if Wikia really does want to move towards being an entertainment site before anything else, then maybe consider spinning the wikifarm part of the business out and let developers and volunteers who are passionate about wikis and want to have the most technically forward, most secure and most flexible wiki platform manage this themselves? -- Lost Labyrinth 20px (c)(b) 01:03, March 12, 2019 (UTC)
Most of these concerns have been on our radar for a while and either are in process of being resolved or being looked into.
The inappropriate subject matter + Fandom combination issue is being resolved with a migration to wikia.org domains. Those two examples you gave are basically dead wikis, so they did not get picked up in our filter for wikia.org conversions.
I will look into VEditor default settings change for the entire wiki.
When I have more news on other concerns, I will report back or you'll see an announcement. - MisterWoodhouse (talk) 01:13, March 12, 2019 (UTC)
The inappropriate subject matter + Fandom combination issue is being resolved with a migration to wikia.org domains. No, the easiest solution to this was to not have started with the migration in the first place. There was no good reason to change the name of the entire site to Fandom when Wikia, a tried and true original name, worked well for so many years. Wikia evidently showed the company to be a wiki hosting service; Fandom does not. The rebranding to Fandom was setting out to fix a great mighty problem that didn't exist, and it has clearly created more problems than it has "fixed". Is there a reason why the entire ecosystem needs to have two domain names now? What does that even accomplish? Everything was fine being under wikia.com. Why on earth are wikis suddenly now either on fandom.com or wikia.org? The reasoning for this rebranding? And it clearly does not "reflect what we do as a community". The Sims Wiki is a wiki. Our primary goal is being a wiki, a knowledge base containing information about The Sims. We are not a "fandom" or a "collection of fans"; we may all be fans of The Sims series, but that doesn't make us a "fandom". We are here because we want to build a knowledge base, not to be a social gathering of fans. That is not our main purpose. Wikipedia editors are not necessarily fans of whatever they are writing about, so if a Wikipedia-like wiki existed on Wikia, what is even the rational basis on migrating them to the "Fandom" brand? Are you seriously going to tell me that the Bible Wiki (which got migrated to fandom.com, inexplicably) exists because of a gathering of people who were fans of the Bible? Madness! The main page of the wiki even writes: Bible Wiki is a database covering people, places, books, doctrine and history of the Bible. I don't see how "fandom" fits in with that mission, and Christians do not refer to themselves as "fans" of their religion. If it doesn't work for the Bible Wiki, it doesn't work for us. See too on our own Main Page: The Sims Wiki is a collaborative encyclopedia for everything related to The Sims series. We are first and foremost an encyclopedia, not a fandom.
The solution is not to provide the wikia.org solution as an opt-in basis... the "fandom.com" migration should never have been a thing. This whole migration is an absurd waste of time that makes me feel like the company as a whole is having an identity crisis in that it doesn't know what it wants to be. It wants to be a "fandom" entertainment website hosting "fan" articles (look at https://www.fandom.com/ and you'll see what I mean) while also trying to be a wiki farm that hosts different wikis of a wide variety of topics ranging from more than just entertainment and gaming. If the company does want to start hosting fan articles, fine—I have no objections to that. Just make "Fandom" a subsidiary of Wikia (or even better, its own separate company) rather than a full-on rebranding; the wiki farm remains Wikia and isn't dragged into this "Fandom" nonsense, which is incompatible with what we're trying to do building an encyclopedia of The Sims series here. The company can go ahead with building "fandom.com" as a totally different enterprise; just keep it away from the wiki communities where it evidently doesn't belong.
I am not simply talking about The Sims Wiki alone (and as such, granting us the exemption from fandom.com by allowing us to get a wikia.org domain while everyone else remains stuck on fandom.com doesn't sell it for me); I'm referring to the wiki farm as a whole. I edit actively on at least one other wiki that had its URL changed (not the domain name, but the wiki name) silently by staff without consultation or even a notification, and I am still furious about that. I'm still furious that we had autoplaying featured videos forcibly plastered onto the top of select pages without editor input (there is a forum thread where the general consensus to have them completely disabled, and I would say they should be disabled on all of Wikia, not just The Sims Wiki, because even readers dislike it—I've asked people on other Sims-related Discord servers and they don't like the videos either—and it clearly isn't just us that are annoyed by them too). I'm still furious over the same "We're listening to your feedback" spiel that has been repeated numerous times over the years, which should in theory have resulted in better service, but in reality has resulted in this "Fandom" nonsense that makes me feel like the Wikia of today has devolved into an absolute mess compared to the Wikia I joined back in 2011. As such, telling me more about how "Staff are listening" doesn't convince me anymore, because I'm being tired of being constantly deceived and lied to, or be told that my feedback hasn't been actioned on at all (I sent in two technical support tickets reporting bugs that were acknowledged but neither has had any technical progress made on them. By contrast, I've reported bugs on Miraheze in their Discord server—not even using Phabricator—and they had fixes being rolled out the next day. On Miraheze I feel like I have a much more direct access to their staff, and the fact that their development is entirely open, open source, and easy to see as code changes are announced on IRC, is one of the reasons why I'm starting to like them a lot more).
I feel like this is starting to devolve into a rant, and I should definitely stop as this has gone well off-topic from what this thread originally was started for (as an interesting side note, if you look at the OP's contributions, this thread should've been closed as a troll thread given how they haven't contributed anything but nonsense) (plus I've written too much for past 11pm having been up since 5:30 in the morning), but if Wikia really is community first, why are we not allowed to, as a community, leave Wikia and allow for our old site to be redirected to the new one if we feel it will be better for our wiki? I'd like for this question to be answered, brutally and honestly, and I am well aware that this may be a difficult question for Staff to answer, but I want them to answer nonetheless. If it's community first (and believe me, I feel like it's the shareholders who are first around here), why are we essentially being imprisoned into this ecosystem? —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 03:50, March 12, 2019 (UTC)
If you talk to the Gamepedia editors community, you'll find that I'm a straight shooter and don't overpromise or say more than I should.
All of the branding decisions you've referenced were made before I joined the company, so I cannot answer questions about their making with any authenticity. I do, however, have more info on the status of the two wikis you've mentioned which are bad branding examples. The terrorism wiki was created after the Fandom merges began, so it was never a Wikia domain. The genocide wiki was made in 2007 and has 5 pages. It looks to be a good candidate for deletion.
I understand your anger, as it is something which has been repeated by other communities. We're working to make the platform better and I understand if that will ring hollow to you until you see the results.
As for off-site forks, when we say community first, we have to focus on the communities we serve and can continue to improve for. When a community of editors decides to move off site, they are no longer a community we serve and our obligation belongs to the community remaining on the site. - MisterWoodhouse (talk) 17:02, March 12, 2019 (UTC)