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Wikitravel:Article templates

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To provide for a more consistent layout for readers of Wikitravel, we use article templates for most destination-style articles. You can use the following templates either to start a new article, or as guidelines for reformatting or adding to existing articles. If you want a rapid way of adding the necessary categories to an article, you should just add the boilerplate template eg. {{subst:smallcity}} to an article, press save and all the categories will appear.

How to use the templates

There are two main ways these article templates can be useful.

  • For creating new articles: when you're creating a new article, look for the template that most closely fits the subject of your article. For example, if you're making a new article about a region, copy-and-paste the Wiki markup from the region article template, and then start adding in the information that you know. Please make sure you remove the instructions (all italicized text); otherwise, it will be confusing for the next editor.
  • For editing existing articles: if you want to add a new restaurant listing to New York, you can refer to the huge city article template to see how it's done. Similarly, if someone else has added in a bunch of stuff to an article, and you want to reorganize it, you can refer to the appropriate template to see how we like to have stuff organized.

Note that these templates are not MediaWiki templates. See Wikitravel:using Mediawiki templates.



There are really no hotels or campgrounds in name of small city. Do I still have to have a Sleep section?

Yes. The following sections are obligatory and should be in every article:

  • Get in
  • Get around
  • See
  • Eat
  • Sleep

For example, if a town has absolutely no places to sleep, then you should note this in the Sleep section. If you just don't have any information at hand, then leave the section empty, and somebody else will come along to fill it up.

Subsections, on the other hand, can and should be removed if it makes sense to do so. For example, Easter Island doesn't need a By train section under Get in or Get around, because it's a trainless island in the middle of the ocean.

Why do all the sections have such weird names? What about Lodging and Restaurants instead?

The main reason we do this is because we don't want Wikitravel guides to look just like any existing commercial guides. Why not? Well, first, so Wikitravel stuff looks distinctive. People should see a guide and say, "Hey! See, Do, Eat - this came from Wikitravel! Those guys rock!" The other is to discourage wholesale copyright violation by well-meaning but ill-informed contributors. We don't want folks copying stuff in directly from their tattered 1974 Europe on a Shoestring guidebook. We figured that if the formatting and stuff was different enough, that would be too much of a hassle to deal with.

I have a section I want to add, but it's not about Eat, Do, See, Sleep, Get In, or any of those. What do I do?

First, make sure it really doesn't fit in with the templates. Where you can stick it gives some ideas for where to put different kinds of info. Usually you can fit it in as a sub-section of one of the main sections - such as Understand. If your information really doesn't fit anywhere, sure, go ahead and add the section. If you think it's something that is really general, that we'll need for all countries/regions/cities/whatevers, then add it to the template, too. Give an explanation of why it's needed, and how to use it.

I have an article I want to add, but it's not a city, region, country, or anything else with a template. What do I do?

First of all, make sure that your contribution is really something we want to have on Wikitravel. Check our goals and non-goals as well as What is an article?. But if you're really superabsolutelypositively sure, just start the article without a template.

What's the difference between a small, big and huge city?

Well, it's more a matter of the size of the article than the size of the city. But you could break it down like this: small cities are cities that aren't going to have a ton of information on them. We just take some of the most important sections about a city - where to eat, where to sleep, what to see - and put them in the small city's article. Big cities are cities big enough that we need all the sections about a city in there. A huge city is a city that's so big that we can't fit all the information into one page. So we just get some overarching information and highlights about the city onto the main city page, and then put other info into the pages for the districts in the city. So, there's nothing really rigid about the differences - just different ways of writing about the cities.

What template should be used for Islands?

Firstly, make sure that the island merits an article—we don't create articles for every rock in the sea.

Which template to use depends on the island. If the island is itself a country, like Madagascar, use the country article template. If the island contains several cities/towns that each merit an individual article (like Maui), make it a region article. If the island is small, and only has one city, or a handful of tiny settlements, don't subdivide it, use a small city article template. For example, there's no reason to create a separate article for Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.

Where did the "External links" sections go?

We used to have an External links section but, removed it for the following reasons:

  • It was was being abused by spammers and others who didn't read the External links policy.
  • It meant that relevant links to another website got separated from other information in the article.

Contributors should be aware that to avoid slippery slopes only external links to primary sources are allowed within the body of Wikitravel articles; a link to a hotel's web site is a primary source, but a link to a site that reviews hotels is not a primary source. See the external links policy for additional details of when external links are OK, and how they should be used.

See also

  • Wikitravel:Using Mediawiki templates, for policy concerning the use of the Wiki software's automated inclusion feature (which has nothing to do with article templates, but is confusingly similarly named)