A protected page is a page where certain groups of users are prevented from editing and/or moving at all. For protected images, uploading can be restricted as well. Only users with protection rights can change the protection level of a page or image. Most commonly, wiki guardians and administrators have these rights.
Users with protection rights will see the option in the action menu accessible by hovering the mouse cursor over a downward pointed arrow in the top right of the page, usually near the search box. Depending on the page's current level of protection, it may say either "Protect" or "Change protection".
Determining if a page is protectedEdit
A page that is protected will display a notice near the top when it is open for editing or when its source is viewed. This means clicking "Edit" or "View source" is the quickest way to determine if a page is protected.
You may see one of the following on a protected page:
- "Note: This page has been protected so that only registered users can edit it." This is a page that can only be edited by a registered user who is logged in. Anonymous users cannot edit the page.
- "Warning: This page has been protected so that only users with administrator privileges can edit it." Generally, this means only wiki guardians, administrators, and Gamepedia staff can edit the page.
- "Warning: You are editing a page that is used to provide interface text for the software." This and similar messages refer to a different type of protection. See Namespace protection below for more information.
Unprotected content on protected pagesEdit
Note that while a given page may be protected, the content you want to edit might actually be on another page. There may be links on the page itself to help you find where the content is actually located. Alternatively, the person who protected it may have left a message; view the page source and check underneath the protection message at the top. The final option is the study the source to see if the content you want to edit is actually elsewhere.
Guardians and administratorsEdit
Full protection and semi-protectionEdit
Experienced wiki administrators will often refer to two different levels of protection. These terms aren't found in the actual protection interface itself.
- Semi-protection: this is the "Allow only autoconfirmed users" option. On Gamepedia, this effectively restricts editing (or other actions) to registered users only, but no other special right or permissions are required. This is often used to protect against spamming or vandalism by anonymous users.
- Full protection: this is the "Allow only administrators" option. This generally limits editing or other actions on that page to wiki guardians, administrators, and Gamepedia staff. Technically speaking, a user needs to be in a group with the editprotected right to perform protected actions on a fully protected page.
When to protect a pageEdit
As a general rule of thumb, wikis should be left open to editing, but this isn't always practical on every page at all times.
There are a couple situations where it is common to protect a page indefinitely.
- When vandalism or page moves would have an unusually severe impact, a page is often semi or fully protected. This is common practice for a wiki's main page because it can be a very tempting target for vandalism and could be seen by many users before it was corrected.
- Important templates may be protected as well for performance reasons. Changing some heavily-used and complex templates can cause a wiki to lag badly as the wiki catches up with the changes.
Protecting a deleted pageEdit
In rare cases, a spammer or vandal may repeatedly create the same page over and over. A page does not need to actually exist to be protected, so both deleted pages and pages that never existed can be protected to prevent users from creating them. If the page title is something that a user wouldn't ever have a legitimate use for, indefinite protection is often warranted.
Most other protection scenarios only call for a page to be temporarily protected. This can be done by selecting a time period in the "Expires" dropdown, or simply by later changing the protection level to "Allow all users" at a later time.
The following are some reasons why a page might be temporarily protected:
- A frequently vandalized page may be protected for a while. When spambots regularly vandalize a certain page, protecting the page for a couple weeks or a month is often enough to discourage them for even longer. Usually, though, you'd want to avoid full protection if possible.
- If a conflict arises where editors are reverting each others' edits, briefly protecting the page can sometimes be necessary to get their attention. This is sometimes a better and quicker option than blocking the users.
Namespace protection is similar to page protection, but is set up differently. It can only be done by Gamepedia staff because it is done through the wiki configuration. The most common case is the MediaWiki namespace, which is protected by default, allowing only those with administrative rights to edit it. It is not common for other namespaces to be protected, but you may see this on some Gamepedia wikis.