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Building your Private Label Site

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2015 10:48PM BST
Now things get fun: it’s time to think about how you want people to use and feel about your site. Will every wiki in your site have consistent branding, or do you want your users to design their own wikis? Should every user be able to create a new wiki? Can guests make changes? Do you want the public to be able to see your site, or do you want to keep it private within your organization — or even just to a few users? What kinds of things do you want to have ready before the heavy traffic shows up? A few simple tools will help you create the environment that’s just right for your organization.

1. Permissions and Access

Where to go:
Site Administration > Settings > Users & Privacy

What it lets you do:
Make your site visible to the general public, or require users to sign in before they can view your site
Decide whether new users must be approved before they can participate
Keep your users’ original usernames, or allow users to change their own account names
Allow users to create new wikis, or restrict them to the structure that you’ve put in place
Turn private messaging on and off

How to use it:
Just check the options you want to turn on and hit Save.

How it helps:
The first two options are your privacy settings — turn them both on for maximum privacy, or select them separately for a flexible setting that meets your needs. For example, if you turn off Require User Sign-in, anyone will be able to see the public content on your site; but if you require account approval, anyone who wants to edit content or become a member of a wiki has to go through you.

The rest let you decide how your users are going to interact with your site. You can come back to this page and change these options any time.

2. The Look and Feel of Your Site

Where to go:
Site Administration > Settings > Look & Feel

What it lets you do:
See your current settings
Decide whether to set a site-wide theme
Link preset colors to your site-wide theme, or leave color choice up to individual wiki organizers

How to use it:
Pick your preference from the drop-down and hit Save. If you want to make changes to your theme and colors, just follow the link.

How it helps:
You have the flexibility to customize the site to your needs: if consistent branding is important, you can have one look and feel for your whole site; if you want your users to have more autonomy, you can give them the freedom to build wikis that match their personalities.

3. Changing Your Site's Theme

Where to go:
Site Administration > Settings > Look & Feel > Change Site-Wiki Theme and Colors

How to use it:
Just choose one of our premade themes and color palettes. Click the Preview button to see what it would look like. If you like it, hit Apply. Or hit the Preview and Customize button if you want to set your own custom colors.

If you’re comfortable with HTML and CSS and want more options, scroll down to Make a New Theme. You can find some great hints and sample code to get you started on our Themes page.

How it helps:
When people visit your site, you want them to feel like they’ve come to the right place. When a user creates a new wiki, they will have this theme as a jumping-off point. Or, if you’ve set a site-wide theme, every wiki on your site will be branded with your custom theme.

4. Changing the Logo

Where to go:
Settings > Logo

How to use it:
Have a .jpg, .png, or .gif of your logo ready, set to the correct size (we recommend 140 X 48 pixels).

To change the logo on your “www” wiki — or any other wiki on your site — just click Browse, select the file, and hit Save. You might want to have the logo file easily available on your “www” wiki so that other folks can grab it and use it when they’re building their own wikis, since new wikis will still start with the default bonsai logo.

If you want to include a logo in your site-wide theme, you’ll need some knowledge of HTML and CSS. Before you start, upload your logo as a file and take note of its URL. Go to Site Administration > Settings > Look & Feel > Change Site-Wiki Theme and Colors, then scroll down to Make a New Theme. For more information on custom themes, check out our Themes page.

5. Creating Wikis

Where to go:
Click Make a New Wiki in the sidebar.

How to use it:
Just open up a wiki and play. You can also set permissions at the wiki level at Settings > Permissions, or at the page level with the More Page Options page button.

How it helps:
If you want to have specific wikis up and running before you introduce your site — or if you want to establish the structure of your site before users start logging in — you can get everything ready ahead of time. And wiki- and page-level permissions give you the flexibility to create a whole site that keeps your privacy needs in mind. Create a private wiki for your marketing team, a public community notices board wiki, anything you need, with the permissions that are right for you.

6. Authentication

Where to go:
Site Administration > Settings > Authentication

What they do:
When someone logs into your Private Label site, Wikispaces checks their username and password against a user database to make sure they are a valid user. This process is "authentication."

How they help:
Your organization may already have a database of users — or several. Whether you already have established user accounts, or you want to create a completely new user database, your Wikispaces Private Label site gives you several options for authenticating users. More information can be found on our authentication help page.

7. Advanced Features

Where to go:
Site Administration > Settings

What they do:
SSL encryption keeps your data encrypted and secure in transit. When you start you Private Label site, SSL encryption won’t be enabled. If you'd like to enable SSL encryption, email us at
• Google Analytics lets you allow Google Analytics to report usage statistics for your Private Label site.
• API allows you to fully integrate your Private Label site with any existing systems. For example, you can manage membership and add content from an existing LMS system that you’re already spending so much time keeping up-to-date. You (or your integration/IT guy) can get the details on our SOAP API here.

How they help:
Your Private Label site will be secure and integrated with your existing systems, and won't take a lot of training or day-to-day maintenance — so it's easier to get the rest of your organization comfortable with the idea of using it. With a little effort now, you can save a lot of work later.

Some people like to use these advanced features. Some don’t. What’s important is that you’re building the complete wiki environment that does everything you, your users, and your organization need it to do. And, if your needs change, you can always turn them on — or off — later.

To get a better idea of how you might use the advanced features and whether they’d be helpful to you, drop us a line at

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