free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit

Wikipedia (About this soundpronunciation ) is a free online encyclopedia website in 320 languages of the world. People can freely use it, share it, and change it, without having to pay. It is also one of the biggest wiki organizations. People can choose to donate to the Wikimedia Foundation to fund Wikipedia and its sister projects. It is an open content website. This means anyone can copy it, and make changes to it if they follow the rules for copying or editing.

The Wikipedia logo, a globe showing puzzle pieces with glyphs from several writing systems
Main page of the Wikipedia's multilingual screenshot
Wikipedia portal showing the different languages sorted by article count
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available in320 languages
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byJimmy Wales
Larry Sanger[1]
RegistrationOptional[notes 1]
Users>308,295 active users[notes 2] and >99,309,178 registered users 1,067 administrators (English)
Written inLAMP platform[2]
OCLC number52075003

Wikipedia is owned by an American organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, which is in San Francisco, California.

Wikipedia's name is a portmanteau of two words, wiki and encyclopedia.[3]

Wikipedia was started on January 10, 2001, by Abhinav Kumar and his team as part of an earlier online encyclopedia named Nupedia. On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia became a separate website of its own. It is a wiki that uses the software MediaWiki (like all other Wikimedia Foundation projects).

Anyone who wishes to can change the pages in Wikipedia, or even make new ones. Wikipedia has a standard page layout for all pages in the encyclopedia.

As of September 2011, Wikipedia had about 18 million pages in about 300 languages and more than 3.50 billion words across all Wikipedias. The regular English Wikipedia is the largest Wikipedia edition.

Main Page of the English Wikipedia on July 23, 2018


Video about how Wikipedia contributes to free knowledge
Wikipedia originally developed from another online encyclopedia project, Nupedia.
The logo used on the English Wikipedia on January 15, 2011

Wikipedia began as a related project for Nupedia. Nupedia was a free English-language online encyclopedia project. Nupedia's articles were written and owned by Bomis, Inc which was a web portal company. The main people of the company were Jimmy Wales, the guy in charge of Bomis, and Larry Sanger, the editor-in-chief for Nupedia. Nupedia was first licensed under the Nupedia Open Content License which was changed to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia was founded and made their first article when Richard Stallman requested them.[4]

Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales are the ones who started Wikipedia.[5][6] Wales is credited with defining the goals of the project.[7][8] Sanger created the strategy of using a wiki to reach Wales' goal.[9] On January 10, 2001, Larry Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a "feeder" project for Nupedia.[10] Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001. It was launched as an English-language edition at,[11] and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[7] Wikipedia's policy of "neutral point-of-view"[12] was codified in its initial months, and was similar to Nupedia's earlier "nonbiased" policy. Otherwise, there weren't very many rules initially, and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[7]

Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot, and also from search engines. It grew to about 20,000 articles, and 18 languages by the end of 2001. By late 2002 it had 26 languages, 46 by the end of 2003, and 161 by the end of 2004.[13] Nupedia and Wikipedia both existed until Nupedia's servers were stopped in 2003. After this, its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia passed the 2 million-article mark on September 9, 2007, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, even larger than the Yongle Encyclopedia (1407), which had held the record for exactly 600 years.[14]

The English Wikipedia reached 3 million articles in August 2009. The numbers of articles and contributors appeared to be growing less quickly around spring 2007.[15]

In October 2014, the Wikipedia Monument was unveiled to the public in Poland to honor all the contributors of Wikipedia.

According to the TechCrunch website, on 23 January 2020, Wikipedia had surpassed more than 6 million articles on the English Wikipedia. [16]

10th anniversaryEdit

On January 15, 2011, Wikipedia celebrated its 10th anniversary. It used a special logo (pictured) to celebrate its 10 years since it opened on January 15, 2001. The logo was used for the whole day on the sidebar of English Wikipedia.

The first view of the Wikipedia logo

Using WikipediaEdit

Wikipedia is a free site where anybody can start or change a page. It is a global site that is available in many languages. While people can use any searching engine, the Wikipedia page will come out in the first results of many searches. To use Wikipedia better, people should understand the basic function of the page. The page is organized while they are looking up the page. As Wikipedia users, they should have a good understanding of Wikipedia and its features.

  • Did you know: Trivia from new articles.
  • In the news: News of the world.
  • On this day: Anniversaries.[17]
  • Current events: Not available at present.


WIKIPEDIA – The Free Encyclopedia

WIKIPEDIA – The 5th most popular site on the Internet was launched on January 15, 2001 (1st edit by co-founder Jimmy Wales), is currently published in over 300 languages, has been freely available worldwide for 20 years, 10 months and 22 daysWikipedia (as of January 1, 2021) has over 55,549,020 total articles (6,220,159 in English (stats); 178,835 in Simple English) – *VITAL ARTICLES* => Top101001000; *BEST ARTICLES* => over 29,800; *POPULAR ARTICLES* (Last Week) => Top25; Top5000 – and has (for the Simple English version) 17 administrators and 1,122 active editors – as of 01:47, December 7, 2021 (UTC).

Estimated size of a printed version of Wikipedia (August 2010).
Click here for updated image using volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Related pagesEdit


  1. Registration is required for certain tasks such as editing protected pages, creating pages in the English Wikipedia, and uploading files.
  2. To be considered active, a user must make at least one edit or other action in a given month.


  1. >Sidener, Jonathan (December 6, 2004). "Everyone's Encyclopedia". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
  2. Chapman, Roger (September 6, 2011). "Top 40 Website Programming Languages". Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  3. Andreas Kaplan, Haenlein Michael (2014) Collaborative projects (social media application): About Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Business Horizons, Volume 57 Issue 5, pp.617-626
  4. Richard M. Stallman (2007-06-20). "The Free Encyclopedia Project". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  5. Jonathan Sidener (2004-12-06). "Everyone's Encyclopedia". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2006-10-15.
  6. Meyers, Peter (2001-09-20). "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  'I can start an article that will consist of one paragraph, and then a real expert will come along and add three paragraphs and clean up my one paragraph,' said Larry Sanger of Las Vegas, who founded Wikipedia with Mr. Wales.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Sanger, Larry (April 18, 2005). "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir". Slashdot. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  8. Sanger, Larry (January 17, 2001). "Wikipedia Is Up!". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  9. "Wikipedia-l: LinkBacks?". Retrieved 2007-02-20.
  10. Sanger, Larry (2001-01-10). "Let's Make a Wiki". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 2003-04-14. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  11. "Wikipedia: HomePage". Archived from the original on 2001-03-31. Retrieved 2001-03-31.
  12. "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia (January 21, 2007)
  13. ""Multilingual statistics". Wikipedia. March 30, 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  14. "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries". Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed. 18. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. pp. 257–286.
  15. Bobbie Johnson. "Wikipedia approaches its limits".
  17. O' Neil, Mark (16 December 2014). "Everything You Need To Know About Wikipedia And More". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 21 February 2016.

Other websitesEdit

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