Wikivoyage:Article skeleton templates

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Not to be confused with MediaWiki templates.

To provide for a more consistent layout for readers of Wikivoyage, we use article skeletons 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 skeleton}} to an article, press save and all the categories will appear. When creating a new page, the buttons above the edit window will do this for you automatically.

An overview of the various template categories (region, city, etc.) can be found at Geographical hierarchy.

Descriptions of each of the sections in the article templates can be found at Article skeleton templates/Sections.

Full article template Copy and paste version Substitution version Used for
Continent (quick version) continents
Country (quick version) {{subst:country skeleton}} countries and political units that function like countries
Region (quick version) {{subst:region skeleton}} regions, states, counties, divisions and provinces within a country
Small city (quick version) {{subst:smallcity skeleton}} villages or towns, and cities without a lot of tourist attractions
Big city (quick version) {{subst:bigcity skeleton}} bigger cities with lots to do
Huge city (quick version) {{subst:hugecity skeleton}} cities so big that they must be broken up into districts
District (quick version) {{subst:district skeleton}} districts within a huge city
Park (quick version) {{subst:park skeleton}} national parks, large natural areas, and large archaeological sites that need their own articles
Rural area (quick version) {{subst:ruralarea skeleton}} for a collection of sights outside of cities that need their own articles
Airport (quick version) {{subst:airport skeleton}} singularly huge and complex airports the size of small cities such as Kansai International Airport or Heathrow Airport, but not typical metropolitan or regional airports.
Itinerary (quick version) travel itineraries
Phrasebook (quick version) language phrasebooks (see also: Phrasebook Expedition)
Travel topic (quick version) travel topics

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, click the Region button above the edit window (in the empty new article) to automatically fill in the article skeleton, and then start adding in the information that you know. Don't forget to change the city and region names in the first line! You could also copy and paste the content.
  • For editing existing articles: if you want to add a new restaurant listing to New York City, 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 Wikivoyage:Using MediaWiki templates.


Why does every city article have to look (about) the same?[edit]

We think it's great to have simple, logical sections to each destination guide on Wikivoyage. This makes it easier for readers to find the info they need on any particular destination. Sure, it cuts down somewhat on contributors' creative license, but the traveller comes first around here. We want travellers to get the info they need as easily as possible.

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

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

  • Get in
  • Get around
  • See (or See and Do)
  • 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.

What are all the possible section names that can be in a destination article, and their correct order?[edit]

A destination guide can have the following headings in the following order. Please see the templates above for which ones are best for use for each type of destination.

  • Understand
  • Talk
  • Get in
  • Fees/permits (parks only)
  • Get around
  • See
  • Do
  • Learn
  • Work
  • Buy
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Sleep
  • Stay safe
  • Stay healthy
  • Respect
  • Connect
  • Cope
  • Go next

Region and country articles can also have the following headings:

  • Regions
  • Cities
  • Other destinations

Huge cities (that have been districted) can also have the following heading at the start of the article:

  • Districts

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

The main reason we do this is because we don't want Wikivoyage guides to look just like any existing commercial guides. Why not? Well, first, so Wikivoyage looks distinctive. People should see a guide and say, "Hey! See, Do, Eat - this came from Wikivoyage! 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 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?[edit]

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, discuss it on the talk page, and give an explanation of what it is for. If the consensus is that a new section is required, it can be added to the template.

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?[edit]

First of all, make sure that your contribution is really something we want to have on Wikivoyage. 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?[edit]

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 of a tiny village?[edit]

An article should contain a reasonable number of things to see or do, as one of our goals is to create pages of reasonable length which the voyager can print and carry in their travels.

Most often, the small city skeleton will be the best fit - by treating a group of small villages, or a town and a group of surrounding communities, as one "city" article. For instance:

  • A village which is a suburb of a small city may be simply listed as part of that city. This avoids many small articles which will only have one thing to see or do.
  • Collections of rural villages like Rural Montgomery County or Prince Edward County may be written as if the group were one single community.
  • A separate section may be created within a small city article to cover a small nearby (but non-contiguous) village. Depot Harbour is an Ontario ghost town; we list it at Parry Sound#Nearby. Likewise, the biblical ruins of Nineveh were listed at Mosul#Nearby.
  • Occasionally, a free-standing ghost town in an isolated location may have its own article, even if this means sending the voyager to some other town in search of food or lodging. This may be needed if the village is nowhere near anything else. Glenrio can't be easily merged into another destination as it's an isolated site divided by the Texas-New Mexico boundary. Listing it at Adrian or Vega would force it entirely into Texas, while listing it at Tucumcari would push it into New Mexico.

What template should be used for islands?[edit]

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 contains one huge city (like Montréal), create it as a huge city and divide it into districts as needed. An island which contains part of a huge city (such as Odaiba Island in Tokyo) might be a district itself. Conversely, if the island is small and only has one city, or a handful of tiny settlements, don't subdivide it but instead, just use a small city article template. For example, there's no reason to create a separate article for Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.

Large rural areas interrupted only by one or a few tiny villages can use the small city article template, even if they're Anticosti-sized. If an entire island or group of islands is one huge national or provincial/state park with no other settlements, use the park template.

Where do external links or links to other travel information sites go?[edit]

See the external links policy for details of how external links should be used.

To avoid slippery slopes only external links to primary sources are allowed within the body of Wikivoyage articles. A link to a hotel's official web site is a primary source, but a link to a site that reviews hotels or makes bookings is not.

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.

See also[edit]