Finally, a Way to Make Wikipedia Look Nice

I use Wikipedia a lot for research, as do most people, and I even edit articles when I find typos or errors. I’d gotten used to its drab, early-2000s layout, but I always felt like I was looking into a time machine.

But that’s changed now. WikiWand is a website that acts as a portal to Wikipedia, displaying content from the site in a much more modern design. You can search for any Wikipedia article on the site, and it will be reformatted to look like the web of today. Or you can install extensions for your browser and have these pages rendered automatically.

So what does it look like? Here is one example; the Wikipedia page for iTunes:

Safari001.png

As you can see, the contents are on the left, and are accessible at all times, unlike on Wikipedia’s standard layout, where the contents box is near the top of the article. The info box on the right is more visible, and the general layout is clean and readable.

When you hover over a link, you see either information from the linked page, or from the linked reference, making it easier to see references and links without scrolling to the bottom of the page:

Safari002

And if you are a Wikipedia editor, you still have access to edit and talk links, from the WikiWand menu at the top of the page:

Safari003.png

If you like WikiWand, you can get extensions for Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

I’m curious as to how the company behind this is making money. I don’t see any ads, and I doubt they’ll be adding any, but they must be getting something from metrics of Wikipedia users. I’ve reached out to the company to find out.

In the meantime, if you use Wikipedia a lot, try this out; it’s a much nicer way to read the site.

Update: WikiWand CEO Lior Grossman wrote me, saying the following:

“In the future (possibly in a year or so), our plan is to show clearly-separated ads to educational material that is relevant to what you’re reading (think: Amazon books, courses, articles etc.) Once we become profitable, we plan to donate 30% of those profits to Wikipedia.”