How to Become a wikiHow Admin

One Methods:How Administrator Elections Work

Administrators are wikiHow community members who willingly take on extra responsibility to make wikiHow the best how-to manual possible. While every wikiHow user is an editor, administrators have three extra powers and responsibilities which allow them to ensure that wikiHow continues to blossom into a useful free resource: deleting pages, protecting pages, and blocking accounts. Other than these general housekeeping duties, they participate in the same creative and collaborative activities as any other editor or contributor.


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    Understand the selection criteria that existing administrators will be looking for in each nominee.
    • Trust - This is the most important criterion. Do the existing administrators trust you to exercise control responsibly on one of the most popular sites on the Internet? Trust is earned over time by continually displaying good, level-headed, mature judgment.
    • Empathy and kindness - Administrators exist to serve the broader community of editors and readers. A demonstrated history of treating others with kindness and mutual respect is a necessity.
    • Mission focus - Demonstrated ability to put wikiHow's mission before competing concerns.
    • Civility - Can you remain civil when criticized for the decisions you make as an administrator? Can you wield administrator powers while still being kind, polite and welcoming?
    • Track record - While there are no hard and fast rules, generally a contributor should have at least four months of experience and at least 500 - 1000 article namespace edits on wikiHow before being considered as a possible administrator candidate. Existing administrators have a hard time evaluating candidates that they have yet to observe and interact with personally.
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    Know the deletion policy well. Since one of the abilities you gain as an administrator is the ability to delete articles, it's important that you're very familiar with the deletion policy.
    • Apply NFD tags with care. Nominating articles for deletion carelessly and repeatedly is a red flag, as it will only hurt your chances of getting elected.
    • Vote on NFD discussion pages. Most administrators review articles that have been nominated for deletion and check the discussion pages for consensus. Go to and show your knowledge of the deletion policy by voting on the discussion pages. Explain why you think the article does or does not violate the deletion policy. Any registered contributor can vote for or against deletion.
      • Administrators often look after a particular NFD reason, so vote on a variety of NFD articles so that more administrators see your comments.
    • Save articles from deletion. If you see that an article someone started can be rewritten or edited so that the NFD reason is no longer valid, fix it! Administrators and new article boosters are allowed to remove the NFD tag, but let them know that the article is fixed by posting a comment on the discussion page or leaving a comment on their talk page. Once an administrator or a booster sees it, they will remove the tag for you. This will help people remember you, and it demonstrates that you have good knowledge of the deletion policy and a genuine interest in improving articles, which will definitely improve your chances of becoming an administrator.
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    Participate in the forums, especially the Village Pump. Offer feedback, ask questions, and answer questions. The forums are a great place to learn about wikiHow's policies and interact with the community, including active administrators.
    • If you like chat rooms, you can also spend some time in wikiHow's IRC channel. Some administrators are in there often.
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    Avoid and mediate conflict. Many people don't understand how wikiHow works, and some people are just plain annoying. An important thing that existing administrators look for in admin candidates is patience and thick skin.
    • It's good to show that you don't let people get under your skin, no matter how angry or insulting they get. You should also show immunity to trolls. If people see that you get easily irritated by people, whether on talk pages, the forums, and IRC, administrators will question whether your temperament will negatively affect the way you use the admin buttons.
    • If you come across a conflict or dispute on IRC, on talk pages or in the forums, step in and try to mediate. The ability to mediate conflict with a levelheaded attitude is one key part of being an admin. Feel free to ask an administrator for constructive feedback on how you handled the situation. Applying constructive advice is a great way to improve your admin skills.
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    Patrol recent changes. Report any of the following on the administrator notice board:
    • Username policy violations
    • Anyone who writes that they are under 13 years old (that doesn't mean, however, that it's acceptable to judge by grade level, or to ask someone how old they are)
    • Vandals
    • Sock puppets (people who use multiple accounts in an inappropriate manner).
    • Spammers (people who place the same links everywhere)
    • Pages needing protection (any page that you notice is getting a lot of vandalism in a short period of time; common with controversial featured articles)
    • Anyone who is uploading a lot of images in short period of time without adding them to articles
    • Anyone who is uploading a lot of videos in a short period of time, and the videos don't seem to comply with our video guidelines
    • Anyone who is directly and repeatedly attacking other contributors on wikiHow
    • Chatters who persist after the {{chat}} has been given. This is only a cause for blocking if they are mostly talking about non-wikiHow things, and sending several messages.
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    Get to know active administrators. Since administrators aren't glorified on wikiHow, it can be hard to know who they are! There are also many administrators who aren't currently active. The best way to see which administrators are active is to look at the block log and deletion log. The best way to make an impression on administrators is to ask them questions about how to handle certain situations that you come across while following the steps below.
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    Don't be discouraged if no one nominates you for adminship and offers to mentor you. You can still be a valued member of the community without being an admin, and many great wikiHow editors have never become administrators.

How Administrator Elections Work

Any wikiHow administrator can nominate any contributor that they are willing to devote time to mentor. In addition to a time commitment, these admins will be investing their personal credibility in their ability to choose nominations wisely. If at least three other administrators second the nomination, the contributor can become a “trial administrator” for three months. However, any administrator can oppose trial adminship as this nomination is unfolding. An objection is defined as a strong “no” that must have a good reason, backed up by an example. If there are more objections than there are people supporting, the candidate doesn’t get approved for “trial adminship”. If the candidate gets approved, we give them the buttons for a three month trial.

At any point during the three month trial period, any administrator can suggest that the candidate lose trial adminship rights. If after discussion, it becomes clear that significant support for button removal exists, a vote will be held and a simple majority of the voting existing administrators will remove the buttons from a trial admin. If no such issues emerge after three months, the trial administrator will then "graduate" to regular administrator.

Nominations will be done on a continuous rolling basis, rather than at set times. We will no longer accept self-nominations for adminship with this system, since in order to get the buttons, you need the support of existing administrators. Please keep in mind that our administrators are volunteers, and mentoring a candidate is going to be a huge commitment on their part, so if they choose not to nominate you, it's not something to take personally.


  • You must know how to act as an admin.
  • Spending some time patrolling will teach you much of what you will need to know in order to be a valuable administrator.
  • Administrators are responsible for:
    • Blocking vandals, spambots, and other users who consistently violate policy
    • Blacklisting and whitelisting of URLs
    • Rarely, protecting pages to prevent vandalism
    • Managing and deleting articles and requests that have been nominated for deletion, or deemed inappropriate.
  • Ask current administrators for advice on how you are doing. If you're already doing the tasks listed above but want to know where you are falling short, don't be afraid to ask for constructive feedback. These seasoned editors will be happy to answer your questions about being an admin.
  • Always check for articles that should be nominated for deletion, but don't do it carelessly. In addition you should check for articles that need improvement and try to improve them.
  • When changing titles, if the "Leave a redirect behind" checkbox is not selected, the old title is automatically deleted.


  • Adminship is not a trophy or a promotion. Administrators have no status in wikiHow above those of other regular contributors. Administrators merely gain a few extra tools to perform the extra responsibilities that the job entails.
  • Look at adminship as a responsibility, not a trophy. Being an administrator doesn't make you more popular or respected, and it doesn't mean your opinion matters more than anyone else's on wikiHow. It just means you can do a few extra things that require you to know our policies very well. You don't need to be an administrator to be respected or liked on wikiHow. If you're eager to become an admin but you don't seem eager to improve wikiHow and learn wikiHow's policies, you probably won't get nominated.
  • Using administrator powers to push around productive wikiHow contributors is never acceptable.
  • Administrators should never block a user because of anger or hatred against a user, or to punish, shame or avenge a user.
  • For a variety of reasons, not all those who are nominated for adminship will be selected. Being declined adminship does not mean that you are not a valued or an appreciated member of the wikiHow community, so don't let this discourage you from continuing to participate or contribute at wikiHow.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Being an Admin | Help