Help:Starting a page

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Editing Help
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Once you are comfortable editing existing pages, you may want to begin a new page. There are three methods for creating new pages: using red links, modifying the url or searching for the page you hope to create. Information on how to use these methods is presented in the following sections.

Red links

The first possible method to create a new page is to follow a red link you find or create on a pre-existing page. A red link is a link to a page that doesn't exist yet. It is a word or words placed in the double brackets that indicate an internal link ( [[ ]] ), meant to encourage people to follow up on that subject.

If you find a red link in an existing page that you wish to create a page for, simply follow the red link and begin to type. Once you have added text to this new page, save your edit, and you will have created a new page. The red link that you originally followed to create the page will now be blue or purple, indicating that a page exists. Once you have saved your edit on your new page, don't forget to create a talk page for your new content.

A slight variation on this method of page creation involves first creating a red link on an existing page, then following that link to create your new page. An example of when you might choose to do this would be browsing a congressperson's profile page on Ballotpedia. On that person's page, you may see references to the member of congress who preceded them in office, but we may not yet have a page for that person. If you wish to create that page, you could link one or more instances of the preceding member's name, save your edit, then follow one of those red links to create that page.

When using the red links method, as when using the URL method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may see a red link to John Dingell, Jr. on a page, but if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name John Dingell. In that case, you should correct the red link, directing it to the proper page name instead of creating a new page with duplicate content.

Changing the URL

The second method to create a new page is to modify the URL in your browser to take you to the page that you wish to create. To do this, simply change the extension following the / in the Ballotpedia URL. For example, if I was on the Ballotpedia homepage, my URL would read as follows: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Main_Page. To create the page Example page, I would simply delete Main_Page from the URL and replace it with Example_page. The URL would then look like this: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Example_page.

Once you have modified the URL, hit enter to navigate to that page, and then click "Create" in the upper right hand corner. The edit box will then open, and you can add your content. Remember to save your edits and create a talk page for your new content.

When using the URL method, as when using the red links method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may change the URL to create a page for John Dingell, Jr., which would look like this in your URL bar: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/John_Dingell,_Jr.. However, if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name John Dingell. In that case, you should not create a new page, which would only have duplicate content to a pre-existing page.

Searching to create

The final, and most cautious, method of page creation is searching to create. By using this method, you run the least risk of creating duplicate pages with slightly different names.

To use this method, simply type your desired page name into the search box at the upper right corner of any page. If a page with that name already exists, you will be taken to it upon hitting enter. If a page does not exist with that name, you will be taken to a search results page. Before all the results you will find a notice that reads: Create the page "PAGENAME" on this wiki! To create your new page, simply follow the link in that notice. However, before you follow the link you should scan any search results to see if a similar page with a slightly different name already exists. For pages that may have several different names, as with politicians that have suffixes or middle names that are sometimes (but not always) used, you may want to perform several searches before finally creating a page.

Naming conventions

Before creating any new page for Ballotpedia, make sure you are familiar with the established page naming conventions.

See also