Growth/Feature summary

Video showing Growth team features. Captions may be available in your language.

Research has shown that newcomers struggle to edit and continue editing Wikipedia because of three main challenges: technical, conceptual, and cultural. They currently do not have access to the resources they need to surmount those challenges. To give these things to newcomers, the WMF Growth team has built three interconnected features, described in more detail below. These features have been shown to increase the activation, retention, and edit volume of newcomers.

  • Newcomer homepage - a special page that hosts the "newcomer tasks" and is a good place for a newcomer to get started. The homepage gives access to many resources, including a link to a volunteer mentor that would reply to their questions.
  • Newcomer tasks - a feed of suggested edits that help newcomers learn to edit. Newcomers have been making productive edits through this feed! The feed is located on the Homepage, as the starring feature.
  • Help panel - a platform to provide resources to newcomers while they are editing. When newcomers work on Newcomers tasks, the help panel guides them on what to do.

Some features are also available for communities:

  • Community configuration - a special page where communities can change how Growth features work.
  • Mentorship features - a set of tools to match newcomers looking for advice with experienced editors ready to help.

All of these features are available on both desktop and mobile. It is also possible for experienced users to turn them on and use them. You can try these features at all Wikipedias. They are available by default for newcomers at a majority of Wikipedias.[1]

For more information about the Growth team, see this page on To deploy the features on your wiki, please check on our deployment process page. If you have questions, please check our FAQ. You can also leave us a message.

Newcomer homepage[edit]

This special page hosts the newcomer tasks workflow, and contains other modules that give newcomers access to the most important things they need to see on their first day. After creating their account, newcomers see a popup (and some other notifications) encouraging them to visit their homepage, which is accessible through the link to their username along the top of their browser window. Though the team is still experimenting with different modules, here are modules that may appear on the homepage:

  • Mentorship module - assigns each newcomer an experienced user, and gives an easy way to post questions to the mentor's talk page. Mentors volunteer to take part by signing up. This feature has to be configured by the community to become active.
  • Suggested edits module - see "Newcomer tasks" above.
  • Help module - lists links to commonly visited help pages.
  • Impact module - shows newcomers the number of pageviews on each of the articles they have edited.
  • Emails - The page also encourages users to add and confirm their email address.

Results so far

  • The majority of newcomers visit their homepage, and many of them return to visit their homepage on subsequent days.
  • As of November 2020, 14,228 mentor questions have been asked by 11,785 users.
  • The homepage increases the number of newcomers who have confirmed email addresses.

For more information about the newcomer homepage, see this page on

Newcomer tasks[edit]

This feature is the main component of the Growth features that is increasing how many newcomers make their first edit, come back to make more edits, and the number of edits they make. Newcomer tasks is a workflow that suggests articles to edit, shown to users via the "suggested edits module" on the newcomer homepage. Newcomers are able to choose from different types of edits (based on maintenance templates) and filter to topics of interest (based on ORES models). They then can choose from a feed of articles to work on. Once on an article, the help panel will provide guidance on how to complete the edit.

Structured tasks[edit]

From the feedback we received and the data we collected, the Growth team built new editing workflows that aim to make it smaller and easier for newbies, especially from mobile devices. These are called "structured tasks".

  • The first structured task is "Structured links". In it, an algorithm suggests to newcomers words or phrases that could be good wikilinks. This feature is deployed at all Wikipedias.[2]
  • Based on these suggested links, we built a feature that suggests images to article or articles' sections that lack an image. This feature is available at a few Wikipedias as a test.


Read more[edit]

Help panel[edit]

This is a box that newcomers can open while they are editing. It does four things:

  • Guides newcomers while they do suggested edits.
  • Lists links to commonly visited help pages.
  • Allows newcomers to search for other help and policy pages.
  • Allows newcomers to ask a question directly to the help desk.

The help panel appears in both the wikitext and visual editors. When we deploy this feature, we make sure that a wiki's existing help desk (or Teahouse) will work with the features, and that experienced users watching the help desk are willing to receive the incoming questions.

Results so far

  • About 20% of newcomers who see the help panel open it up, and about 50% of those who open it up interact with it.
  • The help panel on its own does not increase newcomer edits, but we have retained this feature because we use it to provide guidance as part of the promising newcomer tasks flow described above.

For more information about the help panel, see this page on

Community configuration[edit]

Communities can change how the Growth features work by editing Special:EditGrowthConfig. We advise all communities to make configuration changes after a community discussion. Please inform us of your discussions when they happen, because we can help you on the issue you found, or assist you with the configuration. It is also very useful for us to know that you have that discussion, so that we can improve the features.


Mentorship features are a set of tools to match newcomers looking for advice, with experienced editors ready to help them.

Mentorship is activated using the Community configuration page. Mentors can then sign up visiting Special:MentorDashboard. This page is where mentors can configure their mentorship preferences, and, if needed, put themselves on pause or quit.

It is up to each community to decide on criteria to become a mentor. We advise community members to keep the criteria simple and encouraging, so that more mentors would signup.

Please visit our FAQ for more information.

Try the features[edit]

On wikis where the Growth features are available, and also on, go to your user preferences (User profile) on one of these wikis and then select:

  • Display newcomer homepage — Enabling the Newcomer homepage gives you access to Newcomer tasks.
  • Enable the editor help panel — If you don't turn the Help panel on, Newcomers tasks won't work properly.


  1. Newcomers are users who create a new account and are logged-in to the wiki. The Growth features are not available for logged-out users or IP editors.
  2. A few exceptions exist, see our deployment table.