Wikipedia Preview


Wikipedia Preview allows you to provide context from Wikipedia about words or phrases on any website. It lets you show a popup card with a short summary from Wikipedia when a reader hovers over a link. It is available as a standalone JavaScript component for any website, as a WordPress Plugin, and an R package for use with R Markdown documents & websites.


When readers navigate in and out of a webpage through interacting with several hyperlinks, they can easily lose context of what they were reading in the first place. Content sites would like their readers to read and engage with their content and understand it without having to get contextual information elsewhere. Wikipedia Preview can solve this problem for content providers by allowing readers to have concise and visual contextual information from Wikipedia within a content provider’s mobile properties - website or webapp.

The Page Previews feature on Wikipedia was created to solve the problem of context switching for desktop readers. This feature extends that functionality to external 3rd party sites. The first phase will focus on building a mobile led experience with partners whose primary readers are in emerging markets.

About Wikipedia Preview[edit]

Wikipedia Preview would allow Wikimedia project content available as contextual information on 3rd party sites. The feature will not be restricted to only showing the first sentences of a Wikipedia article, it will be as diverse as showing information from sister projects which could be images, definitions or even reading much more of an article directly on the content provider’s website.

This feature is not new. It was discussed when page previews launched in 2018. Internal staff and volunteers have created similar functionality in chrome extensions, slack integrations and wordpress plugins in their personal capacity as volunteers.

The Inuka team is taking on this work as one of the ways to expose our project content to readers in emerging markets. We see this product as a way of moving away from the traditional notion of single monolithic articles and moving towards more modular and contextual learning. Wikipedia Preview on partner websites would allow their readers to gain context while reading their pages and:

  • Help people gain contextual knowledge from Wikipedia without necessarily clicking through to Wikipedia
  • Learn more on Wikipedia with the option being available to read more on Wikipedia


  • Increase reach of Wikipedia content in Emerging Markets as part of the goal to become the essential infrastructure of free knowledge
  • Partner with sites in emerging markets whose readers would benefit from contextual knowledge from Wikipedia

Status Updates[edit]

Q1 2022-23

  1. B2B marketing campaigns done between 20 July - 30 August, 2022 to drive awareness and use of Wikipedia Preview plugin.
    • Objective: Increase downloads of the Wikipedia Preview plug-in on Wordpress
    • Target audience: Bloggers, webmasters, Wordpress developers, site owners
    • Channels: Meta, LinkedIn, Google
    • Wordpress site page for Wikipedia Preview
    • Results:
      • Google ads was the key driver of downloads
      • High download rates did not yet seem to translate into installs. Install rates are mostly unaffected by campaigns.
    • Next steps: Before marketing further, explore why downloads did not convert to installs.


  • Released version 1.5.0. It includes fixes for popup positioning and double-encoded links, both of which were issues reported on live sites. It also includes a banner asking site admins to give the plugin a rating on


  • Released Wikipedia Preview plugin in the Gutenberg editor feature!
  • The Wikipedia Preview plugin is available in 14 languages thanks to volunteer translators.

Q4 - 2020/2021

  • Released the first version enabling websites to integrate Wikipedia Preview on their sites
  • Received feedback from potential Wikipedia Preview users that a way to integrate it on WordPress would be useful
  • Began research on what it would take to build a WordPress plugin
  • Built the first version of the Wikipedia Preview WordPress plugin

Q3 - 2020/2021

  • Created a demo site that supports multiple languages to show how Wikipedia Preview works. Try it out here The experience is designed for use on smartphones.

Q2 - 2020/2021

  • Wikipedia Preview now has a debug mode so that those who have it on their site can better troubleshoot if the product is working as intended.

Q1 2020/2021

  • Created a demo site to demonstrate how Wikipedia Preview (WP) works. The site shows how Wikipedia Preview works in multiple languages, both LTR and RTL. This experience is best seen on a mobile phone.
  • Updated the Wikipedia Preview design style to improve how the Wikipedia logo and icons are displayed

Q1 2019/2020

  • User testing on how users would discover that Wikipedia Preview is available on a website
  • Began framing what the Wikipedia Preview experience would look like on mobile phones


Wikipedia Preview mockups

External links[edit]