MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki engine. It was developed for use on Wikipedia in 2002, and given the name "MediaWiki" in 2003. It remains in use on Wikipedia and almost all other Wikimedia websites, including Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata; these sites continue to define a large part of the requirement set for MediaWiki. MediaWiki was originally developed by Magnus Manske and improved by Lee Daniel Crocker. Its development has since then been coordinated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
MediaWiki is written in the PHP programming language and stores all text content into a database. The software is optimized to efficiently handle large projects, which can have terabytes of content and hundreds of thousands of hits per second. Because Wikipedia is one of the world's largest websites, achieving scalability through multiple layers of caching and database replication has been a major concern for developers.