In SP2013 you can create a Wiki site/sub-site (using the Enterprise Wiki site template) or create a Wiki Page Library in an existing site. What are the functionality differences between these two options? Below is what I have found so far.
1. Page Layout vs Text Layout
In Enterprise Wiki you get Page Layout, whereas in Wiki Page Library you get Text Layout.
Enterprise Wiki uses the Pages library, so you get all the functionality you would with normal publishing pages. OOTB you get two page layouts, Basic Page and Basic Project Page. In terms of editable content, these two page layouts are very similar. They both contain a single rich text area on the page. You therefore virtually have no choice in how to layout your content OOTB.
With Wiki Page Library you get Text Layout in lieu of Page Layout. Text Layout is great because it allows you to very easily change the layout of your page using several pre-defined layouts, as shown below.
There is a catch though. While adding custom Page Layout is a common thing for a developer, I have no idea how to add more layout options to Text Layout. Also, if you have additional metadata fields against the Wiki page, you can add these to the Page Layout. I am not sure how (or if it’s even possible) to do this with Text Layout.
So within this particular area, if you want to be able to change your layout OOTB without custom dev, then use Wiki Page Library. Using the Enterprise Wiki and Page Layout however will give you more flexibility in the long run.
2. Content Type
Content Type is disabled on the Wiki Page Library and you cannot enable it (using the SharePoint UI anyway). Enterprise Wiki uses the Pages library so you can add additional content types (and associated page layouts) to the library if required.
If you want better control over your information then use the Enterprise Wiki.
With Enterprise Wiki you get Categories and Rating OOTB. These are placed on the OOTB page layouts, as shown below.
You don’t get these with Wiki Page Library. While you can manually add metadata to Wiki Page Library, you can’t add the fields to the text layouts. This means users would have to edit the content of the page, then separately edit the properties of the page to enter metadata, which is not good for encouraging metadata entry. You can enable rating for the Wiki Page Library, but again, the only way for users to rate a page is to go to the View All Pages view of the library.
So if you are planning to have metadata on Wiki pages, then use the Enterprise Wiki.
4. Other Differences
Other differences include:
- Reusable Content: you get this in Enterprise Wiki only.
Alert Me: for some reasons you don’t get this with Wiki Page Library. You get it with Enterprise Wiki only. Update 27/02/2014: As Livo pointed out in the comments, Alert Me is there for Wiki Page library. My testing shows that this is correct, but only if Outgoing Mail is configured for the web app.
- Add a page (from gear button (Site Settings)): You don’t get this with Wiki Page Library. This means it is pretty hard for users to create pages independent of links.
- Updated Pages on left nav: You get this with Wiki Page Library only. This guy appears on the left nav of the Wiki pages and list recently updated pages, as shown below.
So, in the end which option should you choose? If you want/need maximum flexibility (now and future-proofing) and can afford custom dev, then go with Enterprise Wiki. If you cannot afford custom dev, then Wiki Page Library seems to offer more functionality OOTB.
Let me know if you have found other differences between these two guys.