PmWiki is designed to be easy to install and customize as an engine for creating professional web sites with one to any number of content authors. The software focuses on ease-of-use, so people with little IT or wiki experience will be able to put it to use. The software is also designed to be extensible and customizable.

Besides the usual collaborative features such as content management and knowledge base, PmWiki has been used by companies or groups as an internal communication platform with task management and meeting archives. It is also used by university and research teams.

The PmWiki wiki markup shares similarities with MediaWiki (used by Wikipedia) and has a large number of features not found in other wiki engines however its primary goal is to help with the collaborative maintenance of websites. The PmWiki markup engine is highly customizable, allowing adding, modifying or disabling markup rules, and it can support other markup languages.