Are you trying to figure out which software is best to setup your knowledge base website? With so many options to choose from it can be a bit difficult to find the right KB software for your website.
To help you save time and money we rounded up a list of 5 best knowledge base system software. Whether you have a SaaS startup or a single product website, this list has knowledge base solutions for all.
We scoured the web to search for the best knowledge base tools. There were many but we managed to narrow it down to 5 competitors. In this guide, we take a closer look at these 5 great tools to figure out which is best for your business.
Before you jump to the software comparison, let’s learn a little bit about what a knowledge base software is. And what kind of features make knowledge base systems perfect.
What Is A Knowledge Base?
Back in the old days and before the Internet, manufacturers used to ship products with a giant manual. It’s like a book with hundreds of pages that includes instructions about how to use the product. Of course, no one bothers to read them anyway.
Today, we have knowledge base systems. Unlike those old bulky manuals, a knowledge base website is much more innovative. It provides users a place to find answers to questions and guides related to a product, all by themselves.
Simply put, a knowledge base is a platform that includes a collection of questions, answers, guides, and documentation related to a product or service. Users are able to type a few words and find answers to common questions about the product.
There are also private knowledge bases. These are collections of documents you create as a resource for your teams. For example, you can create a private knowledge base for your customer support team to help them find answers to common questions much faster.
Why Create A Knowledge Base?
Usually, when you come up with a question related to a product or can’t figure out how to perform a task, the first thing you do is contact the support team. This involves waiting hours until you receive a reply to your email. Or waiting on-hold on the phone, jumping from one support representative to the next.
Knowledge base systems are a great solution to this decades-old problem. It provides a convenient self-help service to users. More importantly, it helps save businesses lots of resources otherwise spent answering common user questions.
“51% of customers prefer support through an online knowledge base.” – Social Media Today
Another benefit of making a knowledge base is discoverability. A knowledge base gives your business a huge boost in SEO to rank well on Google. You can rank for search terms like questions related to your product using your knowledge base articles as well.
Main Features Of An Effective Knowledge Base
It’s important to know what kind of features to include in your knowledge base to make it more effective. Start by making sure your KB software supports these features.
One of the main features of an effective knowledge base is the search box. Users need to be able to search for articles and guides on your knowledge base to find solutions to their problems. As a result, a properly functioning search system provides is a must-have.
Simple Backend Dashboard
When building a knowledge base you should always put users first. But, you shouldn’t disregard the importance of your own experience. You’ll be handling hundreds of articles, guides, tutorials, questions, and much more using the knowledge base system.
Being able to easily create all these types of content using a simple and easy-to-use back-end system will go a long way to serve your customers better.
Easily Manageable Categories
With lots of knowledge articles in one database, you could easily get lost while updating and adding new content. A simple archive and categorization system help keep the entire knowledge base organized. As well as make it easier to browse.
Sometimes when sharing knowledge through an article you need to include additional downloadable content in your guides and posts. Like PDF files, templates, video files, etc. If your knowledge base system supports file attachments you can attach these additional files directly in the articles.
A User Feedback System
A great way to improve your knowledge base is to get feedback from users. A simple thumbs-up system is more than enough to learn if an article in your knowledge base was helpful to users or not.
Analytics & Reports
With analytics, you can learn which knowledge base posts perform better and which creates more bounces. This will allow you to keep improving your knowledge base and create more helpful guides.
Best Knowledge Base Software
Let’s dive in and find out the pros and cons of using these knowledge base software.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management software (CMS) you can use to build all kinds of websites, including complex knowledge bases.
What makes WordPress a great choice for knowledge base platforms is its extensibility. With the help of WordPress plugins, you can add new features, functions, and integrate third-party apps with your knowledge base in just a few clicks.
WordPress was originally built for setting up blogs. The software comes with a beginner-friendly user interface, simple category management, and a great editor you can use to create hundreds of knowledge articles with ease.
How to Make a Knowledge Base With WordPress
Setting up a knowledge base website using WordPress requires a little bit of work. Even though the WordPress software itself is free to use you still need to buy hosting to setup your website.
This is where WordPress shines over other knowledge base systems. You can setup a WordPress site for about $30 per month when using a managed hosting provider like Kinsta. Compared to other cloud-based knowledge base systems, this is much cheaper.
Once you have WordPress setup and installed, you can then get a WordPress theme and a knowledge base plugin to turn your WordPress installation into a complete knowledge base system.
Benefits of Using WordPress
- Affordable Pricing: Compared to other knowledge base software, WordPress is much cheaper to setup and use.
- Extensibility: You can easily add and extend features using WordPress plugins. Including third-party integrations like Zapier and HubSpot.
- Choose Your Own Design: With thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, you can change the knowledge base design however you like.
- Easier Management: Easily manage articles, media, and categories using the beginner-friendly WordPress admin dashboard.
- Full Control: When using WordPress you’re in full control of your knowledge base. You don’t have to abide by the rules of a corporate company.
Downsides of Using WordPress
- Difficult Setup Process: Setting up WordPress can be a bit difficult to complete beginners.
- Maintenance: You’re also in charge of keeping the WordPress system and plugins updated and backed up. As well as securing your website.
WordPress is completely free to download and use forever. However, you still need hosting, a theme, and a knowledge base plugin to setup a knowledgebase system. Here’s a rough cost breakdown for a WordPress setup.
- Domain name: $10
- Kinsta hosting: $30 per month
- KnowAll Theme: $149
- Heroic KB plugin: $129
- Total: $318
Remember that this is only the initial cost of setting up the site. Once your site is live you’ll only have to pay for the monthly fee of your web hosting plan.
Helpjuice is a popular SaaS platform that specializes in knowledge base software. They provide a software that’s geared towards companies with big teams. It also features a very beginner-friendly knowledge management system.
One of the best features of Helpjuice is its customer support service. They even provide free customization to setup your knowledge base fast and easy. And promises a 5-minute response time to your support tickets.
How to Make a Knowledge Base With Helpjuice
Helpjuice is a cloud-based knowledge base system. This means you don’t have to do any heavy work to get your knowledge base up and running.
In fact, Helpjuice customer support team will even set it up for you. All you need to do is sign up and create an account. Then follow the step-by-step instructions to create your knowledge base.
You can also self-host Helpjuice on your own servers as well. Their team offers to help with the transition if requires.
Benefits of Using Helpjuice
- Beginner-Friendly: Helpjuice features a very simple user interface and a beginner-friendly editor. You can use it to create, format, and edit content without an effort.
- Google-Like Search: Helpjuice claims its search function to be as innovative as Google search.
- Multiple Designs: Unlike most other platforms, Helpjuice lets you choose from dozens of themes to customize your knowledge base design.
- Analytics: Helpjuice provides deep insights into your knowledge base statistics, including for searches.
Downsides of Using Helpjuice
- Expensive: At $300 per month, Helpjuice pricing is not very friendly toward small business owners.
- Limited Features: Helpjuice is limited in features compared to WordPress. It supports only a few third-party integrations as well.
Helpjuice pricing plans start at $189 per month with limited features. For unlimited access, you need to opt-in for the $300 per month price plan.
When it comes to creating customer support platforms and support ticketing systems, ZenDesk is one of the leading experts available today. The platform also doubles as a knowledge base system as well.
The ability to set up feature-rich knowledge base systems is not the only use of ZenDesk. You can also manage customer support and integrate your knowledge base with support tickets as well.
All of this can be done using the same platform. This makes ZenDesk one of the best choices for setting up advanced knowledge base portals.
How to Make a Knowledge Base With ZenDesk
ZenDesk is a complete suite of tools and software made for companies for managing all-things customer support. The platform works completely on the cloud and offers many services catered for various sizes of businesses.
Much like Helpjuice, you can easily get started with ZenDesk by signing up for an account and following its step-by-step instructions.
Benefits of Using ZenDesk
- Complete Suite: ZenDesk comes with a complete list of tools for creating an effective customer support system.
- Support Tickets: In addition to creating knowledge base systems, you can use ZenDesk to manage customer support tickets, chat, and more.
- Advanced Tools: ZenDesk also includes a CRM called Sunshine for managing your customers as well.
- Better Designs: ZenDesk features modern and beautiful knowledge base designs.
Downsides of Using ZenDesk
- Expensive: Compared to Helpjuice, ZenDesk is much cheaper. But it still asks for a greater price to provide customer support.
- Advanced System: It requires a bit of a learning curve to get started using the platform.
ZenDesk offers its tools in separate plans. To get access to the knowledge base tools, you need to subscribe to the $89 per month plan. But to get 24/7 customer support from ZenDesk, you need to subscribe to the $149 per month plan.
Document360 is an extremely simple software designed for doing nothing but creating well-organized knowledge base platforms. The software is trusted by many leading brands such as Microsoft and Harvard University as well.
The cloud-based app features a beautifully minimal and clean user interface for making both private and public knowledge bases. It also includes an easy-to-use markdown editor.
How to Make a Knowledge Base With Document360
Document360 features a very beginner-friendly setup process. And it provides tools to serve both content creators and customer support representatives.
To setup your knowledge base using Document360 all you need to do is signup for an account. The platform works completely online and lets you access it even from mobile devices from anywhere in the world.
Benefits of Using Document360
- Ease Of Use: Document360 puts complete focus on content and offers a very simple user interface to manage and organize your knowledge base.
- Markdown Editor: Document360 editor supports markdown for easier content writing and editing.
- Intelligent Search: The search system supports auto-suggestions when typing in the search box.
- Private Or Public: You can also create private knowledge bases to serve your team as well as public knowledge bases for customers.
Downsides of Using Document360
- Limited Features: Unlike WordPress and ZenDesk, you can’t use Document360 as a complete customer support system.
- Lack of Integrations: Document360 third-party integrations are limited to just a few apps like FreshDesk and Google Analytics.
Document360 includes multiple pricing plans starting at $49 per month with 2 team accounts and 5GB storage. And it goes all the way to $299 per month for 25 team accounts and 100GB storage.
ServiceNow is a complete platform that allows companies to digitize their customer management and workflows. It includes solutions to cover IT, Employee, and Customer workflows.
You can use the ServiceNow platform to create a private knowledge base for your company team. As well as public knowledge bases to serve customers. However, ServiceNow is much more than just a knowledge base software. It even includes an app store with integrations made specifically for creating advanced knowledge databases.
How to Make a Knowledge Base With ServiceNow
ServiceNow is a platform that’s more suitable for bigger businesses. It’s especially ideal for making onboarding workflows and transitions.
When it comes to creating knowledge bases, the platform uses an old-school design. It’s familiar and user-friendly. And includes many useful functions for organizing the knowledge database.
ServiceNow will walk you through the process of setting up your knowledge base on the cloud. Along with your automated workflows and customer support system.
Benefits of Using ServiceNow
- Advanced Tools: In addition to knowledge bases, you can use ServiceNow to offer better customer support with automated workflows, chatbots, and more.
- Innovative Search: The platform also features a brilliant search function that matches terms with previous incidents to provide better results.
- Machine Learning: With machine learning, the platform will also offer similar articles to customers and employees to find solutions to problems more easily.
- Service Portal: With Service Portal integration, you can create a portal where users can access your knowledge base, customer support, support tickets, and more from one place.
Downsides of Using ServiceNow
- Too Advanced: With so many tools and app engines bundled together, the platform can be overwhelming to small startups and businesses.
- Expensive: With pricing well hidden from the public, the company is likely to charge different rates from different customers.
ServiceNow doesn’t mention its pricing on the website. You’ll have to contact the sales team to get a quote. But, according to GetApp, pricing starts at $100 per month.
Difference Between SaaS, Cloud, & WordPress Systems
After going through the list of knowledge base software, you might be wondering what are the differences between these tools.
Our top picks feature a variety of knowledge base software. Two of the main competitors are the web-based knowledge base software and self-hosted knowledge base apps.
The SaaS knowledge base services and platforms that allow you to manage your database online through their own website fall into the category of web-based apps. The self-hosted category includes software such as WordPress that you setup and manage by yourself.
In addition to the management differences, another key difference between these two systems is pricing. Self-hosted WordPress-powered systems are much cheaper and more flexible than cloud-based apps and SaaS platforms.
On the other hand, it comes at the cost of convenience. When using SaaS platforms, you can call customer support to fix any issues you’re having.
Another important difference is the third-party app integrations.
Best Third-Party Integrations For Knowledge Bases
With third-party app integrations, you can bring more unique features to your knowledge base to make it more useful to both you and your customers.
Here are just a few great third-party apps you should be able to integrate with your knowledge base. Keep in mind that not all knowledge base systems will support these apps and services.
- Zapier: Zapier is like a hub of all the apps you can ever think of. It allows you to connect your website with more than 1500 popular services. With this integration, you’ll be able to connect all the other apps with ease. WordPress supports Zapier as well.
- HubSpot: HubSpot has a series of apps that are must-haves for a knowledge base, like its CRM software.
- Salesforce: With Salesforce integration you’ll be able to connect your knowledge base system with your customer support and marketing systems.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. With this integration, you’ll be able to easily sell products directly through your knowledge base website.
- Yoast SEO: Yoast is another useful WordPress plugin that will help optimize your knowledge base articles to rank well on search engines.
Which Knowledge Base Software Is Best?
Now that you have a wider understanding of knowledge base software, you might be wondering which option is best for your business.
If you have a new or a small business, we’d recommend going with WordPress to build your knowledge base. With the flexibility WordPress provides, you’ll be able to easily extend your knowledge base further as you grow your business. Also, you can save a huge chunk of your budget as well.
However, if you have an enterprise-level business, you should consider investing in software like Helpjuice or ZenDesk. Which include easier management and advanced features required for running knowledge bases to serve thousands of customers and facilitate large teams.
In conclusion, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your business. Be sure to explore all options before you settle for software to build your knowledge base.