A guide to the best knowledge base software
最後更新: October 25, 2023
Modern customer service means offering fast, convenient self-service options. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, 37 percent of customers become frustrated when they can’t complete simple tasks on their own. Deliver great customer experiences by building a knowledge base to power your self-service resources, and keep the information up to date.
Our guide to the best knowledge base software can help you decide which tools and features are the right fit for your customers and business. We’ve also highlighted the top knowledge base software solutions for easy side-by-side comparisons—help yourself.
Table of contents
What is knowledge base software?
Knowledge base software is a tool that helps businesses create, manage, and share internal and external content in an organized and searchable format.
You can use knowledge base software as a self-service tool for your customers and employees. When creating your knowledge base, understand the slight differences in how to use them:
Knowledge base for customers: a centralized directory of content about your products or services and how to use them.
Knowledge base for employees: a tool for distributing information about systems, processes, and policies.
Your knowledge base software should be an intuitive solution that enables you to organize and distribute information easily.
Comparison chart of the top 17 knowledge base software
|FAQ software||Starting price||Free trial||Key features|
$55 per agent/month(Billed annually)
$120 per month (up to 4 users)
|Wix Answers||$24 per user/month (billed annually)|
request a quote
$25 per user/month
|USU Knowledge Management|
$0 per user/month (up to 3 users)
|Stack Overflow for Teams|
$0 per teammate/month (up to 50 teammates)
$20 per user/month
$199 per project/month
$0 per user/month
$39 per user/month
$8 per user/month
$0 per member/month (limited features)
$8 per month
|Hubspot Service Hub|
$450 per month (up to 5 users)
The 17 best knowledge base software
Zendesk offers knowledge base software that is simple to customize and use. Your business can use this agile software in various ways, including as a(n):
IT knowledge base
Support (agent-only) knowledge base
Customer-facing FAQ software tool
Our knowledge base software helps you keep your content relevant. Built-in intelligent knowledge features like Content Cues use AI technology to give you insight into what customers are searching for, suggestions for new knowledge base content to fill knowledge gaps, and prompts to update content in existing articles.
Managing updates is easier with Team Publishing, a collaboration tool that allows your team to build workflows to review, approve, and publish content. With the Content Blocks feature, you can create pieces of content and place them in all articles where that information is relevant. These content blocks—text, images, and videos—get updated in a single place and automatically change everywhere the block appears.
Zendesk ensures knowledge management software is accessible to everyone. With Zendesk Guide, you can create language-specific versions of your articles, in over 40 different languages. Because it’s always available, customers and support agents can use the self-service portal to find the right information whenever they need it.
Intelligent knowledge management
Robust search engine (unified, federated, semantic search)
In-context self-service (web widget and mobile SDKs)
ChatGPT integration that builds onto the Zendesk proprietary system that evaluates missing support articles and creates articles instantly
Suite Team: $55 per agent/month
Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month
Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month
Plans billed annually.
Helpjuice offers knowledge base software that works well for scaling businesses. The solution features a search engine specifically designed for knowledge bases to help users quickly find what they’re looking for. Articles are easy to create with the native WYSIWYG editor and publishing interface, so you can immediately start adding content.
In addition to reporting and analytics for continuous content improvement, Helpjuice offers customizable options. The handmade themes allow you to create a custom brand experience, and multilanguage support lets you switch languages from the authoring panel.
Reporting and analytics
Starter: $120 per month (up to 4 users)
Run-Up: $200 per month (up to 16 users)
Premium Limited: $289 per month (up to 60 users)
Premium Unlimited: $499 per month (unlimited users)
3. Wix Answers
Wix is a web development service that enables businesses without technical resources to build a website. One of its offerings, Wix Answers, aims to provide intuitive knowledge base solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Wix Answers is completely cloud-based for team flexibility.
Knowledge content management
Plan: $24 per user/month (billed annually)
InSided software aims to help companies create a self-service experience that’s always up to date. This knowledge management tool lets you embed interactive content, videos, and music to add to the overall experience. The drag-and-drop editor enables you to organize the structure of your content and make changes easily. With the rating system, users can provide feedback and rate articles based on how helpful they are.
InSided also allows you to pin articles, so users can quickly see popular articles related to their search topic. Additionally, SEO-optimized content provides users with the most relevant information based on their search. With the help desk API integration, you can create a customer support ticket directly from the help center, too.
Drag-and-drop content organization
Content helpfulness ratings
Highlight and pin articles
SEO-optimized smart search
Professional: Request a quote
Business: Request a quote
Enterprise: Request a quote
Bloomfire helps teams organize company knowledge in a centralized platform, helping support agents find information quickly and easily. With features like AI-powered search, crowd-sourced FAQs, and rich media compatibility, Bloomfire’s online knowledge base software aims to democratize information across organizations.
The platform mimics social media with capabilities for users to engage with the content with likes, shares, comments, or follows. The reporting features and feedback loops help management teams understand the engagement and helpfulness of content, allowing them to spot opportunities for improvement.
Usage and content reporting
Plans start at $25 per user/month, scaled by volume and model
USU Knowledge Management is a cloud-based solution with a standard editing tool. The software supports decision-tree documents and basic long-form articles to add flexibility to your knowledge base. With cross-system sharing, teams can set automatic triggers that search for documents and instructions that can be attached to the support ticket or sent to the customer via email.
USU Knowledge Management’s search engine delivers quality results based on the user’s inquiry. In addition to offering collaboration and escalation tools, the software also facilitates a consistent editorial process with custom workflow approvals for content creation, updates, and removal.
Knowledge content management
Usage tracking and analytics
Contact USU for pricing
Guru’s knowledge management system enables teams to create, share, access, and update information. Whether it's a centralized hub for HR content or a self-service help center for customers, Guru meets your needs with its all-in-one tool. It fits within your team’s existing workflow by unifying contextually relevant information with existing tools like Microsoft Teams, email, Slack, and your CRM.
Guru uses AI to surface information in the knowledge base, so suggestions improve over time based on customer and employee search patterns. The AI-powered knowledge base suggests related articles and flags redundant information to keep content fresh. Though Guru is an internal knowledge base, you can use its API to publish content externally.
Built-in text search
Starter Free: $0 per user/month (up to 3 users)
Starter: $6 per user/month
Builder: $12 per user/month
Enterprise: Contact sales
With its answer-ranking system, trusted brand, intuitive interface, and huge dev community, Stack Overflow has become a household name in the tech industry. Stack Overflow for Teams takes the brand further by offering Stack’s signature question-and-answer interface for private use. This knowledge base platform puts everything your employees need to know in one place—from HR information (like time-off policies and documents) to coding FAQs.
Stack Overflow for Teams integrates with several popular communication platforms to enhance collaboration. The company also gamified its knowledge base, allowing teams to create custom awards and reactions.
Cataloging and categorization
Knowledge base management
Free: $0 per teammate/month (up to 50 teammates)
Basic: $7.70 per teammate/month
Business: $15.40 per teammate/month
Enterprise: Custom pricing
9. Zoho Desk
Mostly known for its ticketing system and help desk solutions, Zoho Desk also offers knowledge base software to help teams reduce tickets and provide faster service. The system is user-friendly for writers and editors, so they can create and manage content easily. The customizable structure allows you to form separate categories for how-to articles, FAQs, and other self-service options.
Users can also set up portals for different customers (internal and external) and customize the theme and branding with logos and color schemes. There are also community forums that encourage customers to collaborate with each other and interact with your team.
Forums and communities
Standard: $20 per user/month
Professional: $35 per user/month
Enterprise: $50 per user/month
Document360 lets you create self-service knowledge bases for your customers and private knowledge bases for your team. The most common features include real-time search, version control, robust categorization, and a file manager. Document360 also has a clean interface and offers a seamless user experience.
This knowledge base software includes a markdown editor that can simplify content creation. Document360 allows you to create how-to guides, tutorials, and technical documents for your teams. The software also offers article view permissions, which keep data private and secure by requiring a login to access information.
Knowledge base search
Secure file management
Standard: $199 per project/month (3 team accounts)
Professional: $399 per project/month (5 team accounts)
Business: $529 per project/month (5 team accounts)
Enterprise: $799 per project/month (10 team accounts)
Enterprise Plus: Contact Document360
You can use Notion as a database, notepad, project management tool, and collaborative writing space. While it doesn’t have many of the built-in features specific to most customer-facing knowledge base systems, you can use Notion to create a self-service knowledge base.
Notion lets you customize your customer knowledge base and organize content by adding tags, labels, and owners to your articles. The drag-and-drop tools enable you to build and structure your page quickly and easily. The company also offers support in over 149 online communities, helping break down communication barriers.
Filter and sorting
Free: $0 per user/month
Plus: $10 per user/month
Business: $18 per user/month
Enterprise: Request a demo
MangoApps' software aims to centralize employee workspaces so customer information is consistent and available whenever and wherever agents need it. MangoApps also provides a feature called Libraries, allowing companies to organize files, hyperlinks, and other resources into a digital index.
The MangoApps design is similar to social media apps containing threads, comments, and groups. It also provides a broad range of integrations and branding customizations to fit your vision of your knowledge base.
HappyFox is a cloud-based CRM that features knowledge management systems for businesses across industries. Their knowledge base pushes self-service options and makes it easy to collect customer feedback. They’re also equipped with branded client portals and separate internal and external knowledge management systems.
HappyFox’s search engine shows top-ranking articles and FAQ pages so users don’t need to look for them. Auto-suggest helps guide the customer through their self-service journey, while the structured index makes resources easier to find. HappyFox also makes it convenient to share content over the social media channel of your choice.
Knowledge base customization
Rich text editor
Team collaboration tools
Mighty: $39 per agent/month
Fantastic: $59 per agent/month
Enterprise: $79 per agent/month
Enterprise Plus: $99 per agent/month
Slab bills itself as “a knowledge hub for the modern workplace.” It’s designed to find information scattered across systems and channels and consolidate it into a single source of truth. Slab features a simple editing interface, powerful search, and solid integrations with popular tools like Google Docs, Slack, and GitHub.
Slab primarily appeals to companies seeking internal knowledge bases for engineering, operations, and sales teams. Content management can be as technical or simple as you’d like—anyone can create, edit, and organize the knowledge base content. The editing interface also makes your articles look professional by default, so you can focus on the content without stressing about the appearance.
Private and public topics
Free: $0 per user/month
Startup: $8 per user/month
Business: $15 per user/month
Confluence is a document collaboration and sharing platform that you can use for internal or external knowledge base purposes. The software keeps track of document changes for easy content auditing and lets teams collaborate on content. The advanced search also allows you to quickly access the information you need.
Because this knowledge base tool is part of the Atlassian software suite, it integrates well with other Atlassian products like Jira Service Management. It also integrates with over 3,000 apps, including Zendesk, Slack, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Unlimited spaces and pages
Structured page tree
Free: $0 per member/month (up to 10 users with limited features)
Standard: $5.75 per user/month
Premium: $11 per member/month
Enterprise: Contact Confluence
Slite is an internal knowledge management platform that centralizes important team information. With an intuitive editor, a variety of templates, and flexible formatting, Slite organizes content in a professional and eye-catching way. Its search feature and common-sense document sorting make information simple to locate and access.
Slite includes document activity tracking so you can ensure content is up to date. It also integrates with Asana, Trello, Google Drive, GitHub, Slack, and more. But note that Slite is intended solely for internal data management and has limits as a customer service tool.
Free: $0 per month (limited features)
Standard: $10 per month
Premium: $15 per month
Enterprise: Contact Slite
HubSpot Service Hub offers knowledge base software that helps create a better customer and employee experience. When customers can self-serve, support agents spend less time handling small, simple queries.
HubSpot allows you to create help center articles, customize the structure and categories, and add tags that help optimize the search. Brand and theme customization let you match your knowledge base appearance to your brand image. You can also tailor the knowledge base to appear differently on different devices.
Reporting and analytics
API and integrations
Free Tools: $0 per agent/month (limited features and integrations)
Starter: $45 per agent/month
Professional: $90 per agent/month
Enterprise: $120 per agent/month
What are the essential features of a knowledge base platform?
A basic function of knowledge base software is to make it easy for support teams to create, manage, and share content with their customers. Here are a few essential features that the best knowledge base software should include.
While it’s important to create well-structured, optimized categories of information in your knowledge base, most people will use your search bar. Your search engine should be intuitive and surface the information your customer needs so they’re more likely to resolve the issue without help from an agent. This deflects support tickets and keeps the ticket queue more manageable.
Advanced reporting and analytics
The best knowledge base software does more than help your customers learn about your product or service. With advanced reporting and analytics, it also delivers valuable insights into your knowledge base content, including:
The most- and least-viewed articles
The effectiveness of each article
The content gaps based on what customers are searching for and trending topics
With this type of information, you can consistently provide useful and enriching content for a great customer experience.
Without the right content management features, it can be challenging to keep your knowledge base organized and updated. Intelligent knowledge tools make it easy for your subject matter experts, writers, editors, and administrators to create, revise, schedule, and publish content to your knowledge base. Here are a few intelligent knowledge tools Zendesk provides and how they can improve your content management process.
AI-powered Content Cues identify content gaps and suggest relevant topics for new articles.
Team and scheduled publishing allows teams to create workflows and collaborate on content.
Content Blocks make it possible to share and update pieces of content across several articles from a centralized location.
Content tags let teams add words or short phrases to articles or community posts so users can find related content easier.
Knowledge in the Agent Workspace enables agents to flag help center articles that contain inconsistencies or mistakes from within a support ticket, so the best-suited team can make updates.
Your software’s content management must be intuitive, too. After all, the easier it is to create, update, and manage content, the more likely your team will actively manage your knowledge base content.
Your software should allow you to customize the appearance of your knowledge base with colors, themes, fonts, images, and brand logos. Update your theme to perfectly match each of your brand, such as uploading your logo or favicon to appear in the header of your help center. You can even upload your own hero images for your home page and banner images for your community pages, and customize them with your chosen theme. And with Zendesk, you can create a help center theme for each of your brands to provide unique experiences that are still tied to your larger brand.
Customer portal and article view permissions
Simple tasks—like changing a password, updating a shipping address, or printing a return label—shouldn’t require one-on-one support. Knowledge base software with a self-service customer portal can provide resources that guide customers to complete these straightforward tasks.
For restricted content, you can set article view permissions that control what users can access. There are four article view permission options in Zendesk:
Everyone: Content viewable by anyone.
Signed-in users: Content viewable by users signed in to their account.
Agents and admins: Content viewable by internal staff only.
Custom user segments: Content viewable by users with specific tags, organizations, groups, or custom permissions.
What are the benefits of a knowledge base solution?
When you consolidate your institutional knowledge in a single database that’s accessible from anywhere on the internet, you gain a major competitive advantage.
Here are five top benefits that knowledge base systems provide.
Boosts customer satisfaction
A knowledge base never sleeps, so you can provide your customers, users, or employees with the information they want—when and where they want it. This enables your users to get 24/7 support from your company, even during holidays and off-hours. The customer doesn’t need to wait for an agent to help them fix an issue they could easily resolve on their own, creating a convenient experience that boosts customer satisfaction.
Saves agents time and reduces costs
Self-service resources can resolve basic issues without agent intervention, deflect tickets, and keep the queue manageable. This frees up agents to focus on solving more complex issues and providing great customer experiences.
With a well-organized IT knowledge base software solution, agents can quickly find resources relevant to their customers’ problems, making support more efficient and productive. When integrated with chatbot software, knowledge bases can answer questions automatically, which reduces the time agents must spend on simple, repetitive issues. Plus, knowledge bases provide additional context that allows agents to better assist customers.
Breaks down internal silos
Knowledge base software can break down internal data silos by providing a centralized location for teams to access important information. When information is scattered across systems and departments, it’s difficult for employees to find what they need and deliver the high-quality, personalized experiences that customers expect. Knowledge base software allows teams to collaborate effectively by giving them easy access to valuable and relevant information.
Improves agent training and accuracy
With information a single click away, agents can efficiently and accurately help customers without memorizing every detail. A knowledge base acts as an external hard drive for your agents’ brains, allowing instant access to internal processes, FAQs, and articles for quick answers on demand. This also helps speed up agent onboarding and and gives them access to training materials.
Enhances the customer onboarding experience and increases product adoption
Use a knowledge base to create a seamless customer onboarding experience. When a new customer signs up, you can automate a welcome email that contains helpful resources from your knowledge base, such as:
Product tours and overviews
How-to videos and tutorials
Help center articles
Frequently asked questions
These onboarding materials deliver immediate value and encourage new customers to adopt your product faster.
What are different types of knowledge base tools?
For small businesses just starting out, a “knowledge base” might simply be a shared Google Drive with PDFs of product specs, customer FAQs, and employee manuals. But as the business grows, this can create issues with security, searchability, and accessibility. Here are the common types of knowledge base tools for businesses of any size.
Troubleshooting guides: These step-by-step, easy-to-follow resources help customers resolve common issues.
FAQ pages: List the most common questions asked by customers and the answers.
Internal knowledge base software: This resource for internal staff contains processes, documents, policies, and other relevant company information.
Chatbots: AI-powered tools provide proactive communication, 24/7 support, and self-service options.
Community forum: This is an online platform where customers and businesses can share information, ask questions, offer tips, and provide feedback.
How do you build a knowledge base system?
The size of your team, the type of company you run, and whether you’re creating internal or public-facing content affect how you design a knowledge base. Zendesk has helped businesses of all sizes and industries create their knowledge bases. Here are a few best practices you can follow to build the best knowledge base system for your business.
Define how many knowledge bases you will need and the purpose of each
First, determine the number of knowledge bases you need. A single help center is common for small businesses and is a shared resource between your employees and customers. This option requires setting up permissions to control visibility and access to certain articles.
If you require multiple knowledge bases, decide how you will use each one. A multi-brand help center allows you to keep your internal and external content in separate help centers.
Determine the top questions to answer
Identify what your customers are looking for and any trending topics, and prioritize that content. A feature like Content Cues can deliver that information quickly, so you can always keep your knowledge base current. Optimize your content so that when users are searching for it, they can find it easily.
Find the best way to structure the knowledge base
You can structure your knowledge base in various ways. Some businesses structure it by department, while others choose a role-based structure. It can be based on the user and how they will utilize it. Here are a few examples of how to structure a knowledge base.
Customer service: FAQs and help center articles Human resources: Employee policies and onboarding information
IT: How-to guides and process documents
Creative: Design assets and guidelines
New hires: Onboarding information, policies, and guides Customer support: FAQs and help center articles
Management: Policies and company hierarchy
Establish a process for updating content
Support agents deal with customer issues firsthand, so they’re an invaluable source of insight into what should go in the knowledge management system. That means it’s key to create a process for agents to suggest new content or update existing content.
Support teams can use specific tags to flag tickets that contain issues for the knowledge base. If you implement this kind of workflow, remind your agents to check the existing documentation to ensure the duplicate content isn’t created. Any existing content should be reviewed by the agent to see if it needs to be updated and flagged accordingly.
Designate subject matter experts to create content for your KB
Creating knowledge base content must be a priority and fall under the purview of a specific person or group. Designating writers for your knowledge base—and tagging and assigning them to updates—will help keep the process continuously moving.
Who you designate depends on the nature of the content in your self-service customer portal and your available resources. Many teams hire dedicated technical writers to create their content, while others assign members of the support team. Some teams might have subject matter experts (SMEs) as their writers.
Establish editorial standards and processes
Knowledge base articles must be clear, concise, and consistent. Establishing solid editorial standards and processes ensures your content meets certain quality requirements.
Here are a few best practices to incorporate:
Create a template for your articles with designated sections to fill in, so authors always include the right information.
Link-related articles to help users find all the information they need to solve their problems.
Define terms and jargon or direct users to a glossary that defines key terms for your product or business.
Ask a subject matter expert to review articles for accuracy and thoroughness.
How to choose the right knowledge base software
Choosing the right knowledge base software starts with defining the nature of the information you want to organize and the people who will use that information. Knowledge base software is the tool you’ll use to collect, maintain, and serve the right information to the right person at the right time. Here are a few questions to consider when picking the best software for your business.
Is it reliable and secure?
The best knowledge base software has safeguards to protect sensitive data. With up-to-date software compliance certifications, businesses demonstrate that they abide by industry restrictions and regulations to keep data secure. Your knowledge base software should also prioritize reliability and integrate with your problem management software. This allows the vendor to minimize downtime in case of an unpredictable system issue.
How easy is it to set up and maintain?
Pick software that sets up quickly and offers the tools you need for easy maintenance. It’s also wise to choose a vendor that provides a dedicated onboarding team to streamline the process, answer questions, and get you up and running swiftly. This fast time to value means you can start seeing the benefits of the software sooner rather than later.
What is the total cost of ownership?
Every business wants a quick ROI when investing in new software. The best way to achieve this is to choose reliable knowledge base software that is simple to set up, integrates with your current systems, and doesn’t require much training. This allows your team to use the software faster with minimal setup and training costs.
Frequently asked questions
Try knowledge base software for free
Zendesk provides smart knowledge base software that helps your customers self serve and organizes your institutional knowledge as a searchable database for your internal teams. Put simply, with our knowledge base software, you can quickly create and tailor a help center to your specific needs.
You can leverage the Zendesk ticketing system with our knowledge base software to give agents access to AI-powered article recommendations inside support tickets, flag old content for improvements, and let agents draft new knowledge base articles. Give Zendesk a try and start providing your customers with convenient self-service options while improving agent efficiency and resolution times.
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