What is Knowledge Base Software?
Knowledge base software is a tool for creating online databases to store important information for your customers. Customers can use this database to answer questions they may have about your products and services.
A knowledge base is a self-service solution that makes it quick and easy for customers to look for the information they need. It is an effective alternative to traditional email or phone-based customer service options.
However, knowledge base software does not solve every potential problem a customer may face. It is most helpful when dealing with common issues, and it will help your company and your customers get these questions answered much faster.
By offloading these questions from support agents to a knowledge base, your company will see a significant reduction in support volume. Investing in a self-service option like knowledge base software will improve how your company responds to its customers well into the future.
There are many knowledge base software options on the market, so you will need to decide which one best meets your needs. Here are some essential features to look for when choosing your knowledge base software.
Feature Examples of Knowledge Base Software
The best knowledge bases put the search box at the core of the experience. It should be easy for customers to find the search bar, enter their question and find the answer within the first few results. Because of this, your solution must have an advanced search system that will provide your customers with the answers they’re looking for.
For example, Document360 uses an AI-powered search engine which searches the entire knowledge base, not just article titles. This is done in real-time, providing customers with search results in milliseconds.
Simple Backend Dashboard
Your knowledge base software should have a simple backend dashboard that allows you to easily input text, images, videos, and other media. These dashboards shouldn’t require you to write or modify code to create your resources, meaning you don’t need to be a web developer to use these programs.
While it’s most important for your customer to have an easy and intuitive interface, you should consider your own experience as well. After all, you will create and modify hundreds of articles, tutorials, and questions within the knowledge base. Having a backend dashboard that’s easy to use will ensure you are giving your customers a great experience.
For example, KnowAll has a user-friendly admin dashboard built on the popular website builder WordPress. It allows you to easily create articles, insert media, and organize your resources with categories.
Easily Manageable Categories
Having categories for the articles in your knowledge base keeps everything organized for both you and your customers. It makes it easy for customers to find articles related to a certain topic and easy for you to keep track of your resources on the backend.
Categories can organize resources by product, service, or different issues that your customers are experiencing. With potentially hundreds of articles to navigate, a simple categorization system makes things easier for your customer to browse and for you to stay on track when editing or updating new content.
For example, HubSpot Service Hub provides both categories and tags to keep your knowledge base resources organized.
More than half of all traffic on the web now comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Your knowledge base software must be optimized for mobile so your customers can find solutions no matter what device they use.
For example, Groove features well-designed, mobile-ready themes that are customizable for your brand. This will ensure that your knowledge base both looks and works well on mobile devices.
The web widget is a popup box located in the bottom corner of your company’s website. While it often initiates a live chat, you can include a link that allows customers to search your knowledge base without leaving the home page.
Web widgets are becoming increasingly popular on company websites for their ability to significantly reduce support tickets. Integrating a knowledge base into your company’s web widget will optimize your customer support even further.
For example, Helpscout’s Beacon widget allows your customers to access articles from your knowledge base from any page on your website.
Support for file attachments is useful when your article requires additional files to provide support. Whether it’s a PDF file, template, or an external video file, attaching files can provide more effective solutions than embedded media alone.
For example, Freshdesk lets you attach files into your solution articles, allowing you to help the customer in the most effective way possible.
A User Feedback System
A great way to improve your knowledge base’s usability and effectiveness is to ask for feedback from your customers. This can be done through a rating system such as a thumbs up or star rating, letting you know whether customers found a particular article helpful or not.
For example, Freshdesk allows you to request customer feedback for individual articles so that you can quickly improve the quality of your content.
Analytics & Reports
With access to analytics and reports, you can understand which resources are working well and which ones are giving your customers trouble. This will help you improve your articles so that they are more helpful for your user base. Many knowledge base software providers offer reports for each article that include the number of views and time spent visiting each page.
For example, Helpjuice offers analytics that provide insight into your knowledge base articles and search queries.
The best knowledge base software will integrate with other popular support platforms used by your company to create a seamless customer experience. If your support team uses a shared inbox to handle support tickets, an integrated knowledge base will make it easy to embed support articles into your responses.
Integrated knowledge base software allows your customers to search for knowledge base articles directly from your company’s web widget, significantly reducing support inquiries in the process.
For example, ProProfs integrates with many popular third-party applications like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Wufoo, Salesforce Desk, Google Analytics, and others.
11 Best Knowledge Base Software Applications
KnowAll is a knowledge base theme for WordPress, a free website building platform trusted by more than a quarter of the world’s websites. The KnowAll theme will give you all the features you need to build a fully-functioning knowledge base for your customers. It is also easy to integrate third-party apps already used by your support team.
- Easy to add and enhance your knowledge base with plugins for WordPress, as well as integrate with third-party apps like Zapier and HubSpot
- Changing the design of your knowledge base is a snap with thousands of WordPress themes to choose from
- Using WordPress makes KnowAll a more affordable option than other knowledge base software
- With WordPress, you can fully customize your knowledge base without being limited by corporate software
While you can install WordPress on your website for free, you will need to pay for a domain, hosting, and the KnowAll theme to get your knowledge base up and running. Here is an estimate of how much it would cost to set up your WordPress-based system:
- Domain: $10
- Hosting: $30/month
- KnowAll Theme: $149
- Total: $189
Document360 is an easy-to-use software designed specifically for building knowledge base platforms. It is a cloud-based application with a simple, web-based editor with markdown support for more customization.
Setting up a knowledge base with Document360 is as easy as signing up for an account and creating your articles from anywhere with an internet connection, even from a mobile device. It is trusted by some of the world’s leading brands like Microsoft and Harvard University.
- User-friendly interface is clean and intuitive, keeping the focus on your content and organizing your knowledge base
- The editor has support for markdown to streamline writing and editing your knowledge base articles
- Ability to create both private knowledge bases for your support team and public knowledge bases for your customers
- Analytics for search queries, failed searches, and team metrics on the individual employee level
- Startup plan - $49 per month, 2 team accounts, 5GB storage
- Business plan - $149 per month, 5 team accounts, 50GB storage
- Enterprise plan - $299 per month, 15 team accounts, 150GB storage
- Enterprise Plus plan - tailored to each customer, unlimited team accounts, 300GB storage
G2 Rating: 4.7 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/document360/reviews
LiveAgent is a fully-featured help desk application that aggregates multichannel communication into a single dashboard. Their knowledge base feature is built into their premium plans which start at $15 per month.
This platform is a popular option with over 150 million end-users worldwide and integration with over 40 third-party applications. To start setting up your knowledge base, you will have to purchase a paid plan or start a 14-day trial.
- Fully customizable platform that allows you to change your dashboard theme and color, live chat buttons, alert sounds, and knowledge bases
- Not just a knowledge base software, LiveAgent is a complete help desk solution with more than 179 features
- Three paid plans with competitive pricing compared with other options on the market
- 24/7 customer support will respond to your emails in 30 minutes on average
- Free plan
- Ticket plan - $15/agent/month
- Ticket + chat plan - $29/agent/month
- All-inclusive plan - $39/agent/month
G2 Rating: 4.5 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/liveagent/reviews
Helpjuice is a simple yet robust knowledge base software designed to scale your customer support and improve your team’s collaboration. They also claim to be the number one rated knowledge base software since 2011.
They specialize in companies with large teams while keeping their platform approachable and beginner-friendly. They also have a great support team that promises a five-minute response time to any inquiries.
- Simple and intuitive user interface with a user-friendly editor, easy to create and edit your articles with minimal effort
- Helpjuice claims that their search is as quick and innovative as Google’s, searching your entire database in real-time
- Dozens of themes to choose from to customize your knowledge base for your brand
- Analytics provide insight into your knowledge base and search statistics
- $120 per month - up to 4 users
- $200 per month - up to 16 users
- $499 per month - unlimited users
G2 Rating: 4.4 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/helpjuice/reviews
HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot Service Hub is another all-in-one solution for streamlining your customer communication. Its knowledge base functionality makes it easy to create a directory of help articles to assist your customers better.
To start creating a knowledge base with HubSpot Service Hub, you can sign up for a paid plan or have their sales team give you a free demo of their knowledge base platform. Once you have access to their software, you can import existing articles from other sources or create new ones with their built-in templates.
- Hubspot Service Hub is an all-in-one platform with everything your support team needs to assist your customers
- Support for multiple languages allows you to create and manage articles that help customers in their language of choice
- Analytics provide data on search terms, article performance, and video engagement, giving you helpful information when developing new articles
- Toggle access to make articles accessible for only certain employees or departments
- Free plan
- Starter plan - $45 per month
- Professional plan - $360 per month
- Enterprise plan - $1,200 per month
G2 Rating: 4.4 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/hubspot-service-hub/reviews
Zendesk is one of the world’s leading customer support platforms and boasts a robust knowledge base system as part of its software package. Zendesk’s ability to effectively handle support tickets offers powerful integration with your knowledge base, helping your customers get their questions answered quickly and efficiently.
Zendesk’s knowledge base system is called Zendesk Guide and is included in some of their paid subscription plans. These plans can become expensive and are better suited for companies with larger support teams.
- Zendesk is an all-in-one solution with all the tools you need to build a world-class customer support platform
- Not only will Zendesk help you create a knowledge base system, but it can also handle your support tickets, live chats, and much more
- Features some of the most modern and intuitive knowledge base designs available on the market
- Zendesk’s Sunshine CRM provides advanced tools for managing your customer base
Zendesk is an all-in-one customer service platform that offers its features in separate plans. To access Zendesk’s knowledge base tools, you need to purchase their $89 per month plan. However, to get 24/7 customer support from Zendesk, you need to purchase their $149 per month plan.
G2 Rating: 4.2 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/zendesk-support-suite/reviews
ServiceNow’s complete customer service platform is ideal for larger companies, especially when creating onboarding and transition workflows. Its knowledge base tool has a more traditional design than other options, making it a more attractive option for someone looking for an old-school approach.
It supports both private knowledge bases for your staff and public ones to assist your customers. It also has an app store featuring specific integrations for creating knowledge bases.
- It’s more than just knowledge base software, it can improve your customer support through automated workflows, live chat, and more
- Innovative search function use AI to match search terms with personalized and actionable results for your customers
- Machine learning suggests related articles so both employees and customers can resolve problems quickly
- Integration with a service portal that connects your knowledge base, customer support, and more all in one place
ServiceNow’s pricing is tailored to each customer. You will have to contact their sales team to get a quote, but reviews on the website GetApp mention that their pricing starts at $100 per month.
G2 Rating: 4 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/servicenow-now-platform/reviews
ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs Knowledge Base is a robust tool for creating knowledge bases, help manuals, FAQ pages, and more. It is easy to use and integrates with other popular applications like Zendesk and Google Analytics.
The software is convenient and flexible, allowing you to choose between their pre-made templates or use HTML and CSS to build your knowledge base from scratch. You can even host your knowledge base on your own domain if you like.
- Integrates with third-party tools such as Zendesk, Freshdesk, Wufoo, Salesforce Desk, Google Analytics, and more
- Its clean and intuitive interface makes it easy to set up your knowledge base quickly so customers can get the support they need
- A wide array of features such as team collaboration, content authoring, customization, and analytics
- Offers a forever free plan and two paid plans
- Essentials plan - $60/200 pages/month
- Premium plan - $100/200 pages/month
- Enterprise plan - tailored to each customer
G2 Rating: 4.5 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/proprofs-knowledge-base-software/reviews
Help Scout is a complete customer service platform that is trusted by over 12,000 businesses in 140 countries. Its knowledge base feature allows you to create articles quickly with text, images, links, and videos.
Help Scout’s Beacon web widget allows your customers to access knowledge base articles no matter where they are on your website. They also claim that their knowledge base software will reduce your customer support volume by at least 20%.
- Easy to categorize your articles and optimize details to improve SEO
- Beacon web widget provides answers instantly from any page on your website
- SSL support is built-in for free, giving your company and its customers peace of mind
- Customizable color and formatting options, allowing you to tailor your knowledge base to your brand
- Standard plan - $20/user/month
- Plus plan - $35/user/month
- Company plan - tailored to each customer
G2 Rating: 4.3 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/help-scout/reviews
Groove is a beautiful and user-friendly knowledge base tool and one of the most affordable options available, starting at $12/user/month. It’s designed to help you create support articles quickly without the need for coding or technical skills.
Groove claims that setting up their software takes less than 15 minutes, which means you can publish your first article within the first hour. They also offer a free 100-day trial with no credit card required.
- Themes are customizable, responsive, and mobile-friendly, with the ability to upload your company logo and select from Google fonts
- Reporting and analytics help you learn what articles are working and which ones need to be improved
- Optimized for mobile so your knowledge base looks and works great regardless of the device your customers use
- Built-in web widget makes your knowledge base available on every page of your company website
- Starter plan - $12/user/month
- Plus plan - $20/user/month
- Pro plan - $35/user/month
- Company plan - tailored to each customer
G2 Rating: 4.3 / 5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/groovehq/reviews
Freshdesk is an all-in-one customer service platform designed to streamline the customer experience and automate repetitive tasks for your support agents. Its knowledge base tool is loaded with competitive features such as analytics, templates, versioning, and an approval workflow.
- Create engaging and readable content with pictures, videos, and attachments to help your customers as effectively as possible
- Manage your knowledge base content all in one place while keeping everything organized
- Save your team from repetitive tasks through bulk actions for multiple categories and articles
- Use analytics to track article performance and improve the quality of your content from customer feedback
- Sprout plan - Free
- Blossom plan - $15 per month
- Garden plan - $35 per month, support for multilingual knowledge base
- Estate plan - $49 per month, ability to manage and edit versions of knowledge base articles
- Forest plan - $99 per month, knowledge base approval workflow
G2 Rating: 4.4/5
G2 Reviews: https://www.g2.com/products/freshdesk/reviews