Knowledge base software is an essential tool for any company — no matter its size or industry.
It comes with features that bring many benefits, like empowering your customers with self-service and freeing up your support team’s valuable resources that would otherwise be spent answering customer inquiries. What’s more, using knowledge base software can improve employee onboarding and promote a collaborative culture by providing up-to-date content, how-to guides, and more.
But with so many online knowledge base tools on the market, it’s hard to choose one that’s the right fit for your audience. That's why we've gathered 15 of the top solutions — so you can make an informed decision based on reliable, relevant, and accurate information:
Knowledge Base Software
Medium to large brands that want to build self-service support.
Starts from $599 a month
Cloud-based customer service with knowledge base tool.
Starts from $49 per agent/month
Quick setup of knowledge base with customization.
Starts from $120 per month
Customer service platform with multiple knowledge bases.
Starts from $20 per user/month
Customer success teams with multimedia content embedding.
Contact vendor for pricing
Knowledge base for external customers and internal teams.
Free for up to 10 users; paid plan starts from $5.75 per user
Help desk software with knowledge base creation.
Starts from $9 per agent/month
Private or public self-service knowledge base.
Starts from $131 per month for 3 agents
Cloud-based workflow automation with knowledge base.
Contact vendor for pricing
Open-source platform with easy-to-use features.
All-in-one wiki and knowledge base solution.
Free for up to 3 users; paid plan starts from $10 per user
Note-taking app evolved into project management with knowledge base.
Free for up to 3 users; paid plan starts from $8 per user
Cloud-based knowledge management for contact center staff.
Information not provided
Let’s dig deeper together.
What is knowledge base software?
Knowledge base software is a tool that helps your business collect, organize, and share information for employees and customers alike.
It's a centralized repository of knowledge about your brand that's easily accessible and searchable, making it a powerful tool for streamlining internal processes and improving customer service.
This software typically contains articles, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, video demonstrations, data sheets, and other support materials. These help users find answers to their questions quickly and easily. What's more, these resources are made available 24/7.
What are the different types of knowledge base software?
There are several types of knowledge base software available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Let's take a look at them in detail:
Software for external knowledge bases
External knowledge bases help businesses provide information about their brand and product to their audience. They are usually accessible by anyone on the internet — typically via the company's website or product. These knowledge bases come in handy when brands have to regularly answer the same queries and want to reduce their customer support team’s workload.
Software for internal knowledge bases
Internal knowledge bases are accessible only to employees within a company. They ensure confidential documents are shared securely and typically include information on company policies, procedures, and best practices. Internal knowledge base software helps make sure that all employees are on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Self-hosted Knowledge base
A self-hosted (also known as on-premise) knowledge base is built using your company’s own infrastructure. This means the software will be downloaded and installed on your devices locally. A self-hosted knowledge base gives you full control over the content in your KB — providing endless customization, security, and scalability possibilities. On the other hand, it can be costly to set up and maintain — typically requiring the technical expertise of a developer.
For some brands, implementing a self-hosted knowledge base makes sense. For example, healthcare providers will need their knowledge base to be HIPAA compliant and abide by HIPAA regulations to help avoid data breaches.
Software as a service (SaaS) knowledge base
A SaaS knowledge base is hosted by a third-party service provider. They are more affordable and hassle-free than implementing a self-hosted knowledge base. They also offer flexibility to brands that want to scale up or down as needed, without the inconvenience of having to worry about hosting or regular updates. A SaaS knowledge base can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that have a smaller budget.
At the same time, if a SaaS knowledge base platform experiences any downtime or technical issues, your employees and customers may be left without access to critical information. It can also be difficult to ensure that confidential information remains secure in the cloud.
Standalone knowledge base software
If you're looking for specific software that focuses solely on building and maintaining a knowledge base, then a standalone option may be the way to go. Standalone software is often easy to use, provides many customization options, and more. In addition, they usually come with detailed analytics tailored specifically to your knowledge base — which can be a game-changer for growing your brand. Standalone software is also great if you don't want your team to worry about juggling multiple toolsthat typically come with an all-in-one solution.
All-in-one solution knowledge base
If you need a one-stop shop that includes multiple tools like a knowledge base, chatbots, helpdesk, community forums, and more, then you might want to consider using an all-in-one solution for your KB. They offer everything under one roof and come with many collaboration capabilities for teams across your company. Whether it's managing customer inquiries or keeping track of your community analytics, all-in-one solutions provide many features and a great user experience.
Why you need a knowledge base software
Let’s take a look at the benefits both external and internal knowledge bases can offer your business.
External knowledge bases
Enhancing customer experience and better customer retention
Offering a comprehensive knowledge base full of self-help resources, businesses make it easy for their customers to solve their problems without having to wait a long time to get in contact with a customer support agent. In a similar vein, an external knowledge base provides on-demand 24/7 support — allowing customers to receive help whenever and wherever they need it.
Improving support efficiencies and effectiveness
An external knowledge base automatically deflects support tickets because it allows customers to search a library of information about a brand and its products. This reduces your customer agent’s workload too, since it removes the need for help when dealing with repetitive issues.
At the same time, with fewer customers asking the same questions over and over again, your support team can focus their efforts on more complex tasks — leading to faster resolutions for everyone involved. In addition, having an external knowledge base available provides a hub of content that customer representatives can direct people to — instead of walking them through the issue step-by-step themselves.
Improves customer onboarding and customer success process
A knowledge base can help make the onboarding process less frustrating by providing customers with information like faq pages, video tutorials, and step-by-step instructions that help them navigate your product or service and understand how it works. This allows them to self-onboard — removing the need for extensive training or interactions with your customer success team.
Internal knowledge bases
Creates a culture of collaboration among employees
Internal knowledge bases can come with collaboration features that create an environment that encourages team members to contribute, collaborate, and work together — serving as a catalyst for building a collaborative culture and engaged workforce. For example, some knowledge base software allows employees to comment on articles and tag a colleague to start a discussion.
Facilitates the onboarding of new employees
Starting a job at a new workspace can be overwhelming for anyone, but with the help of an internal knowledge base, the onboarding process can be made smoother and less stressful. This is because an internal knowledge base houses information like company policies, procedures, and even training materials that can be accessed by employees at any time. This allows new employees to quickly familiarize themselves with the company's culture — and learn about its history, goals, and values.
Acts as a source of truth for the company
49% of employees report that they have trouble locating documents. An internal knowledge base can help solve this problem by serving as a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) — ensuring all of your employees have access to your company’s processes and other important information in one place. This also helps break down silos — securing data integrity and reducing wasted resources.
Most important knowledge base features to look for
These are the most important features your brand should keep in mind when deciding what knowledge base software is best for your company:
Content authoring and management: Your knowledge base software should come with features that make it easy to create and manage content. For example, alerting users if an article is already being edited by a team member. Providing content templates so writers don’t have to start from a blank canvas. And having the option to manage who can edit and view specific knowledge base content by assigning permissions to users.
Customizability: A knowledge base should reflect your brand’s unique design and style. This means you should use software that’s customizable — allowing you to add custom headers and footers, change the color scheme, typography, page structure, and more. This will create a cohesive look and feel that aligns with your brand identity.
Categorization and content structure: Your software should let you structure your content into categories. Categories are like folders that place and organize your knowledge base content into certain hierarchies and levels — making it easy for users to find the information they need.
File attachments: An important feature your software should have is the ability to attach downloadable files to your articles. Whether you're sharing PDF guides, spreadsheets, or case studies, being able to easily include additional resources that your users can take with them makes your knowledge base more valuable.
Supporting different formats: Having a knowledge base that supports text, images, and videos is ideal, as it appeals to diverse audiences who have different learning styles.
Multilinguality: Multilingual knowledge bases allow companies to communicate with their customers in their preferred language.
Advanced search capabilities: Deliver accurate results when users misspell words or use incomplete search terms. A powerful search engine also offers suggestions and displays a user’s recent searches.
SEO features: These features include SEO-friendly URLs to help improve click-through rates. You'll also want to generate a sitemap for search engines to crawl and index your knowledge base content. And you'll need to add meta titles and meta descriptions to give search engines a summary of what the content is about.
Integration with other tools: Choose a knowledge base software that integrates with your favorite tools, like HubSpot's CRM platform, for example. This keeps all of your data in one place so team members don’t have to switch back and forth.
Allows for user feedback and interactions: Allow users to share their thoughts, ask questions, and rate the helpfulness of articles. Then you can better understand their needs and improve the overall customer experience of your knowledge base.
Report and analytics: With advanced reporting and analytics, your software can help you make data-informed decisions about how to improve your knowledge base, customer support strategy, and more.
Bettermode is an all-in-one customer community platform that’s used by over 2,000 companies. Its features allow brands to build one-of-a-kind communities that include a comprehensive knowledge base.
Let's take a look at some of these features below:
Create content in different languages
Bettermode gives its customers the ability to create knowledge base content in different languages — including French, Spanish, German, and more. Moreover, your users can translate published content into their preferred language themselves, without having to make any special requests from your support team.
Interact with reactions and replies
Bettermode lets people react, comment, and reply to your knowledge base content. This means your customers can easily communicate their needs and feedback to other users, including your support team. You can also disable this feature if it isn’t right for your brand.
Upload different content formats
The platform makes it possible for you to add rich content to your knowledge base, like images, videos, images, files, and more. This includes adding pre-recorded webinars that your members can watch at a time and place that suits them.
Advanced search with granular filtering and federated search
The platform's search engine comes with granular filters that allow your knowledge base users to narrow down their search so they can return relevant results faster.
Additionally, the platform offers search suggestions and displays the most recent searches — helping your users recall their past searches in case they want to make them again. When your community is integrated with Salesforce, HubSpot, JIRA, Intercom, etc., with federated search customers can results from resources hosted on third-party apps directly from the community.
Embed knowledge base into your product or any web page on your website
Build a public or private knowledge base
Federated search so your users can search multiple knowledge bases at once
Integrates with the tools your business already uses
Cons: May not be suitable for small brands that don’t yet have a many customers
Price: Bettermode’s plans start from $599 a month
Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service software that also offers Zendesk Guide — a knowledge base tool. Zendesk is included in all Suite plans and can be purchased along with any Support plan. However it cannot be bought as a standalone product.
The tool comes with over 140 user-friendly themes for you to choose from. Since these can be expensive for smaller brands, it also offers free themes with different layouts and styles, but they come with fewer elements and capabilities.
Zendesk also provides the ability to automatically share relevant knowledge base articles in your customer’s support tickets.
It comes with a Mobile SDK and web widget that allows brands to embed their knowledge base inside their product or web pages.
Cons: Zendesk Guide’s customization features could be improved
Price: Prices start from $49 per agent/month
Helpjuice is a knowledge base software that allows brands to set up their KB in minutes.
The platform comes with dozens of customizable themes for you to choose from. On top of that, Helpjuice provides free access to an expert in customization who’ll implement all of your customization requests.
It also comes with multilanguage support. This includes letting your users switch to the language they want to view your knowledge base in.
The software provides intelligent analytics that measures what topics people read, what articles have the biggest impact, what users search for, and more.
Cons: Support documentation could be better quality
Price: Prices start from $120 per month
HelpScout is a customer service platform that comes with a tool known as Docs. This tool comes with plenty of features, allowing brands to create multiple knowledge bases.
Docs also has an embeddability feature that lets brands easily embed their knowledge base articles anywhere on their website with a chat widget known as Beacon.
The tool comes with formatting and color options and lets you add custom CSS — making your KB fully customizable so you can ensure its design matches your brand.
Cons: Some users stated that customizing a knowledge base requires a lot of custom code
Price: Prices start from $20 per user/month
A community platform built for customer success teams, InSided has features that enable its customers to build a knowledge base.
One of its popular features is embedding content from Vimeo, YouTube, Spotify, and Typeform into your knowledge base articles. This can include video and audio — giving users the option to consume your content in the type of media they prefer.
InSided also makes it possible to create and organize your knowledge base content into categories so your users can easily find what they’re searching for.
The platform also comes with a powerful search engine that provides smart suggestions to users to help them find a solution to their issues.
Cons: The search engine could be improved
Price: Contact vendor for pricing
Confluence is an Atlassian product that allows companies to create a knowledge base for external customers and internal teams.
The software lets you track any changes that have been made to a piece of content — and automatically saves previous versions. It also comes with flexible permissions that enable you to control who can edit, create, and see your knowledge-base articles
The tool can create customized RSS feeds for your users to subscribe to — keeping them up-to-date with any changes that have been made to the knowledge base.
And since Confluence is created by Atlassian, it integrates with other Atlassian products like Trello and Jira Software.
Cons: The mobile app doesn’t provide the same amount of features as the desktop version
Price: Pricing is free for up to 10 users and the paid plan starts from $5.75 per user
LiveAgent is a help desk software that comes with a tool that lets companies create knowledge bases for their brand.
With LiveAgent, you can create how-to guides, articles, and more for your knowledge base. It lets your customer support agents share knowledge base articles in your customer’s support tickets to help them solve their issues. This allows your support agents to solve more requests faster — increasing productivity and overall customer satisfaction.
LiveAgent also comes with a discussion forum, WYSIWYG editor, and lets you create categories based on your product or service.
Cons: The support documentation could contain more information about how to use features
Price: Prices start from $9 per agent/month
Document360 is a SaaS platform that helps you build a private or public self-service knowledge base for your customers or team members.
It comes with an advanced portal that provides your content producers access to a category manager — allowing them to organize your knowledge base into levels of subcategories and categories. Along with that, users can access the platform’s Markdown and WYSIWYG editor in the advanced portal to create and edit either code-heavy or Word-style documents.
Document360 stands out with its versioning and rollback features — which allow you to display both versions side-by-side as you make changes.
Cons: The editor has limitations
Price: Prices start from $131 per month for 3 agents
ServiceNow is a cloud-based workflow automation platform that helps businesses manage their IT operations. The platform also has the ability to build a knowledge base.
It comes with features that allow users to rate knowledge base articles and also mark them as helpful. You can also enable or disable whether users can comment on published articles.
One popular ServiceNow feature enables articles to be automatically translated into selected languages when published. It also lets brands set what default fields they want to appear in their knowledge base articles.
In addition, the platform offers a feature that includes a quality checklist for your writers to mark off before publishing an article.
Cons: The UI is complex
Price: Contact vendor for pricing
An open-source and easy-to-use platform, BookStack comes with many features that enable it to build powerful knowledge bases. It allows brands to customize the colors, logo, and even the information that’s required for users to register in order to access a knowledge base.
BookStack has a feature that allows brands to easily create diagrams within their documentation to help users understand the product better. The software is also free to use but does come with paid plans that offer different levels of support. These range from handling bug and issue reports to assistance with API integrations, and more.
Cons: Limited visual customizations
Price: BookStack is free
Guru is an all-in-one wiki and knowledge base solution that acts as a single source of truth for teams. The platform provides employees with a personalized dashboard that displays relevant content from your knowledge base that’s relevant to their role within your company. It also places important announcements front and center.
Another impressive feature Guru offers is the ability for employees to follow specific authors that publish content — providing them with updates on their publishing and editing activities.
Cons: Navigation and interface can be overwhelming
Price: Pricing is free for up to 3 users and the paid plan starts from $10 per user
Notion started as a note-taking app and has evolved into a project management tool that offers its users the option of building a simple and easy-to-use knowledge base for both internal and external use.
The platform provides many templates for you to choose from, like the company home template, meeting notes template, content calendar template, and more.
At the same time, Notion allows your different teams to create their very own knowledge base. This lets them build out their own processes and documentation — and keeps them separate.
Your team members can also add emojis to knowledge base content — allowing them to inject some personality into your KB.
Cons: Steep learning curve
Price: Pricing is free for up to 3 users and the paid plan starts from $8 per user
LivePro is a cloud-based knowledge management solution designed for contact center staff.
The platform comes with an AI-assisted search that enables your staff to pull relevant content from your knowledge base quickly so they can deliver an excellent customer experience.
The platform also lets you build an external knowledge base for your customers so they can access information about your brand on their own.
LivePro features premade templates for your authors to use when they are writing content for your knowledge base. It offers many integrations with platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Teams, and more — allowing your teams to streamline their workflow efficiently.
Cons: It doesn’t come with a mobile app
Price: Contact vendor for pricing
Bloomfire is a knowledge management software. It stands out with its focus on knowledge base engagement, offering features that encourage users to interact with your published content.
With Bloomfire, you can ensure your team members have a personalized feed. You can also create and curate a newsletter that contains relevant content for your team members with Bloomfire’s drag-and-drop newsletter builder.
The platform will let you set certain permission roles, ranging from Owner, Admin, Moderator, Author, to Learner. These give members control over your knowledge base by deciding who can edit or create content.
Cons: Customizing posts and layouts requires more time than some users would like
Price: Contact vendor for pricing
MediaWiki is open source and written in PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor). It’s mainly designed for Wikipedia, but also used by thousands of other organizations.
The platform is reliable, free, and easy to use. MediaWiki allows you to add information, screenshots, videos, and more to your knowledge base. You can also link to relevant articles and sort your knowledge base content into separate categories so it's easy for users to browse through it.
Another benefit that some companies will find interesting is that most people have seen MediaWiki, making it a familiar tool with a shallow learning curve.
Cons: It doesn’t come with a self-service portal
Price: MediaWiki is free
Knowledge base software can help businesses better organize, store, and share important data and information about their brand. With that in mind, choosing the right knowledge base software is crucial to how successful and engaging your knowledge base is. This means considering what the most important features are for your business, and these will include customization, search capabilities, multilinguality, and more.
We recommend checking out Bettermode and finding out how you can build a knowledge base that’s right for your brand.
What’s the difference between knowledge base software and help desk software?
While both knowledge base and help desk software are important tools for providing customer support, understanding the difference can help you choose the right solution for your brand’s needs. A knowledge base software is a centralized location of information for both customers and team members, allowing them to easily access information about your product, services, and other relevant topics to solve issues themselves. On the other hand, help desk software comes with a ticketing system and is designed for customer support agents to manage, track, and prioritize urgent support queries on multiple channels — from one place.
Knowledge base software can be costly, and even small fees can add up over time. However, there is free knowledge base software available for those who want a budget-friendly option, like startups or small businesses. It may not have all the advanced features of a paid version, but it’s a great starting point for organizations looking to create a very simple knowledge base system that organizes and shares company knowledge.
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