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The Top 5 Knowledge Base Software For 2021

Looking for the best knowledge base software?

Having an efficient knowledge management system is crucial since it helps you safely store tons of important company and project-related documents. Not to mention, it also helps customers find quick solutions to their problems.

Speaking of an instant solution, wouldn’t it be great if you could find the perfect knowledge base software in just a few minutes?

Well, it turns out you’re in luck!

From the hundreds of knowledge base tools out there (including open source software), we’ve narrowed down the five best knowledge management software in 2021. We’ll go over their key features to help you decide which one suits your needs best.

What Is A Knowledge Base?

A knowledge base is a database containing detailed information and guidelines about a company’s product, service, or project.

(Note: If you already know what a knowledge base is, and how it works, you can jump directly to our top 5 list here.)

Remember the ‘good old days,’ when your gadgets used to come with bulky user manuals, which usually ended up in the trash?

man throwing paper in trash like basketball

A knowledge base system is a modern-day solution to those manuals.

The main purpose of a knowledge center is to educate or instruct your customers or team members about your product or service and answer all their burning questions. That’s why the knowledge base system is usually also called a self service portal.

A company knowledge center can be public or private, depending on its purpose. For example, any online knowledge base for your customers is public. 

However, a company knowledge base for your internal team might be private. (You don’t want to reveal your secret sauce, do you?)

What Is A Knowledge Base Software?

Knowledge management software is an online platform that stores important company and project-related data. This will help your customers or employees access and share it anytime they like.

This way, whenever someone needs help, they can access the relevant knowledge base articles

The result?

Better customer experience and increased customer satisfaction.

You know what they say; “If you don’t appreciate your customers, someone else will.”

However, remember that not all knowledge bases are for customers. Many companies also use a knowledge base to store important internal company and project-related data.

What Is The Best Knowledge Base Software?

Here are the five best knowledge base tools in 2021:

(Click on the links to jump to a specific tool)

1. ClickUp

doc view in clickup

What separates ClickUp from the rest of the tools on this list is that it isn’t just an outstanding knowledge base tool

ClickUp is the world’s leading project management and knowledge base tool.

With a whole host of features, it’s got everything an in-house or a remote team needs to store and organize their work.

This fully-fledged, user-friendly project management also has Tasks, Timelines, and even Goals to go alongside your Docs. You can use it as a searchable internal or external knowledge base, or you can use it to replace all or some of your team productivity tools.

Here are the features that make ClickUp our absolute top choice as the best knowledge base software:

A. Store Docs in the same place as your work

Losing track of documents when dealing with colossal knowledge bases?

We don’t blame you. 

We aren’t all as organized as Monica:

monica saying she won awards for organization

But don’t worry, ClickUp’s got you covered!

ClickUp Docs allow you to store your documents where they’re relevant; alongside their tasks!

Each project or group of tasks can have its own set of Docs. This makes it easy for you to access relevant knowledge base articles when you’re working on a project. You don’t have to look through multiple wiki pages for it; they’re stored in your project space itself!

Who needs Monica, when you’ve got ClickUp?

B. Nesting

Another cool ClickUp feature is that it lets you nest pages within your Docs. Instead of fitting everything into one Doc, just break it into smaller sub-pages nested within your parent document.

A page within a page: sounds awfully like a plot to a movie everyone knows. (Hint: It’s got Leo DiCaprio.)

Sure, other internal knowledge base tools allow nesting, none of them make it so easy!

Want to move your nested pages around? 

No problem.

Just drag and drop it to where you want!

These nested Docs will show up under your parent Doc in your sidebar. This way, you can access each nested Doc directly!

Doc public sharing link

The result?

You get a far better user experience.

C. Formatting options

When it comes to text formatting, ClickUp takes it to the next level.

You’ve got loads of formatting options to add whatever you want to a Doc: be it Lists, images, links, dividers, a WYSIWYG editor, you name it!

Surprisingly, in-depth formatting isn’t an option you find on most internal knowledge base tools.

It’s one of the reasons so many users still use Google Docs for their team’s knowledge bases. It can’t store information as well as a knowledge base tool, but at least it features a text editor.

Luckily, ClickUp gives you as much formatting freedom as Google Docs does, so you can go all out and make your documents as classy or as fancy as Homer here:

homer in a top hat

Pretty impressive for a free knowledge base software solution, right?

D. Customizable access rights

Want to manage who gets access to what in your knowledge base?

No problem.

ClickUp makes customizing your knowledge base access rights a piece of cake!

You can…

  1. Share a Doc publically, which allows anyone to access a Doc, even if they aren’t part of your team on ClickUp
  2. Share a Doc via a private link; this lets you choose specifically who gets access to a Doc. It’s the best option for sharing sensitive files or confidential data
  3. Share a Doc with a search engine. This allows Google to index your Doc and have it pop up on Google searches
  4. Make a Doc completely private. This won’t allow anyone else to access the Doc. You can work on it freely without having to worry about anyone else editing it

This way, you don’t need to worry about someone named ‘Anonymous Elk’ snooping around like in Google Docs.

2. Confluence

confluence

Confluence is part of the Atlassian Suite of SaaS (Software as a Service) products and is a very popular searchable knowledge base tool. It’s got several advanced features that appeal to large businesses and small businesses alike.

However, to make the most out of Confluence you’ll need to use other suite tools; and that can be a bit too much to ask. 

It’s like buying an entire toolbox when you just need a hammer!

If you’re looking for an alternative for Confluence, check out our list for the top Confluence alternatives. 

Anyway, here’s why Confluence is a decent knowledge base software:

A. Document categorization

The Confluence app does a good job of document management and organization. Unlike most other online knowledge base software, it allows you to group related documents to make them easily accessible.

For example, Confluence will allow you to group documents covering a range of marketing-related topics together. Your docs about social media marketing and website data will be grouped into the same space.

So now your documents won’t be lonely!

B. Active collaboration

Most wiki tools allow team members to contribute to a document, but few allow them to actively collaborate on one in real-time. With Confluence, you’ll find it very easy to work alongside your team members on a doc, even on your mobile apps!

Confluence also supports a tagging feature. With the in-line mentions feature, you can tag a team member in your document, and they’ll be notified instantly.

However, keep in mind that you can’t share Confluence docs publicly. So it’s difficult to share docs with external parties like clients, software developers, or even your customers.  

C. Pre-made templates

Confluence offers you tons of pre-made templates that range from project plans to product launches to cater to your documentation needs.

This can help streamline your knowledge building workflow as you’re not wasting time formatting different documents. Use one of their pre-made templates, add your information and you’re good to go. 

3. Helpjuice

helpjuice

Helpjuice is a popular free knowledge base software platform. It’s a robust knowledge management solution and a friendly end user interface. It’s also a bit pricier than the other tools on this list, so you might not get a sweet deal with Helpjuice.

Here are a few reasons why it’s among the best knowledge base tools:

A. Branding

Helpjuice is one of the few tools that allows you to brand your knowledge base articles. You can add your logo and contact details to the header and change the color scheme of your document.

This allows each of your documents to look far more professional, especially if your knowledge base content is public. Having your company’s logo on your external knowledge base content is an excellent way of getting your brand recognized instantly...just don’t go too crazy with it.

man with custom t-shirt

B. Analytics

The Helpjuice app gives you advanced analytics about each item in your internal knowledge base. You can measure who’s viewing each document, who’s contributing to content creation, what actions a reader took after reading a document, the list is endless!

This makes your wiki tool a great user analytics machine, which makes getting insights super easy.

For example, when it comes to training resources, you can see which docs are being visited the most. This might indicate that your new employees may be having trouble with that process and might need a different solution.

C. Categorization capabilities

It’s easy to categorize your help center or knowledge base articles and place them into separate folders on Helpjuice.

That’s not all. Unlike most tools that allow you to place a document into a single folder, Helpjuice allows you to place a document into multiple folders.

This is important as a doc could be relevant to different processes. For example, a document on social media can be placed in your marketing folder as well as your PR folder.

This way, you don’t have to jump through hoops to find a document. Orange you glad that Helpjuice has this feature?

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

4. ProProfs Knowledge Base

proprofs

ProProfs KnowledgeBase is a free internal knowledge base software that’s been around since 2006. 

Since it’s an old-timer, it might not be as ‘hip’ as the other new knowledge base tools today.

However, here are a few some classic features that make it stand among the best knowledge base tools:

A. Customizable access rights

ProProfs KnowledgeBase lets you customize access rights on each document in your internal knowledge base

You can keep your entire knowledge base system public, private, or edit access on a doc-by-doc basis.

You can even create groups of people that always have access to certain docs, such as the technical support team or the senior management team.

Because you wouldn’t want to hand over your trade secrets to your interns, right?

B. Integrations

PropProfs gets along well with other work tools, kind of like how Professor Keating buddies up with his students.

man lecturing on poetry

ProProfs KnowledgeBase has loads of integrations for additional functionality. You can connect your searchable external knowledge base to a support tool like Live Chat or analytics tools like Google Analytics to make your wiki portal more powerful.

For example, integrations with help desk software like Live Chat allow your internal knowledge base software to connect with your customer support tool, making complaint resolution easier.

You’ll find it very easy to create a self service knowledge base portal by integrating your help center articles with your service desk using your online knowledge base software. This way, customers won’t have to rely on customer support agents

They can address support requests and questions themselves using your support content

C. Detailed insights

With Google Analytics integration, you get insights like time-on-page and can track what your customers are viewing on your knowledge base.

However, that isn’t all.

ProProfs does what real professors do: grade stuff. 

It goes through your knowledge base content to give you a readability score to improve your writing in the future. It can also analyze which documents are read the most, and who are involved in content management and creation.

With these insights, you’ll find it easier to give your customers docs with more helpful information. You’ll be able to write more clearly so that your customers wouldn’t need to decode the meaning behind your docs!

5. Freshdesk

freshdesk

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support tool with wiki capabilities. With loads of features and help desk software capabilities, Freshdesk is an excellent online knowledge base software

However, since Freshdesk is geared towards customer support, it’s internal knowledge base features might not be so helpful.

Let’s take a look at some of its features:

A. Versions and translations

Freshdesk allows you to create and manage multiple versions of the same document on your knowledgebase. These could be versions aimed at different demographics, with each version containing a relevant article for that target group.

Alternatively, you can use this feature to store the same document in different languages. This can be a useful solution if you want to build a multilingual support service desk or public help desk software

With Freshdesk, you’ll find it easy to build a collection of frequently asked customer questions and answers in different languages, so you don’t have to struggle like Joey here:

joey trying to speak another language

B. SEO capabilities

Freshdesk has in-built SEO capabilities that can improve your chances of ranking on a powerful search engine like Google. These include features such as adding meta tags and descriptions to your docs.

Being able to manage this is vital if you want your doc to rank on a search engine and improve its online visibility for your knowledge article

C. Storage space

You might know a lot of stuff, but if you have a memory of a goldfish, it’s pointless!

Similarly, your knowledge management tool is useless if it doesn’t have the memory to store your files. Luckily, Freshdesk offers you unlimited storage, even in their free version!

You’ll have all the space you need to store documents covering every aspect of your organization, ranging from project plans, organization docs, and frequently asked questions by customers.

Conclusion

Knowledgebase tools are an integral component of your company’s workflow. They can help reduce training times, supplement your service desk, and safely store company information for future use.

Each of these five powerful tools brings something unique to the table as a knowledge management solution. Which of them do you think is best suited to your workflow and business needs?

(Psst..here’s a hint: it rhymes with ‘quick pup!’)

With excellent document formatting features, detailed organizational capabilities, and advanced sharing options, ClickUp has everything you need from a knowledge base solution.

So why not sign up for the free version of ClickUp and build the perfect knowledge base today?

dog typing on laptop

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