The Best Knowledge Base & Knowledge Management Software To Use In 2021

Sydney • Jan 1st, 2021

What is knowledge base or knowledge management software?

At its most basic, a knowledge base software is a database where a wide range of information is stored. Nowadays knowledge bases are located online and most of their storage is cloud-based. Companies use them to manage, organize, and store their most important information and documentation for a variety of purposes. Essentially, they act as the brain of many companies.

Some companies use knowledge bases for internal purposes, while others use them for external communications and customer support. 

Knowledge bases are becoming increasingly popular as of late as companies are looking for ways to optimize their data storage. They're also being chosen over corporate wikis as they allow for a higher degree of content oversight.

Indeed, rather than having information spread across different platforms and systems in the form of widgets, social media platforms, apps, email chains, Slack accounts, tools, and computer systems, it's much more convenient to have all the most important data located in one, central, easily-accessible place. 

Who uses knowledge base software? 

There are 2 main kinds of knowledge base softwares: internal and external. So, who uses a given knowledge base software depends on what kind of software they're using. 

Internal knowledge base software

Internal knowledge base softwares (B2T) are normally online knowledge bases that team members use to access private, confidential or otherwise not publicly available information.

External knowledge base software

External knowledge base softwares (B2C) act as self-service customer service solutions. Customers and clients use them as help desks and they're important customer experience tools.

Knowledge base softwares are normally sold as software as service (SaaS), but there are also open-source knowledge base tools out there. This allows for a higher level of html editing and customization, among other things.

What's the purpose of a knowledge base software? 

There's so much a knowledge base software can do for you, your team and your business (whether you use it internally or externally). A few of the main key benefits include:

Effective storage

This may be the most obvious benefit, but it's also one of the most important. Using a knowledge base software ensures that all your most important company knowledge is centralized, organized, and stored securely. You won't have to worry about finding lost information stored in multiple places, across various apps or with different people. 

Increased productivity

When information is readily available and easy to find, less time is wasted and productivity increases. This applies to both internal and external knowledge bases. Customers that can get their own questions answered online spend less time talking to support agents. Employees with easy access to common questions and company information spend less time consulting their coworkers and superiors about the same things over and over again.

Easy employee onboarding

This mainly applies to internal knowledge bases. With all the new knowledge that goes into starting a job at a new company, employee onboarding is a time-consuming process. It doesn't matter if we're talking about startups or large organizations, onboarding new employees can eat up a lot of managers' or human resources professionals workdays.

Using an internal knowledge base software adds a degree of automation to employee onboarding. This gives new hires access to everything they need from day 1, saving everybody time. It also helps save on some of the time and resource expenses associated with training.

Great customer experience

This mainly applies to external knowledge bases. When used correctly, knowledge base software acts as help desk software and is a wonderful customer service tool. This can really empower customers to self-help and solve their own problems in real-time. It also gives off a great impression of your business. Your customers will appreciate that you've taken the time to put together key resources they need, and it leaves the precious customer support tickets for more complicated issues.

Impressive consistency

Company information and documentation is dynamic... it's always being updated, changed, and edited. It's easy for data to become outdated, and fast. When everyone has access to the same, most up-to-date versions of key company data, you'll avoid miscommunications and be sure that what everyone is seeing and sharing is accurate. Knowledge base software helps ensure this. 

Knowledge Base Software Features

There are tons of different options out there in terms of knowledge management software nowadays. If you're trying to find the right solution for you and your team, be sure to keep an eye out for the following features. Trust us, they'll make your life much easier in the long run!

1. Search engine or search system features

2. User-friendly backend

3. Effective reporting & analytics

4. Attachment functionalities 

5. Responsive support team & support agents 

6. An organization or categorization system

What Is The Best Knowledge Management Software?

It's 2021 and having stray files stored all over the place just isn't going to do it anymore. 

Sure, it used to work just fine keeping company information in a variety of computers, email accounts, folders, apps and systems. However, we've since learned that this kind of ad-hoc information management is messy, ineffective and more often than not leads to problems and additional work down the road. That's just not going to cut it this year.

Knowledge base software helps avoid these kinds of organizational pitfalls, but there are so many options out there. How are you supposed to determine which one will work best for your team?

We're here to help. We've scoured reviews, company websites, knowledge base articles, blogs and social media posts in order to determine the best knowledge base software out there today. Finally, we came up with our top 7 picks for you to try in 2021. Think about what kinds of solutions your organization requires, give them a read through, think about which software aligns best with your needs and choose 1 or 2 of them that you'd like to try.

Now that's starting 2021 on the right foot.

1. SliteThe solution your whole team will love

When it comes to internal knowledge bases, Slite is a fantastic choice. Slite's overarching mission is to help teams collaborate and work together better, no matter where they're located.  They absolutely accomplish this with their knowledge base software as they unite entire teams' knowledge with one simple, easy-to-use tool.

Three things set Slite apart as a knowledge management solution. The first is that they aren't just a knowledge management solution. Slite is built on the strong belief that knowledge base softwares fail because the information lives too far away from our day-to-day jobs. This was true when the knowledge base was a printed handbook you stored in your desk drawer, and it's true when it's a clunky software you open on your first day on the job, and never look back to again. The content is stale, outdated and useless.

Slite fights this by not being your classic knowledge base. You can store any kind of company information or documentation you can imagine, ranging from meeting reports & analytics to customer support & CRM information to frequently asked questions (FAQs). Knowledge work best when it's where your team works.

The second is the guarantee of team-wide adoption. There's no point in putting together a knowledge management system if no one is using it. Every professional team has members with different technological abilities, so Slite user experiences are so simple, anyone can take it for a spin and immediately get it.

Finally, Slite's discoverability functionalities automatically highlight what's new and popular, so team members will always be shown the most up-to-date and important information.

Slite's knowledge base software is already being used by more than 5000 growing teams worldwide. Best of all, you can get started with Slite's knowledge base software for free. After that, paid plans are priced per member & per month but you only pay for what you use.

Try it live 👇

2. ZenDeskThe old faithful customer service tool​​​

ZenDesk is one of the oldest knowledge base solutions out there, and it's still around for a good reason. It's incredibly popular for customer service uses, but it can also be used as an external knowledge base software more generally. This makes ZenDesk a great option if you're looking for a comprehensive customer care solution.

ZenDesk also has some unique integrations that you should be sure to check out. Along with standard customer service and ticketing functionalities, it also has chat features, can import files from Google Docs, provides multilingual content, has content restoring capabilities and even offers an AI Answer Bot that can help you automatically respond to emails. 

If you want to provide resources for customers to troubleshoot their own roadblocks, you can set up a help center or a community forum. They also have tons of integrations to choose from, both externally and with their other products. 

While ZenDesk has a free plan, it isn't the most affordable solution out there once you start adding on customizations and integrations. In terms of pricing, this makes it well-suited for larger, more well-established businesses. 

3. HelpJuiceElegant, intuitive & effective

HelpJuice is a comprehensive, cloud-based knowledge management software that's incredibly useful for both internal and external solutions. Its formatting and design is clear and modern, it has a wide range of detailed, powerful tools and it has a high level of customization across the board. It also has a few key qualities really set it apart from the crowd.

First, HelpJuice is beginner-friendly and doesn't have a steep learning curve. It's designed to be easy to use and its interface is highly intuitive. If you still have trouble despite that, they also have impressive customer care. They'll even help you with your initial set up.

HelpJuice also has rich reporting and analytical capabilities. Their wide variety of charts, graphs, charts, metrics, notes and more help you and your team measure productivity and constantly aim to improve. It's easy to determine what processes should be automated, what workflows should be changed and how to work smarter and not harder.

HelpJuice's biggest negative is the price. As one of the industry's most popular platforms, it doesn't come cheap. They have a free trial, but after that their paid plans start at $120 monthly for 4 users. They also have very limited integrations, which is a definite drawback in relation to the cost.

4. Atlassian (Confluence): A simple solution for small teams

You might already be familiar with the name Atlassian as they're the company behind a wide variety of software on the market today such as Jira. What you might not have heard of is Confluence, their internal knowledge management solution.

Confluence isn't the fanciest knowledge base software out there and it isn't suitable for customer service needs, but it could be perfect for you if you're looking for a simple tool for your team's internal use. 

Confluence comes with a wide range of templates to choose from, which comes in handy if you're starting your professional knowledge base from scratch. There's a free plan available with limited functionalities and up to 10 users, but if you invest in one of their paid plans you'll get access to their full range of features, including advanced analytics.

5. HelpCrunchAn affordable, all-around knowledge base solution

HelpCrunch calls itself an all-in-one customer communication platform, and it's a great option if you're a small or medium business that wants to set up a simple, cost effective customer help center. 

HelpCrunch really stands out in the customer service department as it offers ticketing, email marketing, live chats and pop-ups. It's easy to use, has an easily customizable appearance and is perfect for all the most common customer service concerns you might have. It also has (fairly basic) knowledge base functionalities included that are perfect for smaller enterprises. 

Although HelpCrunch's knowledge base software isn't as robust as some of the other options on this list, it does have a couple exciting features. First, you can customize the SEO settings of all the articles and other content in your knowledge base, which is very convenient if you're working on your SERPs. Their knowledge bases are also easy to categorize and have additional access control features.

HelpCrunch has a free 14-day trial, and their paid plans start from $15/month per team member, making it a very affordable option for growing businesses.

6. Document360Comprehensive knowledge management for bigger teams

Document360 is a cloud-based knowledge base platform that works well for both internal and external uses. It's used by many large organizations such as Microsoft, Reggora and Stackify. This popularity with big companies is largely due to its wide array of collaboration features and its detailed analytical and reporting capabilities. 

Document360 strikes a great balance between being easy to use and having a wide range of handy features such as a markdown editor, different levels of access, intelligent search functions, collaboration tools and search & performance overviews to name a few. It's also very well-designed and its interface has a minimal, easily digestible appearance. 

This software's price is the main reason is isn't popular with smaller organizations and teams as their most basic paid plans start at $49/month per project. It also has limited integrations and doesn't have full customer service functionalities, so if you're looking for an affordable, all-in-one solution, Document360 probably isn't for you.

7. HubSpot Service HubGreat customer experience for large organizations

Last but not least, we'd be remiss not to mention the HubSpot Service Hub if you're looking for an exceptional customer service software. 

It's truly a one-stop-shop for your customer care needs as it provides all the functionalities you could possibly dream up. That extends from knowledge bases to help desks to surveys to reporting to live chats. The Hubspot Service Hub unites all your customer service data and allows you to manage it intuitively in one easy place.

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to be user-friendly for the professionals who use it, too. It's easy to customize your online space to look exactly how you want and get organized in no time. No matter your experience level or familiarity with the software, it's incredibly easy to get started developing your knowledge base. If you have any questions, HubSpot truly walks the walk and will guide you with a demo. 

HubSpot also offers multi-language support, detailed analytics & reporting features and different levels of access. 

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend HubSpot to you if you're a larger organization or have a decent budget to put towards a knowledge base. If you want to use their customer service and knowledge base functionalities, however, paid plans are steep and might be out of reach for smaller businesses.

Create a knowledge base in Slite today