The best knowledge base software
These are the best knowledge management software in 2021:
- Slite - The perfect communication tool for remote teams
- HubSpot Service Hub
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, this kind of ad-hoc information management is messy, ineffective and more often and 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 which knowledge base app 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 management 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 going through 2021 on the right foot.
Find out what is the knowledge base software your team will finally use. We'll guide you through our top picks and get you started in no time.
1. Slite: The solution your whole team will love
If you’re considering a new internal knowledge base that supports all of your working knowledge (projects, updates, discussions, meetings), you should give Slite a try. Slite's overarching mission is to help teams collaborate and work together better, no matter where they're located. They absolutely accomplish this with our knowledge base software as they unite entire teams' knowledge with a single, easy-to-use tool.
Handy and updated
Three things set Slite apart as a knowledge management solution. The first is that we aren't just a knowledge or document management solution. Slite is built on the strong belief that knowledge base software 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, never to be looked at again. The content is stale, outdated and useless.
Not your classic knowledge base
Slite fights this by not being your classic knowledge base. You can store any kind of company information you can imagine, ranging from meeting minutes & analytics to customer support & CRM information to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and technical documentation. Knowledge works best when it's where both your customers and your team can find you.
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. Because every professional team has members with different technological abilities, we designed Slite’s user experience to be so intuitive that anyone can take it for a spin and immediately get it.
Finally, Slite's knowledge management system discoverability functionalities automatically highlight what's new and popular, so team members will always be shown the most up-to-date and important information. And our search function is lightning fast!
Our knowledge base software is already being used daily by more than 8,100 growing teams worldwide.
Best of all, you can get started with our knowledge base software for free. After that, you can upgrade to our standard plan for $6.67 USD per member, per month. However, you only pay for what you use (members active within the last 30 days). This plan includes unlimited docs, read-only permissions, administrator rights, a usage dashboard, and an enforced Google single sign on.
If you really want to take advantage of everything that Slite has to offer, enterprise plans with an account manager, openID SSO, a service level agreement, priority support, and a custom contract and invoicing are available upon consultation.
- Free and reasonably priced paid plans
- Easy to use and intuitive
- Perfect for any kind of documentation you can dream up
- Accessible regardless of tech experience
- Wide range of ready-to-use integrations
- Apps for desktops, webpages, iOS, and Android
- An ideal software for internal knowledge bases
- Great solution for teams of all sizes
- Takes some time to learn to use the full range of features
- Limited features on the free plan
- Not a good solution for external, customer service focused knowledge base
2. ZenDesk: The 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, customer satisfaction and call center 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.
Pricing wise, ZenDesk’s offerings are a bit confusing. Nevertheless, it’s definitely best suited for larger, more well-established businesses.
ZenDesk doesn’t have a free plan, but they do have a free trial you can take advantage of to get your bearings. After that, their paid plans range from 49 EUR to 99 EUR per agent, per month. Definitely not a cheap price tag.
Their most basic paid plan includes:
- An industry-leading ticketing system
- Messaging across web, mobile, and social
- Email, voice, SMS, and chat support
- A help center
- Easy-to-set-up workflows & automations
- 50 AI-powered automated answers
- A unified agent workspace
- Reporting & analytics
- Standard file & data storage
- Prebuilt apps & integrations
- Robust API
- Onboarding guidance
- Online, email, and phone support from ZenDesk
If your business only requires foundational support, ZenDesk does have some less expensive plans available. The cheapest option starts at 19 EUR per agent per month.
- A wide range of customer service & customer experience features
- A well-established, well-tested software
- Can be used for internal & external knowledge bases
- Unique integrations
- Not the best choice if you’re solely looking for an internal knowledge base software
- Some reported issues with customer support
- Not suitable for small businesses or start-ups
- Can be clunky to use
3. HelpJuice: Intuitive and elegant
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 that 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.
HelpJuice's biggest negative is the price. As one of the industry's most popular platforms, it doesn't come cheap. While they do have a free 14 day trial, you have a limited amount of time to get to know their features.
After that, their most basic paid plan costs a whopping $120 USD monthly for 4 users. Their most expensive plan comes in at $368 USD monthly for unlimited users. As you can see, their pricing makes them more suitable for larger businesses or those with bigger budgets.
Last, HelpJuice is a great software, which justifies the cost to some. Nevertheless, they have pretty limited integrations, which is a definite drawback in relation to their pricing.
- Useful for both internal and external self-service knowledge bases
- Elegant, modern interface
- Intuitive to navigate
- Great customer care
- Easy to customize
- Impressive reporting & analytical features
- Great search engines functionalities
- Limited integrations
- Some features are clunky and need improvements
- New users will face a learning curve
4. Atlassian (Confluence): A solutions for teams who love Confluence products
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.
Scale your business safely
Atlassian is a great knowledge base solution for teams that are growing fast. They have impressive features that allow you to scale your business while knowing that all your information is organized and securely stored.
- Privacy, encryption & compliance: Confluence is GDPR and Privacy Shield compliant. They also have a thorough risk management program and allow their users to verify security with SOC2, SOC3, ISO 27001, ISO 27018, PCI DSS, and more.
- Administration & security features: Feel safe bringing people onto your team and into your knowledge base with administration and security features like SAML SSO, 2-step verification, and automated user provisioning.
- Grow your business without any hassle: Confluence offers robust insights, advanced administrative controls, unlimited storage, a 99.9% uptime SLA, and 24/7 customer support.
When it comes to pricing, Confluence is reasonable. First of all, they have an always free plan for 10 users. This is perfect for small businesses or start-ups that need a budget-friendly documentation solution for their first steps.
After that, their paid plans range between $5 and $10 USD per user per month. They also have an enterprise plan that’s available upon consultation, although it’s billed annually.
- Extremely straightforward and easy to use
- Good internal knowledge base solution
- A wide range of ready-to-use templates available
- Great for small teams
- Robust security features
- Doesn’t work as an external knowledge base solution
- Simple software with limited features
- The app runs a bit slowly
- Search functionalities need improvement
- Bugs with page formatting
5. HelpCrunch: An 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 management software is also easy to categorize and have additional access control features.
Email marketing capabilities
A feature that makes HelpCrunch unique is their email marketing abilities. It’s very convenient to have this built into a customer communication platform, and this isn’t something that all knowledge base softwares offer.
HelpCrunch’s email marketing software allows users to send out manual and automatic email communications, and also integrates with chats. They also have pre-made email templates that will save you time putting together newsletters and marketing messages if you don’t already have an example to work off of.
HelpCrunch’s email marketing software also does more than just the basics. Some of their more unique email features include:
- Live audience segments
- Custom user attributes
- Delayed and auto messages
- Advanced formatting and editing capabilities
- Chat transcripts
Unfortunately, HelpCrunch doesn’t have a free plan. However, they do have a 14-day trial that you can use to get your bearings and determine whether their software is right for your team.
HelpCrunch’s paid plans range between 15 and 25 EUR per month per team member. That’s relatively affordable when considering the range of customer communication services their software offers. They also offer custom enterprise plans that are available upon consultation.
Last but not least, all HelpCrunch’s plans stand out because they offer unlimited contacts and free migration from other platforms.
- A great all-around customer care solution
- Customizable appearance
- Perfect for small & medium-sized businesses
- Impressive external knowledge base capabilities, while also working for internal knowledge bases.
- Email marketing capabilities
- SEO customization
- Not an ideal solution for larger organizations
- Fairly basic knowledge base capabilities, especially internal ones
- Still some missing features & bugs
- Mobile apps still need improvement
- Reporting features could be more robust
6. Document360: Comprehensive 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.
Overall, if you can get your head wrapped around the price tag and don’t need a customer service solution, this could be a great option for your team.
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.
Great knowledge base features
Document360 does a great job of providing users with a powerful, intuitive knowledge base portal. Team members of all kinds will love using it to put together your internal knowledge base, that’s for sure. Some of our favourite features include:
- A category manager that creates up to 6 levels of categories and subcategories
- Markdown and WYSIWYG editors
- Document versioning & rollback
- In-depth analytics
- Impressive security with SSL everywhere, database encryption, 100% cloud-based architecture, enterprise SSO, and auditing
- Drive storage
- The ability to manage several different knowledge management software from one portal (each with their own domain and branding)
Document360’s pricing is a little bit confusing. They don’t have a free plan, but they do have a free trial you can use to get started. After that, their cheapest paid plan includes 2 team accounts and is $59 USD per project per month. You also have to pay additional fees for additional team accounts and storage.
From there, Document360’s paid plans range between $179 USD and $359 USD per project per month. They also have custom enterprise plus plans available upon consultation. Your decision really depends on the size of your team and what features you need.
As you can see, this software is on the expensive side. That’s the main reason it isn’t popular with smaller organizations and teams.
It’s also worth pointing out that Document360 has limited integrations and lacks full customer service functionalities, which is strange when compared with the cost of the software.
- Great collaboration features
- Works for internal & external knowledge bases
- Thorough reporting & analytics
- Easy-to-use, visual & intuitive interface
- 24/7, responsive customer support
- Still a growing product with new features being released
- On the pricey side
- Limited integrations
- Not an all-in-one solution because of lack of customer service functionalities
- Search functions could be improved
7. HubSpot Service Hub: Great 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 base 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, content management, detailed analytics & reporting features and different levels of access.
Truly a software you can use for your whole business
HubSpot is a big name and has a variety of different products available. They’re all great in their own right (their Service Hub is one of them), but they truly work wonders when used together. For this reason, if you’re a larger organization with diverse CRM needs or scaling potential, the availability of these additional software products is a great feature:
- MarketingHub that helps grow traffic, convert visitors, and run inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
- SalesHub gets deeper insights into prospects, automates tasks, and closes deals faster.
- CMSHub that works well for marketers, developers, and customers.
- OperationsHub is the newest HubSpot product. It syncs your apps, cleans customer data, and automates your processes.
HubSpot is without a doubt best suited to larger organizations with a decent budget to put towards a knowledge base software and/or customer relationship management solution. Their paid plans don’t come cheap and are likely out of reach for small businesses.
If you have a start-up, you might be eligible for the HubSpot for Startups Program. This program offers up eligible start-ups up to 90% off.
HubSpot’s Service Hub doesn’t have a free plan. If you’re only using the ServiceHub and none of their other software products, the most basic paid plan starts at 46 EUR per month for 2 paid users. After that, their other paid plans come in at a whopping 368 EUR or 1104 EUR per month.
You can also save money and get better deals on HubSpot’s software by bundling different software products together or committing annually rather than monthly.
- One-stop-shop for all your customer service needs
- Incredible external knowledge base solution (and more)
- Easy to customize your interface
- Intuitive to use with a low learning curve
- A variety of software products to add when needed
- Consistently releasing new features and improving services
- Not suitable for any type of internal knowledge base
- Very expensive
- Interfaces and apps sometimes run slowly and have bugs
- Steep paywall
- Some find the interface too busy
Comparison Table of the Best Knowledge Bases of 2021
What is a 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 management software is located online and most of it's 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 management software for internal purposes, while others use them for external communications and customer support.
Knowledge management software is becoming increasingly popular as of late as companies are looking for ways to optimize their data storage. It's 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 a central, easily-accessible place.
Knowledge base software features you should keep in mind
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
The bigger your knowledge base gets, the more difficult it will be for you to find the information you need. Knowledge management solutions only really work if the answers to your questions are right at your fingertips. This is what makes effective search engines or search systems features so important in knowledge base software.
2. User-friendly backend
At the end of the day, your entire team should be using your knowledge base. They will likely have different levels of technological ability. As such, the more user-friendly your knowledge base system is, the better. Avoid those with a steep learning curve or risk that they will never get used.
3. Effective reporting & analytics
It’s a great idea to keep track of how your knowledge management solutions are being used. Whether you have an internal or external knowledge base, analytics can help measure the success of your resource and determine how it’s being used:
- What content is being viewed the most?
- Who is writing what content?
- What content is being searched for the most?
4. Attachment functionalities
Whether you’re putting together an internal or external knowledge base, it’s a great idea to pick a software that has a variety of attachment functionalities. That makes it easy to put together the documentation you need and use any resources you already have.
5. Responsive support team & support agents
No matter how user-friendly your knowledge base software is, you’ll always have a few issues come up when you’re getting started. The best way to ensure that those issues get resolved fast is choosing a software that you know has a responsive support team and support agents.
6. An organization or categorization system
Similar to search functionalities, a good organization or categorization system is essential in a knowledge base software. This is because a knowledge base can get overwhelming fast if you collect tons of information without any method to the madness. As you build your company’s knowledge base, keep things as organized as possible.
Types of 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) is normally online a knowledge management software that team members use to access private, confidential or otherwise not publicly available information. Some also refer to these as private knowledge bases.
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:
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.
When information is readily available and easy to find, less time is wasted and productivity increases. This applies to both internal, external and private 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 base. 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 base. 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.
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.