There are hundreds of knowledge base software available on the internet. Most of them are outdated and do not have the advanced knowledge base features which are required today in 2019.
We give you the comparison of best knowledge base software of 2019, with much research. These knowledge base software are scalable, that is you can use them for a small business and keep using them even when you grow into a large enterprise.
What is a Knowledge Base Software?
It is a well-organized database used for creating and sharing knowledge content. The software which helps in the collection, organization, and retrieval of knowledge content is called a knowledge base software.
Knowledge base software is used in online libraries to manage information about a product, service, or topic. Usually, the information is provided by several contributors who are very knowledgeable about the particular topic. So a knowledge base software besides managing knowledge also provides a collaborative environment for multiple users to contribute.
Knowledge Management Software
The terms knowledge base software and knowledge management software both are used for software which manages knowledge. But the term knowledge management software usually is given for software which can handle a large amount of data like in an enterprise or a corporate setup.
SaaS vs. Self-hosted Knowledge Base Software
The best knowledge base platform can come in the form of SaaS or self-hosted knowledge base software.
SaaS stands for Software as a Service is a software distribution model in which the software company hosts the software on their server and makes it available to customers over the Internet. SaaS Knowledge base software are quite popular and dominate this market.
For using a self-hosted knowledge base software, you get the software and license from the software company and get a hosting provider to host your software on a website. This might seem like a lot of work, but it is very easy.
Drawbacks of SaaS Knowledge Base
There are many downsides to using SaaS a knowledge base. But there are 2 main things,
- Limited number of users/ agents – You pay for the number of agents/users using the knowledge base. The price goes up as you add agents.
- Pricing – For SaaS products, you have to pay a hefty monthly subscription.
- Data limit – For each pricing plan, there is a data limit when you cross it, you will have to upgrade your plan.
- Private knowledge base – Some SaaS products charge extra to provide a private knowledge base.
Also, many SaaS knowledge base doesn’t come alone. They come with other software such as Ticketing System, Live Chat, etc., If you have use for them, it might be worth it. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money.
Whereas in a self-hosted knowledge base, you can have unlimited, and there is no monthly subscription and data limit. You may pay a subscription for a hosting provider, but it is significantly lesser than what you pay for SaaS in the order of 1/10th of its cost.
Though SaaS knowledge base are popular, the trend is slowly changing towards self-hosted knowledge base software.
Best Self-hosted Knowledge Base Software – 2019 (comparison)
There are many self-hosted knowledge base software available. Each of them might run on different web platforms (content management systems). They enjoy the perks that come with that web platform.
Helpie Knowledge Base
Helpie is an advanced knowledge base software for creating, sharing, and collaborating knowledge content. With Helpie knowledge base, you can build a self-help portal for customer support, an internal knowledge base for team collaboration, document library for technical documentation, and much more.
Helpie knowledge base is a WordPress plugin, that is, you have to use it with WordPress CMS. WordPress is easy to use, and a beginner-friendly CMS (Content Management System) with you can build any type of website. Helpie plugin adds knowledge base features to your WordPress website.
Working with Helpie and WordPress is very easy. When you give it a try, you will be surprised by what you see. Here are some resources to help you.
Helpie gives you 3 pricing plans based on the number of knowledge base websites you want to build. You can enjoy all the features on all pricing plans.
- Single site – $49 per year for unlimited agents
- 5 sites – $129 per year for unlimited agents
- Unlimited sites – $199 per year for unlimited agents
- You can have an unlimited number of agents
- It is very affordable and only costs $49 / year. You have to pay for your hosting provider, but it is much less compared to SaaS products. Could host around $49 – $99 / year.
- Helpie is fully collaborative, and it is the best option for an internal knowledge base
- Since it is self-hosted, you have full control over your knowledge base, which you would not get on a SaaS product.
- You can integrate your knowledge base with many other software like CRM, Ticketing System, Live chat, etc., using WordPress integrations
- Helpie has a dedicated customer support team which equal to that of any SaaS product
- It integrates with thousands of WordPress themes and plugins and enhances your ability to customise styles. layouts and even add functionalities like blog, learning management system, login methods, ecommerce options and more.
- Helpie is a self-hosted knowledge base software so people may have inhibitions to using it. But in many ways, self-hosting is better than SaaS knowledge base.
- It runs on WordPress, so people think there is a big learning curve. But WordPress is the best user-friendly platform.
There is a 7-days free trial for Helpie Knowledge base.
Support Centre – PHP Knowledge Base & Ticketing
Support Centre is a PHP script for building a helpdesk portal. It is a self-hosted knowledge base software for people who develop their knowledge base with PHP. It also has a ticketing system along with the knowledge base. It’s powered by MYSQL and PHP with CodeIgniter 3.1.9, so it’s a very robust solution.
Though there are more user-friendly alternatives, for the people who want to create their knowledge base website with PHP, it is the best solution.
It is sold in the Envato market for $39, which is the lowest priced in this list.
Though the product is affordable, you need to hire a developer to set up your knowledge base website.
- You can create a practical customer helpdesk with it because it has both the knowledge base and ticketing system.
- You can monetize your knowledge base because it gives payment options with PayPal and Stripe.
- Building websites with PHP scripts are an old trend. Now there are more advanced and user-friendly knowledge base solutions available.
- Cannot be used as an internal knowledge base because the content restriction capabilities are very basic.
Best SaaS Knowledge Base Software 2019 (comparison)
There are so many SaaS knowledge base software; we have chosen the products with the most advanced features for 2019.
Zendesk Knowledge Base (Zendesk Guide)
Zendesk knowledge base software, also known as Zendesk Guide, is an effective way to build a web-based knowledge base for your customers so that they can easily find the answers they need. It works in integration with Zendesk Support, which can track, prioritize, and solve customer support interactions so that you can create an effective customer support helpdesk.
The pricing plans for Zendesk can be a little confusing. Zendesk knowledge base can only be used when you have an active subscription with Zendesk Support.
Zendesk Guide Pricing
- Lite – free
- Professional – $15 per agent per month
- Enterprise – $29 per agent per month
Lite version is very basic. Professional version has some community features. Most of the powerful features come with the enterprise plan.
Zendesk Support Pricing
There are various plans from $5 – $199 per agent per month. If you want only a basic knowledge base, you need to buy Zendesk support for $5 and Zendesk guide – free (one agent per month).
- All the features for a customer self-service knowledge base is available
- It has centralised support, sales and general enquiries
- Many 3rd party integrations are available
- All the powerful features are in the top-tier plans, which makes it very expensive
- Support agents require training to use Zendesk properly. Which takes time and money
HelpScout Docs is a useful tool for customer-facing knowledge base website. It facilitates easy creation and clear organization of documents. This knowledge base software has an auto-generated sitemap and allows you to configure SEO options for each article.
It has email and chat integrations, and so the documents can be easily shared to customers via chat and mail. For internal team documentation, it provides your team with a HelpScout login. It is also a good knowledge base application for software products.
The pricing plans include Mailboxes, Live Chat, and other integrations with the knowledge base. It has 3 pricing plans, and you are charged for each agent/user.
- Standard – $ 20 per user / month
- Plus – $ 32 per user / month
- Company – 25 + users contact for quotation.
- It is designed to give the customers a premium experience.
- Because it allows for faster content creation and sharing, you can keep expanding your documentation at a very fast pace.
- The email and live chat integrations make answering customers questions a piece of cake.
- It has integrations with many 3rd party software like Salesforce, Jira, etc.,
- The major problem with HelpScout is pricing. If you have a 5 member team, then you would have to pay $100 per month. It is not affordable for small business owners.
- It is together a helpdesk software, with integrations with many other 3rd software. You cannot get the knowledge base separately. Maybe the price could be reduced if the KB software was sold as a separate product.
Helpjuice Knowledge Base
Helpjuice knowledge base software is a user-friendly tool for creating, editing, and sharing knowledge base content. It gives you an informative dashboard equipped with useful activity tracking.
It gives you very practical knowledge base insights. It shows the activity of every agent/user on your knowledge base. It can be integrated with 3rd party software like Salesforce, Zendesk Ticketing system, Google Chrome, and communication software like Slack, Olark etc.,
Helpjuice has simple but costly pricing with just 2 plans.
- Limited – $189 per month for 15 users and 5 integrations
- Unlimited – $369 per month for unlimited users and all the integrations
- Content Segmentation – you can segment your knowledge base content for different customers.
- It is a good option for a customer facing knowledge base, if you have less than 15 agents and $189 per month is within your budget.
- Pricing is quite costly. May not be affordable for small and medium businesses.
- Most of the helpdesk features such as ticketing system, CRM, Live chat, etc., can be integrated with Helpjuice knowledge base, but you have to buy them separately, which will increase your expenses.
- Content control features are a minimum, so it’s not the best option if you want an internal knowledge base.
- It doesn’t give you any automatic notification.
Free and Open Source Knowledge base software
Some people search for free and open-source knowledge base software. But the fact is, the knowledge base software market is a highly commercial space. There are some free knowledge base software options. But their features and capabilities are very limited.
I suggest that you choose self-hosted knowledge base such as Helpie knowledge base since it is affordable and has better features than the SaaS alternatives.