Great products have great documentation. Let’s see how to create a beautiful, insightful and engaging documentation using Helpie KB – WordPress Documentation Plugin.
Reasons people choose Helpie KB for their documentation site:
Here are a few reasons why people choose Helpie:
- An excellent organisation system with multi-level topics ( or categories )
- Powerful access control system to restrict different articles, topics to different users
- Frontend Editor capability, if you choose to have a wiki like collaborative documentation site
- An attractive design to your documents so that your users will have a pleasant experience
- Simple navigation like Table of Contents to go to any topic from any page to find it’s information
- A powerful search to find the most relevant content using incredible search algorithm
- Voting and feedback feature so that users can share their opinion
- Integration with Elementor to get very specific styling
- User Insights to know which content needs attention
- Bonus: Access Restriction in case you want to restrict content to your paying customers
Plugins are better than themes for creating a beautiful product documentation website
You don’t need a WordPress Documentation Theme. Such themes are specialised for documentation sites, but it would not be ideal to use for other scenarios say for a documentation section is your Ecommerce site. In such a case using a documentation plugin with a multi-purpose theme is the smart choice. With Helpie WordPress Documentation Plugin you have an awesome docs plugin which integrates well with most themes and also page-builders.
So now, let’s go ahead and see how to create it on your WordPress website. If you are new to WordPress, read our article on creating a WordPress website. Follow the steps in this article and you can create your own beautiful documentation website in just few minutes with WordPress.
Getting started with a WordPress Documentation website
To get started, we need to download and install 2 important WordPress plugins.
1) Helpie KB – Product Documentation Plugin for WordPress which makes the creating documents very simple. This plugin has all the necessary features to build a beautiful product documentation. It costs few bucks but you can download the 7-day free trail to give a try.
2) Elementor Page Builder plugin which lets you design your WordPress documentation website with a simple drag and drop interface and its free.
What you can do with Helpie + Elementor’s free page-builder:
1. Custom documentation homepage
2. Add Helpie widgets to any page
With Elementor Pro, You can even customize your documentation article template.
Installing Helpie and Elementor plugins on your WordPress website
Installing Helpie WordPress documentation plugin
1) To install Helpie plugin, go to helpiewp.com. You can buy the plugin or try a 7-days free trial from there.
2) Once downloaded, upload it via Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New. Make sure to activate the plugin after uploading. Once you have activated it, you will find a new menu item called Helpie Kb Wiki in your dashboard.
Installing Elementor Page Builder
To install Elementor, you can download it from your dashboard (backend of your documentation website).
Go to Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add new. Type “Elementor” in the search box and you will find it. Just install and activate it. Once activated, a new menu item called “Elementor” will appear in the dashboard.
So now, let’s go on to see how to create that six essential steps I mentioned above, that a proper product documentation should have using Helpie and Elementor.
Step 1: Neatly Create and Organise all the Documents of your Products
Let’s say you have different products in different categories and you want to organise it all. Remember, you cannot have the information about your various products in different places as that will make your customer’s frustrated to find the right information. So its highly essential that you document all the information of all the products in a single page.
That’s where Helpie Plugin does a beautiful job. It lets you create documents to provide all the information about the product and assign it to its particular category. WordPress Documentation Management is super easy with Helpie plugin.
Creating a WordPress Document using Helpie
1) Create an article via Helpie KB Wiki -> Add new article. Select it to enter your first article. Add the title in the Title space and fill the information about the product in the content space.
2) Now, to assign this article to a particular product category, you need to add that product category first. To do that, select the Add New Wiki Category which you can see in the right corner. You can add a new product/category there, and once that product is selected, this article which you created above will be assigned to that product.
3) If you have different products for a single category and you want to write articles on all those products. Helpie has a done a perfect job for this by allowing you add sub-category. You can add subtopics by creating a category and assigning it a parent category. By assigning, this will be now a subcategory of that parent category/topic.
Organising Documents based on Categories
Let’s say that you have different products under the category “Health and Fitness” like beauty, dental health, fitness and you want to create documents for all these. First, create a category called Health and Fitness as assigned above.
Next, create a category called “Dental health” and set the parent category as “Health and fitness.” In that way, dental and health will now be a subcategory under the Health and fitness category. You can create any number of subcategories and assign documents to it using Helpie WordPress documentation plugin.
Now, it is not just enough that you have created the documents and assigned categories. As said earlier, it’s highly essential that you give your customers a pleasant experience. The design of your documentation plays a vital role in providing that pleasant experience to your customers. That’s our next step.
Step 2: Creating Attractive Designs for your WordPress Documentation website
This is where Helpie’s integration with the best page builder Elementor comes into play. You can neatly organise in a way that you want and customize the styles as you wish using Elementor. You don’t need a WordPress documentation theme as Helpie WordPress documentation plugin has awesome templates and it’s thoroughly customisable with Elementor.
1) Create a page from the dashboard and select Edit using Elementor option. Once selected, the Elementor’s builder will now appear on your page, and you can see a small + symbol appearing on your page. Click that, and a new section will be added.
2) Type “Helpie” in the search box which is on the left end as shown in the screenshot below and you will see different elements (widgets) of Helpie.
3) Drag and drop the “Helpie hero section” to the right in that newly added section. In that, you can assign a title and sub-title for your documentation page. You can also customize the style of the background, add images and much more in the “style section.” Why don’t you take a few minutes time to play around it.
4) Next is the Helpie categories listing where you can organize different categories in a way that you wish. They have three types of list styles. One is the Boxed template, the other is Boxed1, and the other is Modern which all has its own styles and way of organising the categories. You can choose which best suite you.
5) It also can sort the categories alphabetically, article count and custom type where you can decide which one should be placed where. It also allows for more styling and customisation where you can almost customize everything as you wish.
6) You can set the number of columns, show or hide the image, show/hide description, choose the number of articles that should be displayed under a category and much more. This is just a trailer of what could be done with Helpie and Elementor plugins. There is still a hell lot of other things that could be done. Just take your time to play around every single feature available.
7) There is also Article Listing widget where you can arrange some of the Popular articles, Recently Added and Recently Modified articles and also articles arranged Alphabetically. Article listing also allows more styling and customization options which definitely should be tried on your own to know it’s plethora of features.
8) Once done you can save this as a Main page documentation template and use this documentation template whenever needed.
Step 3: Navigation using Table of Contents to move to different Documents and Products
The next important step that any product documentation should have is to have clear navigation where you navigate to any article of any category from anywhere in your docs.
In simple words, a simple Table of Contents is a must-have feature in any product documentation website. Helpie documentation plugin has a splendid Table of Contents in its settings which you can set in your Sidebar, Footer or anywhere.
Using Elementor page builder, you can assign it to any page you wish. Just create a page and select “Edit with elementor” as explained before. Type “Helpie table of contents” in the left search bar and the TOC widget will appear. Just drag and drop it to anywhere of your page.
You can set the title for your TOC as you wish and choose the type of TOC to be displayed.
There are 2 TOC types:
- One is the full navigation where every article of every category will be displayed in the TOC.
- The other is the In-page navigation which lets you navigate within a single article to different sections.
Control the Number of Documents to be Displayed
If you have a long list of documents under each topic/category, you can choose the toggle topic feature to show only the documents on the current topic and hide the rest.
Helpie Settings itself have much more features for Table of contents which makes it all more powerful than any other documentation plugin.
Step 4: A Robust Search for Users to search and find the Documents they need
Customers will really get frustrated when they cannot find the information they are looking for. A proper product documentation should compulsorily have a powerful search engine. Here’s why it is awesome:
- Helpie gives you a super smooth search experience. Its search engine is a powerful live search which searches up to thousands of documents within seconds and prioritises results based on contextual weight.
- It’s even better than other paid WordPress search plugins
- Its search engine works in such a way that the priority and weight are given to content appearing in different places like title, post content ( exact position in post content ), tags, etc…
- It has a partial keyword search which matches every word typed into the search box and checking each of them against the content
Step 5: Voting and Feedback feature so that users can share their opinion.
The last important step is allowing the users to share their feedback on the documents so that we will have a better understanding of which article works and which needs improvement.
Helpie has two options for users to share their opinion:
- One is the voting system where users can vote their opinions. It has two voting systems. One is the emoticon voting system where users can use different smileys to share their feelings on an article. The other is the classic voting which gives you a simple like and a dislike button. You can use any voting system.
- The other option is the comment section where users can share their comments, questions, and feedback on the document.
To enable these both settings, just go to Dashboard -> Helpie KB Wiki -> Helpie settings -> Single page. Under these, you can allow both the voting system and comments for your document.
Just follow the above steps given, and you will be straight on the spot with the most beautiful and clear product documentation. Hope this article makes everything clear in creating a documentation. If you still have any doubts, feel free to ask away in the comments section below.