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May 10, 2024
May 7, 2024
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Buyer Guide: How to Choose the Best Knowledge Base Software

Discover some of the best knowledge base software currently available on the market in this handy article.

Did you know that knowledge workers still spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information? Truth be told, it’s not a very effective way of keeping track of all the knowledge a company has. 

To unlock the full potential of your organizational knowledge, you need the right tool. 

Enter… a knowledge base software program. With such a solution, you can boost productivity, improve search visibility, and foster a culture of collaboration. 

There’s one small problem, though: how do you choose the perfect software for your specific needs?

This guide has all the answers you're looking for. It’ll cover everything from what knowledge base software is to tips for choosing the best one for your business. 

Disclaimer: This blog post was last updated on March 4, 2024.

What is Knowledge Base Software?

Knowledge base software is a company’s digital library of information about its products, services, or internal processes. 

Its purpose is to keep all your company knowledge organized. Clients and employees will easily find what they need on their own. Without having to reach out to other team members or your customer support team. 

This self-serving storehouse contains relevant information like tutorials, wikis, frequently asked questions (FAQs), or company policies. But you can also use it for personal notes or to track customer feedback and complaints. 

As a result, you improve customer experiences, increase team collaboration and productivity, and reduce support costs.

By now, you’re probably thinking, ‘How exactly does it work?’ 

Wonder no longer; we’ll show you!

How Do Knowledge Bases Work?

Knowledge bases work as a central repository of structured information for your business’s data, facts, and files. 

These tools store, organize, and retrieve company knowledge, effectively leading to enhanced productivity and faster decision-making. 

In a nutshell, knowledge bases help with: 

  • Data collection — A knowledge base solution collects relevant data from all your disconnected sources. This includes documents, emails, chat history, and so on. 
  • Structuring — Knowledge bases are not just about collecting data. They also organize your knowledge into different categories, topics, or domains, depending on your preferences. 
  • Indexing — Since the knowledge base stores and organizes the data, you’ll have easier access to it. By using search queries and predefined criteria, anyone can quickly locate the information they seek, whenever they need it. 

There are two primary types of knowledge bases: internal and external.

Internal knowledge bases are strictly for your employees’ use. They serve as a ‘general store’ for your resources. Anyone from your company can search for the info they need to do their jobs.

External knowledge bases, also known as customer service knowledge bases, are for the general public only. They usually provide info related to your products, but can also include FAQs, user manuals, or helpful articles.

You’re feeling more confident now that you know how knowledge bases work. Still, are they worth the effort?

Read on to find out. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Knowledge Base Software?

Knowledge base software is useful because it saves your team members a lot of time. Your support agents stop answering the same questions (e.g., about your product’s pricing). Instead, they can focus on complex customer problems. 

As a result, the right knowledge base can yield the following benefits: 

  • Increased customer satisfaction: Your clients will get the information they need 24/7, even when you’re OOO. 
  • Reduced costs: An integrated chatbot can handle the most basic of customer questions. So you don’t need to hire more people to do the job. 
  • More effective collaboration: Your agents will have easy access to relevant information, which allows them to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. 
  • Better employee training: Knowledge base articles are just a click away. Your staff will always have access to useful materials for quick answers. 
  • Saved time: A self-service knowledge base frees up your team’s time and they’ll focus more on providing unmatched customer service. 

But what makes a knowledge base good?

It must have some key features, so let’s talk about them next. 

What Key Features Should Knowledge Base Software Have?

Whether external or internal, knowledge base software should make your team’s life easier, not give them headaches. But ease-of-use is just one of this tool’s most important features. There are plenty of others to keep in mind when evaluating knowledge base software.

Take a look: 

  • AI content assist: Most modern knowledge base software harnesses the power of AI for content creation and summarizing complex topics. Some people might have concerns about the accuracy of AI content or the safety and security of your data. However, an AI-powered search functionality can significantly enhance your knowledge sharing
  • Content builder and editor: Generative AI can help you create content quickly, but it still needs a human touch to make it ‘Wow.’ Your desired knowledge base should have a content editor or pre-made templates that make crafting content a breeze. 
  • App integrations: Your team uses hundreds of tools every day; adding one more on top of that might only clog your workflow. It’s essential to look for knowledge base tools that integrate easily with a wide variety of apps like Slack, Salesforce, or other project management solutions you use daily. 

  • Analytics and permissions: A knowledge base tool should have powerful analytics and reporting capabilities. They help you see what your team’s searching for or how they use the content. Plus, select a platform that has user permissions to keep sensitive data private and secure. 
  • Effective search engine: A knowledge base solution is not complete without search functionality. The chosen tool should use an advanced algorithm to give users the correct information, even if there are misspelled words, incorrect phrases, etc. 

We’ve looked everywhere for the tools that tick all these boxes. Let’s now explore some of the best self-service knowledge base tools available on the market. 🔍

10 of the Best Knowledge Base Tools in 2024

Do you really need a knowledge base tool? 

Until now, you’ve handled your content on your own and everything worked out well. But, according to McKinsey, many companies found that a better knowledge management process increases their productivity by up to 25%. 

So, if you want to experience the same, give the following list a look. Maybe you’ll find something you like. 

1. Guru

Guru is three things at once: an AI-driven company knowledge search, an intranet platform, and a wiki. It seamlessly combines artificial intelligence with human power to make managing and creating content a walk in the park. 

What Guru does best is integrate with all the tools you use daily so you can focus on the task at hand. This way, your team works undisturbed by staying in the same tab, chat group, or email thread. 

Popular Guru integrations include Google Chrome, Slack, BambooHR, and many more. 

This AI-powered tool also gives you all the answers you need quickly and efficiently. 

How quickly?

Check this out:

Guru helps you find the right information on all your apps and identify duplicate knowledge or gaps. Plus, it has intuitive collaboration tools that you can use to create and update your knowledge in real time. 

With Guru, you leave behind the endless scrolling and searching through countless separate tools; everything’s now at your fingertips. 

Learn more about Guru by watching our on-demand demo video!

2. Document360

Document360 is a free knowledge base software tool for creating content like SOPs, wikis, API documentation, and user manuals.

It has a user-friendly interface, with an interactive dashboard that’s easy to understand. Document360 also has an inline comment feature that enables better communication between your teams and a more dynamic review process. 

Source: G2

With Document360, you craft both an internal and external customer knowledge base through a markdown or WYSIWYG editor. This product aims to ensure your customers have an overall good experience by creating helpful product documentation and FAQ pages. 

Document360 integrates with Slack, Drift, Freshdesk, Microsoft Teams, and others. 

3. Helpjuice

Helpjuice offers a knowledge management tool suitable for sales/marketing managers, customer support teams, and product developers. 

What appeals about Helpjuice is its customizability. If you follow strict brand rules, this knowledge base solution can help you meet your standards with multiple custom-made templates and themes. You can personalize each of them with your colors and logo. 

Helpjuice also has a Google-like search that constantly updates, based on current trends and robust analytics that lets you see which articles need improvement, what people need from you, etc. 

Source: Capterra

It integrates with tools such as Zapier, Google Chrome, Salesforce, and Slack, so you can access it wherever you work. 

4. Zendesk

Zendesk combines the power of an IT knowledge base and customer-facing help desk software into one solution. 

It’s a platform that keeps content relevant, fills knowledge gaps, and gives insights into what clients are looking for. Moreover, it helps your agents handle more customer support tickets, which in turn increases engagement and retention. 

Source: G2

But Zendesk is also suitable for improving internal communication, making knowledge accessible to anyone involved in the company. 

With Zendesk’s generative AI, you can write new articles, revise your content for better reach, and come up with responses to customer inquiries. 

This tool integrates with multiple popular apps such as Jira, Slack, Tymeshift Workforce, etc. 

5. Slite

Slite is a knowledge base tool that organizes your most important docs and helps you reach your files when you need them the most. 

Your team can pull any info — from onboarding guides to notes — without wasting time searching for what they need. Slite sorts your files by channel, but it also has templates to help you get started. 

Source: G2

Slite offers an editor with basic capabilities, giving you the ability to insert images or videos, add emojis or quotes, and embed snippets of code. You’ll get the necessary tools to give your knowledge base a smidge of personality. 

What’s more, Slite brings your team’s knowledge to your favorite tools, such as Miro, Google Drive, Loom, or YouTube. 

6. Bloomfire

Bloomfire is a cloud-based knowledge management solution that takes care of your company’s organizational knowledge. 

Regardless of their location, every employee can find the material they need to do their jobs. Since Bloomfire indexes every word from your files, even audio recordings, your team will access the docs more easily.  

Source: G2

This enables you to make better business decisions while nurturing a culture of collaboration. Besides, Bloomfire has plenty of integrations, including Box, Microsoft Teams, and Google Drive. 

Bloomfire lets you upload your content directly into the workspace, no matter the format (PDFs, videos, slide decks, etc.). But you can also use its built-in editor to craft new content from scratch. 

7. Help Scout

Help Scout is help desk software at heart. But it can act as an always-on support center that saves your team time and enhances user experience.

Source: G2

This tool keeps content management simple by giving you the organizational and automation tools necessary to answer customer questions, day or night. It’s also easy to set up since it requires no code. 

Help Scout brings to the table plenty of customization options that’ll make the widget yours. Plus, you can restrict who sees your content and who’s authorized to interact with it, to keep your data safe. 

You can bring your files in front of your customers via the tools you love, such as Shopify, Mailchimp, FreshBooks, or Slack. 

8. Notion

Notion is a connected workspace where teams of all sizes centralize their knowledge. 

Notion puts your content in order through drag-and-drop organization, which means that anyone can come and update the page without needing any technical expertise. Besides, Notion has a sidebar that lets you quickly organize and customize your knowledge for easy access. 

This platform also has search functionality that allows you to swiftly find what you’re looking for. Since Notion keeps everything updated, no matter how much you scale, you’ll have fresh content readily available. 

Source: G2

Notion is against switching apps; that’s why it integrates with plenty of tools such as Slack, Figma, Amplitude, or GitHub. 

9. Nuclino

Nuclino can be the “nucleus” of all your organizational knowledge. It brings your notes, files, and projects together in a single platform, no context switch required. 

It has an intuitive interface, so you don’t need a degree in tech to use this tool. You’ll also benefit from markdown commands, media embeds, and version history to easily document everything. 

Nuclino’s wiki keeps your knowledge organized, allowing you to categorize and structure your content however you want, for every team and topic. Use internal links, public and private workspaces, and custom fields to keep your files in a neat order. 

Source: G2

Nuclino works very well with all your favorite apps: Discord, Grammarly, InVision, Typeform, etc.

10. Confluence

Our last tool is Confluence, an open-source and shared workspace that lets you create your own knowledge base for internal documentation. 

Source: G2

This solution is fully searchable. Confluence has advanced search functions, labels, and content trees that help your teams find what they need without wasting time.

Confluence lends a hand when it comes to creating the actual content. You can use a blank canvas to jot down your thoughts, but you’ll also get over 75 customizable templates to build your knowledge base. 

You can connect Confluence with the Atlassian suite or look around its marketplace for the apps you want (Google Docs, Jira, Trello, Atlas CRM, etc.). 

How to Choose the Best Knowledge Base Platform

There are plenty of good knowledge management platforms around, ready to serve you. But it’s hard to decide which one is right for you, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Or maybe you’re still not sure you need one in the first place. 

Can this statistic change your mind?

91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were tailored to their needs. Which means you shouldn’t settle for the first tool you see. 

In your search for the Holy Grail, keep in mind the following key factors: 

  • Integrations: The knowledge management software you select should easily connect with other tools in your workflow. It’s important that you don’t switch apps when you’re looking for a file and that you have easy access to the answers you seek. 
  • Ease of use: Review how easy it is to maintain your knowledge base. Pick a tool that will streamline your onboarding process so you get the app up and running quickly. 
  • Total cost of ownership: This begs the question “Will I get my money’s worth with this tool?” When evaluating your options, choose a tool that doesn’t require much employee training and is easy to install and maintain so you can get a quick return on your investment. 
  • Flexibility: The tool you choose should be helpful for both internal and external knowledge bases. Flexibility should also mean it can integrate with other tools and scale alongside your company. 

  • Security: Knowledge bases work with sensitive data. That’s why it’s highly recommended to choose a tool that has up-to-date compliance certifications and obeys industry regulations and restrictions, so you avoid unpleasant situations. 

Bottom Line

Choosing the best knowledge base software for your big or small business shouldn’t feel like a long, arduous journey. Yes, it’s a huge decision, one that requires careful thought and planning, but this guide gives you the perfect tips for streamlining the entire process. 

Remember: do your homework right, understand your needs, and you’ll find the solution that meets all your requirements in no time. 

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

What are the different types of knowledge base software?

There are five most common types of knowledge base software: 

  • Troubleshooting guides that help users solve common issues.
  • FAQ pages that provide users with answers to common questions. 
  • Generative AI that helps you create original content or revise your existing pieces. 
  • Community forums where users can share ideas, ask questions, and engage with like-minded people. 
  • Self-service portals that users can use independently to find solutions, without needing assistance. 

What key features should an enterprise knowledge base platform have?

We think that an enterprise knowledge base platform should have intelligence analytics, advanced search functionality, robust team collaboration features, and seamless integrations. 

What key integrations should a knowledge base platform have?

Your chosen knowledge base solution should integrate with various apps and tools, but most importantly: 

  • Ticketing systems
  • Live chat software
  • Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) 
  • Learning management systems (LMS) 
  • Project management tools
  • Customer portals

Written by
Bob Horan
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.

Learn more tools and terminology re: workplace knowledge