9 Best Knowledge Base Software Options for Startups and Small Businesses

A comprehensive guide to the best knowledge base software for your business.

You wake up. You roll over. You check your phone. You open your email.

You already have a full day of work planned, but you make sure nothing is “on fire” before you do anything else.

After a few seconds, your email loads, populating a dozen new emails.

Seven of those emails are from customers with questions.

Some you know the answer to immediately. Some you’ll have to research to figure out what’s happening.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

What is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base is a tool that lets your customers find answers to their support questions on their own—without having to email you for help.

A knowledge base doesn’t solve every problem a customer might have. Just the most common ones.

As we’ve learned from talking to hundreds of businesses over the years, if you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do in a day, you’re not alone.

Dozens of founders, CEOs, and small business owners we’ve talked to describe the same morning routine as the one I described above. For some, it’s how they start every single day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Support leaders have similar experiences—and many report feeling understaffed to keep up with all the support requests.

Ultimately, you have two choices:

  1. Hire someone to help you with support.
  2. Give customers resources they can use to find answers on their own.

Most growing companies will eventually need to hire staff to help customer support.

But before you jump straight to hiring, get your knowledge base software in place.

Knowledge base software can lower support volume by 33% or more

Knowledge base software will accomplish two things for anyone who feels overwhelmed and has at least some responsibility to cover support inquiries.

  1. Knowledge base software will lower support volume. In our internal testing, we found the impact can be a 33% reduction in support requests—or more.
  2. It will help you (and anyone helping you with support in the future) answer common support questions much faster.

By improving the process you use when your company responds to customers, you’re establishing efficiency that will help anyone with support responsibilities at your company—now or in the future.

As with any purchase decision however, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all knowledge base software.

Some options will be better for your company. Let’s go through the options.

7 key features of a knowledge base

As you evaluate your options, make sure the software you’re considering has the following options in place.

1. Search

A good knowledge base will always be built around the search box. Users should be able to enter their question and find a solution within the first few articles.

2. Back-end dashboard

There should be an easy back-end dashboard that empowers you to create and load text, images, and media content (video clips, etc.) and publish articles, even if you’re not a web developer.

You shouldn’t need to write or modify code as you create knowledge base articles and resources.

3. Categories

Categories give users a simple way to find related articles as they try to find a solution within your knowledge base. It also gives you an easy way to organize articles behind the scenes, making it easier to keep track of the resources you’ve created for different issues or different products or services you support.

4. Mobile optimized

Over 50% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Make sure your knowledge base software is optimized from the start so your customers can find answers—no matter what device they’re using.

5. Contact form

Even an excellent knowledge base will never resolve every question a customer might have. If a customer needs to contact you with a question, make sure they can do that easily by simply using an integrated contact form right on the knowledge base.

6. Web widget

A web widget is a small popup that displays in the bottom corner of your main website. If you’re using integrated knowledge base software, you can include a field that lets customers search the knowledge base without ever leaving the homepage.

A web widget is one of the more powerful tools at your disposal for reducing the number of support emails you receive.

In our internal testing, using a web widget with integrated knowledge base software often lowers support inquiries by 30% or more!

7. Reporting

Finally, quality knowledge base software will have custom reporting options specific to the knowledge base articles, including views, visits, and time-on-page for each article.

Integrated vs. stand-alone knowledge base software

As you consider what knowledge base software might be right for you, make sure you understand the difference between integrated and stand-alone options.

Integrated knowledge base software

“Integrated” knowledge base software means your knowledge base software is directly integrated into the other support tools used by your organization.

For example, if your team has a shared inbox for support requests, an integrated knowledge base makes it much easier to find and insert support articles in your responses.

integrated knowledge base software is connected to your inbox.

Many companies also use some kind of web widget on their website, enabling customers or prospects to quickly access forms or chat conversations.

If you’re using an integrated knowledge base software, website visitors can search knowledge base articles right from the widget on the homepage—a feature that regularly decreases support requests by 30% in our internal testing.

integrated knowledge base software includes a web widget to offer article search throughout your website.

Standalone knowledge base software

Standalone knowledge base software is just what it sounds like: it’s a standalone piece of software that’s not natively integrated into any of the other tools you use to support customers.

WordPress, for example, is a standalone option for building a knowledge base.

It’s not natively designed as a knowledge base software, but with the help of development resources, some companies choose to use it to host their support sites.

Integrated knowledge base software (5 options)

Let’s start with a look at the top integrated knowledge base software options currently on the market.

1. Groove

groove knowledge base software
  • Capterra Rating: 4.5/5.
  • Best for: Startups, small businesses looking for KB that can be set up and used in less than 20 minutes.
  • Pricing: Starts at $9/user/month.

Groove’s Knowledge Base is the easiest product to use of any we’ve included on this list—even if you’re not especially technical.

Starting at just $9/month, it’s also the most affordable option on the market for fully-featured integrated knowledge base software.

It’s specifically designed to help you quickly get support articles published fast. You don’t need a developer or any special technical skills—even when using a custom URL.

Setup takes less than 15 minutes, and you can publish your first support article within the hour.

2. Freshdesk

freshdesk knowledge base software
  • Capterra Rating: 4.5/5.
  • Best for: Established businesses with more complex support needs.
  • Pricing: Starts at $15/user/month.

Freshdesk is a cloud-based helpdesk system that includes a variety of tools for support teams, including email, phone, and social. Freshdesk is used by many larger companies, including Bridgestone, HP, Harvard University, and DHL.

3. ZenDesk

zendesk knowledge base software
  • Capterra Rating: 4.3/5.
  • Best for: Larger businesses with complex technical setups.
  • Pricing: Starts at $15/user/month for professional plan.

Zendesk is a customer relationship platform used by many larger support teams. Zendesk Guide is its knowledge base product, which starts at $15/month for the comparably-featured professional edition.

4. LiveAgent

liveagent knowledge base software
  • Capterra Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Best for: Companies using a variety of channels for support.
  • Pricing: Starts at $15/user/month.

LiveAgent is a help desk software that brings together communication from email, calls, and social media into one location. It’s knowledge base is part of it’s larger support software package, which starts at $15/month.

5. Help Scout

helpscout knowledge base software
  • Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Best for: Support teams at large and small companies.
  • Pricing: Starts at $12/user/month.

Help Scout is used by both large and small businesses and is an integrated support tool that includes a knowledge base option in its package of products. Pricing starts at $12/month for the entry-level plan.

Standalone knowledge base software (4 options)

If you’d prefer a standalone option rather than an integrated knowledge base product, here are a few you might consider.

1. Document360

document360 knowledge base software
  • Capterra Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Pricing: Starts at $49/month.

Document360’s knowledge base platform enables your help center creation through end-user interface and multiple third-party integrations. Maintain multiple versions, take advantage of markdown editor & advanced analytics, be assured of robust security and match with your brand identity.

2. Helpjuice

helpjuice knowledge base software
  • Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Pricing: Starts at $120/month.

Helpjuice is a standalone knowledge base software used by thousands of companies to create support articles. It supports multilingual business needs and comes with a variety of reporting and analytics options.

3. ProProfs

proprofs knowledge base software
  • Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Pricing: $6/user/month.

ProProfs Knowledge Base software is designed to help businesses create documentation, knowledge base, help sites, FAQs, user manuals, user guides and more.

4. WordPress

wordpress knowledge base software
  • Rating: N/A
  • Pricing: WordPress is a free, open-source software, but you’ll need to provide hosting, support, and domain registration on your own.

WordPress is the most popular content management platform in the world. It is not specifically designed as a knowledge base, so you’ll need some development help to ensure customers can find the answers they’re looking for.

The payoff: 20-30% less support inquiries and 30-40% faster response times

Every company has those 5-10 questions that customers ask over and over again.

If you’re tired of answering those same questions every single day, a knowledge base is the solution.

Most of our knowledge base users see a 20-30% drop in total inquiries once they publish support articles for their customers.

And when a common question does make its way to the inbox, a knowledge base makes it easy to simply pull up a support article and send along the link, increasing your response time by as much as 30-40%.

That’s the power of an effective knowledge base.

It makes responding to inquiries much faster—since you don’t have to write a new answer to every question that comes in.

Most importantly, a knowledge base decreases the volume of emails you receive in your inbox—something we know every founder, engineer, and support agent will appreciate.

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