The 12 Best Knowledge Base Software Platforms for 2022
Illustration by Lisa Engler

We all know the old axiom “Knowledge is power.” And though it’s true, there’s a caveat: In order to unlock the power of any knowledge, people first need access to it.

Access to knowledge is an issue many organizations face. They have information to share with employees, customers, clients, and the public, but they don’t always have an effective means by which to share it. Luckily, there’s a tool that addresses that very problem: knowledge base software.

What is knowledge base software?

Knowledge base software, also commonly referred to as help center software, is a tool that helps you create, organize, and manage self-service content.

Businesses typically use a knowledge base to house frequently asked questions (FAQs), video tutorials, product tips, and how-to articles, but it’s not uncommon for individuals to create knowledge bases for personal use as well. A personal knowledge base might include things like notes, research for a project, or journal entries.

What are the different types of knowledge base software?

There are two different categories of knowledge bases: internal and external. Internal knowledge bases require login credentials to access information, while external knowledge bases are written for the public.

Beyond who can access the information, internal and external knowledge bases each cater to different use cases:

  • Internal knowledge bases are typically used to store a company’s in-house resources, including information like employee handbooks, org charts, company directories, operating procedures, meeting notes, and internal-facing documentation for products and services.

  • External knowledge bases excel at getting information to end users and might contain answers to FAQs, company contact information, and troubleshooting guides.

Knowledge bases also vary depending on how the content is created, viewed, and maintained. For instance, some knowledge base types are collaborative while others are designed to be more unilateral.

Here are a few knowledge base types to consider:

  • Intranet: An intranet is a private, secure network that can only be accessed by members of an organization. Intranet software is often used by enterprise companies for sharing company policies, communicating across teams, and collaborating with employees.

  • FAQ pages: An FAQ page is a web page that lists answers to common questions often posed to an organization.

  • Help center: A help center is a website that acts as a hub for an organization’s stored knowledge. It is typically searchable and often comes with content management and reporting functionalities. Depending on the user role and permissions available in the software, a help center can be used as an internal or external knowledge base.

  • Wiki: A wiki is an online knowledge base that is created and maintained by its users. While not technically a social media network, wikis have a social element, as they allow users to collaboratively add, edit, delete, and moderate content.

The benefits of knowledge management software: Do you really need it?

Though it may be possible to get away without a formal knowledge management strategy for a while, the approach isn’t sustainable. Most internal or external issues will come up more than once, and documenting processes and publishing answers to customer FAQs can save your team time and money.

While you could just throw a FAQ page up on a website, dedicated software is usually a better choice. Knowledge base systems are:

  • Easy to set up and maintain. Building websites on your own requires some technical know-how, even when using a template. Most knowledge base software is ready to use out of the box — choose a theme, tweak the color palette, upload a company logo, add your content, and you’re ready to go.

  • Full of useful features. Knowledge base software has features that a webpage, blog, or shared document doesn’t have, such as robust search features, web widgets for providing proactive support throughout your user experience, and integrations with other tools in your technology stack.

  • Built for team collaboration. Knowledge base software makes the process of maintaining documentation as a team run more smoothly, increasing productivity and reducing friction.

  • Helpful for improving experience and increasing revenue. Knowledge base software helps you set up your customers and employees for success by making information more accessible. When people can easily self-serve, it decreases customer support costs and increases customer satisfaction.

  • Good for SEO. Knowledge content often ranks highly in Google search engine results. These links provide another way to boost traffic of current and potential customers to your site. 

The 10 best knowledge base software platforms

Whether you’re looking to create a help center or wiki or you’re just looking for a way to organize your work notes, here are 10 knowledge base solutions worth checking out.

  1. Help Scout

  2. Guru

  3. Document360

  4. Obsidian

  5. HelpJuice

  6. Zendesk

  7. BookStack

  8. Notion

  9. Confluence

  10. Bloomfire

1. Help Scout

Best combined help desk and knowledge base software.

Help Scout is a complete customer communication platform, and one part of the platform is its knowledge base solution, Docs. Docs is flexible, easy-to-use knowledge base software that lets anyone create a customized self-service experience in minutes.

You can create an article from scratch, or if you have an HTML, markdown, or text file handy, you can upload an existing document to give you a jumping-off point. Docs uses a WYSIWYG editor, so whether you’re editing or starting anew, working with Docs is as simple as creating a word processing document. You can also add images, videos, callouts, and more to provide readers with additional context.


Help Scout’s AI features can help your team write content more quickly. Using AI assist, team members can adjust the tone or length of their piece of content or even translate their article copy into additional languages.

Docs sites can be customized to fit with your brand guidelines. Add your business’s colors, logo, favicon, and touch icon, and even further customize with CSS to ensure that your help center feels like you. Have multiple brands? Both Plus and Pro plans allow you to have multiple Docs sites, allowing you to manage them all from within the same account.

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Need to maintain security by keeping some information in your knowledge base limited to a specific audience? Use the Help Scout API to connect to your customer database of choice. Using data from your CRM, restricted docs authenticates users, allowing you to have complete control over who sees your content.

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Using Beacon, our versatile web widget, you’re able to embed a chat-style widget on any page of your site or app so visitors always have access to your knowledge base at their fingertips.

AI answers (coming soon) can help provide your customers with answers from any Beacon using information from your Docs site. Nervous about leaving service to AI? Don’t be! Customers are always provided with an easy way to get in touch with your team if their issue requires human expertise.

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Gain performance insights and identify potential content gaps using Help Scout’s analytics dashboard. The Docs report provides helpful metrics like how many people visit your site, which knowledge base articles are getting the most hits, and how customers are rating the content. You can also see any failed searches to identify topic gaps and help prioritize future content creation.

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Beyond Docs, Help Scout provides access to our entire customer service platform for about the same cost as most stand-alone knowledge base software. Plus, we have a team of top-notch support pros around the world, ready to make sure that, regardless of your location, you have everything you need to deliver a great customer experience.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $22/user per month.

2. Guru

Best internal knowledge base software.

Product Screenshot: Guru

Guru is an internal wiki and knowledge management solution that allows you to store all of your company information in one place. Whether it’s battle cards for your sales team, brand guidelines for your marketing department, product roadmaps for engineering, or the company’s employee handbook, you can store it all in Guru.

Employees can collaboratively draft content using Guru-supplied templates or create materials from scratch via an easy-to-use content editor. Once created, you can avoid repeat content with Guru’s duplicate detection and keep materials up to date using the platform’s verification process. SMEs are automatically prompted to check content on a schedule that you choose, ensuring that your staff always has access to the right information.

The platform offers a browser extension and integrations with popular communications platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, which allow users to capture and store information easily without needing to switch windows or applications.

Finally, Guru has helpful AI features to make the knowledge management process even easier. Use its Assist feature to improve and summarize complex content. AI-powered enterprise search provides answers from all of your apps, docs, and chats, and AI-recommended experts let you know who to ask whenever you have a burning question that can’t be answered via self-service.

Price: Free trial available. Paid plans start at $15/user per month.

3. Document360

Best free knowledge base software.

If you’re looking for stand-alone knowledge base software, Document360 could be a good option. It has a user-friendly interface, the ability to compose using a markdown or WYSIWYG editor, search capabilities, and the ability to create both internal and external knowledge bases.

The platform offers a free plan that could be a great starting point for small businesses looking to create a knowledge base. The plan includes two users, one GB of storage, and 50 articles. One downside to the free plan, however, is that it only supports public knowledge bases — those looking for an internal knowledge base solution will need to look to the software’s higher-tiered paid plans.

If you’re looking for an AI component, Document360’s “Eddy” feature can help with many tasks including generating meta descriptions, summarizing article content, and suggesting article titles, tags, and related articles.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $149/project per month (includes three users).

4. Obsidian

Best personal knowledge base software.

Product Screenshot: Obsidian

Obsidian is a knowledge base solution that is great for personal use. While most options on this list are cloud based, Obsidian’s Personal plan stores all of your data locally on your device. The files are written in markdown, making the source files easy to read and edit. Your content is also accessible offline, making it possible to work even when your internet connection is spotty.

For those who prefer to have access to their notes across devices or want to publish certain articles publically, Obsidian offers Sync and Publish add-ons. These features do require cloud-based data access and come with a monthly fee.

Obsidian’s Personal plan is free for non-commercial users, though users who wish to support the software’s development can make a one-time payment of $25 to receive early access to new builds. Commercial licenses are also available for businesses employing two or more people.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Commercial plans start at $50/user per year.

5. HelpJuice

Best stand-alone self-service knowledge base software.

Product screenshot: HelpJuice

HelpJuice is a stand-alone knowledge base software option that focuses heavily on design and collaboration tools. Through its editor, you’re able to edit typeface, layout, and colors to match your brand aesthetic. The editor also allows authors to drag and drop files and images into article drafts and copy and paste from Word docs while maintaining the copy’s formatting.

Another interesting editor feature is the ability to display different troubleshooting steps in the same article based on reader input. For instance, if someone wants to know how to perform a task on their computer, you can add separate steps for PCs and Macs within the same article, and HelpJuice will ask the reader which operating system they're using and only display the relevant info.

HelpJuice’s collaboration features are also worth mentioning. Everyone on your team can work on article drafts together, leaving comments throughout the drafting process. Need to restrict access to certain employees? No problem. HelpJuice lets you set the roles and permissions for all of your team, deciding who can publish on their own and who must submit drafts for review.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $120 per month (includes up to four users).

6. Zendesk

Best knowledge base software for enterprise companies.

Product Screenshot: Zendesk Guide

Zendesk is a help deskticketing system designed to help teams manage customer communications via support tickets, email, phone, and chat. Its Suite plans also include a knowledge base feature called Zendesk Guide. Guide has a number of positive features such as a WYSIWYG style editor, a drag-and-drop interface for structuring your help center, the option to easily link to articles directly from the ticket reply editor, and roles and privileges to control which support agents have publishing rights.

AI-wise, Zendesk Guide offers generative AI tools like a writing assistant that can help with the length and tone of your article’s content. The platform also uses machine learning to help identify content gaps to make it easier to keep your help center up to date.

While Zendesk Guide makes it easy to get up and running, it also has its downsides. The help center allows for customization, but the number of free themes is extremely limited. Another area where Guide falls short is versioning — only higher-tiered plans offer versioning, which can make it difficult to publish article updates that coincide with product or service releases.

Price: Free trial available. Plans including Zendesk Guide start at $55/agent per month.

7. BookStack

Best open source knowledge base software.

Product Screenshot: BookStack

Unlike most of the competitors on this list, BookStack is a free, open-source, self-hosted knowledge base platform. It has a simple interface and lets users choose between a WYSIWYG or markdown content editor.

When it comes to organization, the software allows you to structure your knowledge into three color-coded groups: books, chapters, and pages. In this hierarchy, books are your broad categories, chapters are subcategories, and pages are the individual articles. 

Once you have several “books,” they can be further organized onto bookshelves.

Content on BookStack is fully searchable, and the platform has powerful features like multilingual support, dark and light modes, role permissions, and an integration with which makes it easy to add diagrams to your documentation.

Price: Free.

8. Notion

Best knowledge management system for SaaS companies.

Product Screenshot: Notion

One of the leaders in internal knowledge bases is Notion. Their core benefit is how flexible the tool is: You can make kanban boards, checklists, and text documents. Assign tasks to other users and set due dates. Keep track of employee onboarding and training materials, document decisions made in meetings, and outline the details of email marketing campaigns or product roadmaps. It’s basically an internal wiki combined with a project management tool — the sky’s the limit!

Notion does offer a free plan, but it’s only for personal use. If you want to have multiple collaborators (which is where their value really shines), you have to be on their Plus, Business, or Enterprise plan. In addition, AI is offered as an add-on to Notion plans and can help with things like polishing text, creating content summaries, and answering questions using generative AI.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $10/seat per month.

9. Confluence

Best knowledge base solution for IT service providers.

Product Screenshot: Confluence (Updated)

Confluence is a popular platform for product and engineering departments as well as for teams that provide IT services. The platform is focused on internal use and project management and comes with an extensive library of page templates so you can get started quickly.

You’re also able to create team spaces to keep projects and documentation organized and set permissions for different articles. Confluence partners well with other Atlassian products, making it a great repository for teams already using products like Jira, Service Management, and Trello.

For teams on the Premium or Enterprise plans, Confluence also offers AI tools that provide writing assistance and content summaries and can respond to user questions in regular language vs. simply returning search results.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $4.89/user per month.

10. Bloomfire

Best knowledge base platform for companies that prefer to create video content.

Bloomfire is an internal knowledge-sharing platform designed to assist employees in quickly finding the information they need. It offers AI authoring tools for refining content, summarizing long articles, and identifying key takeaways from your original content. Beyond authoring capabilities, it also has AI-powered search features that can transcribe audio and video content and easily answer questions using generative AI.

Bloomfire’s plans start at 50 users, so while it may not be the best choice for smaller companies, it might be the right solution for larger companies seeking an internal kb solution.

Price: Contact for pricing.

How to choose the right knowledge base software

Which knowledge base software is best? It depends on the software environment and industry you are in, the capabilities you need (or want), and the resources you have available. Here are some key questions to help you narrow down the competition:

  • Do you need just one knowledge base, or do you need several separate ones? How does the tool handle multiple knowledge bases?

  • Which teams will be using the software (IT, support, customer service, HR, etc.)? How many people will be authoring or updating knowledge base content?

  • Can the knowledge base software display content in-app? Or will customers need to click through to another page?

  • Can the design of the knowledge base pages be customized to match your business’ branding, and what skills will you need to do it?

  • How does the search functionality work? What does the site navigation look like?

  • What kind of reporting does the knowledge base software include? Will your knowledge base need AI features?

  • Is cost a factor? If so, what is your budget?

When considering a tool, be sure to spend some time using the company’s own knowledge base (and contact their support team). They should be the best example of their own capabilities!

Here are a few additional things to consider.


Measuring value is asking the question “Is this worth what I’m paying for it?”

For example, $300 may sound like a lot for a pair of pants, but what if they came with a guarantee to be tailored to fit you perfectly and replaced for the rest of your life any time you needed it? All of a sudden, $300 doesn’t sound so bad.

With knowledge base software, comparing tools based on value instead of cost can make things a lot clearer. For example, two options might have the same cost, but if one gives you access to other tools along with knowledge base capabilities, it probably holds a lot more value, making it the better choice.


There are a couple of ways to think about flexibility.

First, you can consider how many separate functions a tool can perform. With knowledge base software, you might think about whether it’s useful for both internal and external knowledge bases. You could also think about how well it integrates with other tools you might use in conjunction with it.

Second, you can consider how well a tool will grow with you and your needs as time goes on — there should be a balance between buying for now and for the future.

If you’re a team of five, buying for the possible future of being a team of 500 may not be pragmatic. But buying a tool that can cover your needs for the next 12-18 months is probably a smart move.

Ease of use

The simple truth of any software is this: If it’s hard to use, no one is going to use it. That applies to both those using it internally and those using it externally.

With knowledge base software, you need to consider the experience of creating and maintaining a piece of content as well as the experience of finding and interacting with content as a user.

The only way to really know how easy or difficult something is to use is by actually using it. After you’ve made a short list of options, do a trial of each. Getting hands-on experience with a product will give you way more insight than any demo ever could.

You should also ask to see existing examples of knowledge bases created using their software. That way you can get a better idea of how a customer would experience interacting with the product.

Finding the right knowledge base tool for you

Choosing a new tool is a big investment, so there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Make sure you define your needs and goals upfront. As you learn more about different products and knowledge management strategies, they may shift some, so you need to be a bit flexible, too.

When you’re reviewing options, be critical, read reviews, get feedback from peers, and take your time. It may feel overwhelming, but as long as you have a solid game plan, we’re confident you’ll make the right choice.

If you’re looking for a customer-centric option, consider trying Help Scout’s 15-day free trial. No credit card is required, and we think you’ll like what you see!

Additional content for this article was provided by the Help Scout team.

Did you know that we also have this guide available in German and French?

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