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Free knowledge base software and free trials

Empower your customers to find solutions fast with free knowledge base software tools or with a free knowledge base software trial.

A guide to the best free knowledge base software

Last updated January 22, 2024

Businesses have long moved on from the days of storing hard copies of documents in filing cabinets. Software advances have made storing, retrieving, and sharing information much faster and more efficient than ever before. And yet the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023 reveals that 29 percent of agents still struggle to find basic company information online.

Thankfully, many free knowledge base software and free trial options are available to businesses. Spoiler: You don’t have to spend a fortune to provide your staff and customers with a streamlined resource. Dive into our list of the best free knowledge base software and free trials and discover their benefits and features.

What is a free knowledge base?

A free knowledge base is a software tool employees and customers use to find answers to their questions quickly without reaching out to another person. Think of it like a DIY help center where users can find useful information such as best practices, technical bulletins, tips, and workarounds in one central place. Free knowledge base software provides an accessible point of entry for businesses to offer self-service options while avoiding the associated costs.

Knowledge bases come in two basic forms:

  • An internal knowledge base is like a library of every database, document, procedure, file, and policy that dictates the operations of your business. Rather than running to a colleague or superior with a question, employees with a streamlined system can simply search within the knowledge base to retrieve or view any relevant files or information.

  • An external knowledge base serves as a resource customers can use to find more information on a product or service. For instance, a customer who recently bought your product might be having an issue with using it for the first time. Rather than call a representative, they can go to your website, enter their query into your database, and sift through related articles published and approved by your business.

In both cases, the knowledge base software allows users to seek out their own answers. Knowledge base tools are all about self-sufficiency and productivity.

Free knowledge base software and free trials comparison chart

Software
Free plan
Starting price
Free trial
Features

Zendesk

Free for 6 months for qualifying startups

$19 per agent/month (billed annually)

14 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

  • User feedback

  • AI-powered content suggestions

  • 1,500+ apps and integrations

  • Approval and publishing workflows

Bitrix24

Available

$49 per month (5 users, billed annually)

Unavailable

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

Piggydb

Available

Not applicable

Not applicable

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Mybase

Available

Not applicable

Not applicable

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

Guru

Available for up to 3 users

$10 per user/month (billed annually)

Unavailable

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

  • User feedback

Documize Community

Available for up to 5 users

$900 per year

Unavailable

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

Flowlu

Available for up to 2 users

$29 per month (8 users, billed annually)

14 days

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

phpMyFAQ

Available

Not applicable

Not applicable

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • User feedback

Zoho Desk

Available

$14 per user/month

(billed annually)

15 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Document360

Available for 2 team accounts

$149 per project/month (billed annually)

14 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

Confluence

Available for up to 10 users

$580 per year

7 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

  • User feedback

BookStack

Available

Not applicable

Not applicable

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

Freshdesk

Available for up to 10 agents

$15 per agent/month (billed annually)

14 days

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Whatfix

Unavailable

Contact sales

Available

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • User feedback

ProProfs Knowledge Base

Available for up to 25 pages

$19.99 per month

15 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

  • User feedback

Helpjuice

Unavailable

$120 per month (4 users)

14 days

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

The best free knowledge base software and free trials

There are many free knowledge base software and free trial options to get your customers and employees on the path to self sufficiency. Take a look at what these providers offer below.

1. Zendesk

Zendesk help center

Zendesk knowledge base software provides a simple yet powerful system for creating and managing your company’s help center content. Instead of scouring search engines and wading through external tech blogs, this powerful search interface makes it easy for customers to find the answers they need when they need them.

Zendesk software lets you boost customer experience by supplying them with self-service options and knowledge at every touchpoint, including during initial outreach, first sale, renewals and upgrades, and more. The Content Cues feature uses AI to analyze articles and identify where content gaps exist. Zendesk has a partnership with OpenAI that builds on Zendesk’s proprietary system that evaluates missing support articles and creates articles instantly, helping businesses scale their self-service offerings.

Qualifying startups can access the software for free by joining the six-month Startups Program. Established businesses can use a free trial to access the knowledge base software and give their customers the autonomy they crave.

Zendesk offers many advantages over other providers. Our software is fast to implement, allowing businesses to set up and deploy it easily. It’s scalable, with a large apps marketplace, ensuring you have a long-term partner. All of this works together to deliver our users a high return on their investment.

Features:

Pricing:

  • Support Team: $19 per agent/month

  • Support Professional: $55 per agent/month

  • Support Enterprise: $115 per agent/month

  • Suite Team: $55 per agent/month

  • Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month

  • Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month

  • Suite Enterprise: Contact sales

  • Suite Enterprise Plus: Contact sales

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Free for 6 months for qualifying startups

2. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 screenshot
Image credit

Bitrix24 is a customer relationship management (CRM) software with a free knowledge base solution with on-premise or cloud capabilities. It offers open-source knowledge base options for teams looking to modify their code to meet specific customer service needs.

The free Bitrix24 plan provides one company knowledge base that centralizes information to aid employee onboarding and help everyone stay on the same page. Bitrix24 also has the option to create a knowledge base for a specific project or work group.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

Pricing:

  • Basic: $49 per month (5 users)

  • Standard: $99 per month (50 users)

  • Professional: $199 per month (100 users)

  • Enterprise: starts at $399 per month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

Unavailable

Free plan:

Available

3. Piggydb

Piggydb screenshot
Image credit

Piggydb is a completely free and scalable open-source knowledge base building platform that lets you start small, with a simple note-taking tool. As your database grows, the platform allows you to expand on your existing content to include more knowledge and features.

To get started, Piggydb users must have a Java Runtime Environment (Version 8 or later). The standalone package lets users run Piggydb as a desktop application, and you can choose to run it individually or collaboratively with a team.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Not applicable

Free trial:

Not applicable

Free plan:

Available

4. Mybase

Mybase screenshot
Image credit

This free-form database software is a no-frills platform that uses a word processor format to build a knowledge base. It allows users to upload text, images, documents, emails, and other files regardless of format and length.

Using Mybase will require additional plugins and add-on programs, but it has many features that can store and manage large amounts of information. The current version offers features like data compression, attachment support, fast load speed, hierarchical labels, and more.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

Pricing:

  • Not applicable

Free trial:

Not applicable

Free plan:

Available

5. Guru

Guru screenshot
Image credit

Guru is a knowledge management software platform that leverages AI and integrations to provide companies with streamlined internal communications. Guru allows users to create a wiki employees can turn to if they need critical information to deliver speedy resolutions to customers.

The free plan has an AI-driven search feature so users can get accurate results. Plus, Guru provides free templates so employees can create consistent content across the organization.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Builder: $10 per user/month

  • Enterprise: Contact Guru

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

Unavailable

Free plan:

Available for up to 3 users

Learn more about the Guru integration for Zendesk.

6. Documize Community

Documize screenshot
Image credit

Documize aims to help businesses manage internal and external documentation using Community, its open-source knowledge base solution. This self-hosted software was built to suit both technical and non-technical users.

Businesses can organize their documents without using folders by assigning labels and categories to group-related content. Documize Community also lets users archive old publications, publish changes, and manage different versions of the same articles. Users can also access reporting and analytics tools to gauge where content needs further refinement.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

Pricing:

  • Essential: $900 per year

  • Enterprise: $1,800 per year

Free trial:

Unavailable

Free plan:

Available for up to 5 users

7. Flowlu

flowlu screenshot
Image credit

The Flowlu knowledge base platform helps teams manage their content using collaboration tools for capturing up-to-date information and dispersing it to the people who need it the most. Designed for technical and non-technical users, Flowlu provides a single database where your team can share their expertise and benefit from others’ experience.

The free plan only allows for one knowledge base, so businesses must choose between targeting internal or external use. Businesses can customize how knowledge gets organized and add brand colors and logos to create a familiar user experience.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Team: $29 per month (8 users)

  • Business: $59 per month (16 users)

  • Professional: $119 per month (25 users)

  • Enterprise: $199 per month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Available for up to 2 users

8. phpMyFAQ

phpMyFAQ screenshot
Image credit

As its name implies, phpMyFAQ provides specialized FAQ software with more focused applications than broader customer service software. It is an open-source knowledge base tool that is compatible with mobile apps. Users can use its search tool to locate answers quickly by entering specific terms or searching by category, as well as view the most popular searches to lead them to the most commonly referenced issues.

The software also comes with community support, letting users generate and share their own entries, and can also automatically surface existing FAQs to answer new user submissions.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Not applicable

Free trial:

Not applicable

Free plan:

Available

9. ZohoDesk

Image credit

Zoho Desk is a help desk solution that provides a free knowledge base with its Basic plan. Users can customize knowledge bases to match the look and style of the company website, creating a unified branded look across all customer-facing interfaces.

Along with its knowledge base, Zoho Desk provides community forums for customers to ask questions and collaborate in finding answers. When users can’t locate the information they need in the knowledge or forum, they can submit requests from the help center and monitor the status of their tickets.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Standard: $14 per user/month

  • Professional: $23 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $40 per user/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

15 days

Free plan:

Available

Learn more about the Zoho app for Zendesk.

10. Document360

Document360 screenshot
Image credit

The Document360 knowledge base software was designed for growing companies, enabling them to create a help center with simple end-user interfaces and third-party integrations. Although its paid plans support internal knowledge bases, its free plan only allows for an external knowledge base.

Document360 offers a knowledge base portal for editors and reviewers to manage content (up to 50 articles). The free knowledge base site lets customers search for and read articles across various devices. Businesses can fill their knowledge bases with user guides, tutorials, FAQ pages, playbooks, and more.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

Pricing:

  • Standard: $149 per project/month

  • Professional: $299 per project/month

  • Business: $399 per project/month

  • Enterprise: $599 per project/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Available for 2 team accounts

Learn more about the Document360 app for Zendesk.

11. Confluence

confluence screenshot
Image credit

Confluence by Atlassian is collaboration software that lets employees share information throughout the company. It has a free knowledge base with up to 2GB of file storage. Teams can create unlimited content spaces to keep knowledge organized.

Employees can track page history so they know what’s changed and revert the content to a previous version if needed. Confluence also provides templates for businesses to promote best practices across documents.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Templates

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Standard: $580 per year

  • Premium: $1,100 per year

  • Enterprise: Contact Atlassian

    *Prices increase after 10 users.

Free trial:

7 days

Free plan:

Available for up to 10 users

12. BookStack

Bookstack screenshot
Image credit

BookStack provides free open-source knowledge base software that businesses can self-host to store their information. Users can control whether the knowledge base is public or private and also choose from dozens of languages, like German, Japanese, and Italian.

BookStack lets businesses customize the platform with their name and logo. Users can separate content into books, chapters, or pages, and can connect different documents by linking to specific paragraphs within a page.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

Pricing:

  • Not applicable

Free trial:

Not applicable

Free plan:

Available

13. Freshdesk

Image credit

Freshdesk is a customer support platform that provides a free knowledge base to its users with limited features. Businesses can build and manage problem-solving content to promote self-service, so customers can view document tutorials, DIY product guides, and FAQs. Freshdesk also offers an internal knowledge base where customer support agents can locate policies or troubleshooting workflows.

Freshdesk lets teams select their approach to self-service. Choose from creating a minimal self-service portal that only addresses the most commonly asked questions, or customize a full knowledge base of solutions, including videos and tutorials. Users can also create personalized looks for their self-service portal that match the style and feel of their brand. Features like analytics, templates, and revision history are only available with paid plans.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Growth: $15 per agent/month

  • Pro: $49 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $79 per agent/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Available for up to 10 agents

14. Whatfix

Whatfix screenshot
Image credit

Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that connects a business’s various applications and provides in-app guidance to assist in onboarding new users. Whatfix doesn’t offer a free knowledge base, but businesses can test its self-service features through a free trial.

Businesses can create guided workflows, articles, and videos accessible to users in an embeddable wiki. Smart Tips provides users with in-app information on how to use specific elements on the web page. Businesses can also gather feedback from users by supplying in-app surveys.

Features:

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Contact Whatfix

Free trial:

Available

Free plan:

Unavailable

15. ProProfs Knowledge Base

ProProfs
Image credit

ProProfs provides dedicated knowledge base software to help businesses create and manage their content. The service has a free option that lets teams manage up to 25 articles. It has options for both internal and external knowledge bases.

Users can create their self-service center with pre-built templates or create their own. The software has SEO tools that allow writers to optimize articles for search engines, to show information on internal or external search engines. Users can also track up to 30 changes to the knowledge base and restore old versions if needed.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

  • User feedback

Pricing:

  • Annual plan: $19.99 per month

Free trial:

15 days

Free plan:

Available

16. Helpjuice

Helpjuice screenshot
Image credit

Helpjuice is a knowledge base software that lets users experience its service with a free trial. Businesses can customize their knowledge base's look and layout to align with their brand and processes.

Helpjuice analytics provide insights on what users are searching for and the impact of specific articles. Writers and editors can create article templates and organize posts so they’re easy to find, and teams can collaborate on articles and send email notifications when they make changes.

Features:

  • Content and revision history

  • Custom organization

  • Help center search engine

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Templates

Pricing:

  • Starter: $120 per month (4 users)

  • Run-Up: $200 per month (16 users)

  • Premium Limited: $289 per month (60 users)

  • Premium Unlimited: $499 per month (unlimited users)

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Unavailable

Features of free knowledge management software

Free knowledge management solutions usually limit the number of users on an account and only provide basic knowledge management tools compared to their free trial counterparts. However, most free solutions will contain the following key features.

Content and revision history

A content and revision history feature in a free knowledge base allows users to access old versions of articles and reinstate the original content. Advanced software, like Zendesk, can track changes made to the document on a granular level, identifying line edits with time stamps. This history ensures transparency and accountability, allowing administrators or authors to preserve the integrity and accuracy of their information.

Custom organization

Free knowledge base software should offer users the flexibility to build a knowledge base based on an organization’s unique needs and preferences. This means allowing users to categorize, tag, and structure content to align with their audience's expectations and search behaviors.

Customizable hierarchies, drag-and-drop rearrangement capabilities, and the ability to create distinct sections or categories are essential. Open-source knowledge base software is often less intuitive and user-friendly than proprietary software, so its adaptability is an important metric when evaluating a service’s potential.

Help center search engine

The help center search engine is typically the first point of contact in a knowledge base. It’s where every query starts, which means it’s a vital component of your knowledge base software. The best search engines aren’t only fast, but they’re able to decipher meaning despite obstacles like poor spelling or incorrect language usage.

You can also optimize your knowledge base for SEO with keywords and search terms to help ensure that your public knowledge base is the top result when customers begin their search. When pages are indexed correctly, bots can crawl your content without hassle and produce the best possible results when customers turn to the internet for help with your product or service.

Analytics and reporting

Even free knowledge base software should offer a range of analytics and reporting features to help users gauge the effectiveness and relevance of their content. At a basic level, this feature should provide insights into page views, most-read articles, and search terms used within the knowledge base.

Advanced help desk metrics on user engagement in free trials, such as time spent on articles, bounce rates, and feedback ratings, can offer valuable information on content quality. Tracking unresolved searches—queries that didn't yield satisfactory results—can highlight gaps in the content.

Templates

Pre-built article templates give users an easy starting point to create their content and get the knowledge base live more quickly. Templates offer a structured and consistent format, ensuring that articles and resources maintain a uniform look and feel, which enhances user experience and navigation.

The ability to create custom templates caters to more advanced users or businesses with specific branding or organizational needs. By offering both options, the software ensures that users, regardless of their technical expertise or design proficiency, can efficiently craft a knowledge base that aligns with their brand identity.

User feedback

Free knowledge base software can incorporate several mechanisms for businesses to gather user feedback. One common method is the integration of feedback buttons or rating systems at the end of articles, which allow readers to quickly express their satisfaction or highlight areas of improvement.

Comment sections can facilitate more detailed feedback and discussions, while customer surveys or feedback forms can capture specific insights about user experience and content relevance. Some software might also offer feedback widgets, which float on the screen so users can access it at any point during the user's journey, but you will usually see these in paid plans.

Benefits of free knowledge base software

Poor information organization can lead to sluggish workflows, decreased productivity, and dissatisfied customers. When an issue or question arises, agents and customers need a fast and easily searchable resource for solving their own problems on their own time. Otherwise, productivity at work grinds to a halt, and customers become too frustrated with their product or service to continue using it.

Free knowledge base tools can avoid many of these pain points, but they have a low return on investment (ROI) and difficult scalability due to their limited features. Paid knowledge base software has a higher ROI thanks to advanced capabilities like AI and security. Free, open-source knowledge base software can provide the following benefits, but you’ll receive better long-term pay-offs from a paid knowledge base solution.

Free knowledge software base graphic

Higher customer retention

Customers today want fast answers and they appreciate having a verified source of truth where they can find answers to their problems without having to speak to another person. This helps establish loyalty among your customer base and makes it more likely that customers will continue purchasing from you.

Lower customer service traffic

Many customers ask the same questions repeatedly. If their only option for asking those questions is to call your customer service line, your agents might be too overwhelmed to work on more complicated issues. Free knowledge base tools help minimize the number of support tickets to your business, freeing your agents to deal with trickier and more time-consuming tasks.

Better team collaboration

Every department plays its role in building and maintaining strong customer relationships. Making sure that each department has access to the most accurate and up-to-date company information means that no one will be left behind or out of the loop and collaborative projects can move forward with greater speed.

Faster training for new staff

New employees typically have many questions. Free internal knowledge base software provides a cost-effective way for new hires to seek out their own answers without having to run to their managers with every query during their onboarding. This results in a faster-paced training period where new hires are empowered to independently problem-solve.

How to choose the right free knowledge base software or free trial

Before deciding on a software, you need to understand your organization's needs and the role your knowledge base will play. Here are a few useful criteria to help you decide:

  • What are your knowledge base requirements? Many free knowledge bases lack the advanced features you’ll receive with a free trial. For instance, free solutions likely won’t have important security features that keep your company data safe.

  • What is your use case? Some free knowledge bases are only available as an internal resource, or they only allow you to create one knowledge base. If you need multiple knowledge bases and want them to serve customers, you might need to sign up for a free trial.

  • Can the software scale as your company grows? When you first create a knowledge base, its basic features might be all you need. But as your company grows, having a software that can grow and scale with you and support operations is essential. If you start with an open-source solution, you might need to migrate to paid software to support you down the road, which might inhibit your agility.

Free knowledge base software FAQ

Explore these additional answers to commonly asked questions regarding free knowledge base software.

Ready to try a knowledge base software for free?

The free knowledge base software trial from Zendesk offers businesses a risk-free opportunity to explore its cutting-edge features, user-centric design, and seamless integrations. You’ll have access to its user-friendly editor, robust analytics, along with a full suite of customer service tools. Experience a 14 day free trial with Zendesk today.

Related free knowledge base software guides

Creating a knowledge base is like building a self-help center for customers. Boost customer independence and free up your team’s time with these additional resources.

Watch a Zendesk demo today