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Top 14 knowledge base software for 2024

Knowledge base software empowers you to create, maintain, and share self-service content at scale. Sign up for a free trial to see how a knowledge base helps you save time and reduce costs.

A guide to the 14 best knowledge base software of 2024

Last updated April 18, 2024

You’ve likely heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” and the adage rings just as true regarding customer service. Empowered customers armed with information are more likely to resolve issues independently, leading to better user experiences. But building and maintaining all that knowledge can feel like wrangling cats—unless you use knowledge base software.

A knowledge base is a digital library of self-service support resources that empowers customers (and employees) to find answers on their own terms. The right software makes it easier for businesses to create and maintain one. Here, we'll delve into the knowledge base software market, explore what it offers, and unveil the top contenders in the software arena so you can choose the perfect solution for your service needs.

More in this guide:

What is knowledge base software?

Knowledge base software helps businesses create, manage, and share internal and external content in an organized and searchable format. There are two main types:

  • External knowledge bases: a centralized content directory focused on your products or services—and how to use them—for your customers to reference
  • Internal knowledge bases: a tool for distributing information about systems, processes, and policies to your employees

Knowledge base systems vs. help desks

Knowledge base systems and help desks can sometimes be confused because they are both support tools, but they serve distinct purposes. Knowledge base systems are essentially self-service libraries, empowering users to find answers to frequently asked questions, troubleshooting guides, and how-to articles.

Help desks, on the other hand, encompass multiple support tools, often including knowledge base software. They facilitate self-service and streamline support interactions between users and agents. They also feature ticketing systems, allowing customers (and employees) to submit requests and track their progress while agents manage and resolve issues. To promote knowledge sharing and self-service, you must ensure your help desk includes knowledge base software.

What are the different types of knowledge base tools?

For small businesses just starting out, a knowledge base might simply be a shared Google Drive with PDFs of product specs, customer FAQs, and employee onboarding manuals. But as the business grows, this can create issues with security, searchability, and accessibility. Here are the common types of knowledge base tools for businesses of any size.

  • FAQ pages provide answers to the most common customer questions.
  • Chatbots are AI-powered tools that proactively direct customers or employees to knowledge base content and suggest relevant articles when users ask questions.
  • Generative AI is a type of AI technology that can help teams write knowledge base content, change the tone of articles, and flag outdated information.
  • Community forums are online portals where users engage in discussions, share information, ask questions, and collaborate.
  • Self-service portals are online platforms where users independently access information, find solutions to issues, and perform tasks without direct assistance.
  • Help centers are centralized online repositories that host a knowledge base, community forum, and self-service portal from one centralized location.

Why knowledge base solutions are important

When you consolidate your institutional knowledge into a single database accessible from anywhere on the internet, you encourage customers and employees to self-serve, which benefits efficiency. Here are five other reasons why knowledge base systems are important.

A woman wearing a headset sits beside five knowledge base software benefits.

Boosts customer satisfaction

An external knowledge base never sleeps, so you can give your customers the information they want—whenever and wherever they want it. This enables your users to get 24/7 support from your company, even during holidays and off-hours. The customer doesn’t need to wait for an agent to help them fix an issue they can easily resolve on their own, creating a convenient experience that boosts customer satisfaction.

Saves agents time and reduces costs

Self-service resources can help customers and employees resolve basic issues without agent intervention, deflect tickets, and keep the queue manageable. As a result, support agents can focus on solving more complex problems and handle growing ticket volumes with fewer resources.

When integrated with chatbot software, knowledge bases can also automate support, so your business can tackle higher ticket volumes without adding headcount. For example, Zendesk AI enables you to use the knowledge from your help center to craft accurate, conversational bot responses.

Enhances customer onboarding and increases product adoption

Use your external knowledge base to create a seamless customer onboarding experience. When a new customer signs up, you can automate a welcome email that contains helpful resources from your knowledge base, such as:

  • Product tours and overviews
  • How-to videos and tutorials
  • Help center articles
  • Frequently asked questions

These onboarding materials deliver immediate value and encourage new customers to adopt your product faster.

Breaks down internal silos

Internal knowledge base tools can remove internal data silos by providing a centralized location for teams to access important information. When data lives across systems and departments, it’s difficult for employees to find what they need, negatively impacting efficiency. Knowledge base software provides easy access to valuable and relevant information, such as employee perks and employee leave policies.

Improves agent training and accuracy

With information a single click away in your internal knowledge base, agents can efficiently and accurately help customers without needing to memorize every detail. A knowledge base acts as a hard drive for your agents, allowing instant access to internal processes, FAQs, and articles for quick answers on demand. This also accelerates agent onboarding and gives new hires access to training materials.

Features of knowledge base systems

A basic function of knowledge base software is to make it easy for customer, IT, and HR support teams to create, manage, and share content with their customers or employees. Here are a few essential features that knowledge base software should include.

AI knowledge base features

AI can play an important role in helping you create and manage your knowledge base. AI-powered help center tools can encompass:

  • Semantic search and natural language processing (NLP): AI can go beyond simple keyword matching in searches. NLP allows users to ask questions in natural language, understand the intent behind the query, and provide more relevant and accurate results.
  • Topic identification: AI-powered support topic identification automatically reviews incoming support tickets and identifies common questions and keywords. This enables you to identify topic gaps and address them with new help center content.
  • Content creation: AI can help you write knowledge base articles by automatically turning a few bullet points into a complete article. It can also shift the tone to be more friendly or formal.
  • Content maintenance: AI analyzes existing content to identify underperforming help center articles so you can either improve or archive content that is no longer relevant.
  • AI-powered chatbots and AI agents: Integrating AI-powered chatbots or AI agents within the knowledge base allows users to interact conversationally and receive immediate answers to simple questions, further enhancing self-service capabilities. You can also leverage your knowledge base content to build bot conversation flows.

Front-end knowledge base features

In the context of a knowledge base, the "front end" refers to the user interface the target audience interacts with. It includes key features like:

  • Search functionality: A powerful search engine enables users to find the information they need. Features like faceted search, search suggestions, and natural language processing can enhance discoverability.
  • Content hierarchy and organization: Well-organized content with clear categories, subcategories, and tags makes it easier for users to navigate the knowledge base and find the specific information they want.
  • Responsive design: A knowledge base needs to adapt to different screen sizes (desktop, tablet, mobile) to create a great user experience.
  • Self-service options: Features like FAQs, step-by-step guides, and troubleshooting articles empower customers to solve problems independently, reducing support ticket volume for agents.
  • Multilingual support: For businesses with a global audience, offering knowledge base content in multiple languages is essential to ensure accessibility and improve customer satisfaction.

Back-end knowledge management features

The "back end" refers to the internal functionalities and systems administrators and editors use to manage and maintain the knowledge base. This includes knowledge management tools like:

  • User management and permissions: The ability to assign different access levels and permissions to users ensures content security and allows for controlled contribution and editing within the knowledge base.
  • Content workflows and collaboration: Features like content approval workflows, version control, and co-authoring tools streamline the content creation and editing process, promoting collaboration and maintaining consistency.
  • Single sign-on (SSO): Integration with existing SSO systems allows users to access the knowledge base with their existing credentials, improving user experience and security.
  • Bulk import and export: The ability to import existing content from other sources (e.g., documents, PDFs) and export content in various formats (e.g., CSV) saves time and simplifies knowledge base setup and maintenance.
  • Analytics and reporting: Detailed analytics provide comprehensive insights into user behavior within the knowledge base. This allows for data-driven decisions regarding content optimization, identifying popular topics, and understanding user search patterns.
  • Branding and customization: The ability to customize the look and feel of your knowledge base to match your branding ensures a consistent user experience across all touchpoints.

The 14 best knowledge base software

Check out some of the best knowledge base systems to find the right one for your business.

1. Zendesk

Best for AI-powered customer and employee self-service

A screenshot displays the Zendesk knowledge base software Content Cues feature.

Zendesk offers AI-powered knowledge base software that’s fast to set up and easy to use to increase your time to value and lower costs. Our flexible software can be used internally as an IT or HR knowledge base and as a customer-facing help center. Built-in AI-powered tools provide insights into what customers are searching for, suggestions for new knowledge base content to fill knowledge gaps, and prompts to update content in existing articles.

Plus, Zendesk’s generative AI features help you write new articles by turning a few bullet points into a complete guide and shifting the tone of your content to match your brand. AI can also leverage your knowledge base content to create conversational AI responses that automate support interactions. Additionally, AI enables semantic search, which improves results by understanding the meaning of search queries even when they don’t include exact keywords.

Managing updates is also easier with Team Publishing, a collaboration tool that allows your team to build workflows to review, approve, and publish content. With the Content Blocks feature, you can create and place content blocks—text, images, and videos—in relevant articles. These blocks get updated in a single place and automatically change anywhere the content appears.

Zendesk makes knowledge management systems accessible to everyone, too. You can create language-specific versions of your articles in over 40 languages and develop multiple help centers to match different audiences or brands. You can also build a self-service portal for your customers or employees, ensuring information is always available whenever they need it. Security features like two-factor authentication, single sign-on, and IP restrictions protect you from those attempting to access your content.

Pricing: Starting at $55 per agent/month, billed annually. A 14-day free trial is available.

Explore more Zendesk pricing plans.

Take 30 seconds to start a free Zendesk trial or request a Zendesk demo.

2. Helpjuice

Best for single-purpose knowledge base software

A screenshot displays Helpjuice knowledge base software.
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Helpjuice offers knowledge base software that can help businesses manage content. The solution features a search engine designed for knowledge bases to help users quickly find what they need. Users can create articles using the native What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor and publishing interface to add content immediately.

The platform employs AI-driven algorithms to recommend article topics and generate suggestions for content improvements. Analytics highlight which articles get the most views and which users search for them. Additionally, Helpjuice offers customization options. The customizable themes allow you to create a tailored brand experience, and multilingual support lets you switch languages from the authoring panel.

Pricing: Starting at $120 per month for up to four users. A 14-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Helpjuice integration for Zendesk.

3. Bloomfire

Best for internal knowledge sharing

A screenshot displays Bloomfire knowledge base software.
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Bloomfire helps teams organize company knowledge in a centralized platform. The platform mimics social media with capabilities for users to engage with the content with likes, shares, comments, or follows. Plus, Bloomfire’s AI technology can understand the user's queries and provide intelligent suggestions.

The reporting features and feedback loops can help management teams understand if the content is engaging and helpful and if there are any opportunities for improvement. Moreover, Bloomfire's platform supports the creation of crowd-sourced FAQs so teams and communities can collaboratively build a repository of best practices.

Pricing: Starting at $460 per month for up to 50 users, billed annually. A 30-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Bloomfire integration for Zendesk.

4. Guru

Best for creating an employee intranet

A screenshot displays the search function in Guru knowledge base software.
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Guru’s knowledge base system enables teams to create, share, access, and update information. It can unify contextually relevant information with existing tools like chat, email, and your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Businesses can set user permissions and view revision history.

Guru uses AI to surface information in the knowledge base to improve suggestions based on customer and employee search patterns. Guru also lets businesses compare their engagement analytics to performance benchmarks. Though Guru is an internal knowledge base, you can use its application programming interface (API) to publish content externally.

Pricing: Starting at $10 per user/month, billed annually. A 30-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Guru integration for Zendesk.

5. Zoho Desk

Best for companies using Zoho products

A screenshot displays the FAQ page of Zoho Desk knowledge base software.
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Mostly known for its ticketing system and help desk solutions, Zoho Desk also offers knowledge base software. The customizable structure allows you to form separate categories for how-to articles, FAQs, and other self-service options.

Writers and editors can create content using Zoho’s collaboration tools. Businesses can control access to their knowledge base by requiring users to create accounts. Additionally, Zoho lets users customize their knowledge base themes and branding with logos and color schemes. Community forums also allow customers to collaborate and interact with your team.

Pricing: Starting at $7 per user/month, billed annually. A free plan and a 15-day free trial are available.

Learn about the Zoho CRM integration for Zendesk.

6. Document360

Best for free public knowledge base access

A screenshot displays the reporting dashboard of Document360’s knowledge base software.
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Document360 lets you create public knowledge bases for your customers and private knowledge bases for your team. Common features include real-time search, version control, content categorization, and a file manager. Plus, writers and editors can collaborate in discussion platforms while creating or reviewing drafts.

This knowledge base software includes markdown and WYSIWYG editors, so authors can create content using their preferred method. Document360 allows you to create how-to guides, tutorials, and technical documents for your teams. The software also offers article view permissions, which keep data private and secure by requiring a login to access information.

Pricing: Starting at $0 per month for two users. A 14-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Document360 integration for Zendesk.

7. Notion

Best for team collaboration

A screenshot displays the home page of Notion’s knowledge base software.
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You can use Notion as a database, notepad, project management tool, and collaborative writing space. Its wiki software enables businesses to organize knowledge in a searchable format, and permission settings can determine what users can access and do.

Notion lets you customize your customer knowledge base and organize content by adding tags, labels, and owners to your articles. It has thousands of pre-built templates and drag-and-drop tools to help build and structure pages.

Pricing: Starting at $0 per month with limited features. A seven-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Notion integration for Zendesk.

8. HappyFox

Best for social sharing

A screenshot displays HappyFox knowledge base software.
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HappyFox provides help desk software with knowledge base solutions for businesses across various industries. Its knowledge base offers self-service options and makes it easy to collect customer feedback. The tool also has branded client portals and separate internal and external knowledge management systems.

HappyFox’s search engine shows top-ranking articles. Auto-suggest and structured index features guide customers through their self-service journey. HappyFox also makes it convenient to share content over social media channels.

Pricing: Starting at $29 per agent/month, billed annually.

Learn about the HappyFox Workflows integration for Zendesk.

9. Confluence

Best for Jira users

A screenshot displays the search function of Confluence document collaboration software.
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Confluence is a document collaboration and sharing platform by Atlassian (which owns Jira) that you can use for internal or external knowledge base purposes. The software can keep track of document changes for content auditing and lets teams collaborate on drafts.

The analytics tools in Confluence allow teams to track content performance, monitor user engagement, and identify areas that may require additional attention. Confluence also supports real-time co-authoring and editing of articles, as well as user comments and permissions management. This can help teams collaborate and maintain the accuracy of their knowledge base.

Pricing: Starting at $0 per month for 10 users. A seven-day free trial is available.

Learn about the Confluence integration for Zendesk.

10. Knowmax

Best for learning management

A screenshot displays the user dashboard within Knowmax knowledge base software.
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Knowmax provides AI-powered knowledge management resources that allow agents to retrieve articles using natural language queries. The platform integrates with a learning management system, enabling businesses to create and deliver training materials directly within Knowmax so teams have access to the information they need.

Knowmax also offers functionalities to manage the presentation of information. Decision trees guide agents through troubleshooting procedures step by step. Picture guides provide visual aids alongside written instructions to add clarity for both agents and customers.

Pricing: Contact Knowmax for pricing

Learn about the Knowmax integration for Zendesk.

11. Nuclino

Best for project management

A screenshot displays a meeting objectives list in Nuclino’s internal knowledge base software.
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Nuclino’s knowledge base solutions offer AI that can assist users in creating structured, interconnected documents. The AI can generate ideas, write content based on provided keywords, and summarize notes.

With Nuclino, companies can set access restrictions to control who views, edits, and contributes content. Multiple users can work together, editing and commenting on documents in real time. The platform also includes an article version history tool, allowing users to track changes and revisions over time. Additionally, Nuclino provides a collection of templates that give users a starting point in designing wikis, product roadmaps, and handbooks.

Pricing: Starting at $0 per month with limited features. A 14-day free trial is available.

12. ProProfs Knowledge Base

Best for individual authors

A screenshot displays branding options in ProProfs Knowledge Base software.
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ProProfs Knowledge Base lets businesses view reports relating to article views, user interactions, and content performance to understand how readers are engaging with articles. Companies can define workflow processes so everyone knows how to create, review, and approve content.

ProProfs lets users create conditional content, and it can hide or display content based on the reader’s viewing device or customer segment. Additionally, its WYSIWYG editor lets teams customize content templates and add images or videos.

Pricing: Starting at $0 per month for one author. A 15-day free trial is available.

Learn about the ProProfs integration for Zendesk.

13. Help Scout

Best for teams using a shared inbox

A screenshot displays a test article of Help Scout’s knowledge base software.
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Help Scout provides knowledge base software as part of its help center solution. Businesses that use it can maintain a consistent look that aligns with their brand identity. Customization options include color schemes, logos, and layouts.

Businesses can control access and user permissions to protect sensitive information while allowing collaboration and content management between teams. AI-powered tools can guide users to resources and provide recommendations for content creation. Additionally, its analytics can help teams track metrics like article views and search trends.

Pricing: Starting at $20 per user/month, billed annually. There is no free trial available.

14. HelpCrunch

Best for chat widget integration

A screenshot displays HelpCrunch’s knowledge base software.
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HelpCrunch offers knowledge base software as part of its broader customer support solutions. This allows businesses to integrate their knowledge bases within chat widgets to promote self-service. The AI-powered editor assists in creating content for search engine discoverability. It can translate articles, change the tone, and expand text.

HelpCrunch also provides insights through its "failed searches report." This report identifies search queries that don't yield relevant results within the knowledge base, highlighting potential content gaps and areas for improvement.

Pricing: Starting at $12 per team member/month, billed annually. A 14-day free trial is available.

How to choose the right knowledge base system

Here are a few considerations when picking the best knowledge base software and system for your business.

The four knowledge base software must-haves include: security, simple setup, low TCO, and scalability.

Make sure it’s secure

The best knowledge base software has safeguards in place to protect sensitive data. With up-to-date software compliance certifications, businesses demonstrate that they abide by industry restrictions and regulations to keep data secure. Zendesk gives businesses user authentication options, data encryption, device management, and more.

Vet how easy it is to set up and maintain

Pick software that deploys quickly and offers the tools you need for easy maintenance. It’s also wise to choose a tool that requires minimal onboarding and training so you can get up and running swiftly. A fast time to value means you start seeing the benefits of the software sooner rather than later.

Consider the total cost of ownership

With any software, you want a quick return on investment (ROI), but those gains can be delayed by unforeseen costs and endless add-ons that inflate your budget. Ideally, your chosen solution won’t require a large technical team or development resources to maintain it. Look for software that prioritizes automation and built-in efficiency, allowing your team to focus on creating valuable content and not getting bogged down by technical complexities.

Prioritize scalability

Choosing scalable knowledge base software is paramount for businesses seeking a long-term solution. As your company grows and your information needs evolve, a scalable platform will seamlessly adapt to advancing needs. This ensures your knowledge base can accommodate an expanding content library and integrate with future systems without requiring a costly and disruptive software overhaul down the line.

Free knowledge base software provides an affordable entry point to managing content, but you may quickly outgrow its basic features. When that happens, you might find the cost to upgrade and manage the system exceeds that of other paid services.

Frequently asked questions


Upwork scales global support with robust APIs and self-service

“Zendesk is a global platform that allows us to connect internally and allows customers to connect with us in a streamlined fashion. It simplifies our workflows and gives us great customer insights.”

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VP of Customer Support

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Try knowledge base software for free

Your ability to empower customers and employees with a knowledge base will largely depend on the software you choose. With Zendesk, you can facilitate customer self-service and organize your institutional knowledge as a searchable database for your internal teams. Thanks to our generative AI tools, you’ll also have a supercharged ability to streamline and scale your knowledge management.

Give Zendesk a try and start providing your customers with convenient self-service options while improving agent efficiency and resolution times.

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