This is the most complete guide to help you choose a WordPress Knowledge Base plugin online.
Read this article completely and if it doesn’t help, we will give you your time back.
( if they invent the time machine in the future. )
I’ll show you the 7 Must-Have Features that is essential in choosing a WordPress Knowledge Base Plugin and even tell you why these features matter to you.
Feature # 1: A Powerful Search Engine
This feature is in my opinion, the Numero Uno in a WordPress Knowledge Base system.
Have you come across a website called Google lately and thought about why it’s so popular?
Because, with a large repository of Knowledge, searching and finding the most relevant content is the biggest superpower.
How well the search works matters, because:
Computers and the Internet have made people more impatient. People want to find the right information fast. The faster you give them the most relevant information, the happier they are.
Building on that simple fact, HERE’S A SECRET ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS:
Your customers prefer a Knowledge Base better than customer support medium like support tickets or even live chat support.
And if you choose the right Knowledge Base Wiki plugin, it would be easily accessible and super easy to solve their particular issue.
Here’s what research shows:
Over 91% of people don’t go to the second page of Google to find a solution to their query.
Over 50% of people in most cases don’t look beyond the first 3 results on the FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE.
The bottom-line is that your Knowledge Base’s search could result in a frustrated customer, unless your search is really really good.
So, what specific superpowers should your Knowledge Base’s search have?
Important Search Feature #1:
People are too lazy.
They can afford to be because of the technological advancements.
As a website owner, you can’t expect your users to search the exact terms your articles have.
That’s exactly why your Knowledge Base should also be forgiving in accepting partially correct keywords and match them using “partial matching” algorithm to find even articles that partially match their search query.
Important Search Feature #2:
Search Based on Keyword Weightage
There’s an entire field of marketing called SEO marketing that deals with how to optimise for top positions in Google’s search.
Let’s borrow some ideas from there to see what we want in our search…
One of the ways that Google prioritizes the results is by the position of the keyword in a particular page,
Whether it occurs in the first paragraph or last.
If there are more than one instances of that particular keyword, but not too many to be spammy and so on.
Important Search Feature #3:
Speed. Yes, we already talked about speed.
But, here’s one more thing you really have to pay attention to:
Does your Knowledge Base search return results super fast even with thousands of articles in it and quite a few people using it at the same time?
That’s what matters, when testing out a WordPress plugin to use, if it would deliver under the real world scenario.
Feature # 2: User Insights
“ You cannot improve, what you do not measure. “ – Lord Kelvin
Not sure that quote is true?
Ask any successful E-commerce webmasters, they’ll give you a list of tools that they use to measure their traffic, bounce rate, heatmaps, etc.
And even web design industry is slowly moving away from just aesthetic design to data-driven design.
The Benefits of User Insights is two-fold:
- You have a better understanding of what your users find useful in your knowledge base | helpdesk | wiki that you created with the WordPress plugin
- You can use the insight to add missing information, articles which people don’t find useful, etc. in your knowledge base
Now, which data do we measure and convert into Insights?
With Helpie, our own WordPress Knowledge Base plugin, we measure these,
A. User Happiness:
Ultimately nothing else matters.
If your users are happy, you are happy. Helpie WordPress KB Plugin measures user happiness from users’ votes and gives you a comprehensive Overall User Happiness score.
You can just use this as your North Star to see the state of your Knowledge Base.
B. Most Useful and the Non-So-Useful Articles:
Time to zoom in.
Finding the most useful and not so useful articles can tell you which ones you can feel happy about and which ones, you need to fix.
This is an actionable insight that you can take and fix immediately.
This is like monitoring the state of your entire Helpdesk or Customer Support section and fixing its core issues that would result in much less load on your customer support agents.
Believe me, your customer support team will thank you for this feature.
C. What Users Search For:
What better way to know what’s in your customer’s mind than knowing what they search for?
Even in a very simple Knowledge Base, this feature would make a big difference in terms of:
I. What new content to add to your knowledge base
Ii. Where your users need more help in terms of better product design/feature
D. Which articles are most viewed:
Bragging rights! Bragging rights for your contributors is just one of the appeals for having this feature.
Well, you can go back to the most viewed articles and use that to model and improve the other articles.
In some cases, improving the most viewed articles can reduce the support requests by a very large quantity.
Hope you can agree with me on this:
Insights are crucial to help you define your Knowledge Base’s success, and it’s worth investing in.
Feature # 3: Access Control
Creating a private Knowledge Base with access restricted only to members?
Then, you need an Access Control feature that is robust and can work with membership plugins.
Not to blow our own horn, but Helpie does this pretty well.
Who needs access control anyway?
Well, these people and you… if you are one of them:
10x teams or teams who want to be 10X:
Are you a team leader or part of a team that just isn’t happy with “Satisfactory” work?
Do you want to operate with a GROWTH MINDSET?
Then, you need to invest in creating a HUB OF KNOWLEDGE, a private internal Knowledge Base Wiki for your team.
There’s a demo website that you can look into and create your own internal Knowledge Base using Helpie.
A Personal Knowledge Base:
We know that Da Vinci, Richard Feynman were great learners.
How do we know that?
Mostly from their notes.
In this generation of digital immersion, however, you will be known as a great learner by how you collect, organize and process information digitally.
More specifically, your personal Knowledge Base.
If you are a researcher, Ph.D. student or a serious learner of any kind, you might want a place to gather all your learnings in a central place.
Now, you can do that in a web-based personal Knowledge Base system.
With your Knowledge Base articles having links to pages all over the internet, it’s the ideal approach, and you can even collaborate with friends on specific topics.
Helpie has a comprehensive set of access control features including:
I. Access Restriction for Topics by User Roles:
This is perfect for you if you are creating a private WordPress Knowledge Base for your clients.
Or Maybe you are Coach or a Guru?
Then, you need this feature in your toolkit. Here’s what you can do:
STEP 1: Produce great content that delivers great value to your clients.
STEP 2: Use Access Controlled private Knowledge Base based website using Helpie.
STEP 3: If you need, use a plugin like MemberPress to manage membership to your website.
Ii. Access Restriction to Topics by Password Protection:
This is really handy if you want a quick setup of a private Knowledge Base.
Let’s say you want to give access to a specific Knowledge Base topic to your friends and only them. Not everyone wants to create a user account and go through that process.
A password-based access to Knowledge Base topics is perfect for this scenario.
Remember… Keep your passwords safe…. Always…
Feature #4: An amazing organization system
Data that are properly organized is information. And that’s when it’s really useful.
Let’s say you have 10 articles on various topics related to your product, and you just throw it out on a webpage. When your users start reading it without any context, they might get disinterested and leave your Knowledge Base.
Our mind remembers and engages with content by building relationships. A proper organization of Knowledge in your Knowledge Base is essential to keep your audience engaged.
Using search is just one way to access information and it works well if your users remember related keywords to what they want to know.
What if your user is new to your field and has no idea where to start or how to approach?
This particular scenario of educating a new user is where a good organization/navigation system is incredibly valuable.
Inside Helpie WordPress Knowledge Base plugin, we do have the perfect solution by the name of Table of Contents.
What is Table of Contents?
A table of contents is a module which sits ( mostly ) in the sidebar of your entire Knowledge Base and has the topics, sub-topics, and articles organized in an hierarchical format.
Features you should wish for in a Table of Contents:
- Automated jump-to links of subtitles inside each article. This feature would generate jump-to links in the table of contents when you add a subtitle using a Heading HTML tag ( H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. )
- The ability to toggle the categories/topics so that if you have a long list of articles, you will be shown just the articles from one topic at a time
- Highlight showing where you are in the entire Knowledge Base. This could be a highlight of the current article and the current topic/category
- Ability to limit the number of articles shown in each topic/category in the table of contents
- A fixed Table of Contents that stays fixed in the sidebar while you scroll the entire page
Feature #5: An easy interface to capture new information
Whenever you want an action performed better and more frequently, you need to have tools designed to make it natural.
That’s why an easy to use interface to capture and share new information is very essential.
The ability to add content from the front-end using a simple text-editor will make a huge difference.
For example, Helpie lets you give access to other users by their user roles and they can add or edit your articles from the frontend.
Having a collaborative environment will not only improve the quality of your Knowledge Base, it will encourage people to share more and learn more once they find that people are reading their work.
A Collaborative wiki website:
If you are an online multiplayer gaming fan, movie, sports team fan or anyone else who wants to create an online wiki where you can create and share content collaboratively, then you need this feature in your toolkit.
Wiki technology has not seen any exciting improvements over the last decade, but the WordPress ecosystem has.
You should seriously consider a WordPress based wiki with frontend editing.
Thought-Leadership inside your organization:
You should encourage leading skilled people to communicate their insights on various topics and help them to be recognized as thought leaders in your organization.
Collective ownership of your organization’s workings:
Imagine if only one person in your company knew how a particular piece of Devops worked.
And let’s say regretfully, she leaves your company. That’s a disaster waiting to happen if you don’t have a collective ownership of the process.
This goes across all scenarios like process management, data management, interpretation, etc.
Collective ownership of Knowledge mitigates this risk.
And an easy collaborative Knowledge Base interface is crucial to developing a collective ownership of Knowledge.
Feature #6: Feature to Brand/Style your Knowledge Base
“Design is the silent ambassador of a brand. “ – Paul Rand
Paul Rand is one of the most prominent designers of the last century having designed the iconic IBM logo, the logo for Steve Jobs’ NEXT company, etc.
He is a champion of consistency and design being a silent ambassador of a brand.
This is what you need in your Knowledge Base as well.
You need tools that help you design your Knowledge Base to be consistent with your overall brand.
Helpie Knowledge Base plugin comes with a set of tools that can help you here. These include:
The Hero Customisation features let you add colors, color gradients, background images and vector images to customise your hero section across the entire Knowledge Base.
This is an excellent way to brand your Knowledge Base.
Main Categories Listing Options:
Depending on your user’s experience and your UX design, you can choose between 3 different styles of how categories are listed on your home page.
You can read more on Helpie’s categories listing options here.
Branded Knowledge Base = Better sales!
Branding your Knowledge Base is especially useful for product websites which use Knowledge Base for their product’s documentation.
It’s because you can use your documentation to write on domain topics and establish yourself as a domain authority. This will create a strong affiliation in the user’s mind about your brand’s authority in that domain.
A great example for this is Moz, who create awesome blogs posts as well as have created a Knowledge Base for SEO called SEO Learning Center.
This is an excellent way to get the audience who are interested in your domain to get interested in your brand.
Feature #7: Feedback System
Any system without feedback is a broken system.
That’s why you need strong feedback features in your Knowledge Base system.
There are 2 good sources of feedback,
Comments are an excellent way to get feedback and to understand what the users are thinking. Your users can suggest corrections, share their appreciation or even start a conversation around the topic. A good community can develop around your Knowledge Base topics when you have comments enabled and nurture the conversation.
Not everyone is willing to engage on that level though, most people just want to have minimum interaction.
Voting is a really good way to engage with such people. They can just share their emotions ( if you Knowledge Base supports emo-voting ) or show if they like or dislike the article.
Helpie comes with two voting systems, which are classic voting and emo-voting.
Other features you might consider are
- Having an FAQ section in your Knowledge Base website
- A recent articles section on the main page
- A related articles module under each article
Why is Helpie the Best Knowledge Base Plugin for WordPress?
We don’t say that because it’s our product…
Well, maybe a little. But most importantly, its because it has the 7 core features that we talked about. And implements them much better.
If you are convinced that you need a Knowledge Base for your business, personal website, etc we recommend Helpie, the best WordPress Knowledge Base plugin. You can also use Helpie in combination with the suggested WordPress themes for your Knowledge Base here.
Helpie WordPress Knowledge Base plugin is an excellent alternative to Heroic WordPress Knowledge Base plugin and Pressapps WordPress Knowledge Base.
Now it’s your turn, tell us what you are looking for in a Knowledge Base software.