If you’re tired of getting the same support queries over and over (or just want to help your customers better), you should create a knowledge base. But to create an effective knowledge base with WordPress, you’ll need the help of some external tools. So to boost your knowledge on knowledge bases, I’m going to list out some of the best free and premium knowledge base plugins.
I’ll divide the list up so that you can quickly find the option that matches your budget.
But first – are you sure that you should be looking for a knowledge base plugin?
Should You Use a Knowledge Base Plugin or Theme?
Using WordPress for your knowledge base is tricky because you can go about it in two different ways.
As the post title suggests, you can use one of these knowledge base plugins on top of your existing theme. But you can also use an entirely separate standalone WordPress knowledge base theme.
So…which should you choose?
Well, think about the basic meaning of themes and plugins…
If you want a knowledge base that is part of the same core WordPress install and utilizes the same theme, then a plugin is probably your best option.
Just be aware – you probably won’t get a knowledge base that looks as good as the knowledge base themes unless you ladle on a hefty dose of custom CSS. Even then, it’s hard to achieve the functionality of some of the premium knowledge base themes.
While using a knowledge base theme usually gets you better looks and more functionality, you’re sacrificing easy integration with your existing design and theme. If you use a theme, you’ll need to run a separate WordPress install (assuming you’re using WordPress for your main site).
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That can be a bit annoying because you’ll need to create all new users. While it is possible to share users across multiple WordPress installs, it’s a bit complicated and not attainable for beginners without developer help.
All in all, if you just want a lightweight solution that fits within the framework of your existing theme, then I think plugins are a great option. Here are some of the best…
The Best Premium Knowledge Base Plugins
Let’s kick basic to the curb and dive into the premium options.
Yes, you’ll have to pay some money, but you’ll also get much more in-depth functionality in return.
Heroic Knowledge Base
Heroic Knowledge Base is one of the most popular premium knowledge base plugins out there. It’s used by biggies like Pagely, Crazyegg, and more. And while the price might make you balk, you are getting a ton of functionality that goes beyond just listing out articles as well as beautiful designs.
I’m talking about:
- Instant AJAX search – as soon as visitors start typing, they’ll start seeing search results.
- Article feedback – visitors can vote your content up or down so that you can quickly see which articles need to be improved.
- Built-in analytics – get detailed information on what people are searching for, which articles are helpful, and more.
- Article attachments – attach files to your articles to make them even more helpful.
- Widgets – display categories, authors, and more
The feature list is solid…but it does cost $129 for a single site license, which might put it out of reach for casual users.
If you want more information, we’ve previously written about Hero Themes’ products.
Helpie is a new advanced WordPress Knowledge Base Builder plugin. It comes with many features that can help you create product documentation, a public/private knowledge base, or even a wiki website.
Some of the features that you’ll get access to include:
- It has an unrivaled search with partial matching, keyword-weighted sorting of results. And yes, it also has live ajax search. It was tested with over 1,000 articles and is blazing fast
- Automatic Table of Contents + many other sub-features and options for the Table of Contents.
- Branding, Styling and Layout options for all the Knowledge Base templates
- It shows you advanced insights into your articles and users
- It has two powerful User Access control features. You can either control access to specific by user roles or by using password protection.
- It has two voting systems: Classic voting and emo-voting.
- It has front-end editing. You can also choose which user roles get access to front-end editing.
There’s a lot more to Helpie and you can try the demo for yourself.
You can test Helpie out for free for seven days with a free trial. After that, paid plans start at $69.
MinervaKB is a premium WordPress knowledge base plugin that’s available for sale at CodeCanyon. It’s well-rated, with a near-perfect 4.95-star rating on over 85 reviews and 1,650 sales.
Here’s what you get with MinervaKB:
- Instant live search with seven different themes
- Dedicated Gutenberg blocks for the new editor
- Automatic table of contents generator
- Option to restrict access to some/all of your knowledge base
- Dedicated FAQ module to create FAQ sections
- Like/dislike button to see how helpful your articles are
- Search analytics to track what people are looking for, along with a Google Analytics integration
- Option to enable/disable comments on help articles
- Estimated reading time
- Related article display
- Glossary tooltips
- Drag-and-drop reordering of knowledge base articles/topics
MinervaKB costs $69 for lifetime updates on a single site and six months of support
Knowledge Base from PressApps
Knowledge Base from PressApps is the best selling knowledge base plugin over at Code Canyon and offers a slightly more affordable entry to premium knowledge base features.
Its 3.53-star rating on over 3,600 sales is ok, but not great.
Knowledge Base from PressApps sets you up with a similarly helpful set of features like:
- Live article search for instant suggestions
- Article voting to determine helpfulness
- Easy sorting and display options
But it is missing the depth of analytics offered by Heroic Knowledge Base. You do get the article helpfulness voting, but that’s about it.
As you can see in the screenshot above, it definitely gives you a more polished look than many of the free plugins.
Knowledge Base from PressApps is also fairly affordable, coming in at just $49.
BWL Knowledge Base Manager
I’ll wrap things up with BWL Knowledge Base Manager. Like the other premium options, it’s got AJAX live search, though it lacks the analytics or article helpfulness options.
Despite the analytics shortcomings, BWL Knowledge Base Manager does offer a few unique features in the form of:
- An optional table of contents function. I’m not a fan of it…but you might like it.
- An external question submission form to accept user-generated questions.
The overall design aesthetic also brings a fairly unique look from the other plugins. If you like its looks, this might be the plugin for you.
BWL Knowledge Base Manager is also the cheapest premium knowledge base plugin, coming in at just $39.
The Best Free Knowledge Base Plugins
Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of great free knowledge base plugins. The following plugins will work for a lightweight solution, but I wouldn’t recommend using them if you’re running a serious business.
BetterDocs is a freemium WordPress knowledge base plugin with a polished interface. It comes from the same developer as popular plugins such as Essential Addons for Elementor and WP Scheduled Posts.
You can get started using BetterDocs with a free version at WordPress.org. Then, if you want more features, the developer also offers a premium version.
Some of the most useful features are:
- Ajax live search to help people quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Automatic table of contents to help people navigate each help doc.
- Multiple template options for the page that lists all of your knowledge base articles.
- Analytics integrations to help you track which pages get the most views.
- Drag-and-drop ordering to easily categorize all of your help articles.
- Customization options via real-time customizer.
- Custom sidebar that lets you list articles in an accordion slideout.
The premium version also adds some cool tools. One of my favorites is an instant answer bot that lets people search your help documentation from a live chat widget.
You’ll also get:
- Better analytics
- User role management
- Some other advanced features
You can get started with BetterDocs for free at WordPress.org. The paid version starts at $39.
WeDocs is a free WordPress knowledge base plugin from weDevs, which is the same team behind popular plugins such as Dokan Multivendor and WP User Frontend Pro.
It gives you a simple solution to add and manage your knowledge base. You can divide articles into different categories and use drag-and-drop to change their ordering. It also includes dedicated widgets to add a documentation search option and table of contents.
As for the front-end appearance, the out-of-the-box design is pretty simple but workable for a simple knowledge base. However, you might want to add some of your custom CSS to spruce things up a bit.
WeDocs is 100% free.
Echo Knowledge Base
Echo Knowledge Base is a popular free plugin at WordPress.org that makes it easy to set up your FAQs or knowledge base. There are also premium add-ons that give you more functionality.
It gives you multiple layout options to control how your knowledge base looks. You’ll also get 26 different pre-defined themes to control the style.
Other useful features include:
- Automatic table of contents
- Live search results
- Up to five levels of hierarchical documentation (for creating sub-categories/articles)
- Option to add comments to articles
- Special shortcode to help you create FAQ sections
If you want more features, you can turn to premium add-ons:
- Access manager to control which users can create and/or view knowledge base articles
- More layout options
- Ability to create multiple knowledge bases (for example, separate knowledge bases for different products)
- Advanced search, including search analytics to see what users are searching for
- Article rating and feedback so that you can analyze how helpful your articles are
- More knowledge base widgets, such as displaying recently-added articles
You can get started with Echo Knowledge Base for free at WordPress.org. For the premium extensions, you can buy them individually or get a bundle of some/all the add-ons. Individual add-ons are $15-$45 each and bundles start at $50.
BasePress is another freemium option that comes in a free version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version with more features.
With the free version, you can build multiple knowledge bases if needed.
You can use drag-and-drop to control the order of your sections and knowledge bases (you need the premium version to order individual articles). There’s also a Gutenberg integration that lets you build everything using the block editor.
Other useful features in the free version include:
- Instant live search bar
- Related articles
- Dedicated widgets to display knowledge base content
- Three different knowledge base themes
If you want more features, the premium version also adds:
- More advanced search
- Article voting for visitors to mark articles as helpful (or not)
- Option to show the most popular articles based on votes or visits
- Automatic table of contents
- Knowledge base stats
- Multisite support
You can get started with BasePress for free at WordPress.org. The premium version starts at $59.
As far as free options go, WP Knowledgebase is one of the best I’ve found. I’ve personally used this plugin, so I can attest that it’s quite easy to get running.
Pretty much all you do is create articles using the native WordPress Editor. Then, you can divide them up into categories and choose whether or not to let users search for specific articles.
Once you’ve got it all set up, you embed your knowledge base by using a shortcode. Once you do that, you’ll end up with something like this:
As I said, it’s basic…but it’s workable. Throw in some custom CSS and you have a solid solution.
DocuPress is a super lightweight knowledge base plugin. Seriously – don’t expect a ton of bells and whistles.
But if something lightweight is fine, I like it because there are absolutely zero bloats (again – I’ve used it personally and can attest to that).
It gives you a custom post type for knowledge base articles, as well as a widget for displaying articles. Combine it with something like Content Aware Sidebars to display different sidebars for different content, and you can create a fully self-contained knowledge base.
At one point Robert, the developer, had plans to add shortcodes as well. But I’m not sure if he’s had time for that implementation yet.
Very Simple Knowledge Base
I haven’t had a chance to personally play around with Very Simple Knowledge Base much. But from poking around, it does appear to stick true to its name.
After you add your knowledge base articles, the plugin gives you simple shortcodes to easily display your knowledge base in a variety of grids. You can also add modifiers to hide empty categories, change the order, and more.
Again – this is a super basic implementation. But if basic works for you, give it a look.
Which Knowledge Base Plugin Should You Pick?
Knowledge Base from PressApps offers a nice mid-range solution that balances price with functionality.
And finally, if you need something free, my recommendation would be to choose between DW Knowledge Base and WP Knowledgebase.
Now over to you – have you used any of these plugins? Which was your favorite?