Free Knowledge Base Software to Empower Your Team and Customers

For companies looking to provide top-notch customer experience and improve employee onboarding, having a knowledge base software is a must. Archbee combines simplicity with advanced features to deliver up-to-date knowledge base articles.
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Shortcuts to some of the topics in the guide:

Archbee knowledge base software

A knowledge management software for onboarding employees and customers. Read more.

How to create a knowledge base

Empower your customers to find their own answers with practical user guides. Read more.

Types of knowledge base software

Specialized knowledge bases vs. generic knowledge bases. What should you look for? Read more.

Benefits of Archbee's free knowledge base software

Archbee is a platform you can use for your day-to-day business operations. It provides an effective and efficient way to create and manage multiple knowledge bases that are easily accessible to both employees and customers. Let's explore the benefits:

  • Highly intuitive: Archbee is designed with a straightforward user interface that's easy to navigate. Teams can create, organize, and share information effortlessly, saving time and increasing productivity.
  • Scales your business safely: A knowledge base with up-to-date content helps the support team do their jobs more efficiently with access to relevant articles.
  • Streamlined customer self service: With Archbee, customers can quickly and easily find answers to their questions thru the self-service knowledge base site, reducing customer support tickets.
  • Team collaboration: A knowledge management solution like Archbee can improve collaboration among team members by allowing them to work on articles and documents together.
  • Scalability: As the business grows, it can get a paid plan offering additional features and functionality, but Archbee's free plan has excellent features.
  • Best third-party integrations for a free knowledge base: Teams can centralize their information with integrations like GitHub, Slack, Jira or import and sync OpenAPI files. There are also 20+ integrations via embeds directly in the document.

You'll be in very good company. Read our reviews on G2, Product Hunt, and Capterra to learn why customers love Archbee.

How do you create a simple knowledge base?

Companies often use knowledge bases to provide employees with easy access to all the knowledge relevant to support teams or any other customer facing roles.

Follow our simple guide to create a knowledge base tailored to your organization's needs.

Step 1: Choose a knowledge base software

The first step in creating a simple knowledge base is to choose the software that suits your needs. Take the time to research the options available and select a software that offers the features you require. To start with Archbee, go to the signup page and create a new account.

Step 2: Define your categories

Once you've chosen your knowledge base software, it's time to define your categories. Determine the most common questions or problems your customers or team members have, and create categories based on those topics. These categories will serve as the foundation for your knowledge base and help your users find the information they need quickly and easily.

Step 3: Create content

With your categories defined, it's time to start creating content. Begin by writing content for each category, focusing on answering the most common questions or problems related to that category. Make sure the content is concise and easy to read, and use simple language that is easily understood.

Step 4: Organize content

Once you've created your content, it's time to organize it in a way that makes sense for your users. Ensure the navigation is clear and intuitive, and use headings to generate a table of contents to help users find the information they need quickly.

Step 5: Share your knowledge base

With your content organized, it's time to publish your knowledge base. Make sure it's easily accessible to your users, whether by adding links to your website or emailing the link. Consider using a feedback form to get user input and improve your knowledge base.

Step 6: Update your knowledge base

Finally, it's essential to regularly update your knowledge base with new content and ensure that existing content is up-to-date. Make sure your content is accurate and relevant, and consider adding new categories or expanding existing ones to meet the changing needs of your users.

By following these steps, you can create a free and simple knowledge base that is a valuable resource for your users.


Why create a knowledge base?

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Fortune 500 companies lose roughly US$31,5 billion a year in lost productivity because they fail to share knowledge. On the other hand, improving search and retrieval tools for employees would save a Fortune 500 company roughly US$2 million a month in lost productivity.

Excellent and accessible documentation leads to successful companies because knowledgeable consumers create powerful outcomes, and the same goes for employees.

As more and more technology is added to the stack of an organization, knowledge is dispersed even more. Information gets stuck in various places like email, social media, forum discussions, comments, and even people's heads.

For example, Apple uses an internal tool dedicated to collecting each piece of information relevant to its success. Buyers and users are opting for tools that address their needs instead of developing laborious solutions.

The result is that knowledge needs to be consolidated in a single repository or system, aligned to organization needs, but created collaboratively. Moreover, this content must also be accessible to those who search for it on the fly.

Teams or companies use a knowledge base for capturing tribal knowledge. There's no one correct answer to how you process tribal knowledge, but most commonly, these are the strategies used:

What is a knowledge management solution?

Forrester defines knowledge management solutions as the software used to create, publish, and maintain curated content, enabling employees to answer internal and customer-facing questions and customers to find answers via self-service.

The main functionality of knowledge base software is to add and find information. As a result, search and retrieval are critical since the format, publishing flow, and nature of documentation for the business can vary.

Nonetheless, the term knowledge management or knowledge base can look corporate. Still, recently SMBs started to adopt them along with other namings like content hubs or knowledge hubs.

Knowledge management is paramount at this moment because work, and people, have fundamentally changed.

With a knowledge base software, you can:

  • Speed up onboarding by centralizing knowledge on an intuitive platform.
  • Keep knowledge accurate by making information easy to find and update.
  • Prevent knowledge loss and reduce repeat questions that sap productivity.
  • Collect institutional and proprietary knowledge in a continuous, organic way.

"Now that 'work from anywhere is the new normal, that access is no longer a given. Further, employee churn is at record levels. When key people leave the organization, their expertise goes with them. Both of these trends will continue and accelerate in 2022, putting both business productivity and continuity at risk. Internal knowledge management focused on capturing knowledge and connecting subject matter experts will be essential to mitigating this risk."

- Gartner

Key features of an effective knowledge base tool

Each organization uses knowledge base software in a specific way aligned with its goals because knowledge-intensive activities contribute to the growth of organizations. The co-founder of Asana, Justin Rosenstein, talked about organizations that harness knowledge as having a competitive advantage.

Great knowledge base features you should keep in mind:

  • Intuitive experience
  • Simple dashboard
  • Unique integrations
  • Effective storage
  • A reader feedback system
  • Easily manageable content
  • Search engines optimization controls
  • Search system features
  • Customizable templates

Want to see what you should include in your internal knowledge base?

Read more on our blog.

What are the different types of knowledge base software?

In any organization, you have various types of knowledge - from employee handbooks to product knowledge. Therefore you need a platform that enables employees to create, publish and maintain curated content for internal and customer-facing questions. That's where the knowledge base software comes in to help with content management.

There are multiple types of knowledge base software, so let's cover the main ones.

Internal knowledge base

According to Gartner's 2022 Planning Guide for Collaboration and End-User Technologies, internal knowledge base software will be critical to productivity and continuity.

An internal knowledge base is used to collaborate and share all company knowledge and information internally. When creating an internal knowledge base, you can include anything meant for internal use, which has multiple benefits.

Increase productivity

There's the benefit of the internal knowledge base, which is increased productivity. Having a structured source of internal information can increase your company's overall effectiveness by making it easy for employees to go and find information answers to urgent questions by simply browsing through the knowledge base.

They don't need to diverge from the task at hand and wait for an answer from a busy colleague.

Reduce onboarding cost

It's common for onboarding processes to be time-consuming and costly. Companies can save time and effort and simultaneously increase productivity by using knowledge bases where all relevant information is available. When new employees come on board, they have all the documents needed to start and run.

Improve communication and collaboration

Through the knowledge base, employees can store and share any needed information with each other.

Reducing knowledge churn

Then it's also a repository of organizational knowledge, which means employee turnover, which is sometimes common in specific organizations. Millennials and Generation Z switch workplaces almost every two years.

Knowledge bases act as repositories of your company's valuable information and help new employees get up to speed and contribute as soon as possible. This is also another benefit when you look at onboarding.

External knowledge base

The recent Global State of Customer Service report found that 86% of respondents expect a self-service option, and two-thirds try self-service first before contacting a live agent.

Here's a quick example of a knowledge base from Apple. It contains the products, quick shortcuts, a search bar, etc.

An external knowledge base, also known as a customer-facing knowledge base, is where customers or potential customers can learn anything they need to know about a company's products and services.

It's usually public to everyone and can be easily found online. If you browse any software's help and documentation section, that's their external knowledge base. Let's look at the benefits of an external knowledge base.

Reduce customer support costs

They reduce customer support costs, so whether your company is a startup or a hundred-year business, a comprehensive knowledge base can help you save customer support costs by reducing the number of tickets the staff has to handle.

Instead of focusing on minor issues, your staff can focus on critical issues and tickets of high importance.

Improve customer satisfaction

You also have improved customer satisfaction people generally don't like it when they need something or are not knowledgeable on a specific topic and have to ask someone.

Providing them with this information right at their fingertips increases customer retention without sacrificing your company's customer service.

Reduce customer wait time

You have reduced customer wait times. We all know that irritating feeling when waiting for customer service while being put on hold for more than 10 minutes, and sometimes with some companies, it's over an hour.

Knowledge base for software

Documentation is necessary to support communication amongst stakeholders, technical concepts, and the context behind decisions made during the software development process.

Software documentation can be something other than voluminous formal specifications. It could come in the form of automated acceptance and unit tests. Or well-written code in a 'self-documenting' higher-level language. Or, even better, a combination of many forms.

A knowledge base for software is necessary for mainly two purposes :

  • For the ease of developers: A software product is never complete. The different versions are released according to the need of new users and as an extension of the previous versions. The new developers want to know what has been done in the past, how the programs are written, the architecture, how things are arranged (databases, modules), the compatibility issues, etc. Documentation answers all these questions.
  • For the ease of the users: Users want to know how to get started with the software. They want to read the help sections when encountering problems and learn how to start with the software. Good documentation facilitates product adoption and retention and is a potent marketing tool.

What is the best free knowledge base software for small businesses?

Organizations looking for a knowledge base software should invest time to define their requirements. Most of the time, you should look for the following capabilities:

  • Easy content capture. You should be able to flag information from any source (email, discussion forum thread, social media interaction) and kick it off to be included in your collaborative content hub.
  • Democracy. Everyone within an organization and customers should be able to recommend information to be included in the content hub.
  • Flexible authoring environment. You must be able to create and publish content with easy workflows. Not all content should be subjected to the same workflows. Some content must be able to be published instantly, for example, a service alert. Other content should be able to be routed through review or legal compliance flows.
  • Collaboration. A particular segment of people or customer-facing personnel should be able to change content and republish it without arduous approvals.

The best knowledge management software will depend on your specific needs and requirements, as there are many options available with different features and pricing plans. Some of the most popular knowledge management software include:

Archbee: Archbee is a knowledge base software that offers a range of features such as real-time collaboration, customizable templates, version history, access control, analytics, and integrations.

Zendesk: Zendesk is a popular customer service software with a knowledge base feature. It offers custom branding, AI-powered search, multi-language support, and reporting features.

Confluence: Confluence is a collaboration software that includes a knowledge management feature. It offers features such as real-time collaboration, customizable templates, access control, version history, and integrations.

Knowledge base article best practices checklist

  • Use clear and descriptive titles for your articles to help readers find what they need quickly.
  • Use simple language that is easy to understand and avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terms unless necessary.
  • Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones to improve readability and make the content less overwhelming.
  • Use bullet points, numbered lists, or headings to organize your content and make it easier to skim.
  • Include relevant examples or case studies to help illustrate your points and make the content more engaging.
  • Use a consistent writing style and formatting throughout all articles to create a cohesive and professional look for your knowledge base.
  • Test your articles with real users to ensure that they are effective and easy to understand.
  • Have you had a customer or colleague review the process to ensure it is understandable?
  • Have you included appropriate visual aids such as images, videos, or GIFs?
  • Is the process explanation direct, clear, and concise, without unnecessary filler words?
  • Have you provided links to related articles for similar issues or topics?
  • Have you included contact information for readers who need further assistance?
  • Have you set a reminder to review and update the article periodically to ensure accuracy and relevancy?