WordPress being a content management system is one of the best choices for creating an online knowledge base, that is supposed to have a lot of content in different forms.
There are so many options to create a knowledge base or a help desk website that you may end up confused and indecisive about choosing the right option.
And since it a knowledge base that we are talking about, choosing the right platform is must, since it will be a system that you will be interacting a lot, and it will also define the user experience.
We definitely recommend WordPress for creating any kind of content based websites, whether blogs, or a wiki site, or an online documentation.
- Is WordPress good for Knowledge base websites?
- Create A Knowledge Base In WordPress With A WordPress KMS Theme
- Creating A Knowledge Base With A WordPress WordPress Knowledge Base Plugin
- What is the best? A WordPress theme, or a WordPress knowledge base plugin?
WordPress for Knowledge base Websites
The question is: “Is WordPress good for knowledge base?”.
A platform on which you build your knowledge base is something you will have to continuously interact with in-order to maintain a useful knowledge base.
It will also determine the ease of use for the authors/editors and the access control and other features, therefore – choosing a platform carefully is the first step towards creating a comprehensive knowledge base.
Since WordPress is already a Content Management System it is one of the best platforms to manage all the overwhelming amount of content that a knowledge base website can have.
WordPress has a graceful way to auto create database tables and maintain data into it, automatically. So you don’t have to worry about how all the data that you upload to your WordPress knowledge base website will be managed.
Therefore, if you have chosen to build your knowledge base website with WordPress, its a good way to go.
Not just for building a knowledge base website, but also the websites built on WordPress are easy to manage and maintain, which makes it one of the best alternatives for non-technical people to build and manage a website.
There are two ways to create your knowledge base website:
- Using A WordPress theme/WordPress knowledge base template
- Using A WordPress plug-in
Depending upon the type of knowledge base website you want to create, you can choose your best alternative.
Creating a Knowledge base in WordPress with A Knowledge Base WordPress Theme
The beauty of WordPress is how easy it is to repurpose your website with just a new WordPress theme. WordPress themes are much more than website templates that will change the layout of your site.
WordPress themes, along with design, also come with inbuilt systems and features that you need for a website. So a knowledge base theme will come with all the required features for such a website.
So if you want to build a knowledge base website with a WordPress knowledge base template, you should first choose a perfect theme for your website.
You may want to create a feature packed WordPress website with a knowledge base, or a documentation section along with other features to create help desk forums, support tickets, live chat, bbPress for forums, and so on.
Or you may want a simple documentation/knowledge base or a wiki WordPress theme to create a knowledge base website on your own.
Regardless of the type of WordPress knowledge base template you choose, the steps to build a WordPress knowledge base website will be the following.
1)Getting hosting and domain name
WordPress is a little bit different from the SAAS platforms that are self hosted. For WordPress, you will need to acquire hosting and a unique, easy to remember domain name.
You can choose a hosting plan depending on the kind of knowledge base you want to build. If you are trying to build a knowledge base website with mostly textual content, you can go for a basic plan. However, if you want to launch a knowledge base website with WordPress, rich in multi-media content, then you can choose accordingly.
A simple research and comparison of your hosting alternatives will help you choose the best. Or you can get in touch with the pre-sales of the host you prefer, and explain your requirements so that they can suggest you a plan accordingly.
2) Getting a WordPress knowledge base theme
To create a knowledge base with WordPress, you will require a knowledge base theme. You will definitely need to rely on a premium WordPress theme, crafted specifically for building knowledge base websites.
Such a plugin will generally come with advanced options and many features like bbPress support, ajax search and can be used to create documentation site, a complex wiki website, or knowledge bases.
However, we can build a similar website, with a FREE plugin, in the later section.
3) How To Create A Knowledge Base In WordPress
These steps may differ based on the knowledge base theme you choose and the feature it offers.
Thankfully, all the premium themes come with theme documentation/user guides to help you setup your website with the theme.
So you can simply follow the instructions available in the theme guide, study the options and use them to create a knowledge base.
However, instead of opting for a WordPress theme to launch a knowledge base website, we recommend using a Free WordPress Knowledge Base plugin, to create efficient, professional looking wiki WordPress website.
Create A Knowledge Base In WordPress With A Plugin
If you only want to create a knowledge repository, or a documentation section on your site, than opting for a WordPress Knowledge Base plugin like BasePress will prove to be the simplest and best solution.
We recommend using the BasePress plugin for setting up a WordPress knowledgebase because of the following reasons:
- It is completely FREE
- Allows creating multiple knowledge bases
- Very easy to install, and manage the knowledge base
- Can be used with almost any well coded WordPress theme
- Much more flexible than using a WordPress theme
- Organized way to publish articles and manage them
What theme should I use to Install BasePress?
The BasePress plugin should work well with almost any premium WordPress theme. In the following sections, I have explained how to install and use BasePress to build a knowledge base with WordPress.
For installing the plugin, I have used the free version of Neve theme and BasePress worked just fine with it.
Note: We highly recommend trying any new plugin or add-on on a test site before implementing it on the live site. You should also backup your website before you try anything new like installing a plugin, changing theme, etc.
1)Installing the BasePress plugin for WordPress
The BasePress plug-in for creating the knowledge base can be installed like any other WordPress plugin.
Click to download the BasePress plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > plug-ins > Add new. Here you can choose to upload the plugin.
Upload the zip installation file for you knowledge base plugin and choose to install it.
You can activate the plugin as soon as it is installed.
With these steps, you knowledge base plugin is installed and ready to use. The next step will be processing the setup wizard that the plugin presents to create a knowledge base in WordPress website.
2)Setting up the plug-in
The BasePress plugin is quite easy to setup and use. It is for all the beginners to get started with the WordPress based knowledge base website.
The setup wizard will help you with the initial configuration. And the very first step would be setting up the title and slug for your WordPress knowledge base.
It will appear as soon as you activate the BasePress plugin on your website. It will guide you through the initial setup of your knowledge base.
The very first step is to choose the name for your knowledge base section, and the slug that will be included in the URL of your knowledge base home screen as well as knowledge base articles.
So with BasePress, you can add a whole new section to your website, with a special slug, that will conveniently separate the rest of your website from the knowledgebase.
The second step allows you to add the knowledge base to your website menu. This removes the hassle of going to the dashboard and manually adding the knowledge base URL to the menu.
You can simply choose the menu and choose next and your knowledge base link will start appearing there.
The knowledge base name will start appearing in the menu. You can of course later change the name of the knowledge base, or simply change the menu label for this link to make it shorter.
The next is theme options, where you can choose one of the three available layout styles. It is optional, you can choose the default to get started and easily change the knowledge base theme later, whenever you want.
The next step will take you through many other customization options that you can choose from. The options are intuitive and all of those options can be changed later on through the BasePress plugin settings.
You can change the defaults if you need to and click proceed and your WordPress website is not fully equipped with all the features you need to create a meaningful and useful Knowledge base website.
Other Interesting Settings:
BasePress has a lot to offer considering it is completely free to use. There is a premium version of the plugin that you can upgrade to for advanced features, but the FREE version has enough flexibility to make your knowledge base section look and work, exactly the way you want.
The BasePress plugin allows you to choose from 3 interesting layouts for your knowledge base website. The default is the classic look that is ideal for any kind of documentation or knowledge base website.
There are two other layout options, you can choose the zen layout, that is similar to the classic/default one. This will only change how your knowledge base website looks, the procedure to create a knowledge base article on WordPress with the BasePress plugin will remain the same.
Or you can opt for the modern layout, which will include a search bar, and give a colorful touch to your knowledge base.
Color & Icons
You have all the options to manage the color of your website, and various aspects about the appearance of your knowledge base based on WordPress.
There are not just options to change the color but you can easily manage the location of elements, how the sections are displayed, if the icons are to be displayed or not, what icons are to be shown, how the articles are to be ordered, the number of articles to be shown under each section, the number of columns to display the sections on homepage, and much more.
All these settings, and how to use each of the option can be found in the plugin documentation. You can use all these options on your knowledge base, to make the best version of it, to take the user satisfaction to next level.
Adding Content to your knowledge base
You can start with your knowledge base easily and add content with the backend options. The BasePress plugin comes with a brilliant way to manage your content and keep it neatly organized without making it confusing for the admin.
We will start by understanding the content structure. It consists of 3 data groups.
A knowledge base, that is a collection of sections and knowledge base articles, with BasePress, you can create multiple knowledge bases on a single site.
You can create different sections under a knowledge base, which are basically the categories/departments to classify the different types of articles.
3. Knowledge base articles
On the lowest level of hierarchy are the knowledge base articles. For each knowledge base article – you can add assign the Knowledge base, and section.
Create A Knowledge Base Article On WordPress
Simply start by adding a new post, under the knowledge base section on your WordPress dashboard.
You can add knowledge base articles to your website just like you add any other post or page on your WordPress website. Even for those with no prior knowledge of using WordPress (Or any other CMS) the options are quite intuitive.
Just set the title to the post, choose the knowledge base, and the section under the knowledge base, and publish the post when the content is ready.
You can also choose the article icon, moreover, there are options to enable/disable comments on the post too.
BasePress comes with many interesting options to let you create a knowledge base in WordPress. You have unlimited settings, and intuitive dashboard options organized neatly to let you manage your knowledge base.
Also, adding/removing/updating content is so easy with BasePress.
What is the best? A WordPress theme, or a knowledge base plugin?
Again, there is no right answer to what is the ideal choice to create a knowledge base in WordPress. You can use a WordPress theme, or a WordPress plugin depending on the type of website you want to create.
- You will definitely need a WordPress plugin for adding a knowledge base section on your existing website, in such cases, changing the WordPress theme isn’t a suitable solution.
- If you want to create a WordPress wiki website, or a documentation section, and plan on building a full-featured website with diverse help desk facilities, then instead of using multiple plugins, you can opt for a fully functional WordPress knowledge base theme.
- Alternatively, there are other knowledge management system software, other than WordPress that you can opt for to build a online knowledge base with different features to organize documentation and FAQ pages.
And you can choose from these options to create a knowledge base in WordPress. But if you are looking for a straightforward option to create a knowledge base or a wiki website, or a documentation section, a WordPress plugin proves to be the best option.