10 Best Knowledge Base SaaS in 2022

by Adarsh Raj Bhatt
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Photo credits: Unsplash

What is knowledge base software?

Knowledge base software is also known as help center software. Knowledge base software generally constitutes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and tutorials on how to use a product, all for the purpose of organizing the self-service portal for customers. This documentation of troubleshooting instructions serves anyone looking for particular solutions without having to connect to the help desk in person (or even online). A distinction can be made here between internal and external knowledge base software. The best internal knowledge base software will have measures such as login credentials in place for those who want to access information. An external knowledge base is open to the public.

Why is knowledge base software important for startups?

Knowledge base software is important, particularly for software startups because:

  • User experience is often the biggest factor in determining the success of a particular product or service. Knowledge base software makes the onboarding for new customers easy because the general application process need not be explained every time a new customer comes on board. This sort of virtual help desk can guide them through the general application process automatically, so they don't need to wait for their turn for an answer.
  • The automated suggestions that come up when a customer types in a question save a great deal of time for the customer. They can immediately work on the follow-up suggestion and carry out their tasks seamlessly.
  • Knowledge base software, when widely used by customers who are seeking immediate solutions, automatically gets better SEO rankings for your startup’s online presence.
  • The analytical tools used by knowledge base software help startups to modify content according to customer needs and preferences. This helps to further solidify and enhance customer experience.
  • Free open-source knowledge base software provides advanced solutions for digital teams. Such solutions include direct integration without an API and easy-to-use customer interfaces. Startups can benefit from these free models and select one based on their budget and goals.

What key criteria to keep in mind to evaluate knowledge base software?

1. An efficient search engine

All your exhaustive categorization of information that you think users may need, will make sense only when your knowledge base software has an efficient search engine. The user experience will only be fully satisfactory if users don't have to scroll through options they do not need.

2. Excellent speed

You want your knowledge base software to deliver the same speed as your website and app. Customers want quick solutions to their problems and you don't want to add to their frustration with a slow help desk solution.

3. Analytics and User Feedback

The ultimate goal of knowledge base software is to improve overall customer experience. For this, it should have analytics at work to let you know what more you can do to serve users more efficiently. It should incorporate measures for customer feedback such as rating scales, so you know how effective your documentation is. You should also be able to constantly improve on the information by renewing it with updates.

4. Backup

Building effective knowledge base software requires exhaustive documentation from diverse sources. It would be more than inconvenient if you lost all the carefully gathered data because of a wrong click or some other system failure. The ideal knowledge base software will have enterprise-grade backups that ensure that your content is never lost, and that you can continue building upon the content.

5. SEO friendly

The best knowledge base software will have in-built SEO-friendly practices so you can aim for the best visibility and ranking that come when your knowledge base includes keywords and common search items that can be fully optimized.

6. Data encryption and security

A knowledge base is a collection of thoroughly researched data that is unique to your startup. The ideal vendor in this space will comply with security standards and have data encryption at work to protect your data.

Top 10 Best Knowledge Base Solutions for Startups in 2022

HubSpot Knowledge Base Software

Description: An efficient help desk solution that optimizes the customer self-service experience by providing live chats, bots, reporting tools, and much more, so you stay true to the purpose of knowledge base software.

Best for: Fast-growing startups

Pricing

Six plans are available for varying needs:

Free tools

Marketing Hub

  • Starter: $45 per month, billed at $540 per year
  • Professional: $800 per month, billed at $9600 per year
  • Enterprise: $3200 per month, billed at $38,400 per year

Sales

  • Starter: $45 per month, billed at $540 per year
  • Professional: $450 per month, billed at $5400 per year
  • Enterprise: $1200 per month, billed at $14,400 per year

Customer Service

  • Starter: $45 per month, billed at $540 per year
  • Professional: $360 per month, billed at $4320 per year
  • Enterprise: $1200 per month, billed at $14,400 per year

CMS Hub

  • Starter: $23 per month, billed at $270 per year
  • Professional: $360 per month, billed at $4320 per year
  • Enterprise: $1200 per month, billed at $14,400 per year

Operations Hub

  • Starter: $45 per month, billed at $540 per year
  • Professional: $720 per month, billed at $8640 per year
  • Enterprise: $2000 per month, billed at $24,000 per year

The details below are specific to the CMS Hub plans.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes. Customers can get exactly what they want.
  • Speed: Faster support solutions so customers get their answers instantly.
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available, so gaps on missing information can be filled.
  • Backups: Pro Backup Integration that automatically backs up all HubSpot data once a day, provides an extra level of disaster recovery, and extra restoration capabilities for more than 90 days.
  • SEO-friendly: Yes, SEO optimization and recommendations are available with the Professional and Enterprise plans (CMS Hub).
  • Data encryption and Security: CDN, Standard SSL certificate, WAF are available with all three CMS Hub plans. Password-protected pages are available with the Professional and Enterprise plans. Code alerts and SSO are available with the Enterprise plan.

Pros:

  • Flexible knowledge base with easy-to-use layout templates.
  • Not a lot of technical skills are required to use the platform.

Cons:

  • Adding articles can be difficult as the knowledge base setup does not transfer as efficiently.

Intercom

Description: Integrated knowledge base solution that provides the most relevant articles for helping customers.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing: Pricing for early-stage startups starts at $65 per month. 

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes.
  • Speed: Customers get faster answers with Intercom’s integrated knowledge base.
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Built-in feedback loops and automated feedback are available.
  • Backup: Archive feature available for later restoration and Intercom team support available if users are deleted within a 7-day timeframe.
  • SEO-friendly: Articles modules are SEO-friendly.
  • Data encryption and Security: Role-based permissions, advanced support, and HIPAA compliance with Intercom for Enterprises

Pros:

  • Provision to create multilingual articles for global customers
  • Provision to customize the content as your own by using the editor that allows you to add images and interactive guides to your articles.
  • Intercom knowledge software provides a Resolution Bot that lets you instantly answer FAQs.

Cons:

  • WhatsApp business integration is desired.

Zendesk

Description: Knowledge base solution that empowers customers as well as support agents with optimal use of suggestions and feedback from both sides, providing a collaborative approach and a seamless user experience.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing 

Two pricing tiers are available:

Zendesk for Service

Suite Team: $49 per agent per month, billed annually.

Suite Growth: $79 per agent per month, billed annually.

Suite Professional: $99 per agent per month, billed annually.

Free trials are available for all three plans.

Zendesk for Sales

Sell Team: $19 per user per month, billed annually

Sell Professional: $49 per user per month, billed annually

Sell Enterprise: $99 per user per month, billed annually

Free trials are available for all three plans.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes. It has a smart knowledge base with Web Widget and Mobile SDK.
  • Speed: Quick and convenient
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available, AI-powered suggestions
  • Backup: REST's API produces backup copies of all articles in your knowledge base.
  • SEO-friendly: Yes
  • Data encryption and Security: SOC 2 Type II reports, ISO 27001:2013 certified, ISO 27018:2014 certified, HIPAA compliance, FSQS (stages 1 & 2) certified, and GDPR compliance.

Pros:

  • Empowers startups by reducing support costs and ticket volumes, so agents can focus on more important issues to deliver the best support.
  • Team Publishing makes optimal use of the expertise of your support team by using their first-hand experience with customer preferences.
  • Complete customization of content is available, and content can be localized in 40+ languages.

Cons:

  • Slow when multiple apps and integrations are configured.
  • Licensing schemes should be more flexible.

Live Agent 

Description: Knowledge base solution with robust tools and over 130 features, including a single shared inbox so you can provide the best self-service portal for your customers as well as your employees.

Best for: Individuals, startups, SMBs, and enterprises.

Pricing

Four plans are available at varied prices:

Ticket: $15 per agent per month

Ticket+Chat: $29 per agent per month

All-inclusive: $49 per agent per month

Live Agent offers a free plan.

Free trials are available for all three plans.

Evaluation of key criteria: 

  • Efficient search engine: Yes, with an easy-to-use search bar.
  • Speed: Tools such as a native live chat widget and a built-in CRM are available to help you improve the speed for delivering answers to customers' problems.
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available
  • Backup: Daily backups, backup of incremental changes to files, and pbzip2 to compress backup files.
  • SEO friendly: Yes
  • Data encryption and security: HTTPS encryption, 2-factor authentication, password validator, and GDPR compliance

Pros:

  • Editing your articles is easy with the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Provision to create multiple knowledge bases for different products
  • Internal knowledge base available

Cons:

  • Setup can take a while but the ultimate functionality is worth it.
  • Responding to an individual message needs you to forward that message and choose recipients all over again.

HelpCrunch

Description: Customer service platform with an efficient help desk for the complete optimization of the self-service experience.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing

Three plans are available at varied prices:

Basic: $12 per month

Pro: $20 per month

Enterprise: Custom pricing is available.

14-day free trial is available

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes, automatic suggestions of relevant articles respond to typed-in keywords.
  • Speed: Customers get instant answers resulting in fewer support requests
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available through reports and GA integration
  • Backup: Not known
  • SEO-friendly: Yes
  • Data encryption and Security: SSL certificate.

Pros:

  • Unlimited contacts are available regardless of the plan you choose.
  • Service Level Agreement management available.
  • User-friendly interface.

Cons:

  • Occasional delay in mobile app notifications
  • Widget customization could do with further improvement.

Confluence

Description: Knowledge base solution that empowers you with the necessary tools to keep your information accessible and manageable.

Best for: Small and growing startups and enterprises

Pricing

Four plans are available at varied prices:

Free for up to 10 users

Standard: $5.50 per user (average), $55 per month

Premium: $10.50 per user (average), $105 per month

Enterprise: Billed annually for 801+ users

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes. Customers and employees can help themselves easily through Confluence’s proactive suggestions.
  • Speed: Good speed with quick solutions.
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Analytics are available with the Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • Backup: Business continuity along with disaster recovery are available.
  • SEO-friendly: Powerful search engine so that users can find exactly what they want
  • Data encryption and Security: Atlassian Access includes SSO, SCIM, and Active Directory Sync and is part of the Enterprise plan. Access subscription is needed for the other three plans. Password policy and data encryption (in transit and at rest) are available with all plans.

Pros:

  • Customizable templates so you do not have to start from scratch each time
  • Single source of truth that consolidates all the information that really matters
  • Beneficial third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve to be able to fully access all functionalities provided
  • Navigation can be difficult within huge documentation projects.

Groove HQ

Description: Knowledge base platform that allows you to provide the best customer experience with any mode of interaction through the efficient consolidation of all data in one intuitive dashboard.

Best for: Small and medium-sized startups

Pricing

Three plans are available at varied prices:

Standard: $20 per user per month

Pro: $35 per user per month

Company: Custom pricing available

The first two plans come with a 15-day free trial.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes
  • Speed: Good speed
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available
  • Backup: Restoration of deleted KB articles.
  • SEO friendly: Customizable SEO settings
  • Data encryption and Security: SSL provisioned from Let's Encrypt, password protection available, and access limited to a select range of IP addresses.

Pros:

  • Canned replies work very well for frequent support tickets.
  • Easily manageable knowledge base, particularly for SaaS companies.

Cons:

  • More features are desired around webpage customization.
  • Frequent updates can potentially disturb the system, so there's difficulty in finding information that is used routinely.

Slite

Description: Consolidated platform for knowledge base management that empowers your team through efficient collaboration, regardless of time and place.

Best for: Small and medium-sized businesses and growing startups.

Pricing

Four plans are available at varied prices:

Slite offers a free version.

Standard: $6.67 per member per month

Premium: $12.50 per member per month

Enterprise: Custom pricing is available

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes, so that your team has quick and easy access to what they need.
  • Speed: As per Slite, their platform is about 4 times faster than other in-class solutions.
  • Analytics and User Feedback: No
  • Backup: Provision for setting up automatic backups daily/weekly (with paid plans)
  • SEO-friendly: Optimal keyword searching
  • Data encryption and Security: SOC 2 Type II security certification, GDPR compliance, enforced Google SSO are available with the Standard plan, while the Premium Plan offers advanced Doc permissions, Open ID SSO, and Open ID provisioning.

Pros:

  • Slack integration allows seamless sharing of information within the team.
  • Even the free version gives access to most of the basic features.
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Some formatting is lost when copying and pasting to other applications
  • Manual sorting is required.

Document 360

Description: Knowledge base platform that leverages robust tools like advanced analytics and a markdown editor to help you create an optimal help desk platform for your customers and your team.

Best for: SaaS companies and startups of all sizes

Pricing

Four plans are available at varied prices:

Startup: $99 per project per month

Business: $299 per project per month

Enterprise: $499 per project per month

Enterprise Plus: Custom pricing is available.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes
  • Speed: Good speed with instant solutions for customers
  • Analytics and User Feedback: User rating and advanced analytics are available.
  • Backup: Automatic daily backup. Manual backup is available according to your needs.
  • SEO friendly: Yes
  • Data encryption and Security: Multi-tiered data security model, AES 256 bit encryption for data at rest, and HTTPS with TLS 1.2 encryption for data in transit. Protection against DDoS attacks.Access controls.

Pros:

  • Both internal and external knowledge bases are available.
  • Complete control over who can access what information through user restriction

Cons:

  • Feature requests do not get quick responses despite the open tracker present for them.
  • Workflow management is very important for migration of old content.

Help Scout

Description: Scalable knowledge base solution - with the personal touch of an email - for customers, that also facilitates employee collaboration through its leading in-class reporting tools.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing

Three plans are available at varied prices:

Standard: $20 per user per month

Plus: $35 per user per month

Company: $60 per user per month

Special plans are available for startups and nonprofits.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Efficient search engine: Yes, Help Scout’s Beacon allows your customers to view your knowledge base from anywhere on your website.
  • Speed: Vouches for "rocket speed"
  • Analytics and User Feedback: Available through Docs Report which helps you know what your customers are looking for.
  • Backup: Restoration available for lost data within 5 minutes.
  • SEO friendly: Customizable SEO detailing.
  • Data encryption and Security: HIPAA compliance and enterprise-grade security are available for the Plus (as add-ons) and Company plans.

Pros:

  • Robust API that seamlessly imports data from other apps to give you a consolidated view of your customers.
  • Easy to use and navigate.

Cons:

  • Some customers desire a greater degree of customization of the Help Scout interface.
  • Reporting features need further development.

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