Some quick notes about the options I found so far and what I feel about them.
Things I was looking for:
- Easy to use.
- Simple rather than full-featured.
- Lean-code, fast!
- Un-opinionated designs (that don’t clash with my theme), so I can easily do my own CSS styling.
- Ok, fine…some features, but not that much! 🙂
I haven’t tried them all out in-depth so don’t take my word at all!
WordPress documentation & knowledge-base plugins:
These are all the ones I’ve tried. If you got experience with these or others that I didn’t mention, please share your thoughts in the comments. I’ll update this lazy review as I try more.
1. BSF Docs (FREE)
- The only one I’ve really tried and used.
- Made by Brainstorm Force (aka “the Astra guys”) and probably the only plugin I like and use from them.
- It’s clean, simple, and gets out of your way.
- Has a basic layout and AJAX search. Great if you want to get up and running fast and want to style your own thing.
- If it matters to you, this plugin is not popular. I think many people see it as being too minimal and not enough features for an all-out super comprehensive knowledge-base. But its minimalism fits me perfect. I want my documentation to feel like a pamphlet, not a library!
2. BetterDocs (FREE & PAID)
- If you don’t know where to begin and want the best and full-featured option, I think THIS one is the best one.
- It looks the most professionally-built…you can tell its difference in class from the WP repo descriptions alone.
- I am probably gonna grow and switch into this one any day now…when I’m not too lazy to convert over all my docs (*ugh!*).
- Tons and tons of features and layouts and what not. I imagine it might be overkill for some of you (with it feeling like you’re setting up a WooCommerce store, lol).
- They also got a Facebook group (nice!).
3. weDocs (FREE)
- This looks like a nice middle option. Seems to have more layouts and features than BSF Docs, but definitely not full-featured like BetterDocs.
- Very simple, minimal, clean, but has a layout that’s ready for clients. Whereas BSF Docs feels like you might need a little styling.
- Doesn’t seem to have a live-search option…BOOOO!
- Also seems brand new, their site has some pages not built out yet. But they do have many great reviews.
4. Echo Knowledge Base (FREE & PAID)
- I ran away from this from the very first second because it was so ugly. Uggggg-ily!!! Ugly demos, ugly site, ugly everywhere. (I know looks aren’t everything…but c’monnnnn!)
- BUT…it’s got 5-star reviews, with many people praising its fantastic function and support.
- Also advertises tons of features, built-in layouts and styling, table-of-contents, icons, linking to different resources, and on and on.
- I think it’s worth a try…I just know that I can’t get over its looks. (*Thanks Echo, for making me feel so shallow! [sad face]*)
5. DocsPress (FREE)
- Not sure how I feel.
- Says it was originally built-off (or inspired by) weDocs. I’m guessing a fork.
- Has a nice range of features, not too much or too little.
- Design feels very minimal and un-opinionated.
- Has many happy users raving that it’s the best simple doc plugin and “much better than weDocs”.
- Only thing holding me back was how simple their demo was (it didn’t showcase all features well IMO). And didn’t agree with the styling in their demo.
5. WP Knowledgebase (FREE & PAID)
- Mehh…also a no for me.
- The designs seem out of date. The demo docs looks like it was built in 1980. And no surprise, the WP repo plugin hasn’t been updated in a year. At least its website featuring the pro version looks nice, though.
- It sells itself as being full-featured, but I feel it’s neglected and not keeping up with the other powerhouse knowledge-base plugins.
- I also didn’t like that the live search was kinda slow on the demo (compared to my BSF Docs).
Very cool review. I agree with you 100% and also use BFS. After reading your article, I think im going to switch to BetterDocs. If I do it, I ll share how it went here. Thanks for sharing all the great WP stuff.
Johnny, I’ve installed it and guess what it’s using the same article table. Hence, there’s hardly no work to shift from BSF to BetterDocs except recreating all categories.
Awesome! You should share your links where you’re using it.