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How to create a knowledge base in Confluence

 

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In our previous blog post, we talked about why Confluence is the ideal platform for a knowledge base. Now you know the benefits, here comes the exciting part - it's time to start building!

But before you rush ahead, it's essential to get the foundation of your knowledge base right. Whether you're creating a customer support hub, a training portal, or something else entirely, our six-step guide will help you build a knowledge base that saves time and keeps users engaged.

🚨 Using Confluence Server or Data Server? Check out this article for more information on how to build a knowledge base. 🚨

 1. Create a new space

Sign in to Confluence. Click Spaces in the top navigation bar, then scroll down and select Create a space.

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Choose Knowledge base space in the screen overlay and click Next. 

You'll then be asked to choose your space's name and icon. Click Additional options to change your space's key (a unique code shown in the space's URL) and permissions.

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📝 Note: You can choose a different template - or start with a blank space - if it better suits the requirements of your knowledge base.

 

2. Edit the homepage of your knowledge base

Confluence will redirect you to your shiny new space. There will be some tips and pointers to get started.
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Now you're ready to get building. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner to remove the template message and start filling the homepage with your content.

 

What you have on your homepage depends on the purpose of your knowledge base, but here are some ideas:

  • Documentation
  • News
  • Support articles
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Team profiles

 

👉 Top tip: Want your knowledge base to feel like an extension of your company site? Macros like Content Formatting Macros for Confluence can help customise your space and add interactive elements for users.

 

3. Add some articles

 The best way to keep your users in the loop is by creating articles. In Confluence, all you have to do is click Create at the top of the page. Here, you can create articles from scratch or choose a template in the bar on the right-hand side. We recommend using the Troubleshooting and How-to article templates.

👉 Top tip: Keep a consistent feel across your knowledge base. You can standardise templates by adding your company's branding, prompts, and standard information.

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Once you've finished your article, press Publish.

You can then make it easier for users to find new or relevant articles by adding links to your knowledge base's homepage.

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4. Add an FAQ section 

Help users self-serve by adding frequently asked questions (FAQs) to your knowledge base.

How you decide to lay these out is up to you. Using macros like Tabs and Expand reduces clutter and makes topics easier to navigate.

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5. Label your content.

Make navigating your knowledge base easier by categorising your content with page labels. You can add a label to any pages you have permission to edit. To do this:

 

  • Edit the page or article by clicking the pencil icon.
  • Select "more options" (...) in the top right corner, then choose Add labels or Edit labels.

Choose from the list of suggested labels or create a new label.

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Macros such as Content by label or Labels list macro can improve the visibility of labels on your pages and articles.


👉 Top tip: Don't let page labels spiral out of control. Set up a guide on when to add and use labels, and consider restricting how many labels can be added to your knowledge base.

 

6. Connect Jira Service Management

If your knowledge base is for customer or team support, we recommend integrating it with Jira Service Management. Visitors to your help desk can automatically view relevant content from your knowledge base, helping them solve their problems without extra intervention.

Find out how to link your knowledge base to Jira Service Management with Atlassian’s handy guide.

 

Use Confluence add-ons to enhance your knowledge base

With the framework for your Confluence knowledge base in place, you can tailor it to fit your company's needs. Confluence plugins make this step easy.

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Out-of-the-box, Confluence has limited design potential. Thankfully, powerful apps on the Atlassian Marketplace can make your Confluence knowledge base feel closer to a company website.

Buttons:

Stylised buttons make your knowledge base more interactive and engaging. The Button macro also links to pages within your knowledge base or external websites, improving the user journey.

Background

The Background macro helps you include your company's colours in your knowledge base. Using multiple background colours and images on your pages, you can segment information and make your knowledge base more engaging.

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Cards:

The Card macro highlights important information, improves user navigation, and makes sections of content visually appealing. You can arrange multiple cards horizontally or vertically and add imagery and colours to reflect your brand.

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Add structure with tabs, tooltips, and progress bars

Poor organisation holds your knowledge base back. Purpose-built plugins tidy your pages and add context, helping users to find and digest information easily.

Tabs:

Tabs help break up large chunks of text into clearly labelled sections. Whether there are articles, onboarding guides or FAQs on your page, Tabs encourage users to engage with your content while keeping your pages tidy.

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Tooltip:

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Users who hover over an embedded Tooltip macro will see a pop-up with further information. The Tooltip macro is especially useful for articles and help guides in your knowledge base. It's a great way to provide extra context without impacting the design of your page.

Progress Bar:

The Progress Bar macro helps users visualise how far they are through a process. Include the Progress Bar to help users track their progress through content such as how-tos, guides, and onboarding tasks.

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Keep users in the loop with pop-up dialogs and alerts

Whether you want to flag a page under construction or update users on a new feature, the Pop-up Dialog and Alert macros will notify users of important information.

Pop-up Dialog

 The Pop-up Dialog macro displays a pop-up when users interact with a preset button on the page. You can even nest other content within the pop-up, such as buttons or links to relevant content. This macro makes it easy to create decision trees or user journeys.

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Alert: 

While the Pop-Up Dialog appears at the click of a button, the Alert macro automatically displays a pop-up when users first visit a Confluence page. This macro is a great way to inform visitors about new content or features.

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Confluence makes it easy to build a knowledge base that users will love. If you’re ready to make your knowledge base even more engaging, you can try Content Formatting Macros for free.

Do you have any tips for building a Confluence knowledge base? Comment below to share with us!

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