This is part two of our series on building a Confluence knowledge base. Check out part one here!
So you're ready to build a brand-new, beautifully designed and totally engaging knowledge base. Whether you're creating a customer support space, a portal for all your training materials or an informative HR hub, you're just six steps away from a solution that will save time, reduce pressure on support teams, and engage remote workers.
Unfortunately, not all knowledge bases are created equally. The good news? The right tools can make the task a lot less daunting. Here's how you can use Confluence to create a well-organised, beautifully formatted knowledge base that teams will love to use.
🚨 Ready to get building? The below steps are for Confluence Cloud knowledge bases. For knowledge bases on Confluence Server or Data Center, this article might help you. 🚨
1. Create your space
Log in to Confluence and select Spaces from the top navigation. Scroll down and click Create a space.
From the pop-up box, choose Knowledge base space and click Next. You'll then be prompted to choose a name and an icon for your space. You can also assign a space key (a unique code used in the space's URL) and change space permissions under Additional options.
While building your knowledge base, you might want to restrict permissions to be visible only to you. Once you're ready to publish the space, you can change the permissions.
📝 Note: You can create a knowledge base in a blank space or another space template, such as "Team space" if that better suits your requirements.
2. Update your knowledge base's homepage
Once you've created your space, you'll be directed to an overview page with templated information to help get you started.
Now's the time to get creative. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner to edit your page. You can now update your title, remove the template information, add your content, and start to build your knowledge base.
Unsure what to include? What you have on your knowledge base's homepage will depend on what you're building, but popular features include the following:
- How-to guides
- Use cases
- Frequently asked questions
- Team profiles
👉 Top tip: Want to make your knowledge base look more like a company website? Incorporate your brand colours and images and add clickable elements to the page. Content Formatting Macros for Confluence is ideal for helping you do this, offering everything from tabs, buttons and cards to background colour and images. We'll explore this and other Confluence add-ons in more detail soon.
3. Create articles
No matter the purpose of your knowledge base, you'll likely want to add articles to it to help keep users updated on news, releases, and top tips. With Confluence, this couldn't be easier. Simply click Create at the top of the page, then navigate to the right-hand Templates toolbar. We recommend using the Troubleshooting and How to article templates for knowledge base blogs, but you can also create articles from scratch.
👉 Top tip: Templates are customisable! Update article templates with your company's colours, logos and branding, standard information, and prompts. This helps standardise articles across your knowledge base, no matter who creates them.
Select the template you'd like to use, populate it with your article content, and press Publish.
You can then add the article to your knowledge base's homepage so users can quickly see the most relevant/recent articles when they visit the space.
4. Add frequently asked questions
In the next section, we'll go into more detail about customising your knowledge base with macros.
5. Create page labels
Page labels are tags that categorise pages and articles, which helps users navigate content by topic and theme. They can make any Confluence space more user-friendly, which is especially helpful when creating a knowledge base. Anyone with permission to edit a page can add a label to it. Simply:
- Click the pencil in the top right-hand corner to edit the page or article.
- Select the "more options" menu (...) in the top right corner, then select Add labels or Edit labels.
- Select the label you want to add from the suggested labels or create a new one.
You can add different macros, such as Content by label or Labels list macro, to categorise and display labelled content across your knowledge base.
👉 Top tip: Create a guide on best practices for adding and using labels. They can quickly get out of control without restrictions or guidance! Consider limiting how many new labels can be added and ensure content creators know what's expected of them when tagging their pages.
6. Integrate Jira Service Management
Using your Confluence knowledge base for customer or team support? You can make it even more powerful by linking it to Jira Service Management. This allows your help desk to automatically fetch content from your knowledge base, meaning users can view relevant guides, FAQs, and updates before asking for help.
Enhance your knowledge base with Confluence add-ons
Now that you've designed the framework for your Confluence knowledge base, it's time to customise it to be even more relevant to your organisational needs. This is where Confluence plugins come in.
Make your knowledge base beautiful and branded with backgrounds, buttons, and cards
Confluence's native design functionality can feel limiting. Luckily, there are powerful apps available on the Atlassian Marketplace to extend this functionality and let you make your Confluence knowledge base look and feel more like a company website.
Go beyond Confluence's standard design functionality by adding bespoke background colours and images to your page. The Background macro can align your knowledge base with your company's brand guidelines. Add multiple background colours and images to your knowledge base pages to segment information and make your knowledge base look more polished and engaging.
Background Macro for Confluence Cloud | Content Formatting Macros for Confluence
Encourage users to interact with your knowledge base by adding stylised buttons. The Button macro links to external websites or other pages within your knowledge bases, giving users a clear journey to follow.
Button for Confluence Cloud | Content Formatting Macros for Confluence
The Card macro is one of the most visually appealing in the Content Formatting Macros for Confluence suite.
Highlight key information, make user navigation more intuitive, and present visual sections of content by adding cards to your knowledge base pages. Arrange multiple cards in horizontal or vertical order and add images and colours to make your knowledge base unique to your organisation.
- Background, Buttons, and Card macros are all available as part of Content Formatting Macros for Confluence. Try them now for free here.
Organise your pages with tabs, tooltips, and progress bars
Don't let poor organisation and navigation let your knowledge base down. These purpose-built plugins keep content tidy and add helpful context, meaning users can find and digest information effortlessly.
Separate large chunks of text and organise them in clearly labelled sections with tabs. This encourages users to engage with content while keeping your knowledge base tidy. Tabs are ideal wherever you want to break up large blocks of text, whether in articles, FAQs or onboarding guides.
Tabs for Confluence Cloud | Content Formatting Macros for Confluence
Give readers more context while keeping your pages free from clutter. The Tooltip macro is ideal for use in articles and help guides, letting you add annotations, definitions and other detail without impacting the design of your page or taking up more space. When users hover their mouse over the Tooltip macro, they'll see a box pop up with more detail relevant to the content.
Tooltip for Confluence Cloud | Content Formatting Macros for Confluence
Help users visualise how far through a process they are with the Progress Bar macro. You can use it with onboarding tasks, guides, and how-tos to track milestones and highlight the steps someone still needs to complete.
Progress bar for Confluence Cloud | Content Formatting Macros for Confluence
- Tabs, Tooltip, and Progress Bar macros are all available as part of Content Formatting Macros for Confluence. Try them now for free here.
Keep users up-to-date with pop-up dialogs and alerts
Got a page that's still in progress? Want to let users know about a new feature or upgrade? Use the Pop-up Dialog and Alert macros to draw attention to important information.
The Alert macro generates a pop-up message when visitors first come to your page. This is ideal for letting users know if the content is being updated or if there are new features.
This has similar functionality to the Alert macro but can be triggered by clicking on specific content anywhere on a page. This can help direct users to other relevant pages and content, making it an excellent choice for creating decision trees and user journeys.
👉 Top tip: You can use other macros like buttons inside Pop-up Dialog, creating an even more interactive user journey.
- Alert and Progress Bar macros are available as part of Content Formatting Macros for Confluence. Try them now for free here.
Seek feedback with Forms for Confluence
An effective knowledge base will evolve over time and with user feedback. Get clear insights on how well your knowledge base meets your users' needs by using forms to capture comments from visitors. A quick survey at the end of articles and guides can give instant feedback on how users perceive your content, and it's easy to implement with Forms for Confluence.
How to add a form to Confluence Cloud | Forms for Confluence
Ready to build your first Confluence survey?
Building forms has never been easier. Try Forms for Confluence for free today!
Build your best Confluence knowledge base now with Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud
Knowledge management can be complex, especially in asynchronous and remote workplaces. Make it easier by building a Confluence knowledge base that your team will love to use.
With Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud, you can build a customised, professional, and organised knowledge base to help people access the information they need when they need it. Best of all, you can try the whole suite of Content Formatting Macros for free right now! Just click below to start your free trial.