Whether you’re selling a digital product, a physical one, or your offering anything that may kick up a few questions that need answering on your website, being able provide the answers is big part of making your business and product a success.
However, that’s easier said than done.
It takes a lot of time to run a site and to provide support for multiple products and services, let alone just one. Not realizing the amount of support that they need to provide for their products/services, many have had to spend quite a bit more than expected on customer service reps who can handle the task.
Though this is often a necessary expenditure, there are other options to help offer great support that also cut the costs of paying others to provide such support.
The best solution? A knowledge base on your site.
What is a Knowledge Base and Why Have One?
A knowledge base is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A place or repository for storing information.
The explanation of what it is, though, doesn’t do the idea of what you can do with it justice.For someone who has created a product or service that will undoubtedly need support and to have questions answered, then using a knowledge base is going to be your best friend.
Using a knowledge base will allow you to create a one-stop resource full of information for your customers where they can go to receive answers to common questions or to resolve common issues that you have determined will come up.
What does having this mean for you?
It means you’ll be saving time and money while also proving great customer support — killing 3 birds with one stone.
Obviously, a knowledge base won’t be able to offer solutions for every single question or issue that may come up, but it can do quite a bit of the work for you and all you have to do is spend the time creating one.
So how do you create one for your WordPress site? The easiest way in which you can do this is by using a theme or plugin, but today, we’re going to feature a great new plugin that has recently hit the WordPress market that offers just about everything you need in a Knowledge Base plugin for your site.
The Heroic Knowledge Base Plugin
Heroic Knowledge Base is a WordPress plugin created by the minds behind HeroThemes that is full of all the features you’ll need for your average knowledge base on your site.
As a full featured plugin, you don’t have to worry about WordPress theme conflicts because it’s been designed to work with any WordPress theme.
If you’ve been looking for a way to put a knowledge base on your site, then this is a great place to start you search. Just check out some of the main features that this plugin has to offer and how it can help add that little something extra that you’ve been needed for your online business.
Reviewing Heroic Knowledge Base
This feature is powered by AJAX which means that your customers can start typing something in the Knowledge Base search and have possible answers to their question show up before they’ve even finished searching for it.
The faster that your customers can find the solution to their inquiry, the better.
Just because you think you have the answers in your knowledge base that you think your customers will need doesn’t mean that you really do. The Heroic Knowledge Base plugin comes with a voting system that allows you to get feedback from your customers as to whether or not the information provided any benefit to them.
The feedback will help you to refine your content to make sure that you are providing the answers and solutions in a way that benefits your customers the most.
Easy To Use Custom Post Type
One of the other features that is nice to have is the fact that the plugin creates a custom post type so that categories and articles you produce for your knowledge base don’t get mixed in with your blog posts.
The Custom Post Type used to create the articles is almost exactly same as what you would encounter in the Post or Page Editor.
The only major differences with this post type is that you can attach a file to the article, and enable or disable voting on the article you’ve written.
Drag and Drop Category Order
Another great feature that is sure to come in handy is the fact that you can rearrange the order that the categories on the knowledge base page appear. This means that you can create your articles and categories in any order you wish and then you can drag and drop the categories to rearrange them in the order you want them to show on the page.
User Layout in the Front-End
Instead of a cluttered page of disorganized topics, the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin organizes your knowledge base in an easy to use and straightforward manner and includes breadcrumbs on the articles written to make user experience even better.
The colors and fonts are bit plain, but a bit of CSS could easily make the look of your knowledge base fit in with the rest of your site.
Setting Up The Knowledge Base Plugin
Now that we’ve covered the features that are in the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin, we can take a look at how to go about setting it up. The plugin package comes with two plugins:
- one that is the main knowledge base plugin and,
- the voting add-on for the voting feature
First, upload the main plugin and activate it, and then do the same for the voting add-on. After that, you will find a new menu option with the name Knowledge Base in your WP menu. Inside that new option are a few more options for setting up and creating your knowledge base on your site:
- Add New Articles
- Article Categories
- Article Tags
- Article Category Ordering
From there, you simply writing up and edit your articles and then assign them to the desired categories that you create. Once you have gone through and created all the articles that you wish, you can use the Article Category Ordering menu tab to go through and rearrange the categories for your knowledge base as you see fit.
In the Settings are you have some options that you can set up, change and/or define, as well.
The general settings are pretty straight forward:
- Turn breadcrumbs on or off for your knowledge base
- Change what your knowledge base sorts by (date, title comment count, random, modified, popular, and helpful)
- Change the sort order by ascending or descending
- Select the number of articles displayed
There are quite a few things you can do with here, but here are the good ones to know about:
- Set your Knowledge Base to the homepage
- Change the column number
- Hide empty Categories that don’t have article attached to them just yet
- Display the article count for category and show your sub-categories
You’re not stuck with the default search options with this plugin either, which is nice for adding a more personal touch to how your customers can look for things within your knowledge base:
- Decide if you want the live search option turned or not
- Change the place holder text in the live search bar so that it says something a bit more unique
- Choose to display the comment count, the usefulness of a topic (rated by others), and the amount of views
Slugs and Voting Options
You can change the permalink structure for you knowledge base so that it’s something a bit different than the ones that you use for your posts and pages. This can be nice if you’d like to add or remove the month or day option from your articles in your knowledge base.
Also, even though the knowledge base plugin does come with the ability to allow your customers to vote on content found there, you’re not stuck with that option if you don’t want it there. The voting options in the backend of the plugin allows you to turn off voting and you can opt out of letting anonymous viewers vote on the articles, as well.
How Much Does it Cost?
Now let’s talk about price.
Though easy to use, the knowledge base plugin is rather comprehensive in what it’s aiming to achieve and thus charges accordingly.
Price point for the Heroic Knowledge Base starts at $129 for use on a single site which is an annual price. But even if you don’t renew your subscription with them, you don’t lose your knowledge base, however, you should definitely be sure to keep everything up-to-date.
The price then goes up to $249 on 3 sites and then $397 for use on an unlimited amount of sites.
Before reviewing this plugin, it never occurred to me that such a product even existed let alone that someone would even need one. However, after giving the plugin a through test, it’s clear to me that the plugin is a great product built on a great idea:
Helping you to provide better customer service to their clients while saving you time and money in the process.
Anyone who runs a thriving business will likely tell you that a large part of their success comes from providing excellent customer service, and customer support is part of that if you provide a product or service of any kind.
Having a knowledge base in your site or creating a site with only the knowledge base on it specifically for your products can be a huge help to yourself and your customers.
Obviously, not every single WP powered site will need this, but if you’re selling a product — especially a digital products like themes, plugins, or Saas type products — then it may be worth your time considering adding one to your site.
And if you want to be able to easily create one, then consider the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin for its ease of use and user friendly approach to creating the knowledge base you need.