Not having a knowledge base would be pretty detrimental if you are trying to run a successful business. A website that has all the information available is a great benefit in itself.
Customers do not have to wait around until they get a response from the support. Moreover, it would seem that more and more people are leaning towards finding information on their own.
Then there are your employees. A source of information that everyone can use to stay on the same page comes in handy in quite a few situations.
Finally, there is that whole thing of establishing yourself as an authority in the industry because if you can develop an outstanding knowledge base, you can bet that people will see you in an entirely different light than other websites with mediocre knowledge bases.
What Is an Open-Source Knowledge Base?
When you start to look for information on the subject, you may encounter terms like “open-source” and “SaaS”. This article will focus on the former so let us start with that.
One can predict what an open-source knowledge base is by its name. Developers behind them make it so that everyone who wants can gain access and make updates or changes to their heart’s content.
WordPress content management system is a good example of open-source software. Those who have had some experience with web development should be aware of where WordPress stands.
You can develop forums, blogs, ecommerce sites, and pretty much anything else you want, including a well-designed knowledge base.
HeroThemes has a pretty great list on their article about 5 Benefits Of Building An Open-Source Knowledge Base but what they have mentioned is certainly not everything.
It is always difficult when you have to choose between something and lack knowledge and experience. Thus, it is crucial to have as much information in front of you. So where does that lead us? Well, the answer is quite clear – everything that should make you forget about anything other than open-source.
When it comes to weighing the differences between self-host and hosting on another company’s services, it becomes clear which option wins.
Relying on some else is not something that many prefer in the first place. On the other hand, if you are the one in charge of hosting, you can rest assured knowing that everything is safe and sound. There are security problems and everything else you cannot directly control, so why risk something that could potentially happen?
Full Integration with the Current Software
At the moment, you are likely using an array of various tools and software. A knowledge base that can be completely integrated without any problems saves you so much that it is difficult to fathom in some cases.
This one is a bit tricky since you have all kinds of SaaS knowledge bases out there. However, when you look at some of the cheapest plans, it is still somewhere around 90 dollars per month, meaning that you would have to cough up at least 1000 dollars every year for something like this.
Meanwhile, and taking WordPress as an example again, you would need to pay for hosting and domain which is around 150 to 200 dollars per month if you want a reliable provider. So it is pretty clear who takes the edge on this one, right?
Fully in Control
The sense of being fully in charge and working as your own boss helps a lot. There are no stupid restrictions that you have to encounter. For instance, plenty of SaaS software offers a limited number of people who can access the knowledge base.
Can you imagine having multiple employees who are in charge of this and cannot gain access? As ridiculous as it may sound, this is what the reality is like.
The price of a plan may suddenly increase without you knowing as well either. Random changes of features or simply removing them also occur. And what about the fact that people behind are in control and can decide to kick you out if they want?
Even if you do pick up SaaS as your software, there will come a time when you find yourself limited by what they have to offer. No business is going to remain static forever, and the moment you reach a certain point, open-source will be an unavoidable choice.
Everything ultimately leads to this point. When you have more products, more information, more connections, more customers, and so on, you will want to continue moving forward and scale your business until you reach a ceiling and it will be a while before you can move on further again.
Nothing comes close to open-source as it offers you everything for this and much more. The growth is a good sign, and striving for it should always be a priority.