Are you looking to empower your website with an incredible feature that enhances user experience and saves them and you precious time? Today, we’re delving into creating a “Searchable Knowledge Base,” The best part is that the only cost to you is a little time. Yes, you heard it right.
In this guide, we’ll explore the art of building a seamless and user-friendly searchable knowledge base on your WordPress site the easy way. Whether you’re a pro or just starting your digital journey, we’ve got your back.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Searchable Knowledge Base?
A Searchable Knowledge Base is the type of knowledge base that provides advanced search and browsing options. It includes robust search functionality, allowing users to enter keywords, phrases, or questions to find relevant information.
Think of a searchable knowledge base as a mini Google hosted on a particular website. It’s like having your spot to search and discover answers to all kinds of questions you might have about the products they offer. Just type in your query, and you’ll find the info you’re looking for!
Why Should You Make Your Knowledge Base Searchable?
Adding search functionality to your knowledge base saves your users tons of time. But that’s not only the prominent benefit! Below, I have listed some other advantages that help you understand why you should make your knowledge base searchable:
☑️ Enhanced Customer Experience: A searchable knowledge base makes it easier for your customers to find answers and resolve issues on their terms without waiting for support, leading to fewer frustrations and a smoother experience.
☑️ Time and Cost Efficiency for Businesses: A Searchable Knowledge Base reduces the need for repetitive inquiries, freeing the support teams to focus on more complex issues. As fewer resources are required to handle routine queries, businesses can save money and time.
☑️ Reduced Support Load & Increasing Support Team Efficiency: You get the power to decrease incoming support requests by providing self-service options through a searchable knowledge base. This enables your support teams to provide more customized assistance and focus on intricate problems, ultimately increasing their effectiveness.
How to Make a Searchable Knowledge Base in WordPress?
We have learned what a searchable knowledge base is and how it can benefit your support team and customers.
Now we are coming to the main question: how to make searchable knowledge in WordPress. We will take help from a WordPress plugin, but choosing one plugin from hundreds of options is always challenging! Uggh…
Well, we’ve done the research & work for you; say hello to the best solution available in the market: KB Support! 🙌🏻
KB Support: One-Stop Solution for Creating a Searchable Knowledge Base in WordPress
KB Support is an effective helpdesk and support plugin for WordPress. Including all the incredible help desk features; KB Support comes with a built-in KB Article feature that lets you create a fully functional knowledge base on your website.
Imagine all features combined into one plugin, help desk features, + knowledge base functionality! Great deal!
And the best part is you get all the essential features in the FREE version of KB Support. For advanced functionalities like 3rd party email integration, WooCommerce integration, and integration with your existing knowledge base solution, you need to shop for additional extensions.
Speaking of KB Support’s built-in KB Articles feature, you get all the options that you would expect in a web-based knowledge base tool. You can create custom kb articles, add FAQ pages, add access restrictions to articles, or assign custom tags & categories.
Further, you can add a search form for KB articles on any page of your WordPress website, making it easy for users to search through the help docs/articles you’ve published.
Installing and Activating the KB Support Plugin
Now that you’ve learned about the KB Support plugin, let’s see how to create a searchable knowledge base in WordPress.
If you’re an experienced WordPress user, you know what our first step will be.
You’re right; we’ll start by installing and activating the KB Support on your WordPress website.
You can install and activate the WordPress plugin through 2 methods:
- Get a zip file of KB Support from its WordPress repository profile.
- Install KB Support straight from your WordPress Dashboard.
Let’s install and activate KB Support directly from your WordPress site. Head over to your admin dashboard and click Plugins >> Add New.
This will redirect you to the plugin’s page. Search for the “kb support” in the search bar, and as soon as the plugin appears, hit the Install and then Activate button.
The complete plugin installation process will hardly take 60 seconds, and just the moment the process completes, new menu options, Tickets, and KB Articles appear on your dashboard.
These options help you ensure that KB Support is successfully activated on your website.
Understanding KB Support’s Settings and Configurations
Before you dive into the exciting world of creating searchable knowledge-base articles, let’s get familiar with the essential Settings and Configurations of KB Support.
The new options, Tickets, and KB Articles are self-explanatory.
“Tickets” is your go-to for managing all things ticket-related, including all other additional settings, and the option “KB Articles” is your toolkit for creating and handling knowledge-based articles.
Head to the Tickets section and click Settings to configure the search-related features.
On the Settings page, you’ll see many tab options. Go to the tab named KB Articles.
You’ll see a new page with a list of options. We love to call it the General KB Article Settings page.
These options might seem overwhelming, but there is no need to stress! I’ll walk you through each option. We’ll dive deep into what they do and how they help you build a fantastic searchable knowledge base.
- Disable KB Articles and Categories: This option lets you turn off the functionality related to KB Articles and Categories within the plugin.
- Restrict KB Articles: When enabled, this option restricts access to KB Articles, requiring your users to meet specific criteria (e.g., logged-in status) before they can view the content of the knowledge base articles. You can also change the restriction option on a per-article basis.
- Show Register / Login Form?: If any site visitor tries to access a restricted KB Article, this option lets you decide whether to display login and registration forms and ask them, “Hey, you’re not on the guest list. Wanna join?” If you turn this on, it shows a login or registration form to non-logged-in users.
- Hide Restricted KB Articles: Enabling this option hides restricted articles from the archives when users who haven’t logged in visit a particular page (like a kb articles archive); it prevents the display of any restricted articles.
- Restricted Ajax Search: This option puts an extra layer of invisibility for search results. When users search for something, this option ensures that any restricted articles won’t appear in the search results for non-logged-in users.
- Number of Results from Ajax: This option lets you decide how many KB Articles are displayed in the search results to users.
- Search Excerpt Length: When users search and receive results, this option controls the extent to which the article is revealed. It’s like showing a preview of the article—short and sweet or a bit longer!
- Count Agent Views?: Enabling this option allows the system to track how often support agents view a KB Article. It keeps track of how many times the agents look at these articles.
- Show Views on Dashboard: When you enable this option, it displays how many times each KB Article has been viewed. It’s like a badge of honor for the most popular articles.
Remember to click the Save Changes button once you go through all the settings options and choose your preferences.
Before tweaking these settings, create your knowledge base, including all the necessary articles and documentation guides.
Let’s start with creating categories and relevant tags for your knowledge base.
Creating Categories and Tags for Your Searchable Knowledge Base
Categories is the general term that I am sure you’ve already heard of.
Grouping of similar items in a particular format is known as categorization. The same way, in WordPress, we can create categories for our blog posts and pages.
Adding separate categories for the knowledge base is also essential. Imagine visiting a site and discovering hundreds of documents published on a page without organization. And then, you spend hours navigating through docs to find the answer to your query. Time-consuming and frustrating for users.
Organizing articles into categories makes things much easier to find.
Tags, on the other hand, are like little sticky notes. They highlight specific details within an article. Let’s say you have an article about “Google reCAPTCHA.” You could tag it with “google,” “recaptcha,” “captcha,” “field,” and more.
When you assign categories and tags correctly, you ensure the correct info gets to the right people.
Say, for instance, you’re looking for “How to add a Google reCAPTCHA field.” If the article is present under the “Google reCAPTCHA” category and tagged with ”captcha” or “google,” the system knows exactly which article to fetch in the search results.
Using the KB Support plugin, let’s add categories and tags to your knowledge base.
To add Categories, head to your admin dashboard and click KB Articles >> Categories. This will redirect you to a page where you can add your categories.
On the page, you’ll need to define:
- Name: You need to add the kb article’s category name here. Let’s say you plan to put up articles or docs related to shortcodes and make a category called “Shortcodes.”
- Slug: I suggest you leave this option blank, as the system will make a slug based on the category name. But if you want a custom slug different from the category name, you can add one, too!
- Parent KB Article Category: This option helps you properly organize your articles. You can make a family tree or hierarchy of your kb articles using the Parent Category option.
- Description: This is where you give a quick intro about what your article’s all about. Keep it short and sweet!
Once you’ve sorted everything, hit the “Add New KB Article Category” button, and your fresh category will pop up on the right side of the page!
Next, we need to add Tags for your knowledge base.
Clicking on the Tags option on the left under KB Articles will take you to the tag creation page.
Add a Tag Name, a Slug (or let it auto-generate from the name), and toss in a quick Short Description.
Once done, hit that “Add New KB Article Tag” button.
Perfect! The exact process you need to follow to create other categories and tags for your knowledge base.
Once you add all the categories and tags, it’s time to build those awesome knowledge-base articles.
Add New KB Articles
To create a new KB article, in your WordPress Dashboard, under the KB Articles option, press “New KB Article.”
Next, you’ll be directed to the KB article creation page. You’ll see a similar interface to the WordPress Posts creation page.
Adding KB Title and Description
The first step in creating an educative, informative, and helpful knowledge-base article is to add a well-defined Title and detailed query Description.
Define your article title in the “Enter KB Article title here” section, then add content about the query.
A detailed and well-written help guide is the building block of your support system. Here are some quick tips that will help you curate comprehensive knowledge-base articles for your users:
- Keep your help articles clear, concise, and to the point. Avoid heavy technical terms and use plain language to make content understandable.
- Refrain from throwing information in front of your users. Organize your articles with a clear structure. Use headings, subheadings, bullets, and points to break down complex topics into manageable sections.
- Include relevant keywords in your articles to make them easily searchable.
- Add screenshots, pictures, GIFS, etc. Make your articles more interactive by adding multimedia content.
- Include internal links to other relevant articles within your knowledge base. This helps users navigate between related topics and find additional information that could be valuable to them.
- Look for common questions and issues that users might encounter. Create a FAQ page/section or a troubleshooting guide to address these concerns.
Assigning Categories and Tags to Your Knowledge Base
Once you add content, jump to the page’s right side and scroll down until you see the Categories section.
Check the appropriate category and add a tag.
Publishing Your KB Articles
After adding content, double-check all the settings, and if everything seems good, click the “Publish” button at the top right corner of the page.
You can also view your recently published KB Article by clicking the View KB Article button.
This is how you can create your help docs/knowledge base articles/support articles using KB Support.
Embedding All the KB Articles on a Single Web Page
We have created single help articles. Now, we need to display all the articles on a single web page for easy navigation.
KB Support offers a simple shortcode that embeds all your KB Articles on a single page. To do that, first, create a new page on your WordPress website.
On your dashboard, click Pages >> Add new.
After creating a new page, define its name, add the Shortcode block, and paste this shortcode:
Publish your page, click the View Page button, and it’ll display a list of all your published KB articles.
As you can see in the above image, all the articles are presented in a straightforward list format. There’s no search bar at the top.
Imagine your users or support engineers looking for one particular article; they must navigate the options list. This, indeed, is a time-consuming process.
The best way to save time and enhance navigation is to make your knowledge base searchable.
Making the Knowledge Base Searchable
To make your knowledge base searchable, KB Support provides an exclusive shortcode. You can add this search shortcode to any page and let your visitors or support executives effortlessly search through all the KB Articles you’ve got!
Open the page where you want to display the search form. Add the shortcode block and paste this shortcode:
And this is how KB Support’s search function works:
As you can see, creating a searchable knowledge base in WordPress using KB Support is as easy as a b c….
It’s a 4 step process; let me give you a quick revision:
- Step 1: Install and activate KB Support
- Step 2: Create categories & tags
- Step 3: Add Your KB Article
- Step 4: Add the shortcode
And you get everything worked without spending a single penny! Isn’t it awesome? All the powerful features are FREE of cost.
Yet, if you want more advanced features and integration options, you can check KB Support’s Paid extensions list.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our tutorial on creating a WordPress-searchable knowledge base using KB Support.
With this step-by-step guide we’ve walked through, you’ve learned how to structure your content, add tags and categories, and even implement powerful search functionality. Also, remember, the keys to a thriving knowledge base are organization, user-friendliness, and, of course, making it easy for your readers to find what they need.