Difference between Wiki and Knowledge Base SoftwareEstimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes
Professional knowledge base software offers several advantages over Wiki software. Have a look at some of them below.
Knowledge Base Software vs Wiki Software
- Wiki software does not allow you to have both public as well as private content for the end-users. On the other hand knowledge base software allows you to set up both public as well as private categories in the knowledge base for sharing content with public users as well as private users (customers, staff members, partners, affiliates, etc.). Private content is not visible/accessible to public users. Only special users called "KB Members” or "Clients” can log in to the front-end section and view the content under private categories.
- Wiki software does not allow you to create user groups for the sharing of selective content. Knowledge base system offers the facility to create 'user groups so that you can set up groups of users. These user groups are associated with private categories so that the "KB Members” of one group can only access the content under private categories assigned to their particular user-group(s). This way, you can share selective content with your knowledge base users. One group cannot access the content under the private categories of other groups. Knowledge base software offers access control so that some content may be private to some groups.
- Wiki software is based on the concept of open collaborative content where anyone can contribute and make changes to your content. On the other hand, Knowledge base software doesn't allow anybody to make changes to the content present in KB. Only admin users (writers, editors, and super-users) are allowed to log in to the admin section to create new KB articles and make changes to the existing content.
- Wiki software does not support the concept of user levels and workflow. Knowledge base software solution comes with a workflow system where an admin user can contribute to the KB based on his access rights or privileges. For example, a writer-level user can only add new articles, make changes to his own articles, attach files to his own articles, and all the new articles created by a writer are not published to the KB unless they are moderated/approved by either an Editor or Superuser. An Editor-level user has more privileges than a writer but less than a superuser. He can create new articles, make changes to existing articles, create/manage categories, delete articles (but cannot access the 'Trash box' for permanent deletion), create/manage glossary terms, etc. A superuser (also referred to as an administrator) has no restrictions. He can do whatever he wants in the knowledge base. He has all rights of writer and editor levels plus the ability to create/manage users (both admin-users and KB-members), user-groups, control knowledge base settings, view reports, and statistics, take backup, etc. You can try the online demo to access the admin section with different admin level accounts and see the access rights for different user levels.
- Knowledge base solution auto-suggests possible solutions (answers) from the knowledge base to the customers when they are typing their support query on the contact page. This way, you do not receive support requests for the answers already present in your knowledge base. Wiki software does not offer this functionality.
- Wiki software is made solely for sites like Wikipedia. Thus it can be a bit of a pain to customize how you like it. There is no such limit in the case of knowledge base software. You can customize the KB solution as per your choice.
- Wiki software does not come with support and you have no point-of-contact other than requesting help on public forums. On the other hand, knowledge base software is a proprietary product and it comes with 12 months of free support, updates, and upgrades from a dedicated team of developers.
- There is no guarantee of dedicated development on Wiki software whereas knowledge base software is an actively developed product.
- Wiki software does not search in the content for attached documents (such as DOC, PDF, XLS, TXT, and HTML) files. For example, you may have a folder of Word docs on our network, but this is not easy to search, maintain, or send to users, so you do not use it as often as you should. That is not a problem with knowledge base software since it comes with an incredibly fast & accurate full-text search engine that can index the content of attached files (DOC, PDF, XLS, TXT, and HTML) and use them in search results. This way, if a customer is searching for something that is present in one of the Word Documents, then PHPKB can display that Word Document in the list of search results.
- Wiki software is not easy to use. They can be a pain to learn. Wiki platforms have a bit of a learning curve. You have to dig in to learn how to use it. It can turn people off. On the other hand Knowledge base software like PHPKB come with an easy-to-use interface that really is very organized and visually attractive, it is flexible, scalable, and very easy to use.
- Wiki software is open to SPAM and Vandalism if not managed properly. This is not the case with knowledge base software since everything that gets published is with the permission of admin users, even the comments posted by general public users are not published unless they are approved by an admin user.
- Wiki software does not offer any protection for the copying of your intellectual data. Professional knowledge base software tools such as PHPKB offers content theft protection that does not allow public users to copy text from your KB articles. You can try copying any text from the article page of our online demo at http://www.kbdemo.com
- Wiki software does not offer detailed reports and statistics as compared to knowledge base software such as PHPKB.
In order to conclude, a professional Knowledge base software such as PHPKB works right out of the box. It requires little maintenance as compared to Wiki software. We know that you don't have the time to configure a custom script or wiki software for a standard business community tool. It would take a lot of work to repeatedly shift content around in a wiki as categories grew, it requires greater organization.
Knowledge Base Software vs Wiki - What's the right choice?
When it comes to deciding between a wiki system vs. knowledge base software, a knowledge base is a clear winner. It is easier to work with and provides utility for both internal and external stakeholders.
A knowledge base always has an edge over a traditional wiki in that it offers a broader reach. With a knowledge base, you can provide an information repository that will be useful for your employees and customers. So, whether it is customer support you are targeting or internal knowledge management, a knowledge base fits in both cases.