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Best Shopify alternatives 2023: Tools to help you set up an online store

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Best Shopify alternatives 2023: Tools to help you set up an online store

Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms on the web. BuiltWith estimated that, as of spring 2023, Shopify sat behind just over 4m sites worldwide, of which around 180,000 were British.

Certainly, if you wanted to set up your own store quickly and with very little hassle, you wouldn’t go wrong if you opted for Shopify. It’s well supported, extensible, and used by so many online retailers, of all sizes, that there are plenty of other store owners who could help out if you become stuck.

However, it isn’t the only option. Here, we take a look at the top Shopify alternatives, each of which is worth short-listing before you make your final decision.

Best Shopify alternatives: At a glance


How to choose the right Shopify alternative for you

For comparison, what’s the Shopify offering?

Shopify plans start with the Basic tier, which costs £19 a month if you pay annually (annual plans benefit from a 25% reduction on the regular monthly price). For this, you can host an online store with an unlimited number of products, and take payments via credit or debit card, or third-party services such as PayPal. If you use Shopify’s own payment-processing platform, you’ll pay 2% commission on every transaction plus 25p for credit or debit card payments. Use a third-party payment processor, and you’ll still pay the 2%, but not the additional 25p.

Upgrading to the £49-per-month Shopify plan, or £259-per-month Advanced plan, trims these rates to 1.7% and 1.5% for credit and debit card payments respectively (each is also subject to the additional 25p per transaction) when processed by Shopify, and 1% and 0.5% respectively for payments made via third-party payment processors.

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Whichever plan you choose, you can issue discount codes and gift vouchers, segment your customers, create subdomains for specific markets, segregate pricing by territory, and send automatic emails to customers who abandon their shopping carts.

If you only sell through social media, Shopify also has a dedicated Starter plan, which starts at £5 per month plus 5% transaction fees when using Shopify Payments. This buys you a simple storefront, unlimited product pages and a checkout. Should your store take off, you can upgrade to one of the plans outlined above.

READ NEXT: Our full Shopify review

How much should I pay for such a service?

You can get started for free, but be wary of hidden costs and discounts. A lot of paid plans are priced differently depending on whether you sign up for a month or a year, with discounts of up to 25% for annual commitments not uncommon.

On top of this, you’ll usually need to pay transaction fees to cover the cost of processing any sale. In some cases, you’ll have to pay these twice: once to the company hosting your online store and shopping cart, and once to the credit or debit card processor.

Keep an eye on how many transactions you’re processing every month and the cumulative cost, and calculate whether you could save money by upgrading to a more expensive tier that offers reduced or free transaction fees.

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READ NEXT: The best VPNs for streaming and security

Do you need hosting and a domain?

Sign up for a year, and many store platforms will throw in a free domain. This is usually only free for your first year, however, so be sure to check the renewal costs from year two onwards. If you already have a domain you want to use, check whether there are any fees for connecting it to your store.

Are you tech-savvy?

If you’re comfortable installing and setting up the store yourself, you can integrate it with an existing site using a tool such as WooCommerce, combined with WordPress. However, this may also mean liaising with a hosting provider for web space and email.

If your talents lie elsewhere, such as in business, marketing or designing products, you might instead want to check out the all-in-one options that roll together hosting, comms and an integrated ecommerce platform.

We’ve covered both options here.

READ NEXT: The best website builders

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The best Shopify alternatives in 2023

1. WooCommerce: Best for WordPress blogs

Price: From £0/mth | Sign up at WooCommerce

WooCommerce has a significant advantage over competitors: not only is it designed to work within WordPress, currently the world’s most popular content management system, but it’s also developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress itself. With WordPress powering around 40% of all websites, that makes WooCommerce one of the best-supported Shopify alternatives around.

At the heart of this open-source ecommerce platform is its WordPress plugin, which simplifies the task of building product pages, integrates a shopping cart, and connects the store to payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe and WooCommerce’s own payment tools, among others. If you choose to use WooCommerce Payments, you’ll be charged 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction if you register a US-issued credit or debit card, and $1 extra if your card was issued outside the US.

Being so tightly integrated with WordPress means site owners can easily tweak the look and feel of their store by changing the site theme, or quickly add a store to a site they’ve been running for years without the need to undertake a structural redesign.

Another benefit of being an add-on to an existing product, rather than a stand-alone offering such as Shopify, is that it isn’t the developer’s primary source of income. Thus, if you’re selling physical products rather than downloads, you can get started for free. So, if you don’t make any sales, you pay nothing – which isn’t the case with Shopify; it charges £25 a month if you sign up for a month at a time, or £19 a month if you agree to a year up front.

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Key specs – Price: From free; Minimum term: N/A; Shopping cart: Yes; Payment processing: Yes; Includes hosting? No

Sign up at WooCommerce


2. Wix eCommerce: Best for a quick start

Price: From £15/mth | Sign up at Wix eCommerce

Wix eCommerce is a tiered offering: the more you pay, the more features you can use. So, if you’re just starting out, you can opt for the £15-a-month Business Basic plan and upgrade as you grow.

For that price, you get a free domain for your first year, unlimited bandwidth, 20GB of storage and up to five hours of video that you can use to show off your products in their full glory. You can set up customer accounts, create plans and recurring charges, and accept payments online for an unlimited number of products. If you want to sell subscriptions, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the £20-per-month Business Unlimited tier. The same is true if you want to run a drop-shipping business, sell on marketplaces, take multiple currencies or sell ongoing subscriptions.

The native Wix Payments tool can handle UK pound sterling, euros, US and Canadian dollars, Swiss francs and Brazilian real, with customers paying by credit or debit card, Klarna or iDEAL. In each case, customers must spend a minimum of one unit (so, one pound, one euro and so on), and you’ll be charged a processing fee that varies by currency and payment method. For credit or debit card payments in pound sterling, you’ll be charged 2.1% plus 20p. For euros, it’s 1.9% of the transaction amount plus €0.30.

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You don’t need any design skills if you’re happy to use one of Wix’s online store templates, of which there are more than 120 available. If none of them floats your boat, you can start with a blank site and work from there for complete flexibility.

Read our full Wix review

Key specs – Price: From £15 per month; Minimum term: One month; Shopping cart: Yes; Payment processing: Yes; Includes hosting? Yes

Sign up at Wix eCommerce


3. Big Cartel: Best for artists and makers

Price: From £0/mth | Sign up at Big Cartel

If you’re selling five products or fewer, Big Cartel’s Gold tier is free, if slightly limited. You can attach one image to every listing, use a free customisable theme and attach a custom domain so it looks like you’re self-hosting your store. You’ll get real-time stats, but no Google Analytics for deeper insight into the way your customers navigate your store. For that, you’ll need to upgrade to the $9.99-per-month Platinum tier if you’re selling fewer than 50 products, or Diamond, at $19.99 a month, for up to 500 product lines.

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Big Cartel is popular among artists, and it isn’t hard to see why. The company proudly declares that it’s “100% independent and… here to help artists, makers and small brands open a store and start making a living doing what they love”.

Despite this, its paid plans have all the features you’d expect of a big-name store platform, including shipment tracking, tax calculation, discounts and promotion tools, plus inventory tracking. Customers can pay using PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay, and if you take your designs to a craft fair, you can also accept payments using a Stripe terminal and Big Cartel app for iOS or Android. If you want to accept PayPal payments, you’ll need a verified PayPal business account.

Behind the scenes, there’s a documented API that you can use to integrate your own app with the service, or build a custom shop with a hand-coded template. You can even download the default Big Cartel themes from GitHub to use as a starting point.

Key specs – Price: From free; Minimum term: One month; Shopping cart: Yes; Payment processing: Yes; Includes hosting? Yes

Sign up at Big Cartel


4. Squarespace Business: Best for growing businesses

Price: From £17/mth when paid annually | Sign up at Squarespace

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Squarespace has plans starting at £12 a month when you sign up for a year; however, you need to be on at least the Business tier, at £17 a month, to sell products and take payments. At that rate, you’ll be charged a 3% transaction fee on every sale, on top of any merchant fees charged by your credit or debit card processor. So, if things really take off, there may come a point where upgrading to the £23-per-month Commerce Basic, or £35-per-month Commerce Advanced plan, for which Squarespace doesn’t charge processing fees, is a money saver.

The Business tier includes hosting with unlimited bandwidth and, if you pay for a year up front, free custom domain registration for your first year. You can sell an unlimited number of products. However, if you want to host a checkout on your own domain, gather product reviews, sell on Facebook or set up customer accounts, you’ll need to opt for Commerce Basic. And if you want to sell subscriptions, use APIs or track abandoned carts and send automated emails enticing customers back to the checkout, you’ll need to be on Commerce Advanced.

You can design your own store from scratch or, if you’re not so savvy, use one of the pre-built templates, of which there are dozens to choose from, helpfully categorised by type. And, should you entice a sale, customers can settle up using PayPal or Stripe.

Read our full SquareSpace review

Key specs – Price: From £17 per month; Minimum term: One month; Shopping cart: Yes; Payment processing: Yes; Includes hosting? Yes

Sign up at Squarespace

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5. Weebly: Best for clubs and societies

Price: From £0/mth | Sign up at Weebly

Weebly is owned by payments processor Square, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the popular web-publishing platform includes a robust online store option. Impressively, it’s even available on the free tier.

You can list an unlimited number of items, host shopping carts, offer in-store pickup if you have a physical location, and issue coupons and gift cards. However, you’ll need to pay at least £5 a month for the Personal tier if you want to give yourself a more professional appearance by connecting a custom domain.

Personal also lets you sell digital goods (which are excluded from the Free plan), calculate shipping and print shipping labels. However, you don’t get a bundled domain and your store will show Square ads. If you don’t have your own domain and want to register via Weebly, and you’d like to get rid of those ads, you’ll need to opt for Professional, at £9 a month. At this point you also benefit from password protection, unlimited storage and advanced site stats. What you can’t do is accept payments through PayPal, gather reviews or send abandoned cart emails, each of which is a feature of the £19-per-month Performance plan.

There are 15 dedicated themes to choose from, and a base theme that designers can use as a starting point. Customers can settle up through PayPal, Square or Stripe.

Weebly has been very clever here, always giving users a good excuse to look to the next tier. Nonetheless, if you’re just getting started, or you’re a small club or society selling to members, the Free tier may provide all you need – so long as you don’t want to tie your store to your domain.

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Key specs – Price: From free; Minimum term: One month; Shopping cart: Yes; Payment processing: Yes; Includes hosting? Yes

Sign up at Weebly


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The Masters Golf Tournament – WordPress.com News

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What’s harder: winning the Masters Tournament or re-creating its website in under 30 minutes? Watch the video and find out.

Congratulations are in order for Scottie Scheffler, the winner of the 2024 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia! In today’s Build and Beyond video, Jamie Marsland takes on the slightly less intimidating task of re-creating the Masters website as quickly as he can. Can he possibly do it in just 30 minutes?

Along the way, you’ll learn about sticky navigation menus, image overflows and breakouts, card layouts, and more.

Interested in a free trial that allows you to test our all that WordPress.com has to offer? Click below:


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10 Best Technical Documentation Software for WordPress

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10 Best Technical Documentation Software for WordPress

Are you looking for the best technical documentation software for WordPress?

Technical documentation software helps you easily write, edit, and manage documentation inside WordPress. This enables users to get the information they need without asking for support and helps you reduce support queries.

In this article, we’ll show the best technical documentation software for WordPress that you can use for your business.

Comparing the best technical documentation software for WordPress

Why Use Technical Documentation Software for WordPress?

According to Harvard Business Review, over 81% of customers try to take care of issues themselves before contacting a support representative.

If customers cannot find quick answers to their basic questions, they are likelier to leave a negative review, ask for a refund, or find an alternative.

By using technical documentation software, you can provide your customers with the information they need without reaching out for technical support via contact form or phone support.

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Technical documentation on a WordPress based businessTechnical documentation on a WordPress based business

The following are some of the top reasons for using technical documentation software for your business:

1. Saves You Time + Money: With a handy documentation section, your support team spends less time answering the same questions repeatedly. Many customers find answers before even opening a support ticket. By being more efficient, you can keep your support team small and save money.

2. Improves Customer Satisfaction: Getting quick answers makes your customers happy. It also gives them the satisfaction that they can find reliable information when needed.

3. Builds Trust and Brand Loyalty: Satisfied customers are likelier to leave positive reviews about your business and recommend it to others. This trust leads them to buy more products from your business in the future.

4. Adds a 24/7 Support Rockstar to Your Team: Think of technical documentation as a support team member who works 24/7 at no additional cost to your business. It is always available, other team members can use it frequently, and you can always add new information to it.

How to Add Technical Documentation in WordPress

A WordPress website comes with two common content types: posts and pages.

Posts are published in reverse chronological order, making them less than ideal candidates for technical documentation articles. Pages are standalone content types and can be used to create technical documentation.

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However, ideally, they are best suited for your business pages (services, storefront, about page, landing pages, and more).

This is where technical documentation software for WordPress comes in handy.

These tools are separate plugins or themes that add a Knowledge Base or Documentation content type to your WordPress website.

Among these tools, you can choose from several excellent options.

That being said, let’s look at the best technical documentation software you can use in WordPress.

1. Heroic Knowledge Base

Heroic Knowledge BaseHeroic Knowledge Base

Heroic Knowledge Base is the best WordPress technical documentation software on the market.

It allows you to easily add technical documentation in WordPress and sort it into categories and tags. There is no complicated setup involved.

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The front end displays your documentation in an easy-to-browse layout with a prominent search bar at the top. You don’t need to write any code to get it working on your website.

Heroic Knowledge Base previewHeroic Knowledge Base preview

The live search feature uses Ajax to show answers when users start typing. This helps your customers get to the answers much faster.

Most importantly, it works with any WordPress theme and will use its own custom templates to display the knowledge base area. This is perfect if you want to use it on your business website.

Heroic Knowledge Base also comes with a support assistant bot, which appears across your website and provides instant answers when users click it.

Heroic Knowledge Base support assistantHeroic Knowledge Base support assistant

Want to know what your customers are struggling with? Heroic Knowledge base comes with analytics to help you gain insights into user behavior.

Pros of Using Heroic Knowledge Base

  • Easy to use without any complicated setup.
  • It works with any WordPress theme and can be used on an existing WordPress website.
  • The live search feature helps users find articles more quickly.
  • Built-in analytics allow you to track which parts of the documentation are accessed by more users, providing insights into improving your products.
  • Includes a support assistant bot to help users quickly find answers

Cons of Using Heroic Knowledge Base

  • It is a paid plugin with no free version. However, they do offer a 14-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
  • License renews at regular pricing, which is a bit high. However, you can choose to cancel your subscription and keep the plugin.

Why We Chose Heroic Knowledge Base: Heroic Knowledgebase is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use technical documentation software for WordPress. It works with any WordPress theme, which means it can be easily used on your existing WordPress website.

We already use it for the documentation hub on the WPForms website, and our documentation team loves it.

Pricing: Starting from $149.50.

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2. Groove

GrooveHQGrooveHQ

Groove is a powerful customer support platform that combines a knowledge base, a help desk, and live chat into one solution.

It is easy to use, and you can use it under your own domain name.

It comes with an easy design tool that allows you to choose your brand colors and upload a logo. Plus, the knowledge base pages look great on all devices and screen sizes.

Groove Knowledge Base also provides valuable insights such as article performance metrics, most searched terms, and most viewed articles. It can even make article suggestions.

Pros of Using Groove

  • Easy to use and manage.
  • Requires no special skills.
  • It can be used alongside Goove’s customer support platform with shared inboxes, live chat, and help desk software.
  • Help icon on every page, allowing users to quickly search the knowledge base and seamlessly transition to customer support.
  • Customizable mobile-friendly themes.

Cons of Using Groove

  • It can be a little more expensive than some software on the list.
  • Data is stored on Groove servers instead of your WordPress website.

Why We Chose Groove: Technical documentation is where a customer’s support interaction begins, and they may need further help. This is where Groove can help you seamlessly transfer customers to support inboxes or live chat.

In our experience with Groove, we like its ease of use, simple interface, and self-serve widget, and how it easily integrates into every page of your website.

Pricing: Starting from $4.80 per user per month.

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3. KnowAll

KnowallKnowall

KnowAll is the best WordPress knowledge base theme on the market. It comes with the best WordPress technical documentation plugin called Heroic Knowledgebase.

It is the perfect solution if you are building a separate website to handle support for your business. In that case, you can use KnowAll to set up a fully functional documentation center instantly.

KnowAll PreviewKnowAll Preview

Pros of Using KnowAll

  • Suitable if you want to make a separate website for support and documentation.
  • You can customize it like any other WordPress theme.
  • As a classic theme, it supports the Theme Customizer, widgets, and navigation menus.
  • Comes with Heroic Knowledgebase blocks, which you can use anywhere on your site.

Cons of Using KnowAll

  • It is a WordPress theme, so it wouldn’t be a good solution on a site where you are already using a different theme.

Why We Chose KnowAll: Some businesses may want to set up a separate WordPress site for support documentation. In that case, KnowAll is a ready-to-go solution that provides everything they need. Plus, it comes free with the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin, which, as mentioned, is the best technical documentation software for WordPress.

Pricing: Free with Heroic Knowledge Base plugin, starting from $149.50.

4. BetterDocs

Better DocsBetter Docs

BetterDocs stands out as a reliable WordPress knowledge base plugin, offering a blend of user-friendliness and extensive features.

It comes with pre-designed knowledge base templates tailored to work with any WordPress theme. It also integrates with popular WordPress page builders through additional widgets.

Pros of using BetterDocs

  • A simple and easy-to-use technical documentation plugin for WordPress, suitable for beginners and experts alike.
  • Includes pre-designed templates to work with any WordPress theme.
  • It comes with additional widgets that can be used with page builder plugins.

Cons of using BetterDocs

  • Using it with your existing WordPress theme may require some additional tweaks.

Why We Chose BetterDocs: We found BetterDocs to be a great tool for creating technical documentation in WordPress. It is easy to use and makes it easy for your users to find the answers using an excellent live search feature.

Pricing: Starting from $55 for a single site license.

5. weDocs

weDocsweDocs

weDocs is another powerful solution for creating technical documentation in WordPress. It is easy to use and allows you to add a docs section to your existing website or a separate support website.

It includes a search feature and allows you to organize documentation in a hierarchical format. You can also use tags to sort articles into topics and subtopics. You can also sort articles with a drag-and-drop interface.

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Pros of Using weDocs

  • It works with existing WordPress websites and can also be used on a standalone support website.
  • It lets you organize documentation in a hierarchical format. Plus, you can use tags to sort articles into topics.
  • It has a drag-and-drop interface to organize documentation pages.
  • Comes with an AI assistant built with ChatGPT to show relevant information automatically.

Cons of Using weDocs

  • It does not come with a separate theme but has built-in templates to work with any WordPress theme. This may require a little bit of tweaking, but nothing too tricky.

Why We Chose weDocs: It is a good option if you want to organize documentation in hierarchical pages. The drag-and-drop organizer allows you to easily set up documentation architecture.

Pricing: The base plugin is available for free. Pro plans start at $47 / year.

6. Echo Knowledge Base

Echo Knowledge BaseEcho Knowledge Base

Echo Knowledge Base makes creating and managing documentation, FAQs, and articles easy and organized.

It has a user-friendly interface, and you can easily add, edit, and organize your content without technical know-how.

Pros of Using Echo Knowledge Base

  • Allows you to organize support articles with categories and tags.
  • You can use AI assistance to help write and answer questions.
  • It includes multiple layout styles and shortcodes to add FAQs and support content across your website.

Cons of Using Echo Knowledge Base

  • A little less beginner-friendly than other solutions on the list.
  • The base free plugin doesn’t have good search experience. You’ll need to buy a paid add-on separately to add advanced search.

Why We Chose Echo Knowledge Base: If you are looking for a free solution, then Echo Knowledge Base can be a good option. It provides a good base to add documentation and you can always purchase a bundle to add more features if needed.

Pricing: The base plugin is free. You can buy add-on packs starting from $46 / year.

7. BasePress

BasePressBasePress

BasePress is another simpler and easy-to-use plugin that helps you create professional-looking documentation pages and a knowledge base for your website.

It has three customizable themes, allowing you to create a visually appealing support center with minimal effort.

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The advanced instant search bar helps users find answers quickly, while the drag-and-drop interface makes organizing articles into sections, categories, and tags easy.

Pros of Using BasePress

  • It allows you to create multiple knowledge bases.
  • Comes with article voting and analytics.
  • Content restriction lets you choose who has access to documentation.
  • Instant search lets users find answers quickly, you can add the search bar anywhere on your site using a shortcode.

Cons of Using BasePress

  • The built-in templates may require some tweaking to work alongside your existing WordPress theme.
  • Features like article voting, an advanced search bar, table of contents, etc. are available under paid plans.

Why We Chose BasePress: If you are looking for a basic free technical documentation plugin, then BasePress could be a good solution. However, if you need the features available in its premium version, you should compare it with other paid solutions on this list.

Pricing: The lite plugin is free. Pro plans start at $79 / year.

8. HelpCrunch

HelpCrunchHelpCrunch

HelpCrunch is a multi-purpose WordPress technical documentation plugin that allows you to easily create a support website for your customers.

It allows you to organize your help documents into categories and tags easily. It also has a more accessible customizer that lets you choose the theme and background colors for your docs section.

Pros of Using HelpCrunch

  • Offers a multi-channel customer support software with chat, email, and technical docs.
  • Supports popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram to chat with customers.
  • AI-powered live chat assistant helps customers find answers more quickly.

Cons of Using HelpCrunch

  • It is a multi-channel, full-fledged customer support platform with email marketing, live chat support, and a knowledge base. If you are just looking for technical documentation software, this might be overkill.
  • A bit pricier than other solutions on the list.

Why We Chose HelpCrunch: If you are looking for a knowledge base with built-in live chat support, then HelpCrunch can be a good solution for your business. It offers multiple ways for customers to seek help, which ensures customers can get the information they need.

Pricing: Starting from $12 monthly for each team member without emails.

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9. VS Knowledge Base

VS Knowledge BaseVS Knowledge Base

VS Knowledge Base is a very simple knowledge base plugin for WordPress. It is suitable for advanced users adding documentation on a separate WordPress installation in a subfolder or subdomain.

It does not come with its own knowledge base content type but can be used with any other content type, like posts or pages.

Pros of Using VS Knowledge Base

  • Extremely simple and straightforward solution to create technical documentation in WordPress.
  • Use shortcodes or VS Knowledge Base widget to display documentation.
  • Works with any WordPress theme.

Cons of Using VS Knowledge Base

  • Since it does not use a separate content type for knowledge base articles, it will not be easy to use on an existing WordPress website.
  • It lacks advanced features that many other solutions on this list offer.

Why We Chose VS Knowledge Base: For businesses that want to set up a separate WordPress install on a dedicated support site, VS Knowledge Base can be a very basic and simple solution.

Pricing: Free.

10. BSF Docs

BSF DocsBSF Docs

BSF Docs is a lightweight WordPress documentation plugin. It comes with a Docs content type for adding technical documentation articles.

It offers a very basic set of features which makes it quite easy to use. There is not much for you to customize, and you can just start adding your documentation.

Pros of Using BSF Docs

  • A lightweight technical documentation plugin that is super simplistic by design.
  • Comes with a basic template to display technical documentation sorted by categories.
  • You can create documentation articles using the Docs content type or posts/pages.

Cons of Using BSF Docs

  • Lacks many of the features that are available in some other solutions on this list.
  • The default templating works with most WordPress themes, but you may still need some customization.

Why We Chose BSF Docs: If you need a free plugin to create and manage your technical documentation, BSF Docs is a good solution. It includes a very helpful live search feature and works quite well with any WordPress theme.

Pricing: Free.

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Bonus Tools

Adding technical documentation alone would help reduce support requests. However, you may need additional tools to ensure your customers get the best support possible.

Combining your documentation with the following tools will help you create a robust customer support system.

11. Heroic Inbox

Heroic InboxHeroic Inbox

Heroic Inbox is a WordPress helpdesk and customer support plugin from the makers of KnowAll and Heroic Knowledge Base plugins.

It allows you to manage all customer support emails and tickets inside WordPress. You can create multiple mailboxes for support, sales, partnerships, and more from the same dashboard.

With built-in user management, you can assign different mailboxes to different team members and route customer emails to the right team.

Team members can add notes only visible to your team to share information and coordinate responses.

It also pulls all customer information in the sidebar next to a conversation. You can see past support requests and customer activity when answering a ticket.

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Pricing: Starts at $199.50 for the standalone plugin. However, the real value comes with their bundle package, starting at $299.50, and includes Heroic Knowledge Base.

12. WPForms

WPFormsWPForms

WPForms is the best WordPress form builder on the market. It allows you to create forms in WordPress, including customer support forms, feedback forms, survey polls, and more.

WPForms lets you easily allow your customers various options to contact and provide feedback. This helps you make data-driven decisions, leading to more customer satisfaction.

WPForms is a no-code solution and comes with a drag-and-drop form builder. It includes over 1600 templates for all kinds of forms your small business might need.

Pricing: Starting from $49.50. There is also a free version that you can try.

13. Nextiva

Nextiva help deskNextiva help desk

Nextiva is the best business phone service provider for small businesses. Adding a business phone number to your website gives your business credibility and gives customers an extra channel to reach out if they need help.

Nextiva allows you to share a number on multiple devices. It includes intelligent routing features to send calls to the available team members automatically.

Plus, you can choose phone numbers in different states or regions or even get a toll-free number for business.

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Pricing: Starting at $14.95 /user/month.

14. LiveChat

LiveChatLiveChat

LiveChat is the best live chat support software on the market.

A recent study by Kayako showed that more than 41% of customers prefer live chat to reach out for support.

LiveChat allows you to add live chat support to your WordPress website easily. It offers easy integration with any knowledge base software you are using.

Plus, it helps you capture leads on your website, which you can then convert into paying customers.

Pricing: Starting from $20 per month per agent.

Which Is the Best Technical Documentation Software for WordPress?

Heroic Knowledge Base is the best technical documentation software for WordPress. It is easy to use, does not require writing any code, and can be used with your existing WordPress website or WooCommerce store.

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Plus, it gives you access to the KnowAll theme, which makes it even easier to create a customer support website without any modifications to your existing WordPress theme.

Not to mention that the same company offers Heroic Inbox, which lets you manage customer support right there in WordPress instead of paying third-party companies to handle email support tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Documentation Software

1. Which software should you use to write technical documentation?

You can write technical documentation using software like Heroic Knowledge Base. This allows you to create, edit, organize, and update technical documentation easily.

2. What are some good examples of technical documentation?

You can look at the technical documentation at WPForms as an excellent example. You may also find examples in your industry or business niche and see how your competitors or similar businesses have managed their documentation and resources.

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We hope this article helped you find the best technical documentation software for WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on using automation in WooCommerce to increase sales or see our guide on tracking conversions in WordPress / WooCommerce.

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Our CloudFest Hackathon Report – WordPress.com News

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Our CloudFest Hackathon Report – WordPress.com News

With WordPress today you need to use custom code or a plugin to create a custom post type like “Book” or “Member.” This is a popular need, and there are a variety of approaches; however, one challenge is that the end-user experience can be confusing and non-standardized.

A few weeks ago, some Automatticians and I went to the 7th CloudFest Hackathon in Rust, Germany to explore a solution for this. We started hacking on a deeply nerdy project, JSON Schema forms and fields, and ended up with a fascinating approach to an age-old question: What if you could register custom post types and custom fields directly in the WordPress admin?

Forty-eight hours turns an idea into reality

The CloudFest Hackathon is an event that allows developers from around the globe to take ideas and turn them into realities.

During the Hackathon, teams of developers from various content management systems and hosting companies come together to contribute to projects that align with the core principles of the event: the projects must be not-for-profit, interoperable, and open source.

Last year, we worked on a project that allowed us to embed WordPress directly in VS Code. We built the WordPress Playground VS Code extension on top of WordPress Playground. It uses WebAssembly to run WordPress entirely within the browser, and it turned out pretty darn slick

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This year, we focused on a JSON Schema Field/Form Renderer. While most of us explored using JSON Schema to dynamically register admin forms and fields, Dennis Snell and Adam Zieliński decided to take the project one step further! They hacked together a plugin that introduced the ability to register custom post types and custom fields directly from the WordPress admin. More notably, everything happens within the block editor—you have to see it to believe it:

This work poses some interesting possibilities for custom post type and custom field implementation because it could fundamentally change the way low- to no-code WordPress users modify their sites.

Naturally, I took the idea to Twitter/X:

I got quite a range of responses, ranging from “Heck Yes! It should have already been a core feature now. Such an integral part of every other site” to “Admin should only be for content and user management. Everything else should be configured in code and version controllable.”

So why the range in responses? Let’s discuss.

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It turned out to be pretty simple

Dennis and Adam built our prototype using the following conventions:

  • A custom post type wp_data_type holds templates for user-defined data types.
  • The title of a post in the wp_data_type defines the name of the new data type. The post itself is the rendering template and comprises any set of normal blocks. Names are given to select block attributes within the post, and these names are mapped into the data type.
  • When creating new posts for the given data type, the locked template is copied from the wp_data_type template, and the block attribute annotations are preserved.
  • Finally, when rendering the wp_data_type template, the attributes are pulled from the individual post of the given data type and spliced into the template.

The fascinating idea is that we don’t have to think about form fields; blocks already provide a rendering view and a modal editing experience. We can rely on the fundamental way blocks work and use the very same user experience to create custom data types in a way that users are already familiar with when editing a post or a site.

We can provide JSON-LD markup properties to the block editor using our Custom Fields Names block settings.

Custom post types define custom data types, so we use a template to not only define the data type, but also to provide a default rendering template. Each data attribute within a post type has a field where it’s possible to define that field with its JSON-LD property. 

For example, say you had a “Book” custom post type. A few JSON-LD properties you could define using custom fields are:

  • description
  • copyrightYear
  • author
  • bookEdition
  • bookFormat
  • isbn
  • numberOfPages

We also chose to store a copy of each block attribute in the JSON attributes for that block. Since WordPress can now provide a post-to-JSON function, which merges the extracted attributes with the names assigned in the custom post type template, that template may have changed since the custom post was created. This means that no database migrations are necessary to render an updated version of a post.

The best part? The WordPress infrastructure that already exists (aka Gutenberg!) defines the data type. Because these custom posts are normal posts, and because they adopt the locked template for the data type definition, they are, in fact, renderable on their own! Even if the template has been updated and only the post itself is rendered, it will still display a meaningful representation of the data type as it was when it was created.

While our original Hackathon project was tailored towards developers and UX designers who would love to see a forms and fields API in WordPress, this prototype puts more power in the hands of low- to no-code WordPress users.

It also opens up a world of possibilities for providing a rendering view for any structured data. Imagine uploading a CSV and mapping the column names to block attributes, or connecting to a database or JSON API to map the records in the same way. 

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For example, if you had a CSV with business names, addresses, a rating, and a description, we could take that template post and insert a map block, a heading block, a star rating block, and a paragraph block and set the attributes to map to the CSV columns. It’s essentially an instant structured data renderer!

But even if we can define custom post types and fields in the editor, should we, as a WordPress community, consider adding it to core?

The existential question: Should it exist?

Adding this kind of functionality into WordPress core could open up a ton of opportunities for the average WordPress user. Instead of needing to get a developer involved to add a custom post type to their site, a user could simply do it themselves and define the necessary fields and structured data attributes. 

On the other hand, allowing everyday users, who may not have a full grasp of how custom post types and structured data should work, free reign to create these data types themselves could have detrimental effects on the user experience of their websites. Clunky or incorrect implementation of structured data markup could also cause issues with how search engines crawl these sites, causing unintended negative impacts to search traffic.

Not only that, but as of right now, if a custom post type is accidentally deleted, all of the content posted to that custom post type will no longer be accessible through the admin (even though it will still be stored in the database). The user could think they “lost” their data.

Let’s talk about it

What do you think? Are you in favor of giving website owners the ability to change and customize their custom post types and attributes? Or are there some website features that should always require a more technical hand and implementer? 

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We’d love to chat with you about your thoughts in the comments below.

For another interesting exploration on a related idea, check out this discussion on GitHub with the core team.


Thanks to Lars Gersmann for leading the JSON Schema project with me and to everyone on the Syntax Errors team: Adam Zieliński, Dennis Snell, Julian Haupt, Michael Schmitz, Anja Lang, Thomas Rose, Marko Feldmann, Fabian Genes, Michael Schmitz, Jan Vogt, Lucisu, Maximilian Andre, Marcel Schmitz, and Milana Cap.


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