Searching for the best WordPress documentation plugins and themes to help you offer documentation or support content on your site?
If you want to offer documentation, there are a few different routes that you can take:
- You can use an off-the-rack WordPress documentation plugin to add a knowledge base/documentation hub to your existing site.
- You can use a dedicated WordPress documentation theme to create a new WordPress install entirely for your documentation. For example, you could offer your documentation at docs.yoursite.com, which is an approach that a lot of sites use.
- You can use the DIY approach and add your documentation as either posts, pages, or a dedicated custom post type. In this case, you still might want some plugins to enhance the experience, such as adding a table of contents to your documentation.
In this post, we’re going to share the best plugins and themes that can help you implement any one of the use cases above.
To make that happen, we’re going to divide these tools into three categories:
- All-in-one WordPress documentation plugins
- WordPress knowledge base themes
- Individual plugins to enhance documentation-centric sites
Let’s dig in!
Best WordPress Documentation Plugins for All-in-One Functionality
If you just want to use a single plugin to add all the important features you need for documentation, the plugins in this first category are where you want to start.
Because these are documentation plugins, you can easily add them to your existing WordPress install. They’ll also adapt the styling of your existing theme to ensure a cohesive design, though you might want to tweak things here and there.
For example, you could use these plugins to create a dedicated documentation hub at yoursite.com/docs that uses the same design as the rest of your site.
For a deeper look at these types of plugins, you also might want to check out our comparison of the best WordPress knowledge base plugins.
Heroic Knowledge Base
Heroic Knowledge Base is an all-in-one knowledge base and documentation plugin that offers everything you need to add a user-friendly documentation hub to your site.
On the backend, you can use the native WordPress editor to add your documentation. You can categorize articles with categories and tags and use drag-and-drop to organize everything.
Then, the plugin will automatically create a user-friendly frontend documentation hub, complete with the following features:
- Live search suggestions to help people find what they’re looking for.
- Built-in table of contents.
- Dedicated blocks to highlight callouts and warnings.
You can also add a help assistant widget that lets users access documentation from a live chat-like widget.
Behind creating a nice experience for your visitors, Heroic Knowledge Base also offers analytics and features to help you improve your documentation:
- Helpful/unhelpful rating for individual documentation articles (with optional text feedback)
- Search analytics to see what topics people are searching for (and which searches return zero results)
- Live support transfer analytics (if you offer live support channels)
Price: From $149
BetterDocs Pro is another all-in-one WordPress documentation plugin that helps you create quality documentation articles and display them in a user-friendly knowledge base.
You can add documentation articles using the native WordPress editor.
Then, on the frontend, users get lots of features to help them out, including the following:
- Live search suggestions
- Built-in table of contents
- Category organization
You also get analytics to track documentation helpfulness and searches, though it lacks the live support transfer analytics from Heroic Knowledge Base.
Price: From $149
In contrast to the previous two plugins, weDocs is a more lightweight documentation plugin that offers all the core features that you need, but lacks some of the more advanced features and analytics tools.
It can work fine for simple documentation use cases, but the previous plugins might be better options if you’re willing to pay to create the absolute best documentation experience for your users.
You can add your content using the native WordPress editor and organize articles using categories and drag-and-drop.
Then, weDocs will organize them in a frontend interface, which still includes some useful features such as article helpfulness ratings.
However, it lacks features such as live search suggestions, advanced search analytics, and some others.
Price: 100% free
Best WordPress Documentation Themes to Create Standalone Documentation
The documentation plugins above are great if you want to add a documentation hub to your existing site.
However, a lot of businesses prefer to use standalone sites for documentation. For example, you’ll see a lot of businesses use subdomains such as docs.yoursite.com. While these subdomain documentation hubs do link back to the main site, they’re separate entities.
This subdomain approach is what we use for the documentation for our Spotlight plugin, as well as our WP RSS Aggregator plugin.
In this situation, you might prefer to use a dedicated WordPress documentation theme, as this lets you 100% focus your site’s design on providing documentation.
KnowAll is a dedicated WordPress documentation theme from the same developer as the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin above.
In fact, it relies on the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin to power the core documentation functionality, so you get access to all the same features that you saw in the Heroic Knowledge Base section above.
The key difference, though, is that those features are integrated into a pre-made design powered by the theme.
- If you want to add documentation to your existing site, use the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin.
- If you want to create a standalone documentation hub with its own design, the KnowAll theme might be a better option.
You get KnowAll at no extra cost with your purchase of Heroic Knowledge Base, so you can always wait to make your decision.
Price: From $149 for Heroic Knowledge Base (the theme is free with your purchase)
Docy is a dedicated WordPress documentation theme that’s available via ThemeForest.
In addition to stylish designs, it also offers built-in features to help you manage all of your documentation articles on the backend.
On the frontend, you also get advanced features such as a built-in table of contents and live search suggestions.
It also offers deep compatibility with the bbPress forum plugin, which is helpful if you want to include a support forum as part of your documentation hub.
Best WordPress Plugins to Enhance Documentation Sites
In this last category, we’re going to take a look at some more narrowly focused plugins that don’t offer all-in-one documentation functionality like the first group of plugins but nonetheless can be handy for documentation-centric sites.
In some cases, you might want to pair these plugins with your dedicated documentation plugin or theme to offer improved functionality for users on the front end or admins in the back end.
Or, you could also use these plugins to enhance a DIY solution. For example, you could create your own custom post type for documentation content and then use these plugins to add helpful functionality. To help you do this, a custom content plugin like Toolset can be really handy.
Posts Table Pro
Posts Table Pro is a really nifty option for creating the frontend interface that people can use to browse your documentation articles.
At a high level, the plugin lets you display any content from your site (posts, pages, custom post types) in a searchable, filterable table view.
So not only will customers be able to view a list of all your documentation, but they’ll also be able to:
- Search for articles by keyword
- Use filters to filter by categories, tags, or custom taxonomies
- See any custom information in the table, such as custom fields that you’ve added with Toolset or ACF. For example, if you have different versions of a product, you could display whether the documentation article applies to version 1.0 or version 2.0.
The plugin authors have created a tutorial about how to use Posts Table Pro to create online documentation, which includes full setup instructions.
Price: From $79
Having a table of contents is key for documentation sites as it lets readers quickly jump to the part of an article that’s most relevant to their problem.
While there are a lot of quality table of contents plugins, we like SimpleTOC because it’s…well, simple (and lightweight).
You can easily add your table of contents to the content editor or your sidebar using the dedicated block, including options to control the maximum depth of headings.
If you want something with more features (or if you’re not using the Block editor), you might want to consider options such as Easy Table of Contents or LuckyWP Table of Contents.
Price: 100% free
Folders is a backend plugin that can help you organize your documentation content and media.
In a nutshell, it lets you organize your content using virtual folders in the dashboard, much like how you use folders to organize your computer’s files.
Inside the Media Library, you can use folders to organize the images and videos that you use in your documentation.
Beyond that, you can also use folders to organize your documentation articles themselves, whether you’ve added them as posts or a custom post type.
Price: Free version. Pro from $39.
Simple Page Ordering
Simple Page Ordering is another free option to help you organize your documentation articles.
It lets you use drag-and-drop to rearrange your pages or hierarchical custom post types from inside your WordPress dashboard. This can be really handy for organizing your articles and managing the structure of your documentation.
Price: 100% free
Enable Media Replace
Enable Media Replace is a really useful free plugin if you need to update the images in your documentation, which will often happen as you make changes to your product.
The plugin has two main features to make your life easier:
- You can upload a new image to replace an existing image without changing the image’s URL.
- Alternatively, you can change the URL, but the plugin will still update all other instances of that image to avoid broken images.
Price: 100% free
Start Creating Better Documentation Today
Offering high-quality documentation is a great way to educate your users/customers and provide them with a better experience.
However, if you want to create effective documentation, you’ll need some dedicated tools to help you get the job done.
In this post, we shared a number of WordPress documentation plugins and themes to help you create better documentation-centric WordPress sites.
If you want an all-in-one plugin that you can just install on your site and start creating documentation, you can consider a plugin such as Heroic Knowledge Base.
Alternatively, you could use one of the themes or more narrowly focused plugins to create your own DIY documentation system.
For example, you could create a documentation custom post type with Toolset, add a table of contents to articles with SimpleTOC, and then display them on the front end using Posts Table Pro.
Get started today and you’ll have your documentation up and running in no time.