Getting started

KnowledgeOwl is a knowledge base software platform that helps you create a website to share information with your customers, employees, and other audiences. In this guide, you'll learn how to start using KnowledgeOwl to create a knowledge base, and we'll provide some helpful resources as you progress.

Before you start

Before you jump in to the software, there are a few helpful things to know:

  • KnowledgeOwl is a web-based application that works in your web browser, so you do not need to download or install any software on your computer. To be sure KnowledgeOwl works properly on your computer, you should be using a supported modern web browser and have cookies and JavaScript enabled.
  • When you create a KnowledgeOwl account, you agree to comply with our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • We provide a number of resources to provide help and insights about our software and its features. You can search our knowledge base to learn how features work, or if you experience any sort of difficulty. You can also contact Support using our widget, by emailing support@knowledgeowl.com, or by calling us at +1 (303) 566-7131 (or +1 800-977-9838).

Set up your account

When you sign up for KnowledgeOwl, you'll enter your email and password. This is what you will use to log in to the KnowledgeOwl application. You will also enter your first and last name, which is what we'll call you and how you will appear as an author.

You can edit and customize your user profile under Your Account > Users (or Account > My Settings if you are not a full account Admin). To learn more about managing users, please read the User Management guide.

Create your knowledge base

When you first log in to your account, we'll walk you through the basic setup process. You'll give your knowledge base a name and a URL, like "My Awesome Knowledge Base" and "awesomekb.knowledgeowl.com" respectively. Don't worry about getting it perfect as you will be able to update the knowledge base name and URL under Settings > Basic later.

If you want to create more than one knowledge base, you'll find the option to do so on your Dashboard!

Create categories

The foundation of a great knowledge base is content that is neatly organized so the site is easy to navigate and search. You can create whatever taxonomy structure you want in KnowledgeOwl using categories and sub-categories.

Categories are like folders or containers for your knowledge base articles. Each category also has a landing page, or URL, that can be used to display its content. 

You can create as many levels of categorization as you want in KnowledgeOwl. Best practices suggest that you don't go more than 3-5 layers deep, but you can use your own judgement to create a structure that works best for your audience and content.

You can learn more in our Categories guide.

Create articles

Once you create your basic category structure, you can create your first article. Articles are the building blocks of your knowledge base. Each article is an individual webpage that readers can search for and navigate to in the knowledge base.

When you first create an article, it will be in draft status, which means it will not be available yet in your knowledge base. You can preview what the draft article will look like to a reader in your knowledge base.

Once you are ready to make the article live, change its Publishing Status to 'Published' and save. You can view the published article by clicking on the blue 'View Article' link at the top of the article editor.

You may check out this guide for more information on the different publishing statuses.

Customize your branding

Whether you are an expert or a novice in website design, KnowledgeOwl gives you tools to easily design beautiful knowledge bases with your company's branding. Choose one of the Theme and Layout options available and customize your logo, fonts, and colors under Settings > Style.

Designing a knowledge base in KnowledgeOwl can be fun, but can also get complex since we offer a lot of customization options including custom CSS and HTML as well as JavaScript. 

If you need any help, you can ask for the complimentary support and services we provide to help you build the knowledge base of your dreams. Get in touch with us at support@knowledgeowl.com and we will happy to discuss your design requirements with you!

Set up who can access your site and how

By default, access to your knowledge base will be public. Public knowledge bases are great because they allow your customers or intended audience to access your content without having to log in. Google and other search engines can crawl and index public websites, allowing your customers to easily find your information if that is what you desire.

However, there are many instances where you may not want everyone, or search engines, to be able to access your entire knowledge base or certain content in it. You can choose to restrict your knowledge base, or certain content, using reader logins, single sign-on, remote authentication or one of our other security options. 

Learn more about restricting access to your knowledge base and content in our Security Setup guide.

Next steps

Once you are familiar with how to use our basic tools, you can move on to our advanced features to take your knowledge base to the next level. Are you ready to take this up a notch?