Whether you’re a growing business or already several years in existence, there is no denying it that you should have a system in place for answering your customers’ most pressing concerns. Documenting your processes and providing easy access to frequently asked questions is a great way to help both your customers and your employees.
If you’re still using files and folders, it’s time to modernize your business and consider adding a wiki to your existing website. A wiki-style website can facilitate new employee training and help them learn the ropes quickly. It can also serve as a customer support center and reduce the number of support questions you receive on a daily basis.
All things considered, when your employees know where to find information about your business and when you can direct customers to an answer to their problem, your staff can spend more time focused on nurturing customer relationships so your business can thrive.
In this post, you'll learn how to quickly create a wiki-style website using one of our best wiki knowledge base WordPress themes.
What You'll Need to Get Started
Before you build your actual knowledge base, there are a few things you need to do. The most important thing to consider is how you want to integrate the knowledge base into your existing website.
1. Choose a Knowledge Base Integration Method
There are three ways to do this: you can use a subdomain, a new directory on your site with another WordPress installation, or enable the multisite feature on your existing website.
With a subdomain, the URL for your wiki section will look like support.businessname.com while using a subdirectory, the URL will have the following format: businessname.com/support.
It’s worth mentioning that enabling multisite is a slightly more involved process as it requires you to modify your wp-config.php file. However, it does come with the ability to update all of the sites at the same time. With a subdomain or a subdirectory, you’ll have to log into each WordPress site separately to update the WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
If you want to get your wiki-style site up and running quickly, opting for a subdomain or a subdirectory is a lot easier since you don’t have to modify any files and you can install WordPress following the usual installation process.
Ultimately, the choice really depends on your preference and there is no right or wrong way to do it.
2. Gather All the Content for Your Wiki Website
When you have decided on the integration method, you need to gather the content you’ll put on your wiki site.
Depending on whether you’re building a wiki for your employees or for your customers, you’ll need to gather all the documents that outline your processes or a list of frequently asked questions, support materials, and documentation that can help them get to know and use your product better.
How to Install Your Wiki-Style WordPress Website
Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s get started with the WordPress wiki site setup.
1. Choose Your Wiki-Style WordPress Theme
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the theme for your wiki site. There are plenty of wiki-style WordPress themes to choose from, which might seem daunting at first. You can save time by browsing through our curated selection of the best ones:
Before you settle on a WordPress Knowledge Base theme to use, consider the functionality you want to have.
- Will your support section feature only articles or will you integrate video tutorials as well?
- Do you need a way to answer customer questions and create a community with the help of forums?
- Perhaps, you’d like to have all of those features?
Once you’ve decided on the features, consider the customization options so you can integrate your brand and make the support section look like a natural extension of your business website. When you’ve found a theme that has all the features you want and a visually appealing design, it’s time to install WordPress.
Next we'll review three Wordpress installation methods: placing WordPress on a subdomain, in a subdirectory, or work with the Multisite feature. Use the installation method the fits your needs best.
2a. Install WordPress on a Subdomain
If you’ve settled on using a subdomain for your wiki-style site, you’ll need to login to your cPanel and scroll down to the section that says Subdomains. Click on it and on the following page enter the name for your subdomain. Then, click the Create button.
After you’ve created the subdomain, go back to your cPanel dashboard and navigate to the Fantastico, Softaculous installer, or any other one-click WordPress installer that your host uses.
Select WordPress installation and choose the subdomain you just created as the location for the install. Then, follow the usual process for installing WordPress by choosing a username and password for your site and clicking the Install button.
2b. Install WordPress in a Subdirectory
If you decided to install WordPress for your support section in a subdirectory of your website, the process is very simple. After logging into your cPanel, simply go to to Software/Services where you’ll find a WordPress icon. Click the icon and choose Install. Select your domain name from the drop down menu and then type in the subdirectory name in the field below.
Fill out your username, password, and other information and then click Install.
2c. Enable Multisite Feature on Your Existing Site
For those of you who opted to enable the multisite feature on your site, you’ll need an FTP program like FileZilla to download the wp-config.php file. Open the file with a text editor and find the line that reads:
/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */
Just before that line, add the following line of code:
/* Multisite */ define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );
Save the changes in your file and use FileZilla to upload it back to your server. Now that Multisite is enabled, you need to set up your network. First, deactivate all the plugins on your site by logging into your dashboard and going to Plugins > All Plugins. Select all of them and click Deactivate.
After that, go to Tools > Network Setup to configure your multisite network. You’ll have to choose whether to use subdomains or subdirectories for your network, and provide basic information about the network.
In this tutorial, we’re using the subdomain structure. Provide the name for your network and double-check the admin email to make sure it’s correct. Then, click on the Install button to continue.
The following screen will give you the rules you need to add to your wp-config.php and .htaccess files. Use FileZilla to connect to your host’s server and download the files. Open them in a text editor, paste the rules WordPress gave you, and then re-upload them to the server.
You’ll have to login to your dashboard again and then configure network settings. Here, you can customize the name for your network, decide on file upload limits, enable registrations, and customize the emails that are sent when a new site/user is created.
All that’s left to do now is to create a new site on your network. In your WordPress dashboard, click the My Sites menu in the admin toolbar and select Network Admin > Dashboard.
From there, click on Add New Site, and then fill out the information for the site’s address, name, and description. You don’t need to enter the full URL, only the part that you want to use as a sub-directory. Once the process is done, it’s time to install the theme and set up your site.
3. Install Your WordPress Theme
Now that your knowledge base website is created, log in to your new WordPress dashboard and go to Themes > Add New and upload the zip file of your purchased theme. After that, click on Activate.
Keep in mind that if you’re using the multisite setup, you’ll need to visit the Network dashboard by going to My Sites > Network > Dashboard and install the theme from there.
Now we'll cover how to create your wiki website using a top WordPress theme and quickly set it up.
How to Create Your Wiki-Style WordPress Website
For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re using the popular Flatbase Knowledge Base Wiki theme.
Upon theme activation, you’ll be redirected to the Theme Settings page. Here, you can upload your logo, favicon, change the typography, set your brand colors, and more.
1. Create Your Wiki Homepage
When you’re done customizing the way your wiki website theme looks, head over to the Pages section. You need to create a homepage for your site. Click on Add New and name the site Home.
Choose the Homepage template from the dropdown in the sidebar and click on Publish. Then, navigate to Settings > Reading, choose Homepage displays a Static Page, and select the page you just created.
After you’ve setup your homepage, you can begin adding content to your site. The nice thing about the Flatbase Wiki site theme is that it comes with demo content you can import and then edit to speed up the process. You can import the content by going to Tools > WordPress Importer and uploading the XML file.
2. Add Your Wiki Content From Scratch
If you’d prefer to do everything yourself, it’s time to add your support material. In your sidebar menu, you’ll notice there are several new items: Articles, FAQ, and Info Boxes.
To add a new article, an FAQ, or an Info Box, select the appropriate link and click on Add New. You can use the articles to provide in-depth tutorials, walkthroughs, upload images, videos, or any other media like you would normally do with a regular WordPress post. Don’t forget to create categories for your support articles by going to Articles > Categories.
If you want to use video tutorials in the video section on the homepage, make sure you’ve selected the Video format for your article.
For your FAQ sections, use the question as the title and enter the answer in the post editor field. To display them on your site, go to Pages > Add New and choose one of the two FAQ templates.
To display info boxes on the homepage and link to different pages on your support site, go to Info Boxes > Add New and enter the name of the page or category that you’d like to link to along with a brief description. You can also customize the Read More link and set the URL for the info box.
3. Set Up Your Wiki Homepage
Once all your support material is added and you’ve customized how your site looks, let’s setup the homepage to look like the demo.
Navigate to the Theme Options and check the boxes to enable live search, the infoboxes, and the video section. You can also set up a call to action. All the article categories and popular articles will display by default on your homepage.
4. Add Forums to Your Wiki Site
Finally, if you’d like to enable the support forums, go to Plugins > Add New and install the bbPress plugin. Activate it and then create a new forum by going to Forums > Add New. Enable user registrations on your site and visit the bbPress settings page to customize how your forums work.
What To Do After Your Wiki Website is Live
Now that your site wiki site is live, you need to direct your customers and/or employees to it so they can find the information they need:
- Link to your support site on your main site. Add the link to your knowledge base to the main menu on your main business site. You can also add it to the footer, as well as on individual product or services pages.
- Add the link to your contact page. Most customers or clients will look for a way to get in touch with you if they want extra information. Adding the link to your support site can help them find the answers they need before they fill out your contact form or call your number.
- Notify your existing customers with a newsletter. Another way to let your existing customers know about the new addition to your site is to send them a personalized newsletter that links to your support site. You can also provide them with links to the most popular categories or ask them to register for the forums to encourage interaction.
To help your customers find their way around your wiki knowledge base site, make sure to enable the search bar so they can quickly find the information they’re looking for. You can also link to the categories that have articles that provide solutions for frequently asked questions.
Make Your Knowledge Base Wiki Website Now
Creating a wiki-style website is a great way to reduce the amount of support requests your business receives and to train your employees on standard operating processes used in your day-to-day business.
Thankfully, with the help of WordPress and the right theme, you can have a knowledge base up and running in a matter of hours. Browse our selection of wiki-style WordPress themes to find the right theme for your support or knowledge base site.