Confluence Review (2024)

Learn more about Confluence and see if it's the right tool for you.

Evaluating Confluence for your team? You've come to the right place.

Atlassian Confluence is one of the oldest corporate wiki platforms and software documentation tools on the market. Its powerful enterprise capabilities and extensive configuration options helped it amass over 60,000 customers. But being a popular choice doesn't always mean it's the best, and Confluence is not without its drawbacks.

In this article, we have put together an in-depth review of Confluence, with all of its strengths and weaknesses.

Confluence overview

Confluence review

Confluence was released back in 2004. It was originally designed to serve as an enterprise knowledge management system, however, it has since evolved into a more collaborative platform. Today, Confluence allows teams to organize project documents, set up a company wiki, manage technical documentation, and much more.

Confluence belongs to the Atlassian product suite, which also includes such tools as Jira, BitBucket, Trello, Bamboo, and more.

What's great about Confluence?

For a long time, Cofluence was considered the gold standard when it came to enterprise wiki software. It's been on the market for almost two decades, and during that time managed to earn the trust of thousands of customers.

What made them choose it? Let's review the main selling points of Confluence.

Confluence is integrated with Atlassian products

One of the core strengths of Confluence lies in its tight integration with other Atlassian products. You can easily pull metrics, reporting, dashboards, and other information from one tool and make them accessible through Confluence.

For example, you can relate a ticket in Jira to its document in Confluence so that people can learn more about that issue, if needed. Likewise, all Jira dashboards are available within Confluence which allows documentation to be supported by tasks.

Confluence offers a vast selection of add-ons

In addition to integrations with other Atlassian products, Confluence also offers a wide range of add-ons, plug-ins, and third-party widgets. Want to generate the "Lorem Ipsum" placeholder text? Automatically save Slack conversations in Confluence? Add a glossary? There is a widget for all of those — and many many more.

Confluence is built for complex workflows

Confluence is an immensely powerful and versatile tool. Its rich set of macros allows you to flexibly extend and customize the functionality of the platform. No matter how complex your workflow is, Confluence can be adapted to support it.

Where does Confluence fall short?

Confluence is not without its shortcomings. Many years ago, Atlassian may have been one of the pioneers in the enterprise software market, but its products have been slow to modernize and have been racked with performance issues.

Let's dive deeper and review Confluence's main weaknesses.

Confluence comes with a learning curve

Confluence's extensive customization capabilities are a double-edged sword. Utilizing all the features, macros, and plugins to their full potential requires considerable training. This also makes it more challenging to bring non-technical team members on board and encourage them to contribute.

If you are planning to rely heavily on Confluence and other Atlassian products, consider appointing an administrator who will be in charge of configuring and maintaining the entire suite.

Confluence is bloated

Confluence is packed with rarely-needed features, settings, menus, and buttons. They clutter up the space on your screen and can easily distract you from meaningful work. While in recent years, Confluence has attempted to refresh its interface, it remains fairly bloated compared to many modern tools.

Confluence can be slow

Performance is not one of Confluence's strongest suits. As you accumulate content and connect plugins, page load times slow down, and search can get laggy.

The search is not always reliable

Search has been one of the weakest points of Confluence since it first launched. If you don't know the exact title of the document you are looking for, a keyword search can yield thousands of articles, with the most relevant results buried underneath.

The pricing has hidden costs

Confluence comes with a reasonable per-user fee — but that only covers the basics. Want to connect a plugin? Use SSO? Enforce 2FA? All of these come with extra monthly fees which can quickly add up in a way that can be hard to predict up-front.

Confluence alternatives

As many teams began to find Confluence too over-engineered and slow to be used effectively, more and more Confluence competitors have started to enter the market.

For example, if you like the idea of integrating Confluence and Jira to keep your projects and docs in sync, but prefer a more modern and user-friendly tool, consider Nuclino. Like the Atlassian product suite, Nuclino allows you to bring all your knowledge, docs, and projects together. You can create collaborative documents for every topic or project and organize them into a nested list, a Kanban board, a table, or a mindmap-style graph.

At the same time, Nuclino is lightweight and minimal. It focuses on the essentials, doing away with clunky menus and rarely-used options, and minimizing the learning curve for new users.

Review of Confluence alternative Nuclino

Every document in Nuclino can be collaborated on in real time, with every change automatically preserved in the version history. Comments and mentions can be used to easily exchange feedback. Related documents can be linked together by simply typing "@" and the name of the page you'd like to link to.

Review of Confluence alternative Nuclino collaboration

But Nuclino is more than just a wiki or documentation tool. It's a unified workspace that works like a collective brain, allowing you to bring all your knowledge, docs, and projects together in one place. It's versatile enough to be used to manage projects, plan sprints, onboard new employees, take meeting minutes, and more.

Review of Confluence alternative Nuclino table view

Should you use Confluence?

So is Confluence the right tool for you? The short answer is "it depends". Confluence has its strengths, and if you are using other Atlassian products and want your documentation tool to be tightly integrated with all of them, it may be a great option for you.

However, there is a reason why so many new Confluence alternatives are springing up every year. If you are looking for a modern, intuitive, and fast tool your entire team will be able to easily adopt, it may be worth exploring other alternatives.

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