11 Best Wiki Software Tools in 2023

Learn more about wikis and choose the right tool for your team.

A wiki is one of the most popular ways to create, find, and share information. The concept of a wiki is almost as old as the internet itself. Today, wikis take various forms, from internal company wikis, to entertainment fansites, to online encyclopedias like Wikipedia.

But what is the best wiki software? The short answer is "it depends".

There is a wide range of wiki tools, all with their pros and cons. To select the tool that's right for you and your team, it's important to know what your options are and how to evaluate them.

What is wiki software?

Wiki software is a type of software that allows users to collaboratively create, organize, and edit content online. It's a tool that enables companies, teams, and communities to build a shared knowledge hub for the topics that are relevant to them.

The term comes from the word "wikiwiki," which means "fast" in the Hawaiian language. The first-known wiki, WikiWikiWeb, was created by American computer programmer Ward Cunningham in 1994.

In the decades since the birth of WikiWikiWeb, numerous wiki software solutions entered the market, so you have a lot of excellent options to choose from. To learn more, read our detailed wiki software comparison guide.

Modern wiki software

Wiki software can be used to store all kinds of information. Any piece of information you consider valuable and might want to reference in the future deserves to be documented in your wiki. For example, a company may want to use a wiki to store the following information:

Key features of wiki software

When it comes to wiki software, everyone has different criteria and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the type of information you are planning to store, the intended audience of your wiki, and the size of your team, you may need a different set of features. However, some core functionality tends to be shared by most top-rated wiki tools:

Depending on the type of wiki you're planning to create, some of these features may be more or less relevant to you.

Why use wiki software?

If your organization is already using a shared file storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox, it may be tempting to simply keep all your docs there. However, while it may be good enough for taking quick notes, things can quickly become chaotic as content accumulates.

Using dedicated wiki software, optimized for the use case of organizing and sharing information, has numerous benefits.

All knowledge is centralized

Without a wiki, valuable information tends to scatter across email threads, chat messages, and shared drives. Wiki software helps you centralize all company knowledge into a single source of truth.

Information is quick and easy to find

McKinsey has found that employees spend almost 20% of their time searching for internal information, rather than focusing on their primary tasks. That's a full day each week! A wiki helps your employee quickly find the information they need, so they can spend that time on productive and meaningful work.

New employees are onboarded faster

Your new hires are likely to have many recurring questions during their early days at the company. How do I book a meeting room? What is our overtime policy? How can I troubleshoot this issue? You can use your wiki software to set up an easily accessible self-service FAQ site for your new colleagues, helping them get up to speed and ramp up productivity faster.

Knowledge is retained

When your long-time employees leave or retire, the knowledge they hold also walks out the door. This can break your internal work processes and leave existing employees helpless, forced to reinvent the wheel to carry out their duties. Combined with a proper knowledge management strategy, a wiki can help you capture your employees' knowledge and store it safely for future reference.

Wiki software types and examples

There is a wide variety of wiki software tools to choose from, and while they share a name, they solve very different problems. In this guide, we will go over the main wiki types:

Public vs. private wiki software

First, it's important to distinguish between public and private wiki software.

Private wikis (also known as internal wikis) are accessible to a limited number of editors and readers. Private wiki software is used by teams and organizations to share information privately among its members.

Examples of private wiki software include:

Wiki software

Learn how to create a private wiki or an internal wiki.

On the other hand, public wikis – such as Wikipedia or Wikia – are publicly accessible on the internet. The content of a public wiki is collaboratively created, updated, and consumed by the public, with little to no access restrictions.

Examples of public wiki software include:

Public wiki software MediaWiki

MediaWiki powers some of the largest wikis in the world, including Wikipedia. It allows users to share their content both publicly and privately and for a long time had been the wiki software of choice for companies, students, and hobbyists alike.

However, in recent years, its popularity has been steadily declining, with more and more users migrating their content to modern wiki platforms that offer a more intuitive interface, faster search, and real-time content editing capabilities.

Discover the best MediaWiki alternatives.

Personal vs. company wiki software

To make sure you pick the right tool for the job, consider the type of wiki you are planning to create. Will it be a simple wiki for your personal hobby project? Or do you want to build a wiki for your company to share confidential information? Depending on your use case, the ideal solution may be very different.

If you are looking for a personal wiki, pick a software you enjoy working with, without worrying about advanced enterprise features.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a company wiki, make sure to carefully and thoroughly evaluate your requirements against available options.

Company wiki software Nuclino

While every organization may have its own unique needs and preferences, an ideal company wiki should:

Learn how to create a company wiki, also known as an enterprise wiki, a corporate wiki, a business wiki, or a team wiki.

Confluence wiki software

One of the oldest corporate wiki solutions on the market is Confluence. It's highly customizable and versatile wiki software that has accumulated a lot of features over the years. If you're looking to build a complex company wiki with custom fonts, colors, and layouts, and don't mind the steep learning curve and occasionally slow page load time – Confluence can be a great option.

But if you value speed and ease of use over the feature count, you may want to consider an alternative solution.

Discover the best Confluence alternatives.

Hosted vs. self-hosted wiki software

The final decision you have to make is whether you want a hosted (or "cloud-hosted") or a self-hosted wiki. A self-hosted wiki is hosted and managed locally, while a hosted wiki relies on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) hosting provider.

Examples of hosted wiki software:

Examples of self-hosted wiki software:

Most modern wiki platforms tend to be cloud-hosted. While some people prefer to self-host software, this comes with high maintenance costs. If you don't have a dedicated IT team to set you up with a self-hosted solution and continuously manage the server over time, a hosted system could be the better option.

Best wiki software tools

There is no single wiki tool that can be objectively declared the best. Depending on your organization's unique requirements, a different tool may be a better fit. Fortunately, there are many great wiki tools out there.

To make your decision easier, we have compared dozens of wiki software solutions and put together a list of the 10 best picks.

1. Nuclino

Best wiki software Nuclino

If you are looking for wiki software that is modern and easy to use, look no further than Nuclino. Unlike traditional wiki software, which tends to be complex, slow, and clunky, Nuclino is exceptionally lightweight. It doesn't try to clutter its interface with every possible feature and option, and instead focuses on the essentials – a clean, distraction-free interface, intuitive navigation, an easy drag-and-drop editor, and fast and reliable search.

Nuclino comes with a minimal learning curve, making it easy for anyone – including non-technical users – to quickly get the hang of it. It works out of the box and requires no complex configuration.

One of Nuclino's distinctive strengths is the effortless editing and collaboration experience. Every page in Nuclino can be collaborated on by multiple users in real time, with every change automatically preserved in the version history. Comments and mentions can be used to exchange quick feedback and collaboratively maintain the content of your wiki.

Wiki software editor

Organizing your content is just as easy with wiki-style internal links, which allow you to link related wiki pages together. Simply type "@" and the name of the page you'd like to link to.

Wiki software internal links

While Nuclino can be used exclusively as wiki software, it's a highly versatile tool that can help you manage projects, collaborate on documents, communicate asynchronously, and more. You can organize your docs in a nested list, a Kanban board, a table, or a mindmap-style graph. It's a unified workspace where you can bring all your team's knowledge, docs, and projects together in one place and collaborate without context-switching or silos.

Wiki software Nuclino board view

What users say about Nuclino:

"Nuclino is exactly what you'd want in a wiki software. Anyone trying to organize a series of documents/notes in an organization should check out Nuclino because it fits the bill. The design of the product is so good that it's actually fun writing new notes/docs in the app."

Capterra review

2. Confluence

Wiki software Confluence

As mentioned above, Atlassian Confluence is one of the oldest wiki solutions on the market, with over 60,000 customers worldwide. It's one of the most popular options among enterprises. While it's a fairly complex tool that comes with a certain learning curve, it's also one of the most powerful solutions you can find. It also seamlessly integrates with other products in the Atlassian suite, making it a natural fit for teams that already use tools like BitBucket. Read our detailed review of Confluence to learn more.

3. MediaWiki

Wiki software MediaWiki

MediaWiki is one of the best open-source wiki tools. It can be used as both, a private wiki and a public one. It has to be said that MediaWiki is not the most user-friendly wiki software, and some people will likely find it quite challenging to use. If your team includes non-techies, MediaWiki may not be the best tool for you.

4. Zoho Wiki

Wiki software Zoho Wiki

Zoho Wiki is the wiki software offered as a part of the Zoho Office Suite. It's available for free for teams with up to 3 members and offers a very affordable Business subscription plan for just $2.70 per user per month. It's best suited for small teams, educators, and anyone who is working with a limited budget.

5. DokuWiki

Wiki software DokuWiki

DokuWiki is another open-source, self-hosted, and free wiki software. In many ways, it's similar to MediaWiki, but while MediaWiki is primarily designed for building large and complicated wiki sites, DokuWiki is best suited for smaller wikis. DokuWiki is relatively simple to install and maintain.

6. Wiki.js

Wiki software Wikijs

Wiki.js is a newcomer in the wiki software space. It's a powerful open-source and free wiki that is particularly popular among developers.

Wiki.js saves all content directly as Markdown files and syncs with your remote Git repository. With a modern and elegant interface, it's a great platform for both internal and external documentation.

7. You Need A Wiki

Wiki software YNAW

If your team members love the familiar feel and editing experience of Google Docs, You Need a Wiki may be the right wiki for you. YNAW allows you to take your existing Google Docs, and create a wiki right on top of them. It's relatively new to the wiki software market and is still in the early stages of development, but new product updates are being rolled out on a regular basis.

8. BookStack

Wiki software BookStack

If you are looking for a free and open-source wiki but find MediaWiki and DokuWiki to be too complex for your needs, consider BookStack. It stands out as one of the few wiki solutions that are free, open-source, self-hosted, but also relatively user-friendly. The initial installation may require some patience and technical skills, but once your wiki is up and running, it should be fairly easy to bring new users on board.

9. XWki

Wiki software XWiki

XWiki is both an open-source enterprise wiki software and a platform for quickly writing simple collaborative web applications. It's written in Java with a design emphasis on extensibility — the "X" in the name comes from "eXtensible Wiki". On top of this platform, a wide range of applications can be developed, targeted mainly at enterprise-level needs.

10. TiddlyWiki

Wiki software TiddlyWiki

TiddlyWiki describes itself as a "non-linear personal web notebook". In essence, it is a hybrid between a personal note-taking tool and wiki software. It's designed to be extensively customizable, with a plethora of add-ons and extensions, and can be molded into many different things, including wikis, to-do lists, presentations, portfolios, and so on. While using TiddlyWiki to its full potential requires advanced coding skills, beginners and non-technical users can start with simple note-taking, progressively discovering more advanced features and macros.

11. GitBook

Wiki software for developers GitBook

GitBook is an all-in-one wiki platform that can serve as your internal wiki, a knowledge base for your customers, and your personal note-taking app. While it lacks certain collaboration features, such as real-time collaborative editing, it performs strongly in other areas. If you are looking for a tool to consolidate all your static documentation in one wiki, GitBook can be a great choice.

Looking for more tools similar to GitBook? Check out this list of GitBook alternatives.

Find the best wiki software for your needs

This list of the best wiki tools is far from exhaustive but it can be a good starting point. Wiki software is a very broad product category, and there is no single tool that can meet the needs of every type of customer equally well. The best wiki for a startup will likely not be ideal for a large enterprise, and business-oriented wikis are usually not optimized for academic use.

Finding the wiki platform that is right for you may seem challenging, but the numerous benefits are worth the effort and pay off in the long run.

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