Company knowledge is siloed, and documentation is not always up to date.
Tools are poorly integrated, and very few companies succeed in having a 360-degree view of what other teams are doing while maintaining the customer-facing docs.
This is not a good way to increase efficiency and have happy customers. But how do you solve such a puzzle?
Adding another tool to the existing stack is not always the best approach, but picking the right one might save you in the long run.
Archbee is built as a unified platform for technical documentation, internal wiki, and asynchronous collaboration - all in one app that just works. It is a Content Management System and hosting platform for product, developer, and API docs with intuitive internal or external access for teams or collaborators.
Our mission is to help companies with a strong product culture build their docs sites, and startups or small-medium businesses get started with their internal wiki to reduce knowledge churn.
So why consider Archbee?
Your organization needs both technical and non-technical team members to get up and running quickly!
We focus on engineering people's needs with custom blocks for code insertion, built-in diagrams, API docs, Swagger, GraphQL, GitHub, Slack, and other integrations out of the box. At the same time, non-techies enjoy the seamless editing experience and blazingly fast WYSIWYG editor with collaborative features.
With Archbee, you can build a beautiful product documentation site and host it on your custom domain in 5-minutes. No need to integrate an open-source site generator or manage the hosting.
Whenever you're looking for a new tool, you're most likely going to compare a bunch before you decide. Here's a brief comparison of Archbee with four other apps. This article results from what I learned from users who considered Archbee when searching for a docs tool or internal wikis.
This is the same information I would use while talking with potential customers, so it might as well be in the open. Hopefully, it's something that will help you pick the right software for your organization.
Comparing Ease of Use, Quality of Support and Ease of Setup
Let's look at public data from software review platforms like G2 and Capterra and the tools' websites. You can find here the raw numbers, but for the sake of simplicity, we are going to use G2 for the comparison tables.
Confluence is the leader in the number of reviews, and that's to be expected since it is one of the first tools in the space. On the other hand, another popular app like Readme only has three reviews on G2 Crowd, which is insufficient for G2 to calculate the aggregate data.
When it comes to pricing, all tools except Readme have a per-user pricing structure. Readme emphasizes the project pricing, which means it charges per product documentation website created.
The pricing and features are analyzed by the entry-level paid plan for each tool. All plans are monthly or annually, and you can change, upgrade or cancel at any time within the account.
I've split the pricing for all tools on a per-user/month, and the cheapest is Confluence. Since Readme has per-project pricing, it's not necessarily fair to say that their price is the highest; it just depends on what type of features you need - just a customer-facing docs site or an internal wiki.
The Archbee alternatives can be split into two categories:
- Developer-focused product docs as a service: GitBook, Readme
- Internal docs/wikis: Confluence, Notion
Comparing the features needs to be done independently for each organization because it is based on the primary category you need: you might want a wiki (even if you can share it publicly) or a docs site on a custom domain.
Comparing pricing, features, and UX
Here are the features that you get with the base plan for each tool, the pricing, and how they compare to Archbee.
Compared to Gitbook, Archbee is more accessabile with the starting paid plans. When you hit the 5 users, additional members are $4 for Archbee; with Gitbook, every user after your first 5 is charged an additional $8 per month/user.
One thing to consider is that the content exported from Gitbook cannot be imported back to Gitbook (they mention this in the export option). You might want to consider this in the long run. We actually created a Gitbook import option for users that wanted to migrate to Archbee.
The alternative to get to content from Gitbook is to leverage Github. Once the content is in a repository, you can import it back in Archbee when you create a collection.
Archbee received the best usability award from G2 in the Wiki Software category, and our customers' testimonials back this up.
Editing experience. More than 20 custom blocks are available with Archbee editor. This gives you the flexibility to add various content types, including Embedding from apps like Loom, Airtable, Figma, Github Gist, Numeracy, Codepen, Trello, Typeform, Miro, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, Mode Analytics, Lucidchart.
Authentication options. If you want to authorize visitor sessions using a JWT token, this option is available only in the Enterprise plans with Gitbook which requires custom pricing. With Archbee it starts at $400, which includes access to upcoming features like API Access, Content Reuse and Language Localisation.
Support. While a features are important, support is critical. Archbee has email and in-app support chat with a median response time around 50 minutes and we strive to answer any queries in 1 business day.
Compared to Readme, Archbee is cheaper when it comes to publishing customer-facing docs. For 1 project (1 custom domain in Archbee), Archbee charges $30/month compared with the $99/project on Readme.
There is a difference in the number of users. Readme offers 10 users with the Startup plan, but Archbee only 5. Still, if you add the additional cost for the extra 5 users, you end up paying $55/month with Archbee to host an unlimited number of collections on a custom domain.
Depending on what you prefer, it's important to mention that Archbee generates a static website on the public-facing domain, while Readme renders it as a Single Page Application. If you care about your SEO, having a SPA might impact your SERP performance.
There are only 7 blocks available in Readme editor, while Archbee has over 20, including embedding options from other apps.
On the other side, Readme has some functionality regarding API metrics and Recipes, and if this is something you need, it might be good to look into it.
Confluence is the OG of knowledge base tools. Where Archbee compares with Confluence is at the user experience, editing experience, and new feature velocity.
Confluences has the Atlassian Marketplace, where you can find a plethora of apps and integrations. The downside is that you will need to pay for some of them. So the starting price of $5/month/user might not scale well if you are using various integrations.
For example, Draw.io has a cost attached to it, while Archbee has built-in diagrams and integrations with Draw.io and Lucidchart that come out of the box.
Archbee has a Github App integration built-in, and you can import markdown content from a repository. This makes Archbee part of the developer workflow.
So if your developers document what they work on in a README.md file in a Github repository, you can import it into a collection.
Because the markdown extensions need to be added with a different app from the Atlassian Marketplace, Confluence, it's somewhat outside the developer workflow.
Confluence is great for project managers, but the ones that need to write the documentation are developers and/or technical writers, so you need to balance how necessary documentation is for your organization.
Compared with Notion, Archbee is cheaper, and it is built for developers to make their lives easier. On the other hand, Notion is a tries to be an all in one app, for any department in a organization.
Having a custom domain on Notion will require a third-party tool like super or hostnotion, while Archbee has hosted collection built-in. It takes 5 minutes to build a website with Archbee, customize it, and brand it.
Since Archbee is built for software and software and product teams, you can add multiple products or even product versions to your docs site.
Also, if you work with APIs, Archbee has integrations with Swagger and GraphQL, making it easy to build developer & API docs.
How to choose between Archbee vs. Gitbook vs. Readme vs. Confluence vs. Notion
In this post, we looked at Archbee vs. Gitbook vs. Readme vs. Confluence vs. Notion to determine which tool is the best for use cases as an internal wiki or developer documentation.
Each Archbee alternative has its core strengths and weaknesses. No tool will have all the features you need, so the best action is to look at what is a deal-breaker for your situation and look for those features when you pick a tool.
Archbee is a unified platform built for software engineers but where non-techies can work as well due to its easy-to-use interface and editing experience.
The cost will always be an essential factor, but the devil is in the details, and picking the cheapest one is not always the best move for your budget.
To conclude, it is recommended to test any of these tools with a Free Trial or Freemium account for testing the features, and if you need a tool to work out of the box for the internal wiki and as a documentation site, give Archbee a try. It has everything you need to get your team in one place.