How Do I Write a Knowledge Base Article?
A knowledge base article has five major considerations:
- Category Tags
All four of these components need to be considered carefully when composing a Knowledge Base article.
The title should address the content as completely as possible. An example of a good title is:
How do I reset my FTP password on Rackspace?
This title identifies the type of article, it identifies the product, and it identifies the issue addressed. An example of a bad title is:
Reset my password
This title does not identify the type of article or the product.
An article may be as short or as long as needed to communicate the solution to an issue. It is recommended that each article give as much static information related to the problem as possible. An example of a good article would be:
To reset your Rackspace FTP Password, go to your cPanel URL and click "Reset your Password."
Make sure that your password is greater than 10 characters and that it uses lowercase and UPPERCASE letters as well as numbers and symbols.
Notice that only one issue is resolved in this article. An example of a bad article is:
To reset your Rackspace FTP Password, open up a browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Navigate to your address bar and type in the URL of your cPanel.
Look on the lower left hand corner of the site and locate the "Reset your Password" button.
This second article goes into issues outside of the scope of changing a password. If a user doesn't know how to browse the internet, we can't teach them that right now. We have to assume that our users are capable of solving their own issues when given our help. We also want to stay away from giving specific locations of buttons on the screen. We don't want to have to rewrite the article every time we make a design change. Unless something is completely hidden, assume the user can find it. Finally, we don't want to add unnecessary links to outside services. By adding these links, we give ourselves more maintenance work.
Keep in mind that we might have long how-to articles that break these rules.
All articles need to include the following tags:
- Product Name (Website Hosting, Bulletin Builder, OrthodoxJobs, etc)
- Any Product-Specific Categories (OrthodoxJobs - Employer Information, Bulletin Builder - Account Approval, etc)
- Article Type (FAQ, How-To, Instruction Manual, Download, etc)
This is the easiest one to complete. There are two options. Is this article for public use, or is it internal use only?
Note: Rating cannot be set when initially creating a Knowledge Base Article. Instead, the rating has to be set after the fact in Control Panel > Knowledge Base (Admin).
Our current rating system uses the following guidelines:
5.0 = User Manual
3.0 - 4.9 = Common issues, high priority
2.0 - 2.9 = Common issues, low priority
1.0 - 1.9 = Uncommon issues
These ratings will affect the order in which articles show up in searches and in certain auto-populated content areas.
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