Best WordPress Plugins and Themes for Documentation Centric Sites

WordPress is a perfect platform on which to build a documentation website. Moreover there are many plugin and theme developers who need to provide documentation for their products. Here are some plugins and themes that make things easier.

WordPress is a perfect platform on which to build a documentation website. Moreover there are many plugin and theme developers who need to provide documentation for their products. Here are some plugins and themes that make things easier.

Free Plugins

WP Help

wp-help-plugin

Site operators can create detailed, hierarchical documentation for the site’s authors, editors, and contributors, viewable in the WordPress admin.

Powered by Custom Post Types, you get all the power of WordPress to create, edit, and arrange your documentation. Perfect for customized client sites. Never send another “here’s how to use your site” e-mail again.

Get WP Help

Table of Contents Plus

WordPress › Table of Contents Plus « WordPress Plugins

A powerful yet user friendly plugin that automatically creates a context specific index or table of contents (TOC) for long pages (and custom post types). More than just a table of contents plugin, this plugin can also output a sitemap listing pages and/or categories across your entire site.

Built from the ground up and with Wikipedia in mind, the table of contents by default appears before the first heading on a page. This allows the author to insert lead-in content that may summarise or introduce the rest of the page. It also uses a unique numbering scheme that doesn’t get lost through CSS differences across themes.

Get Table of Contents Plus

Simple Page Ordering

simple-page-ordering-plugin

Order your pages, hierarchical custom post types, or custom post types with “page-attributes” with simple drag and drop right from the built in page list.

Simply drag and drop the page into the desired position. It’s that simple. No new admin menus pages, no clunky, bolted on user interfaces. Just drag and drop on the page or post-type screen.

The plug-in is “capabilities aware” – only users with the ability to edit others’ pages (editors and administrators) will be able to reorder content.

Get Simple Page Ordering

CMS Tree Page View

CMS Tree page view

Adds a CMS-like tree overview of all your pages and custom posts to WordPress – much like the view often found in a page-focused CMS. Within this tree you can edit pages, view pages, add pages, search pages, and drag and drop pages to rearrange the order.

CMS Tree Page View is a good alternative to plugins such as pageMash, WordPress Page Tree and My Page Order. Page management in WordPress won’t get any easier than this!

Get CMS Tree Page View

Simple Documentation

simple-documentation-plugin

This plugin helps webmasters/developers to provide documentation through the WordPress dashboard. As an administrator, you can add, edit or remove content, choose the number of items displayed per page in the widget, the targeted backend user role and customize the widget title and welcome message.

This plugins allows you to share 4 types of content: “Link” – a simple link with a custom title and url which will open in a new tab; “Video” – allows you to put an embed code from websites like Youtube, Vimeo, ScreenR (all the ones which gives you iframe based code); “Quick Note” – a short text which intend to help by giving a short tip; “File” – upload a file to the WordPress installation and display the link.

Get Simple Documentation

Simple TOC

WordPress › Simple TOC « WordPress Plugins

This plugin makes it easy to create a wiki like TOC (table of contents) in your posts or pages using shortcode, no linking or creating anchor is needed.

Get Simple TOC

Documentation Post Type

Creates a post type for “documentation”. It meant primarily for product documentation, though you could adapt if for your own specific use.

  • Registers a “documentation” post type
  • Registers a “documentation-category” taxonomy
  • Registers a “documentation-tag” taxonomy
  • Registers a “product-tag” taxonomy
  • Adds the post count to the admin dashboard
  • Translation ready

Totally free and available on GitHub.

Get Documentation Post Type

Premium Plugins

Posts Table Pro

Posts Table Pro

All documentation needs a user-friendly layout. Customers need to be able to find answers to their questions quickly and easily.

Posts Table Pro is a WordPress table plugin that lists your documentation articles in a searchable, sortable table with filters. You can create in-depth documentation using WordPress posts, pages or custom posts, and structure them into categories and tags. The plugin displays them in an easy-to-use table so that customers can search and read the documentation.

Posts Table Pro

Use Posts Table Pro to display content in a searchable, sortable and filterable table with minimal effort.

Buy Now

The plugin authors have created a tutorial about how to use Posts Table Pro to create online documentation, which includes full setup instructions.

Get Posts Table Pro

Documentor

documentor-plugin

If you are looking for a WordPress plugin to create product documentation, Documentor is the answer. It comes with premium features such as User Feedback form for each tutorial, single page layout with Ajax loading, Drag and Drop reorder or documents, powerful admin panel with live preview of the documentation.

It is WPML and mqTranslate ready so can be used on multilingual sites too. Quality features, premium designs (It comes with 4 skins) and amazing support makes it the best documentation plugin for WordPress users.

Get Documentor

Free Themes

weDocs

screenshot

weDocs is a clean documentation theme for WordPress that is totally free from weDevs.

You can try out the demo for weDocs here.

Get weDocs

Finally, here’s an excellent article about writing good documentation, which I highly recommend reading.

Do you know of any other useful plugins for building documentation centric websites? Let us know in the comments section below.

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UPDATE: This post was updated in June 2017.

Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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8 Responses

  1. Helpful List here Jean, thanks for sharing. I would like to recommend Documentor WordPress plugin to create online documentation for products and services. The free version is available under WordPress repository as Documentor Lite and the premium version is also available. Visit the official page – https://documentor.in

  2. I really like the looks of the Docs theme but it doesn’t look as though it’s been updated in a couple of years. Does anyone know if this theme is still being actively supported?

  3. I’ve tried Documentor but I am having one problem. When I create the Documentor link for a group of posts, the resulting Documentor Link does not transfer the original Post formatting… Images change and the post looses text formatting and some code functionality I have built into the original posts. Any suggestions for a plugin that would be more “advanced” that Documentor?

  4. This is a great and ever-so-helpful list! Check out this plugin named Documentation Plus. This plugin allows users to create unlimited documentation using helpful shortcodes and pagination. Users can effectively create documentation for software, goods, or services, and fully customize the post font styles. This plugin is completely responsive and mobile friendly.

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