Confluence - the wiki that won't go away (and that's a great thing)
Updated October 29, 2021

Confluence - the wiki that won't go away (and that's a great thing)

Bill Kratzer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Atlassian Confluence

Confluence has been our standard company tool for years to capture, organize, share, and discover knowledge. Confluence is used by the entire company but enjoys high utilization with the technical software engineering teams. Confluence ensures that product architectures, partner integrations, and customer projects are fully and accurately documented. Confluence is also used externally to share common customer documentation, online help, and integration specifications to our product's platform. Confluence is the ideal tool for sharing structured and connected content both inside and outside of the company.
  • Basic wiki features (connected content)
  • Enterprise security and access control.
  • Rich text editing.
  • Support for code snippets and markup.
  • A huge library of plug-ins
  • Support for markdown is sorely missed by the modern software engineer.
  • Better support for searching and discovery.
  • Better support for collaborative editing of pages.
  • Cloud hosting options.
  • Content plug-ins
  • Rich security models.
  • My organization manages content and knowledge much better.
  • Confluence helps solves a lot of compliance issues and requirements that our company has in the Financial Technology services field.
  • We are able to support our customers better and scale our business easier.
I really don't think that there are any legitimate competitors to Confluence. Open source solutions lack all of the enterprise robustness and plug-ins that our organization enjoys. The only closest competitor to Confluence in the commercial space is SharePoint, which has been adopted by many organizations and is difficult to deploy and use. For organizations like mine that do not rely on the Microsoft ecosystem, it isn't even considered an alternative. Every two years, I take a look at the marketplace, but always come up short in finding a competitor to this long-lived, reliable platform.

Do you think Atlassian Confluence delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Atlassian Confluence's feature set?


Did Atlassian Confluence live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Atlassian Confluence go as expected?


Would you buy Atlassian Confluence again?


While Confluence may not be perfect, it has long been the gold standard for enterprise wiki software. Its enterprise security model, its support for a wide array of content plug-ins, and its relative ease of use make it a winner for any technical organization. Nothing beats the model of using a wiki to connect and manage your content. And Confluence does a great job of supporting this mission-critical job for most modern organizations.

Confluence Feature Ratings

Task Management
Workflow Automation
Mobile Access
Visual planning tools
Internal knowledgebase
Video files
Audio files
Document collaboration
Access control
Advanced security features
Integrates with Google Drive
Device sync
Not Rated

Using Atlassian Confluence

15 - Confluence is manually used internally by our technical engineering and support staff. Confluence is great for sharing information regarding to our consulting projects and our internal product engineering projects. Both projects have lots of interconnected documentation, and this is where Confluence shines.
1 - We have one person who spends about 10-20 hours per year supporting Confluence. We really do very little with it. We pretty much use all of the stock functionality which a good deal of success.

Becoming reliant on third-party plug-ins was never our goal with our confluence installation. We never wanted to become reliant on technology that we were never sure would be supported indefinitely.
  • Documenting projects (requirements, stakeholders, meeting notes, documentation)
  • Creating online help that is editable by anyone in the company.
  • Creating external-facing customer documentation for our products.
  • Confluence has a nice plug-in to build API documentation from your open API spec YAML files. Pretty cool!
  • We have been using confluence to direct customers to all relevant information during customer onboarding. (works pretty well!)
  • I'd love to see our internal company policies and HR information in Confluence. Seems like a no-brainer.
Confluence isn't perfect, but it's pretty solid and we have a pretty big investment in time and created-documentation already on the platform. It would take a major price hike, or a huge run of incompetence on Atlassian's part to make sure start to look in new directions.

Evaluating Confluence and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
We adopted confluence when it was first released over 15 years ago!

At the time, the whole idea of wiki's were pretty new and your two options were to run and install MediaWiki (which is what Wikipedia was built on) or use Confluence. MediaWiki was free but it has two awful limitations - lack of security and lack of support for attachments.

Corporate wikis really require robust security features (which the earliest versions of confluence always had). Our organization also worked with a lot of documentation from partners and customers, so having good capabilities to support inline file attachments was important.

Confluence's price point was so low that I could easily get the expenditure approved with a small 6 person team. I could then show stakeholders in the company what a great solution it was to our internal documentation challenges.
An evaluation process today would be much more robust. We would be looking at the available products for a broader group of people (the entire company) as well a broader set of requirements. Our company is bigger and more complex than it was 15 years ago!

Confluence Implementation

Overall, I am very satisfied with the initial implementation (and the subsequent upgrades and implementations made over the years).

This product has never rose to the level of being an major issue at an executive level. It has quietly and valiantly done it's job for our company!
Change management was minimal - Since we implemented the tool for an internal software product group initially (and we had NO good tools to replace), there was very little change management involved.
  • Early, self-hosted versions of the software weren't always snappy and reliable (this was 15 years ago, mind you!)
  • LDAP integration was a little clunky in very early versions of the software.

Confluence Support

Honestly, we never call support so I am not entirely sure how to rate the Atlassian Support team. Confluence works. We don't do anything exotic or crazy with our installation. And if there are limitations, we just "move on" and work around them (not like I can think of many cases where that has even happened).
Our organization is pretty frugal and we are pretty much self-starters (plus we build software using the same technologies at Atlassian). We even still host our instance! If something goes wrong, we can easily support it. Eventually, I want to migrate our instance(s) to the Atlassian Cloud instance. We'll stick with standard support. Confluence is important, but we are only a small company with 40 people. We can get by even if the system was down for a day.
I cannot. I remember submitting some questions in the early days of the product, and the support staff was generally pretty helpful. But I haven't submitted an issue with support in over ten years!

Using Confluence

I think that Confluence is pretty easy to use, but then again most of our staff (including myself) are highly technical. We don't think twice about using the WYSIWYG editor. In fact, we'd love to have more tools that would even move us away from being tied to the WYSIWYG editor.

That being said - for the NON-TECHNICAL people on the team, the whole concept of a wiki is hard to grasp, and then fine the user interface way-too overwhelming to use. There is probably something to be said about offering an experience that is more limited but has the "training wheels" on to get more non-technical people comfortable with the tool.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Creating richly formatted content pages that are connected to other pages.
  • Uploading OpenAPI YAML files to create live API pages! (way cool!)
  • Uploading content and displaying it in-line
  • Copying and pasting formatted documents into wiki pages (formatting easily gets way screwed up)