Other Open Source Documentation Platforms

BookStack is not the solution for everyone, and we don’t intend to be. The right platform for your documentation can be very specific to your content, audiences, use-case, and preferences. It’s usually best to trial a range of options to see what works best for you.

Below we’ve listed a range of wonderful alternative fully free and open source options that may be worth reviewing. We won’t rank or compare these, since we’ll naturally have a biased view and such comparisons can lack nuance as to what makes each option great, so it’s best to discover the styles & benefits of each platform for yourself to see how they fit your use-case.

  • Wiki.js - A modern, lightweight and powerful wiki app built on NodeJS.
  • Pepperminty Wiki - A complete wiki engine contained in a single (PHP) file.
  • DokuWiki - A simple to use and highly versatile wiki software that doesn’t require a database.
  • MediaWiki - The solution powering Wikipedia.
  • Trilium Notes - A hierarchical note taking application with focus on building large personal knowledge bases.
  • Zim - A desktop graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages.
  • Notesnook - An end-to-end encrypted note taking app focused on user privacy & ease of use.
  • TiddlyWiki - A non-linear personal web notebook.
  • wikimd - A file based wiki that uses markdown.
  • XWiki - A generic platform for developing projects and collaborative applications using the wiki paradigm.
  • Otter Wiki - A minimalistic wiki powered by python, markdown and git.

Static Site Generators

Using a specific wiki/documentation platform may not always be the most suitable option. If your editors are primarily developer-focused, and you have a specific vision that you want build to, static site generators can often be a great solution that provides a lot of control over the output. These are systems used to build websites from a range of markdown (or other format) content. We even use one (Hugo) for this website, blog and documentation pages! Here are some popular options in this area:

  • Hugo - A fast static generator built on Go.
  • Docusaurus - A static-site generator leveraging the full power of React.
  • MkDocs - A static site generator that’s geared towards building project documentation.
  • 11ty - A simpler static site generator built on NodeJS.
  • VitePress - Vite & Vue Powered Static Site Generator.

Other Forms of Documentation

Documentation isn’t fixed to a specific format, there are loads of formats that can be used to document, many of which you may find more fun. The best form is the one you’ll actually use. A good example of this is a blog, which you could use to document ideas and projects as you go. Over time this can build up to become a useful repository of information and documentation that you can refer back to.

For some other ideas like using forums, GitHub issues, and videos, you can read our “A Look at Some Interesting Documentation Methods” blogpost.