Knowledge bases, wikis, and FAQ sites are an integral part of successful business and e-commerce sites. They provide important information about products or services and make frequently asked questions accessible to customers and the site’s viewership.
These types of websites have a specific purpose that they articulately address and, therefore, should have an underlying theme that resonates with their needs.
InstaAnswer is one such theme that helps users build a powerful, feature-rich FAQ application for WordPress sites. In this article, I’ll review the InstaAnswer theme in depth and cover everything from its appearance to its ease of customizability.
A Preview of InstaAnswer’s Appearance
Let’s start from the top and examine the overall appearance and look and feel of the InstaAnswer theme.
InstaAnswer is a one-page, fully responsive theme that is light weight and minimalistic to its core. In fact, the theme’s exterior largely consists of three elements:
- The logo: Your logo sits neatly in the top-left corner of the screen. Its alignment with the search bar is on the spot which adds to the minimalist aura InstaAnswer gives off.
- A search box: This is where your customers and viewership will enter their search queries.
- A link to submit a ticket: The Submit A Ticket + link enables customers to submit their question via a ticket if they couldn’t find what they were looking for in the FAQs.
With this particular theme from HeroThemes, there’s one thing the user needs to understand; as the old adage goes:
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Same is the case with InstaAnswer. The entire theme may only consist of design elements that you can count on a single hand but it’s got a whole lot going on behind the scenes. We will look more into the theme’s back-end functionality in the following section.
The InstaAnswer theme appears to be a lightweight theme that’s intended to be used as a FAQ, wiki, or knowledge base for business oriented WordPress sites who’d like to provide customers with easy-to-access information about their products.
The basic idea behind this theme was to provide customers with blazing fast answers to their questions and that’s exactly what the developers delivered with InstaAnswer. This theme has a fine range of uncontended features on offer that are sure to make your site’s knowledge base fully serve its purpose.
Blazing Fast Live Search
Any knowledge base’s primary objective is to make the searching process simple and fast. InstaAnswer’s search module runs on AJAX technology and displays accurate search results within seconds. Since it searches in real-time, your knowledge base’s viewership won’t have to wait for a page load time for every query they enter. Once they start typing their question, answers appear – just like with Google search!
Instant Support on All Platforms
The InstaAnswer theme is optimized for devices of all shapes and sizes. It’s fully responsive design allows your site’s customers to query any questions they may have about your product or service from anywhere. Best of all, being the webmaster you won’t have to mess around with extra settings or configuration options – the entire theme is responsive by default.
Powered by Heroic Knowledge Base
The theme comes with HeroThemes’ Heroic Knowledge Base right out of the box. Individually, the plugin is valued at $129 but with the theme, it comes packaged at no additional cost. The plugin is designed to reduce customer support costs and the time you spend handling customer queries manually by automating the ticketing process.
It features article feedback to track which articles are actually helping your viewership and which could be improved further. The Heroic Knowledge Base plugin also includes drag and drop content ordering and article attachments which enable users to download your content.
Simple, Focused Design
Most traditional knowledge bases that you’ll come across have one major problem. They lack a clean interface. InstaAnswer takes care of this with its one-textbox minimalistic design that ensures users don’t get caught up in intricate navigation. Instead of implementing a much more orthodox approach with, say faceted search, InstaAnswer takes to AJAX technology to deliver answers. After all, that is why customers land on your knowledge base in the first place, isn’t it?
Supports User Voting Options
This feature-rich knowledge base theme enables users to rate the answer using its in-built voting module. This is based on whether the webmaster enables the voting option for a particular article. Once a user is done reading the article, they can choose to rate the answer based on how helpful it was to them or simply answer with a simple Yes or No indicating whether or not the answer solved their query. Users can also choose to leave feedback.
Now that we’ve covered the features InstaAnswer has on offer, let’s take a look underneath the hood and explore the theme from the WordPress Dashboard.
Behind the Scenes With InstaAnswer
Once you’ve installed and activated the InstaAnswer theme to your WordPress installation using:
WordPress Upload: From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Add New Themes > Upload. Click Browse and select the InstaAnswer theme’s .zip file.
FTP Upload: Using the FTP client or cPanel, unzip the InstaAnswer theme’s .zip file into the /wp-content/themes folder of your WordPress site.
Navigate to Appearance > Themes and click the Activate link to activate the theme.
Installing Required Plugins
Before you move on with customizing the theme, you’ll have to install the following two themes:
The InstaAnswer theme won’t work unless you install and activate both of these themes. Both plugins are pre-packaged so all you have to do is install them and activate them.
InstaAnswer and Heroic Knowledge Base
One of the very first things you’ll notice about the InstaAnswer theme is that it doesn’t have the Posts menu item in the WordPress Dashboard’s navigation menu.
This is where the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin comes in handy. The plugin stores the frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers as articles.
To add questions and answers for your product / service, navigate to Knowledge Base > Add New Article.
Once you’ve added a question in the title box and its answer in the description box, you can scroll down to the Article Options box to enter additional information the user might require and enable voting options.
When you’re done, click Publish to publish the article to your site.
InstaAnswer’s ease of use enables webmasters to take their focus off the design aspects and concentrate on delivering value to their customer through the knowledge base.
InstaAnswer’s Customization Panel
As the theme itself isn’t all too intricate, InstaAnswer’s WordPress Customizer follows suit – as expected. The compact customizer can be accessed by navigating to Appearance > Customize from the WordPress Dashboard.
InstaAnswer’s WordPress Customizer should look like this.
There are several customization options you can apply to the main screen. You can replace the InstaAnswer logo with your business’s logo to maintain brand identity across the knowledge base from the Site Identity tab in the customizer. You can also create a favicon and upload it from here, as well.
The customizer also enables users to decide whether or not they want the Submit A Ticket link to appear on their site or not. To enable / disable the ticket option, all you have to do is navigate to Articles from the Customizer and tick / untick the Enable Submit Ticket? option.
Support and Documentation
HeroThemes, the developers behind InstaAnswer, are known to provide excellent customer support to customers. Having said that, the theme’s documentation itself is comprehensive, scannable, and accessible through their website in that consulting the support staff will not be necessary in most cases.
The InstaAnswer theme is one of the rare knowledge base themes out there that’s loaded with all of the essential functionality despite its compact size and minimal design. Webmasters need not be technically minded to get their site’s knowledge base up and running in minutes with InstaAnswer!
The InstaAnswer theme is priced at $99 for a single site license (including one year of updates and support). This may be on the pricier end of the scale for small business owners but it’s definitely worth the investment. If you think about it this way: a concrete knowledge base system can pre-emptively assist your customers thus improving sales and boosting customer experience.
The theme also comes bundled with the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin which is individually priced at $129. Considering both these factors, it’s a pretty wise investment. I personally suggest that you give InstaAnswer a shot and if you don’t like it, you can take HeroThemes up on their 30-day money back guarantee.
Advantages and Disadvantages of InstaAnswer
InstaAnswer is truly one of the best knowledge base themes out there. Let’s quickly cover the advantages and disadvantages of this premium WordPress theme.
- Ideal for entrepreneurs with little or no programming knowledge.
- May be used as an FAQ page, a wiki, or a knowledge base.
- Blazing fast AJAX-powered search makes it faster than the competition.
- Minimalist design, easy to use and customize.
- Useful and comprehensive documentation.
- Towards the pricier end of the scale.
- Limited customization options.
Sites Using HeroTheme’s Products
InstaAnswer’s authors, HeroThemes, have sold thousands of themes (and counting!). In this section, I’ll show you some well-known sites that are using HeroTheme’s products for their knowledge base. Let’s take a look!
Crazy Egg uses a HeroTheme’s theme for their support page. They’ve replaced the default logo with their own and added a menu in place of the tickets link. The navigation menu makes it easier for users to visit other pages on the site easily. The search box searches and displays relevant results within seconds!
Restaurant.com’s frequently asked questions page is powered using a HeroTheme’s theme. The site enables users to leverage the AJAX-based search box’s lightning fast speeds for queries or find what they’re looking for through the FAQ Categories list right below it. One of the best implementations of this theme is to display a Popular Questions section as Restaurant.com has done. Most of the time, different users will have the same question and this section makes it tremendously easy to query the appropriate answer.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re looking for a timeless solution for creating a knowledge base for the products or services you’re selling then InstaAnswer is definitely one of the top contenders. In terms of functionality and design, this theme does exactly what it’s supposed to do and delivers value to customers.
For those of you who aren’t particularly knowledgeable in the programming realm, the InstaAnswer theme can prove to be quite a useful addition to your online business. Using this one of a kind theme, webmasters can significantly improve their customer support performance, reduce costs and build strong relationships with their loyal customers.
Have you ever used a knowledge base theme? In your opinion, is InstaAnswer the perfect solution for a knowledge base platform? Which features do you like best about InstaAnswer? We’d love to hear what you have to say so please let us know in the comments section below!