The Headless CMS I am looking for will be used by approx. 5 developers, creating a user manual. This manual will contain images, rich text, links, tables and lists. The target audience are mostly Non-Techies.

Things we need:

  • Self hosted
  • Versioning
  • Target group management (data sets should be labeled differently as filter for different audiences)
  • Search
  • nice to have: a print/PDF export

WYSIWYG is not crucial – all editors will be coders. Also no concurrent edition needed (if an editor is working on a document, this document can/should be locked for other editors).

Thanks in advance!

  • Will it be high level documentation, API documentation or a mix? Which computer language are yo using? Which versioning / source code control system are you using for the code, as I would use the same for the documentation.
    – albert
    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:34
  • It will be a documentation for differtent types of users who aren't working with code but will use the software. Languages used were: C#, Javascript. Versioning: TFS (not necessary for the documentation) Mar 1, 2019 at 7:24
  • Gitlab Free Edition and its Wiki feature? - Versioning is not fully supported (AFAIK, can't "git reset --hard" with the Wiki)
    – knb
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:48
  • I don't know if it meets all your requirements, but I really like DokuWiki. It is designed specifically for documentation. There are plenty of plugins. dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki
    – Eric S
    Sep 10, 2020 at 13:53

3 Answers 3


How about Atlassian Confluence? (Disclaimer: Not an expert on Q&A nor on the domain. I've answered based on what I could make out of the question. Please explore further. @Experts, please feel free to edit my answer.)

We use this to manage our technical product documentation.

  • It tracks changes done to a document (also shows a live data of who's editing currently) and supports merging multiple changes.
  • It has a great collection of plug-ins as well. So, I hope you might find the extensions that may suit your needs.
  • In my experience, the search feature is pretty good.
  • I haven't used it, but I remember hearing that it has a good API support as well.

See if this helps: https://confluence.atlassian.com/confeval/confluence-evaluator-resources/confluence-document-management-system


For technical documentation with https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki, recommend these extensions:

You can use this to host the docs directly, or as headless CMS (we use both approaches at our company right now: directly host for main docs website, headless for other content sites i.e., marketing to pull in our content as needed).

But you can do similar probably with any open source headless. IMO, the advantage of Mediawiki is you can preserve the option of directly hosting the docs. This may or not be construed as an advantage (keeping the WAMP stack up to date might be a drag if you've also got a Jamstack setup running at the same time). Mintydocs also handles the doc versioning, probably more important for directly hosting the docs vs source for headless.


I would recommend going with an open source wiki. The most popular is mediawiki(https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki). It ticks all your criteria. There are tons of resources for deploying, managing, troubleshooting and using it. Most people are already aware of wikipedia which is a mediawiki instance.

If you don't like php apps, you can go with modern open source wikis like wiki-js (https://wiki.js.org/) and others.

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