Launching in 2001, Microsoft’s Sharepoint was one of the first online collaboration tools for businesses. It remains one of the most popular. Shortly after Sharepoint launched (a few years, in fact), Confluence appeared on the scene.
While Confluence has just a fraction of the users that Sharepoint has, many sing its praises. So, which one is better? What happens when we pit Confluence vs Sharepoint? Well, let’s take a look!
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Let’s kick things off by giving you a quick comparison chart so you can see Confluence vs Sharepoint, at a glance. Although, we encourage you to read through the rest of this page for more information. Only so much you can show in a chart, after all.
|Free plan. Starts at $5.75 per user per month for more features.
|Free 30-day trial. After that, starts at $5 per month per user.
|Ease of Use
|Requires specialist training for more advanced features.
|Mostly Atlassian software, Google Drive, etc.
|All Microsoft software, OneDrive, CRMs, etc.Custom integration for products not included as standard.
|Live document editing and sharing.
|Live document editing and sharing plus chat features.
|Basic template system.
|Thousands of templates to choose from. Can create your own.
|Email/ticket only. Response in 24-72 hours.
|Web and telephone support. Available 24/7.
Let’s start by talking about the similarities. This is because truth be told, most people don’t need to know about the more intricate features that Confluence and Sharepoint provide.
They just want a collaboration tool for teams, and both systems are fantastic at that. Both Confluence and Sharepoint can do the following:
- All documents are stored in the cloud, and can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. There is a mobile app available for both systems.
- Documents can be edited ‘live’ by users.
- There are various project management tools that can help your project management go as smoothly as possible.
So, if you are only about live sharing documents with others, then both systems are great. They are perfect.
Both Confluence and Sharepoint offer a free trial option. Confluence is a permanent free trial, albeit limited in terms of the users that can connect to the collaboration system.
Sharepoint is a 30-day free trial, then $5 per month for the basic plan, and around $24 per month for the all-in system, which is likely what most people will want (more on that soon).
Confluence starts at $5.75 per month and $11 per month for the top plan.
All of these prices are ‘per user’.
Do bear in mind that you get a lot more for your money with Sharepoint, and if you are using the Office 365 suite of software (as well as Skype), then the price isn’t as high as you may think. You can cancel that subscription and just use Sharepoint instead.
Ease of Use
Confluence Ease of Use
Confluence wins hands-down here. It isn’t even a competition. Confluence has been designed for those that want an intuitive UI. There aren’t a ton of features with Confluence, which we suppose really helps.
However, even if you have little experience with collaborative tools, then Confluence is incredibly easy to get around.
Sharepoint Ease of Use
Sharepoint is a complicated piece of software. It is amazing at what it does. There is a reason why it is the most-used collaborative tool in the world. The thing is that learning the more intricate features is hard.
Many of the big companies literally hire people to teach Sharepoint to the newbies. Although, since you are reading this, we doubt that you will be going to that length. Sharing documents is easy, but once you dive into the wealth of features, then Sharepoint is headache-inducing.
This is where Sharepoint wins. Remember what we said earlier about how the price of Sharepoint isn’t as high as you may think? Well, if you opt for the biggest package ($24 per user per month), then you have access to the full suite of Office 365 programs.
So, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, etc. Since you are likely to be using those programs anyway, the cost doesn’t seem as high.
Sharepoint integrates with all Microsoft cloud software and a whole host of other packages.
Confluence does not. It integrates with Atlassian software, notably Hipchat, and Jira. This may be useful if you use agile project management, but we tend to prefer the Microsoft software features.
That’s not to say that you can’t share Microsoft documents on Confluence. You can, it just isn’t as easy to be collaborative with them.
Sharepoint also supports custom integration (if you have the coding skills for it), while with Confluence, you are pretty much stuck with whatever they give you.
Both Confluence and Sharepoint offer great user collaboration features. Sharing documents, document editing on the fly, etc. However, Microsoft Sharepoint offers a cool feature; user chat.
There is no live chat in Confluence, which means you need to track down another chat software if you want to be fully collaborative (which can add to the cost), while Sharepoint lets you do things all within Sharepoint. It is nice.
Of course, this probably matters less for smaller businesses. If you have just 5-10 people, then you can use other systems. But, when you get into the dozens of employees, it is nice to keep everything under the same roof.
This is something that is likely only going to apply to some of you.
Both Confluence and Sharepoint allow you to create private areas where staff can collaborate.
Sharepoint allows you to publish the private intranet to the internet, though. This can be fantastic for sharing information with the public.
Again, this is something that may only benefit larger businesses that want to share their knowledge base. For the average person, it won’t mean too much.
Confluence comes loaded with templates that you can use to get started, and they are decent templates.
Sharepoint wins, though. There are way more templates with more being added almost constantly. This means that you have a lot more control over your pages, collaboration, and document sharing.
This likely won’t impact the smaller collaborators that much. But, when you get to a large company level, Sharepoint is that much more beneficial.
Sharepoint is much, much more scaleable.
Confluence allows you to have up to 20,000 users on a project. Sharepoint allows you to have an unlimited number, although we doubt many people reading this will be looking for something that can support 20,000+ users. Not unless they are highly optimistic about their business. Instead, the difference in scalability is elsewhere.
Confluence allows you to create just one site on everything bar the Enterprise plan (that’s unlimited), while Sharepoint allows you to create 2,000+. We find that this may be more useful, as you can have a few different projects on the go.
The base plan for Sharepoint gives 1TB of cloud storage per user. This goes up to unlimited on everything but the base plan.
Confluence gives you 250GB for standard, 2GB for free, and unlimited with everything else.
To be honest, we do prefer Sharepoint here. Not just because it has more storage. It is because it uses OneDrive, which is always a useful app to have on your devices anyway. It is the best (in our opinion) cloud storage tool.
Microsoft’s customer support is available via the web and over the phone 24/7.
Customer support for Confluence is email/ticket only, and you can be waiting 48 hours for a response.
Confluence vs Sharepoint – Which One Is For You?
For basic collaboration, then Confluence wins. If you have smaller teams, then Confluence wins. While you would be missing out on the Office 365 features, it isn’t a massive loss. You can use them in other ways, after all.
If you are looking for something a bit more feature-packed, Office 365 integration, and have more than 25 users, then we reckon Sharepoint is much better. While Confluence will easily scale beyond 25 users, we find that the collaboration features are not as ‘robust’. We like the chat system that Sharepoint has. It saves needing a separate subscription elsewhere.
So, small businesses go with Confluence. Larger businesses should go with Sharepoint.