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The Confluence owner’s guide to optimizing Confluence spaces

Imagine this: You’ve invested hours into meticulously creating your Confluence spaces, carefully vetting who has access to what, and even curating an incredibly intuitive and helpful onboarding experience to boost your workforce’s internal engagement with Confluence.

Yet, despite all of your good intentions, your Confluence spaces aren’t quite the nerve center of internal collaboration you’d hoped for. Instead, you’re faced with unending complaints about unintuitive navigation, outdated information, and duplicate pages.

If this sounds familiar, below we’ll share some essential tips on how you can transform your Confluence spaces into the go-to, single source of truth for all your readers, helping your spaces get back on track.

9 top tips to optimize your Confluence spaces:

Confluence is only as good as its user, which is why Confluence admins and owners need to be diligent about how to optimize their spaces best. Here are 9 important tips you should know:

Incorporate engaging visuals 

Even if your pages are filled with easily understandable content, readability can still suffer if you present just a wall of text. After all, Confluence isn’t designed for hosting novels.

Consider organizing information with clear headings to guide readers through your content seamlessly. Utilize bullet points and tables to present lists and data in a digestible format, making it easier for users to grasp key points at a glance. Even visuals like images and videos can complement your pages, making them more memorable for all readers. Remember: it’s not enough for information to be accessible; it has to be appealing.

Categorize your spaces 

Information needs also to be categorized

Think about your content: are they documentation, policies, FAQs? Then, categorize accordingly, such as creating entirely new spaces dedicated to different departments and topics. Afterwards, use labels to help tag and organize content within spaces. These allow readers to filter information and find what they need quicker, even when what they require is spread across different spaces. But when using them, use a consistent system of descriptive but brief labels (e.g., marketing documents, onboarding materials) to avoid clutter. Another way to make your Confluence pages less cluttered is by using tabs within Confluence pages. They help you to structure long pages and include content from already existing pages. Check out how this works in our blog.

Carefully control permissions

Sometimes, disorganization in Confluence doesn’t stem from poorly structured spaces or badly written content. Instead, it originates from within, specifically from unauthorized users who edit or view content they’re not supposed to touch or see. You wouldn’t want just any employee to stumble across confidential information accidentally.

Carefully managing permissions is crucial in this context. To do this, identify roles within your organization and categorize employees accordingly before granting access and permissions. You should establish permission hierarchies to set broader permissions for spaces and more specific permissions for pages. It’s also crucial to constantly review and update permissions as teams and projects evolve, as well as strive to educate your employees on all things related to permissions.

Periodically monitor your spaces for unexpected changes

Unauthorized edits and creeping changes can negatively affect any Confluence space, undermining the accuracy and relevance of content in the worst of cases. It’s essential to maintain constant vigilance over unexpected changes at all times.

Staying alert and adopting a proactive approach is necessary to protect your spaces from confusion and irrelevance. Regularly conduct checks to spot any unauthorized edits and inconsistencies. If you don’t have the time to manage this yourself, consider assigning someone to handle these checks periodically. 

Utilize and develop your macros

Macros are incredibly powerful tools that can change how you manage your Confluence spaces. Once you get the hang of it, those tools help you streamline and automate otherwise time-consuming tasks. 

For instance, a commonly used macro is the Table of Contents macro. It swiftly creates a navigable outline for any page, making it easier to find information on a Confluence page. While it’s technically possible to manage Confluence without using macros, they really are a big help in organizing content.

Craft a user-centric information architecture

When optimizing your Confluence spaces, never forget who your end user is, and remember to create content around your target audience.

When arranging and structuring your content, you have to do so in a way that matches the needs of your users, making it as easy as possible for them to navigate around. To do this, talk to your users and gather feedback. Only by doing so can you create information architectures that best align with your user’s journey.

Always aim to improve your spaces continually

Optimizing Confluence spaces entails acknowledging that your role as an admin is never-ending. A good space is continually optimized, which requires regular updating and reffing based on user feedback and other relevant developments (e.g. new features).

While this responsibility is indeed time-consuming, remember that you don’t have to manage it all on your own. Share administrative duties with reliable users, promote active participation and the exchange of feedback, and ensure that updates—both regarding your spaces’ content and other relevant information—are communicated to all stakeholders involved.

Explore heat maps for your spaces

Space heat maps, such as the one provided by Viewtracker, provide visual representations of activity within your spaces, highlighting which areas of your pages attract the most and least interaction. Though simple on paper, this can reveal user behavior patterns, showing not just what content is most engaging but also indicating when and how it’s accessed.

By understanding which areas of your space capture (or fail to capture) user interest, you can focus on producing more engaging content, restructure the layout for better navigation, and implement other improvements, ultimately leading to a more user-friendly experience for all. 

Implement data analytics

Utilizing insights gathered from analytics is a must when optimizing your spaces. Unfortunately, while Confluence offers some analytical capabilities, they fall short in depth.

This is why you should consider incorporating external apps such as Viewtracker – Analytics for Confluence to supplement native Confluence. Apps like Viewtracker help you better understand how your spaces are being used and identify areas for improvement. From providing insights into user engagement and behavior to identifying popular, unpopular, outdated, and neglected content to analyzing searches and offering exportable reports, Viewtracker can take your experience to the next level.

Unlock the potential of your Confluence spaces

Optimizing your Confluence spaces isn’t rocket science, but it does require a user-centric approach to provide a smooth experience. This involves continuously improving, updating, tweaking, and refining pages based on feedback and insights, which is easier said than done.

To simplify this process, consider using Viewtracker today to see how it can help optimize your Confluence spaces. Additionally, why not continue learning more about keeping your Confluence pages organized with tabs?