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Set up your site and spaces

Before you begin this tutorial, sign up for your free trial of Confluence Cloud. This guide will help you set up your first project, so keep this tab open while you sign up. Go on, we'll wait here. 

This guide is for Confluence Cloud. If you’re interested in one of our self-managed options, go here >> 

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If you’re a Confluence Data Center or Server user, check out this tutorial on how to create and edit pages in Confluence.


Step 1: Learn about spaces

Your Confluence site is organized into spaces. Spaces are collections of related pages that you and other people in your team or organization work on together. Most organizations use a mix of team spaces, software project spaces, documentation spaces, and knowledge base spaces:

  • Use team spaces to encourage team members to work together toward large-scale goals and OKRs. For example, you might create a team space for your Marketing team to align on OKRs, stay up-to-date on brand guidelines and messaging pillars, and gain insight into your marketing organization’s high-level strategy.

  • Use software project spaces to keep track of individual initiatives and projects. For example, you might create a project space to serve as a single source of truth for everything related to a new feature your company is developing, from product requirements and feature specifications to meeting notes and retrospectives.

  • Use documentation spaces to create and organize technical documentation for your products and services, so it’s easy for anyone to use.

  • Use knowledge base spaces to store and surface answers to common questions, such as policy clarifications and IT solutions. If you have a subscription to Jira Service Management, you can integrate it with your Confluence site to share knowledge base articles with customers.

  • Use your personal space as a sandbox to organize your notes, keep track of personal OKRs and goals, and draft proposals for projects before they make it to the roadmap. Connect with your team by writing blog posts to introduce yourself or share what you’re working on.

Before you dive into creating a bunch of spaces, think about how your organization will use Confluence Cloud. Here are some common use cases:

 

Description

Examples

Knowledge management

Description

Let Confluence be the source of truth for important information at your company. Some examples of knowledge management use cases are:

  • Documenting HR and legal policies, best practices and procedures, and technical knowledge.
  • Writing troubleshooting articles, tutorials, and how- tos and sharing them with customers.
  • Communicating changes to products, APIs, and other services to customers.

Examples

Here are a few ways you can set up your Confluence site for knowledge management:

  • If you’re using Confluence to share internal policies and procedures, you might want to create a separate documentation space for each domain area (such as HR, Legal, and IT).
  • If you’re using Confluence to share articles with your customers, consider creating a documentation space and a knowledge base space for each product or service.

Turn on anonymous access for spaces or content you want customers to see. You can also link spaces to Jira Service Management to attach articles to support requests.

Project collaboration

Description

Collaborate with cross- functional partners to manage projects, launch strategic initiatives, roll out products and features, and more. Some examples of project collaboration use cases are:

  • PMs, designers, and developers defining product requirements and technical specifications.
  • Marketing and product creating a customer comms plan for an upcoming release.
  • Researchers getting input on plans for a user study and sharing results with stakeholders.

Examples

Here are a few ways you can set up your Confluence site for project collaboration:

  • Create spaces for each product and create a page for each release cycle or launch.
  • Create a space for each functional team and create a page for each major project or initiative.
  • Take a blended approach. Use team spaces for big strategic initiatives (e.g., a major rebrand) and use project spaces for tactical projects and releases.

Make sure everyone who’s working on a project has the permissions they need to collaborate effectively.

Employee engagement

Description

Create a vibrant, modern intranet where you and your team can communicate, share your perspectives, and celebrate wins together. Some examples of employee engagement use cases are:

  • Sharing announcements on Confluence to foster an open culture and keep everyone informed.
  • Writing blog posts to introduce yourself to your new team, share learnings from a webinar or conference, or tell your colleagues about your work.
  • Catch up on popular pages and blog posts to get a sense of how everyone in your company is feeling and what’s important to them right now.

Examples

Here are a few ways you can set up your Confluence site for employee engagement:

  • Set up blogs in every space and encourage people to use them to talk about their work.
  • Ask new hires to write an intro blog as part of their employee onboarding.
  • Use the welcome message to make announcements on the home page of your Confluence site.

Install apps from the Atlassian Marketplace to embed Slack feeds, video calls, and more on your Confluence Cloud site.


Step 2: Create a space

Once you know what kinds of spaces your organization will need, it’s time to create your first space.

  1. Go to your Confluence site.
  2. From the home screen, select Create Space.
  3. Select the type of space you’d like to create.
  4. Fill in the Space name, Space key, and other details.
  5. Set permissions for your space.
  6. Select Create.

Once you’re done, you’ll land in the space Overview. This is where you can let people in your organization know what your space is for and who uses it. In the next step, you’ll learn how to customize the overview for your new space.


Step 3: Customize your space overview

Each space comes with an Overview that you can use to tell team members and other stakeholders all about the purpose of your space and what they will find in it. If you created your space from a space template, your overview will come with built-in features to help you make the most of your space. Even so, you may find adding your own touch lets you turn your overview into the perfect hub for everything your team needs.

To customize your overview, select the pencil icon (  Pencil icon  ) and edit the overview just like you would any other page.

  • Try these tricks to make your overview pop:
  • Upload a banner or logo to help people identify your space at a glance
  • Describe your team’s mission and goals and add links to key pages
  • Add a table of contents, team calendar, or roadmap

For more information on how to craft a great overview page, check out the Confluence Cloud documentation or this blog post.

Homepage on browser

Need a quick win? Get started fast with the team homepage template from Hubspot.


Step 4: Organize your content

Now that you’ve created your first space, it’s time to get organized. The goal is to make your space easy to navigate so team members and other stakeholders can find the content they’re looking for quickly.

To learn more about navigation, see Guide 4: Navigate Confluence.

Use parent pages to group similar content

In Confluence, you can nest pages underneath other pages, creating a hierarchy of content in each space. This hierarchy is reflected in the page tree, which appears in the space sidebar to the left of the active page.

To use the page tree to your advantage, create a page for each task or project your team is involved with and nest related child pages underneath it. For example, if your team conducts retrospectives every 2 weeks, you might have a top-level page called “Retrospectives” with a page for each retrospective you’ve conducted nested beneath it.

The example below shows how one Atlassian team utilizes this strategy to organize their space:

Retrospectives space

Create shortcuts for important pages

Confluence lets you create unique space shortcuts – links that are pinned to the space sidebar, above the page tree – for every space in your site. Use these to highlight important content so it’s easy to find.

To create your first space shortcut, navigate to your space and select + Add shortcut in the sidebar. For more information on space shortcuts, including how to edit or remove existing space shortcuts, see Customize your space.

Label pages and attachments

Labels make it a breeze to identify related pages and attachments, so team members and other stakeholders can find what they’re looking for.

  1. Open the page in Confluence.
  2. Select the label icon () in the bottom right.*
  3. Enter the name of the label you’d like to apply. If a label with that name already exists, it will appear in the autosuggest menu.
  4. Select Add to apply the label.
  5. Select Close to exit the dialog.

*If you’re editing the page instead of viewing it, select the more actions menu (•••) in the top right, then select Add labels.

Give labels transparent and meaningful names. For example, the label you use for meeting notes might be called meeting-notes or meetings. If you add that label to every page you use to capture meeting notes, then you can browse all your meeting notes – within a single space or across your entire Confluence site – just by selecting the label. You can also display all pages with the same label on a page or search content by label to find relevant pages and attachments more easily. For more information about labels, see Use labels to organize your content.

Pro Tip

If you apply a label to a page template, that label will automatically be applied to any page you create with that template.

Keep content organized

Set aside time to review the content in your space, delete or archive obsolete content, and move pages around to maintain the structure you want. If you’re a site admin, set up rituals around maintaining your space with people on your team and encourage space admins to carve out time to review and update their spaces with the people who use them.

  1. Recruit champions to help you keep tabs on your spaces.
  2. Audit the content in the space and review analytics.
  3. Identify obsolete or out-of-date pages and create an action plan.
  4. Review and adjust your information architecture to meet current needs.

For more information, see this blog post.


Step 5: Manage users and permissions

As a Confluence admin or site admin with a paid subscription to Confluence, you can manage users, groups, and permissions manually, or you can turn on public signup and let users create their own accounts. For information about permissions in the free plan, see our documentation.

Manage global permissions

Pro Tip

To manage global permissions, you must have the Confluence administrator permission.

Global permissions let you control:

  • Who can create a space or personal space
  • Whether unlicensed users can access your site
  • Who can access user profiles

Global permissions apply to your entire site.

  1. Select the settings wheel on the top right (next to your avatar).
  2. Select Global permissions (under Security in the sidebar).
  3. Select Edit permissions from the top right.
  4. Check or uncheck the boxes to edit permissions for groups and individual users.
  5. If you’d like to make your site public, check Use Confluence under Anonymous Access.
  6. When you’re done, select Save all at the bottom of the page.

Keep content organized

Pro Tip

To edit space permissions, you must be a space administrator. If you are a Confluence administrator, you can recover space administrator permissions for any space on your site. For more information, see What are space permissions?

Space permissions let you control:

  • Who can see the content in a space
  • Who can comment on that content
  • Who can create, edit, or upload content

Confluence is open by default. That means that unless you make space permissions more restrictive, everyone with access to your Confluence site can access content in any given space. Space administrators can set permissions when they create a new space and adjust them later. Anyone who can edit a page can edit its restrictions.

  1. Go to the space overview in Confluence.
  2. Select Space Settings > Permissions.
  3. Select Edit permissions under any of the headings.
  4. Check or uncheck the boxes for the permissions you’d like to change.

You can manage space permissions for individuals or for entire groups. To learn more, see Assign space permissions. If your site is public, you can also grant anonymous access to an individual space. For more information, see Set up public access.

While some Confluence customers use the same permissions scheme for every space on their site, others set space permissions differently for spaces with different purposes or use cases.

Use case

Target audience

Permissions

Share help and support information with customers

Target audience

  • Customers

Permissions

  • Anonymous access is allowed
  • Only help and support team members can create, edit, or comment on pages

Share policies, tutorials, and troubleshooting tips with your organization

Target audience

  • Everyone in your organization

Permissions

  • Anyone in your organization can view
  • Only subject matter experts can create, edit, or comment on pages
  • No anonymous access allowed

Collaborate on a project or initiative with others

Target audience

  • Team members
  • Project stakeholders

Permissions

  • Anyone in your organization can view
  • Stakeholders can comment
  • Only team members can create or edit pages
  • No anonymous access allowed

Share sensitive information (e.g., about personnel, payroll, or legal matters)

Target audience

  • Team members

Permissions

  • Access is limited to core team members
  • No one outside the team can view, edit, or comment on pages
  • No anonymous access allowed

Invite team members to your site

Once you’ve set up your site and configured overall permissions, it’s time to invite team members to start using Confluence Cloud (along with any other Atlassian products on your site).

  1. Select the settings wheel on the top right (next to your avatar).
  2. Select User management on the sidebar.
  3. Select Invite users from the top right.
  4. Enter the email address of each team member you’d like to invite. You can invite up to 10 email addresses at a time.
  5. Select a role for invited team members. This determines the level of access they have to your site as a whole.
  6. Select the products you’d like your team members to access.*
  7. Select the groups you’d like them to belong to.
  8. Personalize your invitation, then select Invite user.

*This only applies to team members with the Basic role.

As a site admin, you can update roles, access, and groups for users at any time. You can also remove a user by revoking site access, deactivating their account, or even deleting it (for example, when an employee leaves your company). For more information, see Invite and remove users.

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