Top 10 Cons & Disadvantages of Using Confluence

Confluence, a widely used software for collaboration and documentation, has become a staple in many organizations. While it offers robust team collaboration and project management features, users often encounter challenges and limitations. This article aims to explore these drawbacks in detail, providing insights into the common issues Confluence users face. Despite its popularity, it’s crucial to understand these cons to make an informed decision about using this tool in your organization.

The appeal of Confluence lies in its ability to centralize documentation and facilitate team communication. However, several users have reported issues ranging from usability problems to technical limitations. These challenges can impact productivity and user satisfaction, making it essential for potential and current users to be aware of these drawbacks. This article will delve into the top 10 disadvantages of using Confluence, offering a comprehensive view of the difficulties you might encounter while using the software.

Top 10 Cons & Disadvantages of Using Confluence

This section will outline the ten most significant drawbacks of using Confluence. These issues have been identified based on user experiences and expert analyses. Understanding these cons is crucial for anyone considering Confluence for their team or organization, as they can significantly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of the software.

1. Integration and Compatibility Issues

One of the major disadvantages of Confluence is its integration and compatibility issues with other software. For example, users often struggle with uploading documents from Microsoft Word to Google Docs and importing them into Confluence. This process can be cumbersome and prone to error messages that are vague and unhelpful, like “something went wrong.” In a real-life scenario, a team working on a project report had to spend additional hours converting and importing documents, leading to delays and frustration.

2. Poor PDF Export Quality

Exporting documents to PDF in Confluence can be a nightmare. The output quality is often unsatisfactory, with formatting issues that make the documents look unprofessional. This is particularly problematic when sharing documents with external stakeholders. A marketing team, for instance, found that their meticulously crafted proposals lost their appeal when exported as PDFs, impacting their client presentations.

3. Inefficient Search Functionality

The text-based search function in Confluence often falls short in accuracy and relevance. Users frequently report not finding the desired results, which hampers productivity. An employee in a large firm experienced this firsthand when they couldn’t locate an important project document despite knowing it existed in Confluence, leading to wasted time and effort.

4. Clunky Page Editing and Copy-Paste Issues

Page editing in Confluence can be inflexible, and copying and pasting content to and from the platform often causes formatting issues. This was evident when a team collaborated on a document and found that transferring information from Confluence to another application resulted in significant layout and formatting disruptions.

5. Steep Learning Curve for Non-Tech-Savvy Users

Confluence can be daunting for users who are not tech-savvy. Its interface and features require a certain level of technical proficiency, which can be a barrier for some. For instance, a small business found that their less tech-savvy employees struggled to navigate and use Confluence effectively, reducing productivity and dependence on IT support.

6. Limitations and Performance Issues

Users often face limitations in using tables and integrating Confluence with other tools like Miro or Whimsical. Additionally, the platform can load slowly, especially when using anchors. A design team experienced these issues firsthand when their workflow was interrupted by slow loading times and difficulties using tables for their project plans.

7. Outdated Design and Accessibility Challenges

Confluence’s interface can feel archaic and cumbersome, and users often find it difficult to grant access or copy and paste across applications like Microsoft Office. A project manager encountered these issues when sharing documents with external consultants, which hindered collaboration and efficiency.

8. Cumbersome Administration and Limited Customization

The administrative aspects of Confluence can be cumbersome, particularly for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. The lack of document formatting and customization flexibility further adds to the challenge. An IT administrator reported spending excessive time setting up user permissions and customizing document templates, which was time-consuming and frustrating.

9. Complex Access Control Management

Managing access controls in Confluence can be difficult, especially for large teams with varying document access needs. A company experienced this when it struggled to set up and maintain appropriate access levels for different team members, leading to security concerns and workflow disruptions.

10. Additional Costs for Essential Functions

Many essential functions in Confluence require additional plugins, which can be costly. For example, a small enterprise had to pay extra for plugins to get the full functionality they needed, which increased their operational costs.

What is Confluence?

Confluence, developed by Atlassian, is a prominent tool in team collaboration and project management. It’s designed to streamline documentation, enhance team communication, and centralize knowledge management. However, understanding Confluence’s full scope beyond its disadvantages is crucial for a comprehensive evaluation. This section delves deeper into what Confluence offers, its role in modern work environments, and its interaction with other tools and platforms. Organizations must grasp these aspects to leverage Confluence and mitigate its shortcomings effectively. By exploring Confluence’s functionalities and real-world applications, we can better understand its place in the pantheon of collaboration tools.

Confluence is multifaceted, offering features that cater to various aspects of team collaboration and documentation. To fully appreciate its capabilities and limitations, it’s important to break down its core functionalities:

  • Centralized Documentation: Confluence allows teams to create, store, and manage all their documents in one place, facilitating easy access and organization.
  • Collaborative Editing: Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, enhancing teamwork and reducing project turnaround time.
  • Integration with Other Atlassian Products: Seamless integration with Jira, Bitbucket, and Trello, among others, provides a cohesive workflow for teams using multiple Atlassian products.
  • Customizable Workspaces: Teams can customize their Confluence spaces with templates and tools to suit their specific project needs.
  • Advanced Search and Navigation: The platform offers powerful search capabilities and intuitive navigation, helping users quickly find the information they need.

A real-life example of Confluence’s application is seen in a software development company. The development team used Confluence to document their software’s architecture, track changes, and collaborate on coding standards. They integrated Confluence with Jira to manage their development workflow seamlessly. This integration allowed for efficient tracking of project progress, bugs, and feature requests, streamlining the entire development process.

Confluence Review Video

Videos related to the disadvantages of Confluence can provide visual and detailed insights into the issues discussed in this article. These videos often include tutorials, user experiences, and expert analyses, which can be extremely helpful for understanding the practical implications of these cons.


In conclusion, while Confluence offers several advantages for team collaboration and project management, its disadvantages cannot be overlooked. These issues range from technical limitations to user experience challenges, which can impact the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the tool. Users need to weigh these cons carefully against their specific needs and consider alternatives if necessary.


Daniel Raymond

Daniel Raymond, a project manager with over 20 years of experience, is the former CEO of a successful software company called Websystems. With a strong background in managing complex projects, he applied his expertise to develop and, innovative project management tools designed to streamline processes and improve productivity. Throughout his career, Daniel has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a passion for empowering teams to achieve their goals.

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