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CMS features users (and devs) need the most

Published April 5th, 2022

Your rich text editor is where the real action happens in every CMS. So, if you’re looking to produce and (and get) more from your content, and your CMS, having a brilliant rich text editor onboard is essential – it makes the magic happen more easily.

Di Mace

Communications Specialist at Tiny

As a key component of every content management system, your rich text editor (RTE) has two ‘masters’ – developers and users – both of who have different focuses. Each has their own needs – devs want control, while users want creativity – and it’s vital to simultaneously satisfy both.

Breaking it down, basic CMS editors contain basic formatting options. However, the best CMS rich text editors (RTE) are more advanced, and let you add and remove functionality (buttons) in the editing toolbar as well as play with the editor controls. This allows you to manage the availability of contextual tool sets, for different content creators and different styles of formatting and content.

Taking your editor from basic to advanced, allows for customization of your editor – thereby making it a smoother and more tailored editing experience.

Users can produce better content – and devs aren’t bothered by continual support requests to fix bugs, breakages and simple copy and paste formatting issues. It can save you time, money and create a better experience overall for everyone who uses your editor.

Let’s dig into some things that each ‘master’ expects from their CMS editor.

Common CMS requirements from users and devs

Savvy developers and content creators have four common expectations for their CMS editor:

  • User interface (UI) → is a dev need = control
  • Resultant content → is a dev need = control
  • Integration of CMS capabilities → is a dev need = control
  • Advanced functionality → is a user need = creativity

Rich text editors that are easily customized by developers, are more flexible in the way they handle the job of content creation. This lowers the need for your users to know code (unless they're power-users who want HTML access), so once your developers have set them up with access to the right tools, the magic can begin.

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Developers want control of their CMS

1. User interface (UI)

A WYSIWYG text editor gives your developers the flexibility to customize the editor options, so that only the most suitable tools are available for users, while the unnecessary ones can be omitted (or hidden).

Depending on the needs of your given users, developers may need to restrict a variety of capabilities within the CMS or alternately provide capabilities up to and including HTML code editing.

This customized control is unseen by your CMS users – they only see what the developer wants them to through the editor’s user interface (UI).

2. Resultant content

Most CMSs have various levels of inbuilt structure that governs the sort of expected content to be created and how it interacts with the remainder of the rendered page.

By hiding or showing options, your RTE can impact the resultant content to a large extent, but tasks like clean copy and paste of external content can cause unexpected results (unless you’ve installed a clean copy and paste plugin).

Giving developers the ability to control the HTML output by specifying the schema, how styles are applied, and restricting elements or classes, can ensure the created content is in line with everyone’s expectations.

3. Integration of CMS capabilities

Every CMS includes custom capabilities specific to that CMS – such as how it manages images, files, and other assets.

Some CMSs also include support for third party platforms (e.g. digital asset management).

Your rich text editor needs to provide a level a integration between it and the CMS itself, as well as third party platforms and other assets or capabilities.

These integration steps make using the CMS easier and more efficient for your content creators.

Pro Tip

TinyMCE’s RTE can be configured by developers to satisfy their need to control the appearance, output, and integration of the CMS (depending on the ease with which the CMS platform allows customization).

Some of the tools that satisfy these requirements (many of which are found in our CMS-specific starter config of TinyMCE) are:

Control the output with a variety of options around HTML and CSS

Control the features needed by easily enabling and disabling functionality

Add Quick Toolbar and keyboard shortcuts to speed up content creation

Customize the UI with pre-made Skins and Icons or build your own

38 fully-vetted, professional UI translations

37 community-contributed UI translations

Prevent the editing of brand or regulatory content with Noneditable plugin

Allow users to insert predefined, dynamic content with Templates plugin

Autosave avoids the risk of losing content

Autoresize allows the editor to resize to fit its contents as it expands

Manage your files or images in the cloud with Tiny Drive:

– Upload and browse files, and insert images inside TinyMCE

– Import existing assets from any connected Google Drive or Dropbox account

– Minimal configuration, integrates seamlessly

– Secure – uses utilizes JSON Web Tokens (JWT)

– Scalable – uses Amazon S3 cloud storage

– Note: Tiny Drive is an add-on to TinyMCE

Users want creativity from their CMS

Advanced CMS features

More advanced CMS users want to use more advanced capabilities like:

 Clean copy and paste

The ability to edit code (power users often want to manipulate HTML)

Collaboration tools, including comments and mentions

Accessibility checking

Spell checking

Templated functionality for easy reuse of components and content

READ our CMS Guide

Take the guesswork out of finding the right rich text editor for your current and future needs with our curated guide on The Six Problems Faced by Modern CMSs

Read more


TinyMCE’s RTE can be configured by developers, to meet all your users needs (depending on the ease with which the CMS platform allows the task of customization).

Some of the tools that satisfy these requirements (many of which are found in our CMS-specific starter config of TinyMCE) are:

Error-free, clean copy and paste from Word, Excel and Google Docs with PowerPaste

Image and Word Count tools that enhance a wide range of content creation projects

Enhanced Media Embed adds media previews from the most popular sources like YouTube, Facebook, and more

Range of content formatting tools like Checklists and Advanced Tables

Image Tools lets users apply 10 powerful transformations to their images, including crop, rotate, resize and other filters

Inline editing to Preview how content looks before publishing

Generates clean SEO-friendly HTML output ready to be indexed by search engines

Optimized outputs for desktop and mobile

Build custom dictionaries to ensure content is on-brand with Spell Checker Pro, as well as globally consistent spelling and simultaneous checking of up to 13 languages (plus medical terminology)

Maintain regulatory standards and avoid potential fines and lawsuits with Accessibility Checker (WCAG and ARIA)

Eliminate embarrassing broken links with Link Checker

Mentions can be used to autocomplete predefined tags, categories or assignees

Let users collaboratively work on content with secure end-to-end encrypted Real-time Collaboration

Enhance peer-to-peer collaboration with Comments and threaded conversations

13 languages supported with Spell Checker Pro

Control and creativity are CMS essentials

Your CMS rich text editor should be a user-friendly component that easily integrates with your CMS. Great ones let users create, format and upload all different types of content elements, while in the back-end it also creates the quality HTML outputs that every developer loves.

When choosing a CMS editor, go with one that is able to scale with you as your business grows and answers both your developer’s need for control as well as your user’s need for creativity. Customization is the key to delivering on both.

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