How-tos & Tutorials
Do rich text editors positively affect your product’s revenue growth?
Published April 13th, 2022
You’re probably asking yourself, what does revenue growth have to do with the rich text editor you select for your product. And, on the surface, it’s a seemingly odd connection. But, let’s explore how they’re linked.
Sr. Director of Marketing at Tiny
An investigation into which rich text editor (RTE) component should be incorporated in your product, is often sparked by an uncomfortable discovery. That realization usually relates to the news that a wider or deeper scope of rich-text editing features is needed for the product.
Given an editor is often intrinsic to your product, here’s your first connection to revenue: advanced RTE features = deeper product use → more revenue.
Let’s continue. Usually, the search begins with Google, continues into StackOverflow, and is possibly expanded on Github – you may even even ask trusted sources for their opinion. You’ll also likely consider the various RTE commercial plans, ensure the component has a suitable license, that it delivers reliable support and SLA’s for your dev team and that it can be hosted as needed – be that cloud-based or self-hosted.
But to be honest, that's an ideal investigative list. Sadly, once the initial feature comparison of the various text editors on the market is complete, most people stop their evaluation. Which is far from ideal for your users, and your market growth.
Why is that?
It’s likely you're building a product to serve others, therefore it shouldn't be a matter of ticking off a shortlist of things you’re looking to include right now. To succeed and grow, you need a text editor that helps drive your product forward – that delivers more to users, and helps your product stand out from the competition.
That’s your second connection point with revenue: best in class RTE = wider product purchases → more revenue.
3 ways rich text editors affect revenue growth
- Advanced RTE features = deeper product use → more revenue
- Best in class RTE = wider product purchases → more revenue
- Evolution of your RTE = new user opportunities → more revenue
The impact of a quality rich text editor
According to our research, choosing and using a quality rich text editor can:
- Decrease support tickets by up to 90%
- Increase the user engagement of a platform by 85%
- Increase developer velocity and save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year
- Save your end user 10+ years when creating content
- Increase both customer gross retention and customer net retention
Based on those stats, you could just choose one of the most popular open source editors and call it a day.
Then again, you may want total control over your editor, so (at least on the surface) it could make sense to investigate building your own RTE in-house. But building a rich text editor is far beyond what most developers initially consider, which is why most rich text editor specialists have large, dedicated teams of developers – all with deep domain knowledge – working on them year-round.
Many people who build their own RTE, find that they've underestimated the features and system complexities. They also underestimate the iterative bugs that demand constant attention, while both users and the market force your editor to constantly evolve.
Your final connection point to revenue has just emerged: evolution of your RTE = new user opportunities → more revenue.
However, your three points of (RTE-influenced) revenue growth doesn't happen organically. Nor does it happen with every RTE, or a set-and-forget solution. It comes from carefully selecting, and integrating the rich text editor that does the most for your product’s long-term growth, by considering four key aspects:
RTE Support and community
Not all editors are built on the same underlying principles, and that directly affects which one is the best solution for your product. One of the most important considerations is whether the editor is able to partner with you for long-term revenue growth, and if they have adequate support and community to help – should you need it – when installing, updating or customizing.
True support goes much deeper than tickets, access to a dedicated team or an open forum to answer questions. You need to consider:
- Are they supporting you by investing in their editor?
– If they are, it means you don’t need to worry about long-term support of your platform, or going out of date.
- Does it support the browser you need?
- Does the editor have first-party (not community) integrations with the framework you need?
- Does it come in the language you need out-of-the-box?
At the time of writing this article, this is where the major rich text editors stand on integrations, customizable UI, languages supported.
What browsers are your users using? Will your product work if you choose the wrong editor for your product? For example, TinyMCE is the only editor who has an ongoing commitment to support legacy browser types, not just modern browsers.
|TinyMCE||CKEditor 4||CKEditor 5||Froala||Quill||Slate||Tiptap|
|Frameworks actively supported||16||5||4||16||5||2||6|
Does not come with a pre-build UI (headless)
|Professional language translations||40||39||9||38||0||0||N/A|
That all looks great, but you also need to consider the more traditional forms of support:
- If there’s a major bug, is it going to be fixed, or do you have to rely on your own developers, or the community to fix it for you?
24/7 support is something that a pure open source editor is unable to provide, and not even all commercial editors want to provide that level of support. Here’s a snapshot (as at July 2022) of the state of support and documentation provided by the major editors on the market.
The TinyMCE editor has enterprise grade SLA’s and makes commitments to fix serious bugs and issues. There’s a transparent ticketing process (so you can see your feature requests) and can talk directly with our product team (when applicable), about your idea and what you’re hoping to achieve.
Docs and Support
|TinyMCE||CKEditor 4||CKEditor 5||Froala||Quill||Slate||Tiptap|
|Community Support |
|Number of support tickets per month||2+||2+||2+||0+||0+|
|Dedicated Account Manager|
|Phone Support Available|
RTE UI and user interactions
How can the editor’s UI impact your product's revenue growth?
Investing in a UI can increase revenue for your product by up to 32%. In fact, some reports even say that for every dollar invested into UI, it increases revenue by $10 – $100, so by choosing an editor that has the most modern UI available, your product could automatically be gaining revenue (via the editors’ investment in UI).
But not all editors provide out-of-the-box UI’s to insert into your product. It’s not an easy (or cheap) thing to create, and you can unnecessarily occupy your developer resources in the creation of a UI that:
- Isn’t accessible
- Isn’t following the latest UI/UX practices
- Isn’t extensively researched and tested – to understand user interactions, expectations and desires
- Isn’t able to seamlessly fade into the background of your product
- Does the editor you’re selecting have a dedicated, robust QA and process that checks each of these interactions with every release of the product?
It’s easy to think a rich text editor UI is simple, but it’s made up of many complex, hard to understand pieces.
In fact, in an average simple RTE, something as innocuous as the ‘Enter’ key performs over 100 different actions depending on where you are and what you’re doing. That doesn’t take into consideration browser compatibility or other dependencies based on what you have built into your product.
In its most recent major release (March 2022) TinyMCE 6.0 has the most modern UI, and it’s the first editor to fully support both desktop and mobile editing.
What does security have to do with revenue?
Many believe that security sits on the ‘cost’ line – after all it’s being done to protect all work from the cost of cyber attacks. In and of itself, that’s a good enough reason to invest in security, but it also can increase revenue. By creating trust and ensuring the editing experience is being done in a secure environment, revenue can increase through greater loyalty (and usage) of your product.
All that said, let's be honest: security is always on developer’s minds. Of late, the LogJ4 security vulnerability placed a spotlight on the importance of security, particularly with open source components.
So let’s address the elephant in the room:
- How secure is the open source (or commercially available) rich text editor you are using?
– One of the major issues with the LogJ4 situation, was that it’s entirely open source – therefore it solely relies upon the wider development community to maintain, patch and fix these vulnerabilities. But there are other blended or hybrid models that use the best of open source core, with an overlay of paid plugins.
However, if you’re working on a professional, enterprise or compliance driven tool, you may not be able to use a true open source component – especially if security is key to your product. In those cases, a fully commercial plan may be the answer.
A blended model (open source plus paid premium plugins) like TinyMCE, carries all the benefits of an open source product. But, when there’s a major security flaw there’s a paid professional development team, and a dedicated Security and Threat Committee that kicks in 24/7 to work on addressing and fixing any (and if) any vulnerabilities occur.
The final consideration for a rich text editor for your project is the ease of extensibility of the component. While the editor you’ve selected may have the features you need right now, ask yourself… What about long-term?
However, a fully commercialized option may not expose all the API’s you need, and could violate the terms and conditions of your purchase agreement. Likewise, an unsupported open source alternative may not have the long-term API support you need and if the APIs you rely on go out of date, your development team ends up maintaining code that’s part of the core editor – just to keep your extensions running.
Here’s some numbers that can add greater depth to the financial implications of this area. When the build cost of an advanced spell check feature runs to over $750K and over $40K a year to maintain, it's worth making sure the editor component you’re investing in, plans to continue to support your development work.
TinyMCE has a professional team that’s constantly working on updates and upgrades. Sometimes though you have a niche requirement that your own developer resources need to build. This is where our framework style system can assist. With an open source core and hundreds of API’s available to extend, change and mold TinyMCE into what you need, it's simple and easy to extend the functionality of the editor.
The final decision on your rich text editor
The rich text editor that’s right for one product may not be right for another.
It’s most definitely a case-by-case, use-by-use decision that needs to be made in line with your product roadmap, development needs and long-term vision. Regardless of the outcome though, it does pay to do your research.
To get started investigating if TinyMCE is the right option for you:
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