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Rich Text Editor 2022 Developer Survey shows surprising challenges for industry

Published October 18th, 2022

Between March and June 2023, developers and engineers from 47 countries shared the sometimes harsh realities of working with Rich Text Editors (RTE). Some news was positive, some unchanged and some more nuanced, but the biggest challenge for the industry seems to be nothing to do with the technicalities of the editor. Instead, it lies with its communication.

Di Mace

Marketing Communications Manager at Tiny


One of the clearest signals given by the respondents to the 2022 RTE Developer Survey, was that rich text editor makers need to do a better job of communicating. Specifically, they need to more clearly explain out-of-the-box customizations, to curb the developer belief that they need to create their own custom plugins and functions – when they’re pre-existing within some editors.

Another notable result was that fancy new features still remain a low priority. However, developer friendly features remain very important – getting started quicker, being able to edit the HTML code and improving the UI for users.

The most popular use case remains within CMSs, but usage is widening, with DMS, LMS, CRM, WorkFlow automations and Email all featuring. Users are obviously recognising the benefits of upgrading their RTE capabilities by utilizing a WYSIWYG editor as key componentry within their tech stack.

Most surprising though, is that in a world where new technology, new features and upgrades attract all the attention, the formula for RTE success remains uncomplicated:

  • Do the basics really well
  • Fundamentals matter more than fancy features
  • Provide an easy, intuitive and secure user experience
  • Clearly show and explain the opportunities for customization

It's that simple.

Read the full survey report

View Report

What's your industry?

In 2022 a greater diversity of industries was reflected in the responses. This could suggest that RTEs are becoming more entwined within software of every kind, and are becoming industry agnostic. It could also suggest more industries are realizing they can upgrade the RTE in their tech stack and have therefore broadened their use case application.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • A significant change from 2021 to 2022, after ‘Computer Software’ was removed from the list of options due to poor (industry-specific) data being obtained in 2021.
  • In 2021 eCommerce & Retail was mid-range, but in 2022 has risen to second place.
  • Higher percentage of ‘Consulting & Services’ responses, however, may be reflective of a pseudo ‘Unsure’ classification

What kind of development work does your company do?

The 2022 results highlight that once again the majority of RTE users are primarily either developing SaaS software or websites. This year ‘OEM’ was added as a separate option, versus commercial software product development, to better gauge if respondents self-identified as makers of components or complete SaaS solutions.

Note: The 2022 survey endeavored to better understand the in-house and custom-tailored applications undertaken, as well as gather more detail on what encompasses ‘website’ development work. It’s likely that future surveys will further refine this question, to more clearly define potential areas of RTE usage.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Higher percentage in 2022 focusing on commercial software – going from 26% to 41%.
  • Similarly, internal software decreased – from 17% to 10%.
  • Websites increased – from 27% to 31% of respondents.
  • This could be a sign that more SaaS products are utilizing RTEs.

What kind of applications are being built?

Continuing last year’s trend and their historically close relationship, CMS was by far the most popular use case for an RTE. Although this is to be expected, given that CMSs and websites are the most popular use cases for rich text editors. That said, there's also deeper usage within CMS aligned areas such as Document Management, CRMs, LMS and Workflow, where their advantages are also being identified and organizations are now pursuing the need for rich text editing components.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • More accurate reflection of the market size and potential of various use cases.
  • Marked increase of 2% for the Collaboration use case.
  • A 1% increase for the ERP/Commerce use case.
  • The ‘Type of application’ options were changed in 2022 due to poor (use case specific) data being obtained in 2021.
  • The ‘Website’ option was also removed to better clarify the CMS use case.

Download and read the full survey report

Download PDF

Have you needed to customize your rich text editor?

This new question was added in 2022 to better understand how much customization is undertaken on a rich text editor and how developers interact with various configurations. Most notable in the results is that despite the number of feature-rich editors (and advanced plugins) available, there’s a number of developers still working on custom plugins for their RTE instance. In addition to that, almost half look to customize the UI to fit their particular app.

Note: This question allows people to select multiple options.

What challenges are you currently experiencing with your rich text editing solution?

When looking at the 2022 results, it seems that developers want a RTE that focuses on a great ‘User experience’ that they know will work when they need it to work.

Note: The below table is done in priority order of major challenges.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • A similar trend to the 2021 results.
  • Security remains to be chief concern for developers, with their RTE.
  • Results suggest that the fundamentals of a rich text editor are of most importance to developers.

What are the most important features needed in a rich text editor?

The 2022 results show that developers rank ‘Security’, ‘Responsivity’ and ‘Customizability’ as ‘Extremely important’ in their rich text editor. The second most notable result was that new, cool, and fancy features still aren’t a top priority.

Developer friendly features remain important – getting started quicker, being able to edit the HTML code and customizing the editor.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Few changes from the 2021 results, where Security ranked the highest, followed by a lack of interest in new features.
  • Several new options were added in 2022 – around areas such as UI – but only ranked as ‘Mildly important’ for respondents.
  • Confirms the 2021 data that focusing on the core fundamentals of the RTE system seems to be of key importance to the RTE market.

Download and read the full survey report

Download PDF
Number of responses. Click tabs to change results view

Frequently asked questions

How can I read the full report?

Read and download the complete RTE 2022 Developer Survey Results here

Did only TinyMCE users take the survey?

No, it was open to all software professionals across various industries, roles, and geographic locations

How can I ask questions or give feedback

Please direct questions or comments about the survey to team@tiny.cloud

I’d like to participate in the next survey. Can I sign up for alerts?

The best way to receive news about the Rich Text Editor Survey is to sign up for our monthly newsletter

author

Di Mace

Marketing Communications Manager

Messaging strategist and copywriter whose passion lies in working with brands like Tiny, that have deep-seated values and embrace the power of their story. She gets a kick out of solving problems, loves learning new things and making stuff, every day. When she’s not thinking through clever copy lines or clarifying value propositions, she’s knitting amazing socks for everyone she knows.

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