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Looking for a rich text editor? Start with our Rich Text Editor 2022 Developer Survey report

Published November 15th, 2022

Our Rich Text Editor 2022 Developer Survey results showed signs of users migrating from their existing rich text editor (RTE), to another, more robust component. Especially if it’s an editor that offers greater opportunities for customization. But then again, there's also clear indications that some RTEs are performing better than others and are delivering on their role, really well.

Di Mace

Marketing Communications Manager at Tiny


Rich text editors are crucial components in modern, agile tech stacks. They offer almost limitless opportunities for reuse when deployed via APIs and allow businesses to scale faster, with less drain on development resources. But how those rich text editors perform and how much value they add to an organization's workflow, content management setup, data capture processes and productivity, affects the level of satisfaction felt by its users.

The results showed that images (embedding, editing and integrating) ranked as the most popular RTE feature to improve – with respondents looking for more advanced ways to get images into their application, rather than what they’re able to do with the images.

They also shared their views on the crucial contribution buying a RTE component (rather than building one) can make to the agility, velocity and productivity of every company. It's a must-read section for anyone embarking on that eternal debate of Buy vs Build, a rich text editor.

Read the full survey report

View Report

What rich text editor do you use at the moment?

As with last year’s results, this question provides a snapshot of the many rich text editors on the market. In 2022 TinyMCE remained the top contender, with CKEditor coming in as the second most popular option. Whilst other minor players are mentioned in the responses, they do not make up sizable numbers.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • CKEditor has risen in terms of popularity, as well as Custom-built.
  • TinyMCE has taken an extra 10% of the market with the introduction of TinyMCE 6.

What rich text editors do you use, or have experience in using?

The purpose of this question is to try and understand how many editors people experiment with before selecting a rich text editor to work with.

Similar to last year, it’s obvious that both CKEditor and TinyMCE are the quality rich text editor options on the market. During the process people tend to (a) test different versions and editors (b) try the open source editors, before ultimately making a final selection. This could be a sign that people who’re in the testing stage, find that the two key editors on the market provide a much better quality experience for both developers and end users.

Note: This question allows people to select multiple options.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • The 2022 results show a similar trend to 2021.
  • People try different editors, then decide on either TinyMCE or CKEditor (second choice).

What’s your preferred deployment option for a rich text editor?

Deployment options are an important gauge of the overall market and speed of transformation being undertaken across the digital landscape. ‘Self-Hosted’ is still the preferred option, which is curious, given the general race towards Cloud deployment – to meet the speed expectations when undertaking digit transformation.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Self-hosting has remained the most popular answer across both years.
  • In 2022 a new option was added – “Project dependant” – which was the third most popular response.

In the next 2 years, are you planning to change the way you deploy your rich text editor?

Closely tied to the context of the preceding question, this response gauged people’s readiness for change. Overall, it’s clear that the market isn't open to making rapid changes to how they deploy software. However, there’s clearly an interest in exploring options – so long as there’s no requirement to commit to a specific direction.

That said, with the continued growth in remote working and evolution of Cloud-based rich text editors, there’s clearly interest in moving towards a workplace, based in the cloud.

Download and read the full survey report

Download PDF

What drives your choice to buy a third-party rich text editor (RTE), as opposed to building your own?

It appears the two standout reasons for buying instead of building are ‘Ease of implementation’ as well as ‘Speed of development’, while ’Cost of development’ was a close third response. It’s obvious when time-poor Engineers can rely on a trusted third-party RTE that can be easily implemented and quickly deployed, it makes their job much easier.

The decision to buy is further validated by the knowledge that it takes US$15–28M+ and 115–220 person-years to build the core editor of TinyMCE or CKEditor (excl. Maintenance and extensibility work).

Note: This question allows people to select multiple options.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • The 2022 and 2021 results only differ by a few percentage points.
  • In 2022 an option for ‘APIs’ was added, but does not seem to rate highly in the decision.

The Great Debate: Buy vs Build a Rich Text Editor

Agile businesses are combining buying, subscribing, or renting, with building, to iteratively reshape and assemble a flexible software stack.

DOWNLOAD AND READ THE WHITE PAPER

What drives your choice to build your own rich text editor (RTE) as opposed to using a third-party editor?

As was the case in 2021, it appears the majority of respondents wouldn’t even consider building their own rich text editor from scratch, or using a framework-like solution. This supports the trend that people are after something simple to integrate and customize, rather than having to do the heavy lifting themselves.

Note: This question allows people to select multiple options.

CHANGES from 2021


Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Compared to 2021, flexibility and control ranked more highly in 2022.
  • Cost moved down the list of importance, in 2022.

Based on your experience, what’s the most important thing missing from your rich text editor?

This was a new open-text field question in 2022, to better understand what (desired) features were missing from RTEs. Based on what’s known about the functionality of most editors on the market, they’re all highly customizable. However, the fact respondents have noted ‘Customization’ as something that’s missing could signal that poor documentation and low knowledge of the existence of certain advanced features is widespread.

Images rank as the most popular feature to improve – with respondents looking for more advanced ways to get images into their application, rather than what they’re able to do with the images.

Download and read the full survey report

Download PDF

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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