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developer insights

Text editor developers in 2022: Survey says RTEs are core component of everything

Published October 3rd, 2022

Usually considered a front-end UI component and/or API, it appears Rich Text Editors (RTEs) aren’t the shy components we all thought. They’re being used across the full spectrum of engineers: full-stack developers (46.9%), front-end (13.7%) and back-end (12.6%) developers.

Di Mace

Marketing Communications Manager at Tiny

RTEs have become a core component of almost every tech tool we use today, reaching into every hidden corner of an organization’s tech (and martech) stack. But, as one of the most surprisingly complex components to create – the ‘Bold’ button can have 40+ different calls and interactions – building your own RTE isn’t something that just any developer can achieve.

Plus, the need for faster speed-to-market has forced old belief in custom-building all your own technology into retirement. A more agile approach has emerged, that assembles rich text editor components into a flexible, reusable tech stack. And that's the exact reason they’re touching so many more Engineers' work lives.

Read the full survey report

View Report

Who responded?

Just like last year, primarily it’s full stack developers who are working with rich text editors, despite usually being considered a front-end UI component and/or API.

The breadth of Engineers who are now working with rich text editors could be due to the fact that working with them requires both access and the skills to build connections between some back-end aspects of products and apps.

CHANGES from 2021

Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • A shift occurred with more engineers1 responding – 76.72% in 2022 compared to 63.79% in 2021.
  • May be influenced by a large drop in the self-selections of “Other” – down from 39 in 2021 to 9 in 2022.
  • Additional job titles were added to the list of title options, which could account for the change.

Titles compared: Developer full-stack, Developer front–end, developer back-end and Engineering Manager

How many years experience do you need to use RTEs?

In the last twelve months, it appears there's a shift underway towards mid-career developers more often utilizing RTEs, than senior oriented developers. This could indicate the advances made by many RTEs – simplifying integrations, configs and setups – have broadened the base of engineers able to work on these complex pieces of componentry.

CHANGES from 2021

Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Shift away from fresh/new engineers utilizing RTEs.
  • 7% decrease in highly experienced (10+ years) engineers working with RTEs.
  • More mid-level engineers working directly with RTEs.

How often do people really develop with their editor?

Many of us who are end users of rich text editors, bounce in and out of them all day long. Whether you’re writing content, entering customer data in your CRM or taking notes for a project, there are plenty of great WYSIWYG editors to help make your work easier and more productive.

Historical assumptions have been that developers integrate their rich text editing component and only intermittently interact with it when an upgrade is needed. These results overturn that assumption for the second year running. If they weren’t interacting with the editor, we’d expect developers to have chosen ‘Rarely’ but instead they've selected ‘Sometimes’, which infers that many developers are touching their editor much more frequently than expected.

CHANGES from 2021

Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • There’s a noticeable shift in 2022, where more people are ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Frequently’ working with RTEs.
  • In turn, there’s a 6% drop in ‘Never’ and 6% drop ‘Always’ developing with RTEs.
  • Results could be skewed by a greater number of self-identified ‘Engineers’ in 2022 (by %), and those roles having a higher likelihood of interacting with RTEs.

Download and read the full survey report

Download PDF

Preferred programming languages

Programming languages are important to understand, and it's vital to understand what language developers favor. This allows RTE makers to better understand the languages they should be compatible with. PHP is still predominant, followed by JavaScript – and while there’s a cluster of other languages noted, just as significant is a segment of no-code respondents using rich text editors.

CHANGES from 2021

Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • Javascript is becoming more popular.
  • Could indicate that developers are beginning to standardize on more familiar languages.
  • Dramatic decrease in “niche” languages being selected.

What front end framework do you use?

In 2022, ‘React’ raced ahead of ‘Bootstrap’ as the preferred framework to use in development work. From the results, it appears there’s no variance between the ‘Preferred’ (see above Q&A) and the ‘Used’ frameworks. As was the case in 2021, this could signify the importance of APIs for custom work and the need for quality documentation and 24/7 support to answer integration queries from developers.

CHANGES from 2021

Digging into the details of the raw data:

  • React is a more popular framework choice in 2022 versus 2021.
  • Slight percentage increase in JQuery.
  • Regular HTML/CSS has slipped in popularity.
  • Could be a potential standardization of popular frameworks and less use of niche frameworks in products.

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


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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