Text editor developers in 2023: 77% say a rich text editor is critical to their app
5 min read
Rich text editors (RTEs) are finally receiving their well overdue kudos. Usually considered a small-fry front-end UI component, they’re now a core component of almost every tech tool used, and their success or failure significantly impacts an organizations’ tech stack. Their long-armed reach is clearly evident, with 50% of developers now managing, updating or developing with one, at least once a month. And, 70% recognise that a rich text editor is critical to their application or product.
Director, Content and Communications at Tiny
The full spectrum of engineers, not just a sliver, use them: full-stack (26.1%), front-end (13.4%) and back-end (11.4%) developers use them, as well as numerous other professions. But their surprisingly complexity – the ‘Bold’ button can have 40+ different calls and interactions – means that 58% of developers recognise buying and working with a ready-made editor component is the most efficient approach, versus building your own from scratch.
Thankfully, digital transformation and pushes for faster speed-to-market have helped to retire the old beliefs in custom-building everything or buying monolithic systems. In their wake, a more agile approach is used, that assembles third-party components (including rich text editors) into a flexible, reusable tech stack.
That’s why rich text editors are now touching so many more engineers' work lives.
Read on for the developer insights that emerged in the 2023 State of Rich Text Editor Developer Survey, that are shaping the world of rich text editing.
How important is rich text editing to your platform/product/application?
Rich text editing is an essential component of many applications and products, but it's important to understand how crucial rich text editing is for a product or users' specific needs.
According to the results, a significant majority, 77%, consider rich text editing to be critical to their application or product.
However, the number of participants who believe a rich text editor is not important, is almost negligible.
These findings indicate a growing market demand for rich text editing components that can be easily adapted and customized to match their unique application or product.
How often do you manage, update or develop with rich text editors?
A large percentage of professionals are actively engaged with their rich text editor on a regular basis.
Approximately 50% managing, updating, or developing with their editor at least once a month.
This frequent interaction with the tools contributes to a stronger integration of the rich text editor within their product/application, effectively making it more sticky’.
On the flip side though, it calls attention to any bugs or issues encountered during daily use, because they’re encountering them so often. These provide development opportunities (either inhouse or by RTE suppliers) for improvements in the user experience. Regardless, the consistent management of rich text editors by developers and users, highlights their importance and top-of-mind nature, as an integral aspect of their workflow.
The breadth of engineers who work with rich text editors could be driven by the needs of working with them – developers require both the access and skills to build connections between certain back-end aspects of products and apps.
Around 25% of participants identify as full-stack developers, while another 25% are either front-end or back-end developers.
About 40% hold formal developer titles, while the remaining roles, including product managers and executives, are fairly evenly distributed across multiple roles.
This highlights the diverse range of professionals managing rich text editors and indicates that while developers make up a significant proportion of the users, there’s a wide range of other roles who find themselves managing a RTE in the course of their work. It’s worth noting that the distribution of these roles has remained consistent year-over-year, with a slightly higher representation of product managers in this year’s sample.
How many years experience do you have in developing with rich text editors?
40% are new to the job (ie. less than 5 years’ professional experience).
60% are more tenured professionals, with at least 6 years’ experience.
This distribution has implications for implementation and onboarding, as it may need to be tailored to accommodate both information for less experienced professionals, as well as streamlined for more experienced pros.
Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of rich text editor providers to maintain a high level of continuous innovation, as well as staying abreast of the latest developer tools, languages, and feature requirements, because the new job entrants may bring new or different expectations and needs to the table.
What’s your preferred programming language at work?
What front-end technologies do you use most often at work?
When it comes to front-end technologies, most people use regular HTML, CSS, JS, as well as Bootstrap and JQuery. These are the dominant frameworks in the industry. However, our participant responses reveal that there’s a considerable variety of other technologies being used. This suggests that although the industry tends to standardize around popular frameworks, there’s room for different technologies to thrive alongside them.
It's important to note that the popular frameworks are not the only options available and there’s no monopoly in this field.
Frequently asked questions
How can I read the full report?
Read the complete RTE 2023 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Director, Content and Communications
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.