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9 Best WYSIWYG Editors for Developers in 2023

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Choosing the right WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor is crucial for developers looking to build web applications and websites. With so many options available, it can get overwhelming to pick the perfect one for your needs.

This comprehensive guide will explore the 9 best WYSIWYG editors for developers in 2023 based on features, ease of use, customizability, and more.

What is a WYSIWYG Editor?

A WYSIWYG editor is a visual HTML editor that allows you to see changes live as you make them. You don‘t need to know HTML/CSS coding to use these editors. They generate the code for you in the background.

The main benefit of WYSIWYG editors is that anyone can use them to edit web page content without coding knowledge. They are beginner-friendly but powerful enough for experienced developers too.

Key Features of a Good WYSIWYG Editor

When evaluating WYSIWYG editors, here are some important features to look for:

  • Intuitive interface – Easy to use drag and drop interface with minimal clutter.

  • Code view – Ability to view and edit raw HTML/CSS code.

  • Customizability – Extend functionality with plugins, skins, themes etc.

  • Collaboration – Real-time co-editing and comments.

  • Responsive media – Handle images, videos and other media responsively.

  • Accessibility – Tools to make content accessible for people with disabilities.

  • Support – Good documentation, community forums, customer support etc.

  • Security – Protection against XSS attacks, data encryption etc.

  • Integration – APIs and integrations with CMSs, backends, frameworks etc.

  • Output formatting – Proper semantic output, clean code export etc.

Now let‘s look at the top 9 WYSIWYG editors recommended for developers in 2023.

1. TinyMCE

TinyMCE is an open-source, customizable WYSIWYG editor trusted by over 25% of the web. It integrates seamlessly into any tech stack and has a simple core API.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop interface with minimal clutter
  • 4000+ plugins in the TinyMarket
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Accessibility checker and screen reader support
  • Advanced image tools
  • Customizable toolbar, menus, buttons and icons
  • Auto-saves and version history
  • Extensive documentation and active community support

TinyMCE is highly customizable to match your branding and can handle editing needs from basic to advanced. It‘s used by companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and more.

Pricing starts at $29/month for their hosted cloud offering but the core is open-source and free.

2. CKEditor 5

CKEditor 5 is a modern, extensible WYSIWYG editor for creating rich text content in your web applications and sites. It has a modular architecture and customizable UI.

Key Features

  • Collaborative editing with comments, suggestions, and tracking changes
  • Ability to edit code directly in the editor
  • Media embeds, tables and other rich text features
  • Output data validation and XSS protection
  • Word and PDF export while retaining styles
  • Accessibility checker and screen reader support
  • Customizable toolbar, icons and branding
  • Folder management for uploading assets
  • APIs and SDKs for integrating into apps and frameworks

CKEditor 5 is built with flexibility and customization in mind. It works great for projects of all sizes.

They offer a free developer version with limited features and paid plans starting at $19/month per developer.

3. Froala Editor

Froala Editor is an easy-to-implement JavaScript WYSIWYG editor with a simple interface containing over 100 features.

Key Features

  • Lightweight at only 100kB
  • Inline editing mode
  • Drag and drop image uploads
  • Tables, code view, emoji support and more
  • Collaborative editing
  • 35+ plugins like autocomplete, search & replace etc.
  • Themable design studio for customization
  • API adapters for integration into frameworks
  • AIR mode for distraction free editing
  • Good documentation and customer support

Froala Editor is used by companies like Dropbox, Stripe, Forbes, etc. It works seamlessly across devices and has detailed integration guides for all major frameworks.

Pricing starts at $99/year for 1 developer and unlimited personal sites.

4. Quill

Quill is a free, open-source modern WYSIWYG editor built for the web. It has an expressive API and modular architecture.

Key Features

  • Completely customizable and themable
  • Inline formatting tools
  • Embed videos, images, links etc.
  • Collaborative editing ready
  • Cross-browser support
  • Access content as JSON or HTML
  • Extensible with custom modules
  • No JQuery required
  • Small size – 36kB gzipped

Quill provides full control over the editor‘s structure, styling and behavior. Large companies like Airbnb, LinkedIn, Groupon use Quill for its customizability.

The core library is free to use without restrictions, even for commercial projects.

5. Summernote

Summernote is a simple, customizable WYSIWYG editor that works with Bootstrap 3 and 4. The core library is only 35kB minified.

Key Features

  • Minimalistic interface
  • Code mirror for syntax highlighting
  • Drag and drop image handler
  • Video and file embeds
  • Air mode for distraction free editing
  • Themes and custom icons
  • Localization in over 35 languages
  • Active community and good documentation

Summernote is easy to extend with plugins and has detailed guides for integrating it with various frameworks. It works across all modern browsers.

Since Summernote is open-source (MIT license), you can use it for free without any restrictions.

6. CKEditor 4

CKEditor 4 is the battle-tested, mature solution with thousands of features and options. It supports a wide variety of websites, applications, and devices.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and fast loading
  • 1000+ plugins in the Add-on Repository
  • Accessibility Checker and other compliance tools
  • Collaborative editing add-ons
  • Powerful API and event system
  • 70+ languages and localization add-ons
  • Hundreds of open-source skins and icon sets
  • Integrates into frameworks like React, Angular, Vue.js etc.

CKEditor 4 has been powering sites like Facebook, Adobe, Forbes, eBay, etc. for over 15 years with continuous updates. It‘s a proven, reliable choice suitable for any use case.

Pricing starts at $19/month but a free version is available for non-commercial use.

7. Edtr.io

Edtr.io is a react component containing a tailor-made WYSIWYG editor optimized for speed and extensibility.

Key Features

  • Lightning fast and optimized for large documents
  • Collaborative editing
  • Modular architecture
  • Customizable toolbar and UI
  • React friendly – works with popular frameworks
  • Typescript support
  • CDN hosting to load fast globally
  • Document versioning
  • Media embeds, code blocks and other formatting

Edtr.io is built using modern web standards like React and Typescript. The editor itself is lightweight but highly configurable.

Pricing starts at $8/month for 5 editors. Free plan available for 1 editor.

8. Editor.js

Editor.js is an open-source block-styled editor that outputs clean JSON data.

Key Features

  • Works offline
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Cross-platform – websites, mobile, desktop apps
  • Modular blocks for different content types
  • Plugin API to create custom blocks
  • Output content as JSON
  • Lightweight and no dependencies
  • Code highlight and markdown support
  • Active Slack community

Editor.js gives you full control over the structure of content blocks and output data. It‘s used by companies like Evver, Brandastic, and HotJar.

The MIT license allows Editor.js to be used in commercial projects for free as well.

9. PenEditor

PenEditor is an extensible editor built with Rust that focuses on performance and reliability.

Key Features

  • Blazing fast – loads in 3ms locally
  • Modular architecture
  • Collaborative editing
  • React, Vue, Svelte support
  • Customizable toolbar and UI
  • Programmatic access to editor content
  • Autosaving with versioning
  • Media embeds, markdown support and more
  • Typescript friendly

By building with Rust and WebAssembly, PenEditor achieves incredible speeds while being customizable. It‘s suitable for any use case from simple blogs to enterprise apps.

PenEditor is free for open-source and non-commercial use. Paid plans start at $14/month.


Key Considerations When Choosing a WYSIWYG Editor

When selecting a WYSIWYG editor, keep these aspects in mind:

Open Source vs Paid

Open source editors like Quill and Summernote give you unrestricted use of a good quality editor for free. But they lack official support channels.

Paid options like TinyMCE and CKEditor provide extensive documentation, security updates, dedicated support and advanced features. But they involve a recurring licensing cost.

Customizability Needs

If you want to heavily customize the editor‘s interface and features, choose extensible tools like TinyMCE and CKEditor.

For simple styling tweaks, you can use out-of-the-box editors like PenEditor and Froala.

Output Requirements

Some tools like Editor.js give structured JSON output while others generate generic HTML content. Pick one that meets your output needs.

Framework Compatibility

Ensure the editor integrates easily with your stack – React, Angular, Vue.js etc. Some have first-class framework support.

Learning Curve

WYSIWYG editors like Summernote and Froala are easy for beginners. Tools like CKEditor and TinyMCE have a steeper learning curve but unlock more advanced capabilities.


Conclusion

The right WYSIWYG editor can greatly boost your productivity while building sites and web applications. Evaluate your needs carefully and choose one that fits well.

While open source options work for simple use cases, paid tools like TinyMCE, CKEditor and Froala are great for advanced projects. They provide an enterprise-grade experience with official support channels.

Focus on core editor features, customizability, framework integration, output formatting, collaboration support and documentation quality during your evaluation process.

With the growing web ecosystem, more developer-friendly WYSIWYG editors are sure to emerge. But the 9 discussed here are robust, proven solutions that will serve you well in 2023 and beyond.

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