Inline HTML editors vs Page Builders:
The growing void
Inline HTML editor: TinyMCE and the Webflow page-builder Interface
There’s a growing void between the functionality you will currently find within inline WYSIWYG HTML editors and the tools and features that can be found in some very cool website page builder systems. More and more end users are expecting great UI and UX coupled with easy to use tools similar to the ones that these platforms offer.
However, a downside to website page builders, is that they’re generally wrapped up in a platform that restricts them to a specific market of non commercial or small business websites - these types of sites generally operate fine within the confines and restrictions of a hosted platform. If you choose to leave a platform, some operators offer a packaging tool to export your code statically, others do not - but both options are not ideal.
Where does that leave traditional CMS web developers? - the clever guys that build bespoke integration tools, e-commerce systems or other large scale data driven websites that simply couldn’t be built using a page builder platform.
Our clients have aired their frustrations with us on a regular basis, as they wanted the flexibility to edit layout and amend more that just the text. These standard inline html editors only really allow you to edit text or place an image, unless you were happy writing html code directly in source mode.
Other widely used CMS environments have had some excellent page builder type plugins written for them. WordPress is a great example; but for me, using shortcodes to embed templates was still a step too far away from the nuts and bolts of how things work. Quite often your website is then reliant on those plugins to generate and render the final html code or allow you to actually edit the content, so even in that scenario you are locked into both a plugin and a platform.
This conundrum got us thinking, our clients and I’m sure, many other web-developers clients, all struggle to do anything useful other than editing text with these tools, it’s no surprise, have you ever tried to actually create or amend a complex class based html layout in one? It is possible yes, but it’s definitely not ideal. So, we thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was an inline html editor that could deliver some of what these new web-builder platforms did and maybe even more besides - working with your content, your designs and your CSS, not a handful of (sometimes very good - I’m not knocking anyones hard work or design skills) standard structural templates based upon different business or design genres.
We decided to develop rgeEditor, aiming at the middle ground between the standard inline WYSIWYG editors and the easy to use page / web-builders. It soon became apparent that rgeEditor had made us change the way that we worked. We had found ourselves no longer creating our designs and layouts offline and uploading them into our CMS, we had started using our editor to actually build and create content. This then led us to build a whole host of new tools to aid the developer, not just the end user.
we embraced content management on the move, ensuring it also worked well on mobile and tablet devices
We would now like to share our creation with the world, and hope that not
only web-developers will embrace rgeEditor but their clients and content
administrators will also see it as a breath of fresh air. Maybe even
discouraging them from thinking the grass is greener elsewhere, in the
land of the glossy platform dependent web builder, when their current
CMS might just have some life left in it yet.
Written by: Peter Blay
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You can review the rgeEditor feature-set along with some handy tutorials, or go straight to the demo section. There you will find fully working demos utilising both the Bootstrap CSS framework and Zurbs Foundation framework as working examples of how the editor and its template / page builder system works. You’ll also find some 3rd party demos that allow you to edit the Apple, Audi and even the Whitehouse websites within your browser using rgeEditor. Some users have even found it to be a useful learning tool, seeing how a webpage has been constructed and have hours of fun making amendments, switching out images and re-jigging the layout.
Downloads are available for the custom installation, plus easy to install plugins for both WordPress and Joomla. Register your interest now and receive a free 30 day trial for one of your websites. We’ll send you your unique key within the next few weeks, but until then, get acquainted with rgeEditor through the demos and tutorials on our website.