React WYSIWYG HTML Editor – Why it’s helpful for developers


React WYSIWYG HTML Editor – How helpful is it for developers?

Photo by Lautaro Andreani on Unsplash

React, an open source JavaScript library developed by Meta (formerly Facebook), is one of the most popular front-end tools. It allows developers to build Single-Page Applications (SPAs) easily with its stateful component support, versatility, and JSX (JavaScript XML) support. Developers can also implement a React WYSIWYG HTML Editor (what you see is what you get) for rich text editing. This makes React perfect for various applications with tons of content that needs to be shared and modified. 

For instance, use of React is widespread among social media apps. In these apps, feature-rich editors are necessary for posting content, adding comments, or sending messages. Users expect features like emojis, file uploads, image handling, advanced formatting, and so on to be available in most in-app text editors nowadays. Because of the heavy content needs of most apps, developers almost always need to include a rich text editor of some kind. 

A WYSIWYG HTML editor is a versatile tool just for this. It lets end users make changes to a page without explicitly changing the code. These changes include content posting/editing, document handling, and even website building. Wherever content is, you can expect to see such an editor in the app. 

React developers need to build on the basic textarea and add more features. They can either programmatically add these features themselves or integrate a third-party React WYSIWYG HTML editor. In this post, we’ll explore both of these options. More importantly, we will be looking at how these editors can help developers make React applications with superb content capabilities. 

How does React handle content editing?

Content editing in React involves using a textarea component that’s slightly different from HTML’s textarea. Its value is placed in the “value” attribute instead of within the textarea tags. This allows developers to easily handle changes within the textarea. To learn more about React textareas, click here

Like in most web frameworks and libraries, the default textarea would be insufficient for complete or modern editing requirements. Developers would then need to transform a standard textarea (or an equivalent component) into a full-blown WYSIWYG HTML editor. 

Making your own vs integrating a ready-made React WYSIWYG HTML editor

So how exactly do you turn a normal textarea or other HTML component into a WYSIWYG HTML editor? As we said earlier, there are two options, which are making your own and using a third-party editor. Just to be clear, there is no better option between the two, but there are areas where one excels more than the other. You will just have to assess your requirements and the factors that come with implementing each of these choices. 

  1. WYSIWYG editor from scratch

The most seasoned developers with time and resources in their hands may benefit more from creating their own WYSIWYG editor. It could take them longer, but in the end, they’ll have the exact editor that they want. To build their own modern React editor, they will have to add a lot more features to a basic component. These may include basic rich text formatting, exporting to PDF, browser compatibility, tables, file uploads, real-time editing, autosaving, and more. Now, let’s explore the pros and cons of making a WYSIWYG editor from scratch: 

  • Advantages
      • You can customize the editor to have just the features and look you want
      • You can reuse the same editor for as many future projects as you need
      • You’ll have no extra cost right away
  • Disadvantages
    • Lots of maintenance that you’d have to handle (bug fixes, compatibility, new features, etc.). 
    • The more features and better quality you want for your editor, the more time you’ll have to spend developing
    • If you choose to include a lot of features, you would have to take time optimizing the editor to prevent severe slowdowns 
    • It might take you more time to implement accessibility and language support for compliance
  1. Third-party WYSIWYG editor

Alternatively, developers can opt to integrate a ready-made WYSIWYG editor in their React app. Unlike making one from scratch, implementing a third-party editor doesn’t require much coding proficiency. These are usually easy to integrate, with some needing you to load some scripts that load the editor through CDN. These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a third-party editor: 

  • Advantages
      • Leading WYSIWYG editors already have every feature that users currently need for editing
      • No maintenance necessary
      • You can integrate and implement a full-featured editor in minutes or even seconds, cutting plenty of development time
      • You’ll be able to focus on your more important features
      • A few editors can be very fast despite the generous number of features
      • Most already comply with regulations such as Section 508 Accessibility Program (click here to learn more about this)
      • Some third-party editors are just as customizable in terms of styling and theming as the ones made from scratch
      • The best editors today are usually using a modular architecture, meaning you can include only the plugins for the features that you need, which further increases customizability and extensibility
      • Some are open source, while others offer a free trial or free plan
      • Access to helpful documentation
  • Disadvantages
    • Some editors might not be optimized, having plenty of features at the cost of performance
    • Open source editors usually have very basic features
    • Some high-end editors charge you more based on usage

What makes React WYSIWYG HTML editors helpful? 

Whichever way you choose to implement an editor is not much of a concern. What matters is that you have a fast, reliable, and intuitive editor with the features you want for your users. And when you obtain that, you’ll have the best platform for your users to share and consume content. 

In this section, however, we’ll focus more on third-party WYSIWYG editors. This is because these editors are more widespread, being used by individual developers, small businesses, and big names in the industry alike. Furthermore, third-party WYSIWYG editors usually have more editing features. This makes it easier to see what they can bring to React applications compared to ones made from scratch. 

1. React WYSIWYG HTML editors can take care of your app’s content editing, whatever the requirements. 

From social media to email software, Content Management Systems, Learning Management Systems, and more, WYSIWYG HTML editors have the editing features needed for every type of application. So whatever your React application is, as long as there’s content involved, you can use these editors to quickly implement a better way for users to content. 

2. They go very well with React’s principles. 

The best WYSIWYG editors and React have some things in common. One is that they follow modular architecture, meaning developers can control just how much React or WYSIWYG features they use. Another is that they allow your apps to be more scalable. Furthermore, they reduce the lines of code in your apps and make development easier. For these reasons, and the fact that they provide a fast experience for developers and users alike, WYSIWYG editors are a good match for your React applications. 

3. They greatly enhance user experience. 

Leading WYSIWYG editors make user experience a priority. This means that they provide a lightweight, sleek, organized, intuitive, and modern interface. This also means that users will have a seamless editing experience, being able to do their content tasks without difficulty. With proper editor customization, you can make editing in your React application a lot more efficient and enjoyable. 

4. They reduce the amount of maintenance needed. 

Finally, since using third-party WYSIWYG editors means that you’re only linking to some premade files, they significantly reduce the maintenance that you have to do. You won’t have to worry about exerting more effort to fix editor bugs. Similarly, you don’t have to think too much about whether your editor is compatible with some browsers and platforms. A solid WYSIWYG editor should do all these things for you, keeping you focused and free of stress (at least when it comes to content editing). 


In this article, we discussed how React WYSIWYG HTML editors can be helpful to your applications. These editors, much like React, help developers do more in less time without sacrificing product quality. Whenever you have content requirements for your React application, you should always ask yourself if you need a WYSIWYG editor. Chances are, you’ll benefit a lot from integrating one. 

We also compared making your own editor with choosing a third-party editor. Choosing either is very situational, but you will definitely get more (and save more time) by picking a ready-made one. On the other hand, you’ll have total control over your editor’s features and style when you make your own. 

If you do choose to integrate a third-party editor, then Froala is what we recommend. It’s a simple yet powerful, feature-rich yet lightweight, and sleekly designed editor that prioritizes user experience. It has over 100 features, both basic and advanced, and is widely used for various websites and applications. Froala can be loaded in less than 40ms. It has also been used by leaders in the industry like Amazon, Samsung, Apple, and Ebay, to name a few. 

Froala is currently the most affordable paid WYSIWYG editor for React. Its base price is low, for one, and all its features are available for every plan (even the free one). Froala also doesn’t charge per user/developer or usage. Essentially, what you see in its pricing page is quite literally what you get. In the end, whether you choose a ready-made editor like Froala or end up making your own editor matters less. If you use a WYSIWYG editor in your React application, you’ll be improving it in terms of experience and efficiency. 

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Posted on October 18, 2022

Aaron Dumon

Aaron Dumona former writer for Froala, showcased exceptional talent and dedication during their tenure with the company.

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