5 votes

Looking for a Simple WYSIWYG Editor for my Blog

I'm going to be building a simple blog for myself.

Partially I just want something really simple and customizable, and also it will be a fun little programming project.

I'll be using PHP and mySQL for the backend. I won't be using any sort of framework as it shouldn't be necessary for a very simple blog. I'm fairly comfortable with JavaScript.

What I'm imagining is some sort of JavaScript library I can just download, link to my html and then turn a textarea into a simple wysiwyg editor. It could be as simple as a markdown editor or something with a little more features.

It has to be free. Open source would be a plus.

If anyone has any recommendations or advice I would be very grateful. Thanks!

22 comments

  1. [8]
    Bauke
    Link
    TinyMCE could be what you're looking for.

    TinyMCE could be what you're looking for.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      piedpiper
      Link Parent
      I saw that one, but moved on when it asked me to set up an account to download it. It definitely looks like the type of thing I'm looking for though. I may have to try it out, I just hate creating...

      I saw that one, but moved on when it asked me to set up an account to download it. It definitely looks like the type of thing I'm looking for though. I may have to try it out, I just hate creating new accounts for things all the time.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Bauke
        Link Parent
        If you want to use their cloud hosting you have to sign up, but you can also download the JS (the right SDK button) and self-host it. If you're using npm you can get it through there too.

        If you want to use their cloud hosting you have to sign up, but you can also download the JS (the right SDK button) and self-host it. If you're using npm you can get it through there too.

        4 votes
        1. piedpiper
          Link Parent
          ahh, thank you for that. This is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for.

          ahh, thank you for that. This is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for.

          2 votes
      2. [4]
        aphoenix
        Link Parent
        As @bauke said I think that's only for their cloud version - I believe their source is on GitHub if you'd prefer and it can be installed in a variety of other ways.

        As @bauke said I think that's only for their cloud version - I believe their source is on GitHub if you'd prefer and it can be installed in a variety of other ways.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          piedpiper
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I was being a little too impatient and dismissive. Thanks for the GitHub link.

          Yeah, I was being a little too impatient and dismissive. Thanks for the GitHub link.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            aphoenix
            Link Parent
            No problem. And I think bauke and I are both underselling it - this is very likely what you need. I wouldn't quite call it "industry standard" but it is quite close, and is very full featured. The...

            No problem. And I think bauke and I are both underselling it - this is very likely what you need. I wouldn't quite call it "industry standard" but it is quite close, and is very full featured.

            The other solution might be a Markdown editor like SimpleMDE but I haven't used that one and am not endorsing it.

            2 votes
            1. piedpiper
              Link Parent
              I've actually used SimpleMDE before on another project. It was great, but I think I want a bit more functionality for this project. I've looked a bit through the docs now and I agree, tinyMCE is...

              I've actually used SimpleMDE before on another project. It was great, but I think I want a bit more functionality for this project.

              I've looked a bit through the docs now and I agree, tinyMCE is exactly what I need. Cheers.

              2 votes
  2. [2]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't know if it's the simplest, but I would look at ProseMirror because I have a lot of respect for its author as an expert web developer. Marijn Haverbeke is the author of CodeMirror, a...

    I don't know if it's the simplest, but I would look at ProseMirror because I have a lot of respect for its author as an expert web developer. Marijn Haverbeke is the author of CodeMirror, a well-known JavaScript library for displaying and editing source code.

    3 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Having used Prosemirror professionally, it’s perhaps the least simple option out there. I’d look for a solution that’s based on a single content-editable div.

      Having used Prosemirror professionally, it’s perhaps the least simple option out there. I’d look for a solution that’s based on a single content-editable div.

      3 votes
  3. [2]
    vili
    (edited )
    Link
    I think TinyMCE is pretty good and simple to use, with lots of options for customization and fairly good documentation. It's free and open source, although there are also paid components and...

    I think TinyMCE is pretty good and simple to use, with lots of options for customization and fairly good documentation. It's free and open source, although there are also paid components and services geared for business users. It's been around for something like 20 years. I think WordPress uses (or used?) it for their wysiwyg needs.

    Edit: Sorry, for some reason I didn't see Bauke's reply before I posted mine. I saw just ThatFanficGuy's reply at the time, so I guess I didn't refresh before posting.

    2 votes
    1. piedpiper
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I've been looking through the documentation and it seems like a great option. Simple to implement and customizable. I think the basic code example they have on their docs is really all I...

      Yeah, I've been looking through the documentation and it seems like a great option. Simple to implement and customizable. I think the basic code example they have on their docs is really all I need.

      Thanks.

      1 vote
  4. [6]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    I'm assuming you're meaning to implement a JS front-end to write your blog in. However, may I suggest HTML Notepad? It's a desktop app that renders HTML in the WYSIWYG fashion, while also allowing...

    I'm assuming you're meaning to implement a JS front-end to write your blog in.

    However, may I suggest HTML Notepad? It's a desktop app that renders HTML in the WYSIWYG fashion, while also allowing you to insert any amount of custom HTML into the source, which would then render as WYSIWYG. Note that it only renders HTML: you will have to apply CSS and JS after the fact.

    This would not fit a more complex project, such as interactive-code pages, but it would fit a static blog nicely.

    1 vote
    1. autumn
      Link Parent
      Oh wow, this is an awesome project! Seems like a great tool for teaching HTML, which I used to do back in the day.

      Oh wow, this is an awesome project! Seems like a great tool for teaching HTML, which I used to do back in the day.

      1 vote
    2. [4]
      piedpiper
      Link Parent
      Thanks for the recommendation, though it's not really what I'm looking for. I want to be able to write posts directly on the site through a textarea.

      Thanks for the recommendation, though it's not really what I'm looking for. I want to be able to write posts directly on the site through a textarea.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I understand your query. However, having looked at maybe a dozen different options, I've concluded that there's nothing for someone like you within arm's reach. Most of such implementations are...

        I understand your query.

        However, having looked at maybe a dozen different options, I've concluded that there's nothing for someone like you within arm's reach. Most of such implementations are aimed at techies who are already fine dealing with overhead like npm: they require you to run complex set-up or install massive libraries.

        I'd found none that worked for me back when I was looking. This isn't to discourage you: what I'm saying is, it may take a while to find, if, indeed, someone has implemented it.

        Most truly simple blog engines are static-site generators, or SSGs: they take raw content (Markdown, Textile etc.) and turn it into viable HTML, with all the bells and whistles you either have modules for or are eager to implement yourself. Instead of creating an interface with the blog directly (so that, for example, the blog post you'd drafted could be published directly from the Web page you're accessing), SSGs run a script once and turn the entirety of your content into the entirety of your blog, which then you would have to publish.

        Some platforms allow you to automate the process to a large degree. For example, Netlify lets you use a Git repository as a host (for your content), and when you make any change to the files, it automatically runs the script (thus rendering your blog in all its HTML+CSS+JS glory) and publishes the result onto the desired site.

        In other words, if you want simple and free, SSGs are your best bet.

        Alternatively, you could try something like Ghost: a powerful and modern engine for blogging, by the looks of it. There is an open-source version you can self-host if you rent a server space, and on their main site there's an option to pay for a professional hosting service with all the bells and whistles you might want to have with a blog that's aimed for increasing its audience.

        You said "free" is a requirement, but I'm throwing it out there just in case.

        1. [2]
          piedpiper
          Link Parent
          Wanting something simple and bare bones is part of what I'm after. But it's also a programming project so i want to build it myself. That's actually the more important part. I already have a blog...

          Wanting something simple and bare bones is part of what I'm after. But it's also a programming project so i want to build it myself. That's actually the more important part. I already have a blog which runs on WordPress. This is for a side project I'm brainstorming.

          I'm not a non-techie. I can handle most of the programming, I just don't want to build my own wysiwyg editor from the ground up.

          Thanks for the well thought out suggestions, it's just not what I'm looking to do. I probably should have explained it better in my post.

          1 vote
          1. ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            No, I'm just being a little pushy in my explaney manner. What you might enjoy is Metalsmith. It's a highly-modular SSG, to a point where you can implement it into anything. You might be able to...

            No, I'm just being a little pushy in my explaney manner.

            What you might enjoy is Metalsmith. It's a highly-modular SSG, to a point where you can implement it into anything. You might be able to use it as a foundation for your own blog engine.

            1 vote
  5. Pistos
    Link
    Not sure this is quite what you're looking for, but there's also Github Pages. Also: I suppose things like Wordpress and Medium are not what you had in mind.

    Not sure this is quite what you're looking for, but there's also Github Pages. Also: I suppose things like Wordpress and Medium are not what you had in mind.

    1 vote
  6. [3]
    Bullmaestro
    Link
    WordPress says hi.

    WordPress says hi.

    1. [2]
      piedpiper
      Link Parent
      I'm familiar with WordPress and use it for my main blog. I'm building a simple blog platform from scratch and that would be overkill. TinyMCE as others have mentioned was exactly what I was...

      I'm familiar with WordPress and use it for my main blog. I'm building a simple blog platform from scratch and that would be overkill.

      TinyMCE as others have mentioned was exactly what I was looking for. I have since implemented it and it's working perfectly.

      Thanks for the recommendation though.

      1 vote
      1. Bullmaestro
        Link Parent
        Fair enough. Now that you mentioned it you had a reason not to use it.

        Fair enough. Now that you mentioned it you had a reason not to use it.

        1 vote