Markdown or WYSIWYG or both?


Bright Journey is currently using wysihtml5 as the editor for questions and answers.

Would normal users be scared away from a markdown editor similar to the one StackExchange uses? Or perhaps should we have both and make it an option in the user settings?

I couldn't find a decent hybrid solution that offers both. Does anyone know of a good one?

PS. Sorry for the off-topic question, couldn't wait for the separate roadmap section that'll be up in a couple of days to ask everyone this :)

Bright Journey

asked Feb 4 '14 at 14:45
Nishank Khanna
4,265 points

2 Answers


I for one am in love with Markdown. I use it for just about everything. It's a clean, simple markup language, and one that you'd be hard-pressed to beat in terms of functionality, simplicity, and readability in its "natural" form.

However, I strongly suspect that anybody who doesn't have a technical background has had little experience with it. It seems like it's a tech community thing, and not all people coming to this site are/will be on the technical side.

I've also been pretty happy with the WYSIWYG editor you've got here.

Considering that, if you can pick only one, my vote would probably have to be with the WYSIWYG editor that you've currently got in place.

My only reservation is that I'm not sure if the current editor has all of the same functionality as Markdown. It seems like as I was answering a question a couple of days ago, there was something that I wish I had, but didn't. I thought it was a link, but I see the option for links up there now, so that probably wasn't it. Maybe images? Headers? Anyway, if you have the ability to extend it to include some additional options, I see no strong requirement to force Markdown on people. I could see having an option to choose either one some day, but I see that as lower priority. (I'd rather have badges than two flavors of editors, but that's maybe just me.)

Bottom line: my personal preference is Markdown, and I'd love to see it as a second option some day, but I think the WYSIWYG editor is better suited for the broader audience this site is hoping to attract.

answered Feb 4 '14 at 14:58
3,465 points
  • I think you've hit the nail right on the head. Moving the dual editor slightly down the priority list. The link option was indeed just added in this morning, it wasn't there earlier. – Nishank Khanna 6 years ago
  • Then that was probably it. But it's good to have it now, and even better to know that you guys have the ability to improve that control, in case there are other features you want to add! – rbwhitaker 6 years ago
  • Yeah, the editor supports pretty much everything you've mentioned (images, headings, etc). I figured we keep it minimal at first and add in the controls as everyone gets the need for them. Links turned out to be a very core necessity we overlooked. – Nishank Khanna 6 years ago


Not sure how many people understand markdown (I don't) but I don't thing people will be scared by the editor that SE has. When I click bold for example and it places **text** in the box, I understood that it was a code to make it bold.

On the mobile site though I would say not have any formatting options, just a plain text box.

I love the editor that uses, but it's only good for desktop use. Medium doesn't even allow mobile editing of posts since their editor doesn't work from a mobile standpoint.

answered Feb 4 '14 at 14:55
Chrissie Gray
1,107 points

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