Top Trend: Web Content Editors

Is your website lying in your stomach like a rock? – Then one of the web content editors described might be the solution to relieve your pain.

Web Content Editors are light weight and much easier to figure out than the better known Content Management Systems (CMS).

Web content editors are available in the web industry since many many years and right now they experience a big revival in their modern form as ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS). You sign up for an account, connect your website via FTP to the provided editor and you are basically ready to edit your website.

Desire vs. Reality

Almost all website owners wish to edit their website by themselves. They would like to insert images or once in a while a new page and menu item or just edit a little sentence here and there. Maybe you had the same desire and so you got a CMS (like WordPress) installed.

But already after the first login you realized that you nither have the time nor the lust to invest the necessary learning effort. Your might feel silly to hire someone just to correct a spelling mistake or some outdated opening hours…

This way even small little alterations are getting scary and therefore many website owners limit their content on general topics which could be still true in 5 years from now. But exactly this is destroying your website ranking.

An Alternative to a CMS: Web Content Editors

A real alternative to Content Management Systems (CMS) are Web Content Editors. They offer all the features to cover the needs of most website owners: to edit web content without endanger the design.

Here some examples of the above mentioned modern kind of SaaS Web Content Editors:

  • PageLime – offers a free price plan for beginners
  • Surreal CMS – for web designers, web agencies and freelancers, offers a 30 days free trial
  • CushiCMS – offers a free price plan too
  • smooster – a german provider, offers a free test account for web professionals

My Favorits

For my comparison I looked primarily for Web Content Editors which are installed on your own webspace and have a very humble and intuitive layout. This way website owners are able to focus on their work without worrying about monthly follow up costs.

2016 – New year new name: gpEasy CMS is now Typesetter CMS!

Screenshot gpEasy - one of my prefered Web Content Editors

Both menu bars are lying directly on top of the page you need to edit. If they are in your way just put them aside per drag and drop or make them small.

This editor is a modern development specially designed for users with little or no experience with any internet technology. gpEasy is simple and intuitive to use. This Editor is free and Open Source. Different from most CMS (where the editor is somewhere hidden in the admin area), you have both the CMS admin toolbar and the editor toolbar right there on top of the page. You can drag them out of the way, make them smaller or even reduce them to a little button. While editing you always see how your changes will look like for your visitors.

Up to now gpEasy is translated into 31 languages. With this editor you can build a website from scratch. You can load or change plugins and design templates. Your even get a contact form you can use as many times you need.

Unfortunately you cannot integrate this beautiful editor in already existing websites. – For this task other editors are easier to use.

Installing and updating gpEasy is very simple. – You even do not need to bother with a database.

=> Demo Installation

Screenshot EditWrxPro - an other one of our described Web Content Editors

Stroke 3 times the enter-key and the Login Form will open. After logged in, the menu bar will apear at the top of the browser window.

EditWrxLite and EditWrxPro, both programs are around already quite a while. But that doesn’t make them less interesting. Rather contrary, they still seem to get updates regularly – at least this is suggested by the date like version number. They both seem to be very elaborated with features you may normally just get with several plugins.

=> Demo Installation EditWrxPro

Both editors are from the same developer but still each is a class on its own. You first should decide which editor comforts your needs better and then get the license for this particular one. – The licenses are NOT compatible.

For the licenses you just pay a one time fee:

  • EditWrxLite – during installation you will get a Shareware license which randomly shows a reminder to purchase the license for $24,95
  • EditWrxPro – during installation you will get a 10 days free trial license, the real license costs $39,95
Similarities between the programs
Both programs in common is that you can integrate them easily into already existing websites. This is something very special which – in my opinion – is used much too rare. This way even old static websites can be made accessible again for maintenance.

Both programs are coming with a nice opening ritual: stroke 3 times the enter-key and the Login-Widget will show up. Being logged in you will see the editor toolbar at the top of the browser window. That is all you will see. No distractions while working on your page.

Both editors have a very useful form widget. With this tool you can create unlimited and very individual forms which can be sent to various email addresses. A really super feature for projects which need a lot of forms.

And: both provide a very elaborated role system with different rights. This way large projects can be maintained by teams.

Specialties by the Pro-Version
The Pro-Version contains some very extraordinary features which enables you to build your own COMMUNITY. Anyone who is interested can register and will get an own personal folder on the website with own predefined webpages which can be filled with own content.

If you like to offer other users to register on your very own “Portal” to present their own offers like Real Estate, Hollyday Apartements, Cars, Artwork and a lot more then this feature is worth to be looked at a little bit closer.

This community feature is supported by the possibility to insert multi media content: photo galleries, audio, flash and video files.

Additional: you can define your own search fields, you can password protect folders and offer registration forms for certain contents.

All this you can do with that little toolbar at the top of the browser window. – I am really impressed.

 Screenshot Zimplit - the last of our tested Web Content Editors

Zimplit is simple to use and you will get quickly an overview.

Zimplit too is already on the market since a few years and very easy to use. This editor was developed for users without any knowledge how to maintain a website. During login you can choose out of 6 different languages.

Unfortunately the German translation is not complete and some “undefined” links may show up. Other languages may show similar problems. Terefore the English version is best for testing.

The installation goes quick and easy. The editor toolbar is lying on top of the page you work on and can be draged out of the way. On the left hand side of the browser window you will see a bigger toolbar for more administrative tasks. – It really doesn’t take long to click through the few buttons and see what is behind.

The features offered are very limited (at least in the Demo) but everything you need to build or maintain a simple website is there:

  • create new pages
  • edit the menu items
  • upload images and files
  • embed youtube videos
  • simple contact forms
  • and change the design template

From the concept point of view Zimplit combines the access of gpEasy and EditWrxLite/Pro. You can build a website from scratch but you are also able to connect this editor to an already existing website.

Zimplit is Open Source and you are allowed to use it for free – as long certain points are fulfilled.

=> Demo Installation

Your Experiences with Web Content Editors

Do you use a Web Content Editor? – If so, which one are you using? – How did you choose your favorite?

We would be more than happy to read your experiences. – Please share and leave a comment.

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