How CKEditor made content creation simple, intuitive, and more effective for Steeplechasers

You may have not heard of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club yet but there are some good reasons why it’s good to keep an eye on it. It is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, a subsidiary of Road Runners Club of America, which promotes running for fitness, friendship, and athletic development within the Frederick community, Maryland, U.S.

Apart from helping runners of all types - planning and supporting running events, group runs, and training programs - it supports local charities through donations of race proceeds. The club provides funds to various youth programs (e.g. to feed children, let them develop their interests, help young people get into college), and women-centric charities, to name but a few.

Challenge: managing content creation and communication right

Such versatility needs flexible and powerful solutions for online activities management. You don’t have to manage a huge business entity to want things to go smoother and simpler. Some procedures and steps can be improved or reinvented even if you run an organization at a local level. This way, more time and money can be spent on its core activities.

As for the Steeplechasers, there are 700 current members of the club and about 16-20 users of the "membertility" application. It is a runners’ community platform for communication and managing workflow written by Lou King, the Board of Directors member and Chief Technology Dude at Steeplechasers, as well as a retired software engineer.

At some point, it became clear that membertility’s users needed an easy, yet versatile, solution - a simple and intuitive editor where non-technical people could format their statuses in a WYSIWYG way. And the right solution for membertility turned out to be CKEditor 5.

People running in the forest located near the city

Solution: switching to an intuitive editor

As Chief Technology Dude at the Steeplechasers, Lou decided to choose CKEditor 5 over Tiny mainly because of the fact that with CKEditor 5, he was able to control the Javascript on his end and have it on his own server. He likes CKEditor better because he views it as a little bit of a commodity to edit where he doesn't have to think about it - with rich text editing options and advantages available.

What CKEditor 5 helps the Steeplechasers with, is, primarily, editing documents and newsletters for different types of meetings scheduled in the membertility software, including status reports for Board meetings. CKEditor 5 makes reports not only easy to edit but also to read and comprehend - thanks to the ability to upload bullet points, links, tables, and images easily.

Within membertility, there's also a task management system; when people get onboarded, they have to achieve a bunch of tasks like reading many documents, and they check them off. But organizing and keeping track of meetings, as well as creating new entries (like action items or points of motion) are also in the cards. Within a particular meeting, club leaders can create discussion items for the meeting, although the real-time collaboration feature is not in use here, yet.

The membertility meetings module has been enhanced with CKEditor 5, and the DataTables software (another Javascript package) used by membertility now holds together MySQL and CKEditor 5. Lou King simply loves this feature: "DataTables is a great tool, I use this all over the place", he admits.

CKEditor's use, in the Steeplechasers' case, is under the Free for Open Source license. Lou King doesn't remember having to look for help from CKEditor's support teams, as everything went on smoothly so far. Before turning to CKEditor 5, they used Markdown for formatting purposes. They switched away from it, because CKEditor 5 is easier to use, and it has a very short learning curve.

If I'm asking regular users, not technical ones, to enter text, I can't teach them Markdown as it looks too much like code to them. They have to use an editor like CKEditor 5 that has buttons for bullets and things of that nature.

Result: time saved and used on core activities

With CKEditor 5, editing became simple and seamless, and some organizational issues have been tackled. As this rich-text editor's flexibility makes so many use cases possible, Steeplechasers' members were able to tie up a few loose ends. What has changed, exactly? As Lou King emphasizes, "user experience, as well as user satisfaction, got better. Furthermore, the organization experienced improved workflow and boosted productivity, and a lot of time has been saved".

The bottom line is that "Steeplechasers' club leaders can now focus on their core - status and charity - activities and do even more good for their community", as Lou King puts it. They use CKEditor 5 primarily as a rich text editor but he admits that, one day, they may utilize more advanced features in other applications and modules. Other members of the organization find this tool easy and convenient and don't ever complain about it - with CKEditor 5 they simply don't have to think about content creation too much but get things done.

Lou King - Chief Technology Dude of Steeplechasers

“CKEditor provides a seamless user experience. The best thing about it is that my users don't have to think about formatting while they're creating documents.”

Lou King
Chief Technology Dude
Steeplechasers

Steeplechasers logo

Steeplechasers

steeplechasers.org
Our solution:

CKEditor 5

Results:

Time saved

Boosted productivity

Improved workflow

Increased user satisfaction

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