One of the services I run is a simple email service that lets people send emails from their own websites.

Because it's only a simple email thing, I didn't want to have to install an email client software package such as RoundCube. Instead, I made my own editor, using Markdown.

Why? I thought, because WYSIWYG editors produce such bad markup, I'd use Markdown backed up on the server-side instead.

The question is, is this use of Markdown both effective and accessible? Do I need to do anything to explain how it works to users and that all the extra characters don't appear in the final email? Would I be better using a WYSIWYG editor or even a software package?

  • 1
    Who are your users? How much support do you give them? Do you provide a GUI front-end that generates Markdown, or responsive feedback when they type it in? Aug 12, 2014 at 15:53
  • Not a duplicate: I know Markdown is friendly enough, but I want to know if it's usable in this situation - for emails. I think users might get the wrong impression.
    – ArtOfCode
    Aug 12, 2014 at 16:27
  • How are your users using this service from their "own websites"? For sending newsletters?
    – unor
    Aug 12, 2014 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Who are your service's users? Have these people ever seen Markdown, BBCode or other text markup?

If they have, you might be able to get away with using a markup language like Markdown. I would recommend there be a way for the user to preview the email output before they send it. A link to view a list of basic markdown formatting would be good too.

Something simple like how stackexchange here has a live preview as you type in your answer will suffice.

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