First impressions matter to visitors of websites and blogs. That includes the written content as well as design, layout, and images. This guide explores quick and effective ways on how to check for grammar and spelling mistakes in WordPress. Site visitors never hang around for long if the written content is rife with misspellings and grammatical errors.
WordPress Doesn’t Have a Spell Checker
WordPress has a lot of features, but a built-in spell-checker isn’t one of them. Many web publishers rely on simple browser-based spell checkers instead. Some extensions work well, while others are lacking. Moreover, most don’t check grammar. For example, the word their and there are both correct spellings, but with completely different meanings.
Easy mistakes to make
Here’s an example of a grammatically flawed text snippet, but it has NO misspelled words per se. That means the browser’s spell checker hasn’t flagged any problems with it.
The same comment would look like this if the extension checked for grammar as well as spelling.
There are 5 obvious errors picked up when putting the text through a grammar checker:
- are should be is
- their should be there
- these site should be this site
- spelled should be spelt
- there should be a comma after correctly
Simple errors like these are easy to make, even for native English writers. Correcting one error may also highlight a new one. Authors can quickly fix these using the checker’s suggestions. Mistakes occur because writers can be oblivious or blind to their own typos. That’s why professionals employ editors and proofreaders for checking and rechecking their content.
Using Desktop Apps
Desktop apps are great tools for creating written content. Some authors prefer to use word processors like LibreOffice Writer and Microsoft Word to compose draft copies. They check for spelling and grammar in real-time and vastly reduce errors. But what about when you need to update published content or edit an existing piece?
It can be a hassle to cut, copy, and paste text between desktop apps and browsers. A better solution is to have your content checked for both spelling and grammar inside the WordPress editor. Several plugins can do this, but they’re not all equal.
Meet the Grammarly AI Writing Assistant
Grammarly is the best free and premium spelling and grammar checker around this year. It’s also an artificial intelligence (AI) writing assistant. The app also suggests alternative words, writing tips, and advice on better sentence structure (premium). It’s fast, easy to use, and highly accurate. Most WordPress content creators should find the free version ideal for their needs.
The Grammarly free version supports the following features:
- Detects common grammatical errors
- Identifies spelling mistakes and offers corrections
- Notifies you of any punctuation blunders
The paid tool checks a lot more like passive voice, word choice, fluency, tone, and more. It even includes a built-in, unlimited plagiarism checker, which is super handy for online publishers. We focus on the free version here but check out the premium features if you need more.
Alternatives to Grammarly
Grammarly isn’t the only free tool available to content creators, though it’s probably the best. Here are 7 alternatives to Grammarly you might want to consider.
- After the Deadline: Checks spelling, grammar, and writing style
- ProWritingAid: Grammar check tool + writing style
- Ginger: Checks spelling errors and grammatical mistakes
- WhiteSmoke: Grammar and spell checking, style, and more
- Hemingway Editor: Checks overall readability, spelling, and sentence structure
- Google Docs: Built-in grammar check and spell check features
- MS Word: Checks misspellings grammatical errors, and style
How Grammarly works
Grammarly works in the background. It auto checks for spelling and grammatical errors as you type, highlighting issues with coloured underlines. It starts to work with your WordPress editor as soon as you install the free Grammarly browser extension.
Grammarly’s browser extension is compatible with the following 5 browsers.
- Chrome (version 51 and newer)
- Brave open-source web browser
- Safari (version 12 and newer)
- Firefox (version 54 and newer)
- Microsoft Edge (version 14 and newer)
Flexible web-wide extension
Grammarly isn’t only for WordPress and other online text editors. It also checks written content in comments, social media posts, emails, Google Docs, and everywhere else. Readability is vital for anyone who wants to build a professional online presence and reputation.
A few quick clicks install the Grammarly extension on your web browser. Visit the official Grammarly home page to get the app. It will detect your browser automatically.
Click the ‘Add to (Browser Name) It’s free’ button.
We’ll use Google Chrome for this tutorial, but it’s a similar process for all browsers.
Click the Add to Chrome button.
Chrome then displays a confirmation pop-up message.
Click Add Extension to continue.
Chrome confirms the new installation a few seconds later.
Click the Turn on sync… button if you want the extension available on other computers.
Your new Grammarly icon should now appear on the top right of your Chrome browser.
If you don’t see the icon, click the Extensions symbol, then Pin Grammarly to Chrome.
Now click the new Grammarly browser icon.
A message appears telling you that Grammarly is active but missing a few vital features. You need to sign up to unlock the following extras.
- Personal dictionary
- Save and access saved documents
- Receive weekly writing tips and personal performance stats
Click the Sign up button.
A new tab opens. You have the choice to sign up via email, Facebook, Google or Apple accounts. We’ll use the email sign up option for this tutorial.
Type the email address you want to use for this account.
Two extra fields open for password and username. Complete those, then click Sign Up.
On the next screen, Grammarly wants to know a bit about your writing (optional).
Choose from School, Work, or Other projects, then click Continue.
We’ll use Work for this example to keep the process simple.
The next screen presents several writing help options.
Select the one(s) you’d like Grammarly to assist you with, then click Continue.
The penultimate screen asks what writing tone you’d like to achieve.
Select the one(s) you’d like Grammarly to assist you with, then click Continue.
The last screen lets you choose between Grammarly Free and Grammarly Premium. Most online content writers and bloggers have everything they need with the free version.
Click the Continue to Grammarly button (you can always upgrade later if you need to).
The Grammarly Editor now opens and offers a quick tour (recommended for first-time users).
That’s it; your Grammarly extension is now ready to use.
Click the Grammarly icon at the top of your browser to see the unlocked features and options. You can toggle these ON/OFF as required.
Change the version of English if you want something other than American.
Other language versions include:
- British English
- Canadian English
- Australian English
Tip: Always remember to select the preferred version of English if you write for other people. Skipping this step could result in you having to review and correct the entire content later.
You can now work with confidence as you write in your WordPress Guttenberg or Classic Editor, and any other text fields you use on the internet.
How to Use Grammarly Online
In this tutorial, we have left Grammarly spell checker on automatic. Toggle this to OFF if you prefer to write without distractions. This way, you can check the document later.
Grammarly highlights spelling mistakes, typos, and grammatical imperfections. Hold the cursor over the highlights to view the error details and suggestions in a separate pop-up. You have the option to accept the correction by clicking the suggestion or dismissing it.
Here’s a sample of Grammarly at work in the WP post editor.
The ‘See more in Grammarly’ link lets you learn more about the identified issue. Click the link to open the additional details in a separate pop-up.
You can work through the errors one by one by accepting or ignoring the suggestions.
You also have quick access to Grammarly features from the pop-up menu bar.
You now have Grammarly installed and ready to work as you create content in WordPress. It will make you a more confident writer and help to improve the SEO score of your website.