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Google has been talking about the Core Web Vitals tool and the Page Experience Update for about a year now.
With the update scheduled to roll out in May 2021, now is the time to make sure your websites are prepared for it. It’s taking a lot of the best practices Google has recommended over the years and making them an official part of the search algorithm, so not taking this seriously could negatively impact your sites’ rankings.
Today, we’re going to look at everything Google has told us about the update and how to use the Core Web Vitals tool to ensure your site rankings don’t drop once it rolls out.
Google first told us about the page experience update back in May 2020. Here’s what we know about the upcoming update:
Although there’s no specific day given, we do know that the page experience update will go live sometime in May 2021.
It’s not as though user experience is something that designers and developers overlook when building websites. Heck, there’s an entire disciple of UX design dedicated to it.
That said, Google hasn’t taken too hard line of an approach in enforcing its page experience suggestions, like mobile-first design, removing intrusive pop-ups, or improving page speed. With this update, though, Google is now telling every site owner that performance, accessibility, technical best practices, and SEO must be built into their websites.
Of course, the goal isn’t to create more work on your side of things. Google believes that by encouraging developers to build better web experiences that consumers will experience less friction and businesses will be more profitable as a result.
According to Google, the page experience update is going to combine a bunch of older signals with the new Core Web Vitals:
The Core Web Vitals tool will now merge all of that data we once had to gather from various Google apps. That’ll make it more convenient for designers and developers to improve the on-page experience across a variety of areas.
Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.
So, don’t expect this to be a one-and-done thing. You’ll have to rely on the Core Web Vitals tool, and pay close attention to updates out of Google, to ensure your sites are keeping up with Google’s page experience standards.
If you hadn’t noticed, Google has already updated its other apps in anticipation of the page experience update.
Here’s an example of how Lighthouse’s report on the Amazon website now looks:
By including these metrics within the tools you’re already using, you don’t necessarily have to add the Core Web Vitals tool to your growing toolbox. That said, there are some really valuable reports in there, so I’ll show you why you may want to add it anyway.
In the past when someone did a news-related search on Google, they’d see “Top Stories” results like this one:
Until now, the only pages shown here were AMP-enabled ones.
Once the page experience update goes live, though, the AMP requirement is going away. So long as a page meets the page experience criteria along with Google News content policies, it can now rank in this section.
In the Top Stories example above, notice the AMP indicator I highlighted in yellow. Google is thinking about adding something similar to any search result that fulfills its page experience criteria.
While I think a small, eye-catching icon might draw a little more attention from Google users, I’m not sure if it’ll be that big of a deal to them. People working in this industry certainly know what that lightning bolt means, and we’ll also be the ones who recognize the page experience indicator, but I’m not convinced it’ll matter to users.
That said, this is something Google is thinking about rolling about, so it’s something to be aware of. At the very least, you can consider it a badge of honor when showing your websites to clients and prospects who want to see what you can do for them.
Even if a website checks off all the page experience boxes, there’s no guarantee that it’ll start to rank better than websites that haven’t. The quality and value of the content on the page still matters greatly.
Alright, so let’s take a look at this Core Web Vitals tool. Here’s what the tool looks like when you enter the “Measure” tab:
It’s like most other Google analyzer tools. You enter the URL you want to audit and let the tool run. The results then spit out something that looks like this:
Core Web Vitals are graded on four categories:
If you scroll down just a little bit on the page, there’s more data available. It mainly has to deal with the technical stuff, like page speeds and unoptimized code:
Now, this isn’t really anything new. We can get this data about load time, interactivity, and content stability from Google’s other apps.
The real value is in the report, which you can access up top next to the date of your audit.
Open the report and you’ll find specific suggestions and pro tips to optimize each part of the page experience, like this SEO report:
Just like other Google tools, this one can teach you a lot about what makes one site more rankable than another. So, make sure you update your web design strategy going forward to integrate all of these ranking signals.
While you’ll have to do annual audits on your sites to see how much Google has changed the page experience signals, you’ll create less work for yourself if this baseline set of criteria are met with every site you build.Source
Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.
The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!Source
The post Popular Design News of the Week: April 5, 2021 – April 11, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.
Inclusive design is all about designing sites with everyone in mind instead of designing for your own preferences. It’s an essential component in a professional-grade site and the cornerstone of a successful project.
Accessibility (A11y for short) is the technical branch of inclusive design. Accessibility is a science: it knows what markup is required to make the text available to the visually impaired; it knows the minimum button size for someone with limited motor control; it knows how complex navigation can be for someone with cognitive dysfunction. Accessibility is the engine that powers an inclusive design.
Because accessibility is so complex, it takes a huge wealth of knowledge to do it well. Luckily for you and me, there’s now a free resource you can use to brush up on your skills and improve the ROI of your site.
Stark has just acquired a11yresource and relaunched it as the Stark Public Library — reportedly the largest accessibility resource on the web. The library contains around a thousand different resources. You’ll find blog articles, checklists, formal courses, tools, links to web standards, and a whole lot more. As the library grows, the expectation is that Stark will add new features aimed at fostering a community.
Stark is a suite of accessibility tools for designers that integrates with XD, Sketch, and Figma. It’s free to use the basic package, and the commercial plan is $60 per year. The Public Library is free for everyone to access.Source
We all get excited about new projects; we’re daydreaming about possibilities from the first contact with a potential client. Most professionals have an established onboarding process, with contracts to sign and business assets to acquire; if you’re a coder, you probably set up a fresh new repository; if you’re a designer, you create a new project folder. All of us start imagining how the case study will look in our portfolio.
But few, if any, plan for the end of a project. Offboarding clients simply isn’t a thing. We build their site, and then one day, we don’t.
It may be that the client moves on; hopefully, you’ve done a good enough job that they can’t resist bringing you on board for their next startup. All too often, projects languish in some half-life, with occasional security patches that net you a whole $5 in service charges; is that why you got into web design? Probably not. There is the desirable option of upselling; if your client’s business grows due to your work, then more work should grow it some more.
If you’re great at startups, you’re probably not great at maintaining sites in the long term. If you’re great at maintaining sites, you’re probably not great at growing them.
For every cycle of a project’s life, there are different kinds of professionals who suit it best. And conversely, different cycles of a project suit you and your skillset better than others.
We all know that a bad client — demanding, rude, late at paying — should be fired. But what about a good client — a client who pays quickly, is friendly, professional, accommodating? Would you fire a good client if you’d outgrown the work?Source
Web design is an ever-evolving field. Those of us that have been in the industry a long time (i.e., six months plus) have seen the launch of more products, the establishment of more ideas, and the promise of more growth than most industries see over a whole career.
While the tools we use, the terminology we employ, and the goalposts we shoot for are constantly changing, core skills are transferable and long-lasting and will ensure you not only survive in the industry but thrive in it.
These skills are characteristics that you can learn, that will help you grow in 2021, 2022, and beyond.
Life is a series of decisions, from which pair of socks to wear to which crypto to store your life savings in. Each of us has a finite amount of decision-making fuel in the day — the more decisions you make, the sooner you reach decision fatigue.
Most people burn their decision-making fuel by second-guessing themselves; they make a decision and then remake the same decision over and over as doubt creeps in.
The ability to make a decision, and stick to it, separates those people who still have the fuel to make strategic decisions after close of business and those people who can’t decide what to have for dinner.
It’s never a bad idea to brush up on design fundamentals. From color theory to typography to UI and layout, these core skills are not only beneficial to your design practice, but they help you think about design on a higher level.
Too often, designers fail to see the wood for the trees, focusing on the project at hand instead of a wider picture. The wider picture doesn’t mean your portfolio; it means the whole history, culture, and design context.
Many musicians can play multiple styles, but they tend to favor one instrument; they made a fundamental decision that freed them to explore music in greater depth
Despite the term, design fundamentals aren’t universal; they’re personal to you. For example, should you pair a script with a serif? Your answer is probably, “it depends” because you’re an awesome designer; my answer is “no,” because, for me, that is a design fundamental.
Design fundamentals can be limiting, but by providing default answers to common questions, they also free you to consider larger questions about what you’re doing and why, which leads to clarity of purpose.
Many musicians can play multiple styles, but they tend to favor one instrument; they made a fundamental decision that freed them to explore music in greater depth.
You need to understand them well enough to hold an intelligent boardroom-level conversation about them. You don’t actually need to know how to code them — although I’ve never actually met someone who knew enough about their roles to hold a strategic conversation, who didn’t also know how to code them from scratch.
I’m not talking about frameworks, libraries, or the latest build tools. Those things are just macros for coders. I’m talking about understanding the building blocks of a site, so if someone asks you whether you really need the company logo in the site footer, you can answer, and back your answer up with facts.
No matter what field of design you’re in, you’re going to need to present your ideas to someone who doesn’t share your knowledge. Whether you’re explaining the basics to a client or explaining your decision-making to a colleague, presenting your ideas simply is the best way to be heard.
a pitch is most effective when you exclude extraneous detail
Often, a persuasive presentation utilizes the less-is-more approach. Just as a design is finished when you’ve removed everything unnecessary, so too a pitch is most effective when you exclude extraneous detail.
Often you’ll find metaphor useful, especially if you have a passing knowledge of the person’s own area of expertise because it translates a concept into a format the person understands and is comfortable with.
“We should…because it will improve [a metric] by approximately…%” is often the most welcome language. If the person you’re selling your decision needs more detail — and they probably don’t need to know details, that’s what they have you for — they can ask.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, for the two people in the world who don’t know what that acronym stands for) is a vast field with as many sub-divisions as there are UX job titles.
There are various branches of SEO that a site needs to consider. Technical SEO is the stuff that coders do; if you’re not a coder, you can ignore that. Content SEO is the stuff that marketers do; if you’re not a marketer, you can ignore that. Strategic SEO is a macro-view of a site’s plans; everyone on every project should understand strategic SEO.
Strategic SEO covers topics like landing pages, single-page sites, whether a blog is necessary, how, if at all, social media is employed. Strategic SEO feeds all other branches of SEO. It is so fundamental that it informs the earliest decisions about a site. If you want to do more than make things look pretty, learn more about strategic SEO.
You’ve probably noticed by now that the web extends beyond your town limits. It’s a global force, which means billions of people who don’t speak the same language.
If you’re not a native-English speaker, then it’s a no-brainer to learn a little English. You don’t need to be fluent; you certainly don’t need to be poetic, but the vast majority of documentation, GUIs, blog posts, forums, conferences, and the Web itself are in English, and translation code only gets you so far.
If you are a native English speaker, then learn something relevant to your region or the industry you specialize in. It doesn’t really matter what you learn; picking up a language, and culture, makes you a more rounded human being. And provided you don’t pick something obscure, you’re opening yourself up to millions or even billions of users you were previously missing out on.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer sofa-diving for spare pennies to meet the rent or a seasoned in-house designer with targets to meet; everyone struggles to say, “no.”
The fear is that if we decline a project, or a feature request, that we won’t be asked next time; eventually, we’ll be passed over for all projects until we have no career left.
The problem is that we only have so many hours in a day. If we do too much, we end up doing it badly, so there have to be limits. Every time you say “yes,” you’re increasing the chances that you will have to say “no,” to a future opportunity that’s great for you.
By all means, decline gracefully. Do it politely. Be kind. Offer to refer the client elsewhere. But it’s better to say “no” than to have to say “no” to the perfect project because you’re over-stretched.
Featured image via Unsplash.Source
The post 7 Skills You Need To Thrive As A Web Designer In 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.
The best thing about writing about website design trends each month is looking at all the great sites that are being developed. Designers are stretching creatively and exploring new techniques and ways of doing things all the time.
It’s refreshing and inspiring. This month, some of those trends include a style that nods to brutalism, slide scrolling that’s interesting and fresh, and animated typography.
Here’s what’s trending in design this month…
Brutalism can be a lot to handle and only really works for certain types of projects. That being said, some of the elements of brutalism can be the foundation for an interesting aesthetic.
So, it’s not surprising that an “almost brutalism” trend has emerged.
Designers are working with some of the design elements – slab fonts, simple color schemes with a lot of contrast, twitchy animation, mono typefaces, and overall design patterns that are almost over-simplified.
The result is a striking design that isn’t so harsh that it turns users away. It’s the right combination of brutalism and usability to create something with a harder-edge feel that people understand.
Good Garms uses a typewriter-style typeface, simple patterns, and one of the most streamlined designs you might find for an ecommerce store. It’s effective and makes you look because it is different.
Dockyard Social uses an unexpected color combination with high contrast, sharp shapes, and design elements, and bold slab typography to grab your attention right away. The theme continues on the scroll with new color combinations with equally brutal design elements. It feels a little tight and uncomfortable in places but still highly usable – exactly what almost-brutalism intends to do.
ZN Studio uses the same big, bold type elements as the previous example with a twitchy-style animation to draw you into the design. The entire design uses clever animation effects with a brutal aesthetic to keep you scrolling.
You can argue the value – or lack thereof – of website sliders as long as you want to. The reality, though, is that, for the most part, they are clunky and get in the way of the content. It’s a lazy option that keeps you from having to make a content choice.
Not with these beautiful slide-scrolling website designs.
Each of these designs uses side-scrolling as a design asset. Here’s the trick that makes it work: Slide scrolling isn’t a “feature” above a bunch of other content. It is how the content is featured.
These examples show you how to use the trend well and should get you excited about slide (or side) scrolling.
Eduardo del Fraile uses a side scroll to show different projects in his portfolio. In addition to scroll, each element also has a simple and beautiful animation that allows you to see each product he has designed. Everything about the scrolling motion is intuitive, and the site never scrolls vertically, which is where many side scrollers go wrong.
Jo Ash Sakula uses a similar concept for the side scroll here but with different design elements. The bold card elements are striking in terms of color, contrast, and design. You know the scroll will move horizontally because a third element sneaks into your field of vision on the right side. It’s simple, clean, and highly usable.
Crimea is interesting because it has an “almost brutalism” style design and uses a side-scrolling pattern. The design is bold and almost overwhelming, but the scroll works to tell a nice story with visuals and content.
Web typography can make or break a design from font choice to size and color to animation, every detail with text elements matters.
This trend explores and pushes the boundaries of animation with text elements in website design. And it is so tricky. The difference between an amazing result and a design fail is a thin line that can be quite subjective.
Each of these examples does something unique with text and animation together to create just the right feel. The flow for each is seamless and text elements – while incorporating movement – maintain readability.
Visages Du Rhone has two layers of animation. The first happens as the words come onto the screen as the color and fade change within the letters. The second is a subtle hover state with a fluid feel for the letters that match the design’s underwater theme. What’s special about the typography animation is that it happens without distorting the letters, something many other liquid text animations do.
Poolhouse uses transparent letters with movement in a layer behind the words. What’s very neat here is the additional filtering so that the background motion still works while maintaining the integrity of each letterform. Again, the focus on keeping text readable is what sets this design apart and makes it trend-worthy.
Komnata takes a wholly different approach with letters that float and look like balloons. The motion mimics what you would expect from an element that looks and feels like something in the real world. The user doesn’t have to do anything for this motion to take place. The animation might be even more effective if the scroll and pointer did not have a tail that “draws” on the screen as a distracting element.
The good thing about looking at variations of different trends is that you can see the practical application and apply it to your projects. While you might not move to a full sliding scroll on your website homepage, you could use that concept in another part of the design.
Experiment, have fun and draw inspiration from trending website designs.Source
Everyday design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.
The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!Source
The post Popular Design News of the Week: March 29, 2021 – April 4, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.
[– For those that didn’t spot it: this post was an April Fools joke, no one can track you by the way you type! –]
This week Google announced further details of its plan to remove cookies from ad tracking. The strategy, which the ad giant expects to be fully implemented by 2022, has come about due to increasingly stringent privacy laws in a growing number of territories around the globe.
Google’s first step was the announcement in January of FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). Google itself is still testing and fine-tuning the system, but in essence, Google will replace 3rd-party cookies in Chrome with groups of anonymized users.
Critics of the plan have questioned whether users will be genuinely anonymous or whether Google will be tracking individuals to group them properly. The answer came earlier this week in a low-key announcement of KaST.
KaST (Key and Surface Tracking) is the first iteration of Google’s new tracking technology. It works entirely without cookies and is fully device-agnostic.
The technology behind KaST is surprisingly old. It was first trialed in 1987 as a simple process for auditing the input of stenographers. Although the latest version of the technology draws heavily on voice recognition software algorithms, the original version of KaST — software named TAAA (Typist Account Accuracy Audit) — predates modern voice recognition by at least two years.
KaST uses…biomechanical and cognitive patterns, identifying individual users based on their keystrokes.
Just as your voice has a unique, identifiable modulation — anyone who uses telephone banking will be familiar with speaking their password — so too does your biomechanical input.
When you type on a keyboard or a touchscreen, the force, speed, and accuracy with which you hit characters are dependent on two things: your cognitive process and the unique biomechanics of your hands (the bones, ligaments, and muscles).
For example, when I type WordPress, I almost always type it as WordPRess (with a capitalized R). That is one facet of my combined biomechanical and cognitive process.
KaST uses keyboards and touch screens to track combined biomechanical and cognitive patterns, identifying individual users based on their keystrokes.
KaST is heavily reliant on BMaC (Bio-Mechanical and Cognitive) input. Although Google hasn’t released any data to support the accuracy of KaST, BMaC is known to be surprisingly accurate.
Reports suggest that the KaST algorithm is 89.7% effective for character strings of 12 characters or more, leaping to 97.6% for 19 characters or more on a single device. That makes it too inaccurate for high-end processes like security but well within the necessary margin of error for a non-critical process like serving ads.
Google will be able to identify you on any machine, on any device, in any context, as soon as you type 19 characters or more
When switching to a touch-screen device, the accuracy plummets to just 87.8%. This may be one reason Google has been low-key in its trumpeting of the new technology so far.
According to TechBeat, initial trials of the tri-axis position of a device (X, Y, and Z rotation) were abandoned as inaccurate. Still, even without those additional tracking signals, Google claims KaST on mobile will achieve ~94% accuracy by the 1st quarter of 2022.
Much like many of the algorithms that govern our daily lives, KaST will be largely invisible to most of us. Unlike cookies that can be legislated for and removed from a local machine, your BMaC is as inescapable as your DNA.
Where privacy concerns really grow is that your BMaC follows you from device to device. How you type at home is identical to how you type at work. Your personal and professional profiles are now instantly connectable; Google will be able to identify you on any machine, on any device, in any context, as soon as you type 19 characters or more.
Within 24 hours of KaST’s announcement, Apple stores were reporting rush orders of pre-M1 MacBook Pros. With some stores reportedly selling out late on Wednesday.
The rush came in the wake of a Reddit post — that has since been removed — that claimed that the notoriously bad butterfly keyboard on pre-M1 MacBook Pros circumvented KaST because the inaccuracy of the keystrokes, and the tendency of the keys to stick introduced a random element that disguised the end-user from the KaST algorithm.
Although the Reddit post is unsubstantiated, it transpires that M1 Mac owners may not be the lucky ones after all.
Advocates maintain that KaST — and Google’s wider FLoC strategy — are beneficial to users and the web as a whole. They claim that identifying users without 3rd party cookies does more to protect privacy than hinder it.
Opponents argue that in a digital world rife with user tracking, privacy compromises of this magnitude cannot be contemplated simply to enable more sophisticated ad-serving.
Despite KaST’s early stages of development, privacy concerns are mounting, and a campaign has been launched to regulate Google’s use of the technology.Source
As a web designer, you face plenty of challenges, both good and bad. One of the bad ones is to suddenly find out that you’re either in danger of missing a client’s deadline or will be unable to meet it at all.
A missed deadline could be due to something beyond your control and no fault of your own. There are measures you can take to avoid what you do have control over. Such as not having the right design tool or design resources to do a task that has to be done.
An ounce of prevention can definitely be worth a pound of cure in this case. Before starting a project, make sure the tool or tools you will be using will be up to the task.
The 15 design tools presented here are the tops in their respective categories. You should be better able to handle whatever is thrown at you.
Its more than 200,000 sales to date have certainly established the BeTheme multipurpose WordPress theme as an all-time favorite among web designers.
In truth, “multipurpose” doesn’t do BeTheme justice. Users might argue that “all-purpose” would be a more accurate description.
Be’s 40+ core features give web designers plenty to work with in terms of page-building tools, design aids, design options, and special effects.
Click on the banner to learn more about Be’s other core features.
Timezy will help you create a booking environment that works best for your business by allowing clients and customers to book your services as easily as possible. You can then integrate Timezy into your website to streamline and speed up your booking operation.
If you lack a website of your own, Timezy will provide you with a modern web page you can customize to fit your brand for clients to book appointments at any time.
wpDataTables is the top-selling and most powerful WordPress table and chart-building plugin on the market. There are other good ones, but their table and chart-building capabilities quickly become inadequate as you go down the list of what wpDataTables can do that most others cannot.
wpDataTables key features and capabilities:
You can also brighten up or improve a table or chart’s readability by highlighting or color-coding key information.
Click on the banner to find out more about what this plugin can do for you.
LayerSlider is not for sliders only. This multipurpose WordPress tool can also be used to create eye-catching animations and engaging content.
This popular design tool has been assisting web designers for nearly a decade and serves millions of active monthly users.
Amelia is a user-friendly WordPress booking plugin you can use to manage your appointments and events on a single platform.
Amelia can service multiple business locations.
With its more than 80.000 sales to date, Uncode has become one of ThemeForest’s all-time best sellers.
Uncode has a comprehensive library of tutorial videos and a showcase of user-created websites that is well worth visiting.
Created with perfection in mind, Total is nonetheless an extremely user-friendly WordPress theme.
Click on the banner to learn more.
Dr. Link Check saves you the inconvenience of having to periodically conduct a manual search of your site for broken links.
Dr. Link Check inspects for:
Dr. Link Check publishes downloadable daily, weekly, or monthly reports.
Mobirise is not only a top tool for creating fast, responsive, user-friendly websites. It also has the advantages of being offline. Mobirise is also free.
Factors that contribute to Mobirise’s excellent performance include:
Click on the banner to download your very own copy.
When a website builder is fast, free, responsive, user friendly, and Google-friendly as well, it is certainly worthy of consideration.
The 8b website builder:
Download your copy now.
WhatFontIs, with its database of more than 700K commercial and free fonts and font-finding AI functionality enables you to identify fonts from images you upload.
This top-of-the-line font-finding tool:
Litho is a responsive multipurpose Bootstrap 4 HTML5 template that gives startups, design agencies, and other businesses an ideal website-building starting point.
Litho’s features include:
Litho offers 5-star professional support.
XStore may be the best tool anyone could have at their fingertips when looking for a fast and easy way to create a high-performance eCommerce website – for only $39.
XStore’s key features include:
GOODIE’s web development platform assists clients who are eager to get a professionally-coded website quickly up and running.
GOODIE’s services focus on:
GOODIE’s specialties include 1-10 page, WordPress, and eCommerce websites.
There are several excellent reasons for letting Heroic Inbox manage your business’s departmental email inboxes.
Two key Heroic Inbox features are its smart workflows and a fast and friendly UI.
Every web designer owns a toolbox of tips and tricks they use in their website building projects. Even when a toolbox is superbly stocked, it is always challenging to keep it up to date. Doing so requires maintaining a knowledge of the latest and greatest web design resources and tools—some of which you may need to meet ever-changing industry demands.
This article features the top tools & resources for designers and agencies for 2021. Choosing one or more of them could not only help you stay on top of your game but could even make your day.Source
Who is Grammarly for? Can a grammar checking tool like Grammarly replace a human editor and proofreader? Is the Grammarly checker worth it? Are the Grammarly free checks sufficient for me, or should I upgrade to Grammarly Premium? Should I install Grammarly on Chrome? How effective is Grammarly for Word? Is downloading the Grammarly desktop app worth it? You have questions…all of which we’re going to answer.
I have been using Grammarly regularly for proofreading my documents and emails since 2015 and have witnessed its evolution as a product firsthand. After checking over three million words during this period, I can confidently say that Grammarly has come a long way. Raising $200M in total funding at a valuation of $1B+ so far, and with more than a million downloads per month, Grammarly is now a top-1000 website by traffic worldwide.
I write a lot, so Grammarly has been my go-to writing assistant for correcting passages and enhancing my writing. I first tried the Free version, and in May 2020, I upgraded to the Premium version, finally! Grammarly Premium is a great tool that takes care of most of your writing, proofreading, and plagiarism-checking needs for intensive work.
In this article, I’ll explain what Grammarly is, its features, what it does (functions of all versions and products), the pros and cons of using Grammarly, my rating of Grammarly, who should use the Free version, and who should use the Premium version and the difference between the two. I’ll also explain how to use Grammarly properly. I’ll then compare it with other popular tools and suggest which ones suit your needs. In the end, I’ll leave you with my final assessment and FAQs.
Grammarly is an online digital writing assistant that checks for a range of English grammar and spelling mistakes. It also helps enhance the writing through its excellent context-based clarity suggestions (Premium version).
Grammarly is a writing aid that checks not only for spelling slights, grammar rules, and clarity issues but also identifies the tone of the writing to provide relevant instructions through its Error Cards. It also has a plagiarism checking tool, which is available with the Premium version.
Grammarly employs AI (Artificial Intelligence) and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to check the content for all possible syntactic and semantic issues. Although it has an extensive database, it is still incomparable to human proofreading and professional editing, especially when it comes to understanding the context of the writing.
Grammarly is astonishingly easy to use, primarily due to its compatibility via the Browser Extension/Add-on, from which you can use it on millions of websites. Moreover, its other product forms, i.e., the Online Editor (Web App), Desktop Application, MS Word/Outlook Add-in, and the Grammarly Keyboard for iOS/Android, make it accessible everywhere.
It automatically detects issues in the content in the Desktop App, the Online Editor, and the browser (even in Google Docs, which is in Beta at this time) via its add-on. Yet, for the MS Word Add-in, you have to click the Grammarly button to activate the app. Grammarly explains all detected issues via an Error Card that contains relevant information for each item. You can implement it by clicking the suggestion, ‘Ignore’ the problem, or ‘Add to Dictionary’ (in case of a spelling issue). You can also provide feedback (if you think that the suggestion is wrong). The Free version checks only for spelling and critical grammar mistakes. The Premium version also reveals a ton of advanced ‘Clarity Issues.’
The Tone Detector helps you estimate the entire document’s tone, which can be valuable for many writers who target a particular audience, e.g., formal writing for the business audience.
Grammarly, overall, excels at almost all the things it does, and therefore the free version is recommended for everyone. Grammarly provides a generic readability score. Advanced grammar checks like the clarity checker, the plagiarism checker, and many other features are not available for the free version.
Grammarly is dominant amongst its competition, but it doesn’t solve all English language problems. It is useful at picking syntactic mistakes but still misses significant semantic errors, which can be a problem for people who are not particularly adept at English — as they won’t notice these slips.
|The Good||The Bad||& The Ugly|
|Ease of use - simple, intuitive, and efficient interface||English language only||Tad expensive (notably the monthly subscription at $29.95 per month)|
|Context-based grammar checking||Not 100% accurate (primarily misses linguistic bloopers)||No free trial for the premium version.|
|Fantastic grammar checker||Business account starts at three users and charges per number of users (can be a bit expensive for small businesses)||Only one account (license) for the premium version. You can use it on up to five devices.|
|Convenient tone detector||Insufficient as a standalone tool (doesn’t do everything)||Incomplete sentences can sometimes go undetected|
|The insightful error cards are instructional and productive (they help you to improve your writing)||Unlike ProWritingAid and Hemmingway Editor, it doesn’t provide much information about the whole passage, Grammarly’s scoring is generic right now||No substitutes are suggested in many cases. Example: synonyms, rephrasing suggestions for the intricate text, etc.|
|Integrates well with MS Word, Outlook, WordPress, emails, social media, and millions of websites||The free version is limited to fundamental grammar and spelling mistakes||Cannot determine contextually incorrect sentences (it cannot perceive the meaning of the written document)|
|Knowledge-base||The premium version identifies repeated words but sometimes doesn’t provide a suitable alternative to use||Short on vocabulary suggestions (not as competent as the free thesaurus writing tool)|
|The Grammarly keyboard is available for Android & iOS for FREE||Free version shows the number of advanced clarity mistakes but doesn’t tell you what those mistakes are and where they are||The formatting tool is rudimentary. You have to write in another text editor and then import it to the Grammarly Editor to format your writing accurately|
|Personal dictionary||Google Docs is not supported yet (in Beta).||Restricted to English only, and it also doesn’t translate other languages as Ginger does.|
|The adjust goal option allows you to customize Grammarly’s feedback.||It can miss simple semantic issues, which sometimes can be caught by text editors like Google Docs and MS Word.|
|Formatting remains the same if you import/upload a document, but it changes if you copy/paste.||Plagiarism Detector is not available for the free version.|
|Weekly writing stats (sent to user email) can help you identify your problem areas||The browser extension can malfunction, i.e., opening and closing the Grammarly editor within a website (sometimes) duplicates the content|
|Option to download the detailed performance statistics as a PDF||Sometimes Grammarly doesn’t catch all mistakes on the first try. You have to refresh or scroll to let it run again and see if it finds new issues|
|Grammarly blog teaches English grammar rules, writing techniques, and more|
|Context-based checker is more accurate than competitors|
|Provides rephrasing suggestions for complicated sentences|
|The premium version excels at catching inconsistencies|
Despite being limited, Grammarly (free version) is a phenomenal tool. Therefore, I would heartily recommend it to everyone. It’s free, and it’s convenient.
The free version should be everyone’s go-to tool for proofreading social media statuses, tweets, and comments. It is also crucial for editing all sorts of short-form writing, such as emails. Professional writers can also use the free version to catch typos and basic grammar mistakes.
Apart from all the necessary features offered in the Grammarly free version, Grammarly Premium provides several other valuable elements such as an advanced clarity checker and a robust plagiarism checker. All these help you enhance your writing effectively.
Grammarly Premium is a helpful tool for people who are already adept at English as it still requires plenty of work on catching semantic errors. Businesses and Professional writers who do intensive writing should give the Premium version a go. From writing, editing, and proofreading to plagiarism checking, it is almost an All-in-One solution (though not a substitute for a human proofreader – at least yet).
People, especially students who cannot learn from their mistakes, should avoid relying on Grammarly as it can hinder their learning process.
Granted, Instructional Error Cards and Weekly Writing Stats (emailed to the user) can pinpoint your weak points, but educating yourself from there on is entirely up to you.
Just like ‘Auto-correct’ hinders people’s ability to learn proper spellings, Grammarly can do that for learning grammar rules.
Grammarly is an excellent tool, but it still makes slips, which can be misleading for amateurs who don’t have a solid grip on the English language. Therefore, if you are not proficient enough in English, you should only subscribe to Grammarly Premium if you can remember that it is not a replacement for a human teacher or a proofreader. Or, you can continue using the Free version, which is competent enough to check fundamental grammar and spelling oversights.
Furthermore, businesses and professionals who are infrequent users can stick to the Free version if they feel they will not be making the most of the Premium version.
A comparison with basic text editors will illustrate Grammarly’s true potential:
Microsoft Word is the most popular and feature-packed text editor. It includes a basic grammar and spelling checker that catches typos in real-time. However, MS Word is very limited in its grammar checking capabilities.
I’ve written many articles using Microsoft Word, which were considered error-free by the text editor. However, when I put the same documents in Grammarly’s Editor, there’d always be some critical mistakes caught by the Free version and some clarity or consistency mistakes pointed out by the Premium version.
Grammarly finds inconsistent punctuation that MS Word missed.
Google Docs is another mighty text editor, which is free to use. It also has numerous features, including spelling and grammar checking. Google Docs’ grammar and spelling check software only flag issues with an alternative in its database; otherwise, it ignores them. It auto-corrects the obvious spelling blunders. It can also pick missing determiners (articles) better than Microsoft Word. However, once again, when compared to Grammarly, Google Docs falls far behind in exposing slip-ups.
Grammarly in Google Docs.
Google Docs performs a little better than MS Word when it comes to punctuation, yet it is incomparable to Grammarly, which is in Beta for Google Docs.
Grammarly proofreads content written in English (American, British, Australian, and Canadian) and gives detailed performance statistics. Weekly Writing Statistics are emailed to the user account, and you can download a complete PDF that extensively illustrates your performance.
From scoring to pointing out all mistakes and amendments, Grammarly doles out a comprehensive document that you can use to improve your weak areas. Grammarly can function as your teacher in this regard if you learn from these mistakes and try to improve your performance, especially in areas pointed out by the software.
Grammarly is available in the following product versions:
All these versions are usable in the following product forms:
Grammarly’s web application acts as an online editor to upload a document, copy/paste content, or write directly. It has a 4MB size-limit and a 100,000 characters-limit (about 60 pages). When you upload a file, a pop-up tells you that your document formatting will restore when downloaded.
Grammarly’s interface for the online version and the desktop app is identical, and it is outstandingly intuitive and accessible. A dedicated writing assistant panel on the right side contains valuable information and choosable options. It also lists and categorizes all the errors found.
A bar at the bottom contains a few formatting options and some length-related info about the passage.
Typing in any online text editor activates the ’Grammar and Spelling Checker’ when the extension is on. It underlines (in red) all the issues in real-time. Hovering over the problem pops up an Error Card that contains corrections and more information about the mistake.
You can use the Grammarly icon at the bottom-right of online text editors to activate or deactivate the tool. This option is beneficial because sometimes you want to check your content but don’t want distractions while writing. I recommend turning on the extension after you have completed your draft and now want to begin the editing phase. You can also open the Grammarly editor within a website for added convenience.
The Grammarly add-on is available on all popular browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge Chromium, etc. And it is compatible with millions of websites and the web versions of many desktop applications, including WordPress, emails, social media, work platforms, and many more. Grammarly for Google Docs is in Beta right now. The Grammarly extension also gives you the option to ’Show Definitions and Synonyms via Double Click,’ which works like a dictionary within any website.
The Grammarly icon within your text editors tells you the total number of issues found on the Grammarly pop-up. However, you have to scroll through the document and find those problems yourself. It is not as efficient as the online Editor. The extension only shows the critical issues inside your online editor. It gives you the option to open the online Grammarly Editor to see the errors pointed out by the Premium version. The browser extension also works slower for lengthy content. It is convenient but only for short-form writing.
The desktop application, like all other products, is online only and doesn’t work offline. An internet connection is necessary as Grammarly uses its database to process the document. The desktop app is identical to the online editor.
You can integrate Grammarly into Microsoft Word and Outlook through their Add-in. Unlike other Grammarly product forms, the MS Word Add-in activates when clicked — otherwise, it stays dormant. When enabled, a right panel appears with suggestions, Error Cards, and statistics, just like the Online Editor and the Desktop App. Grammarly has no character limit for the MS Word Add-in.
You can download Grammarly Keyboard for both Android and iOS through their respective stores. Now available for iPad as well, it is easy to use as it works like the auto-correct feature available in the smart devices. It gives suggestions when Grammarly encounters any grammar or spelling lapses.
Grammarly is a tad expensive when purchased as a monthly subscription, which costs $29.95 per month. The quarterly ($59.95) and annual ($139.95) subscriptions offer better value for money. Through its weekly newsletter and other channels, Grammarly presents discount offers to its free users from time to time, which you can avail yourself of to get an even cheaper deal for the Grammarly Premium subscription.
Grammarly Pricing Plans for Premium Version – Monthly, Quarterly, Annual
Grammarly Free is limited but still adequate for many as it gives you critical grammar and spelling checking capabilities. It is usable in all product forms.
Grammarly Premium, along with Spelling and Grammar Checker, offers an advanced Clarity Checker, Plagiarism Checker, and experimental Tone Detector. All Grammarly features are available for the Premium version.
Grammarly for Business offers all the Premium features for three or more users. It also gives you an admin panel to customize your experience. You can add a personal dictionary, among other things, which will be accessible to all users. Grammarly for Business includes:
Grammarly Business Pricing Example
Grammarly @Edu is also an available option, of which educational institutes and organizations can avail themselves. It caters to a large number of accounts, as it targets students.
Grammarly has hands-down the best interface among all the writing assistants. It is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly.
Grammarly integrates with millions of sites and text editors. It is also compatible with MS Word (both for Windows and Mac) and Outlook via an Add-in. It is still in Beta for Google Docs.
Grammarly is incompatible with some desktop apps, but you can use Grammarly in their web versions.
For products where you can upload text documents, the supported document formats are: .docx, .rtf, .odt, .txt.
Grammarly is restricted to English only, including American, British, Canadian, and Australian English. Grammarly doesn’t support foreign language phrases, translation, etc., at the moment.
Grammarly checks for spelling mistakes based on context. It is excellent at differentiating between commonly misspelled words. It can also tell Common and Proper Nouns apart (in most cases).
All Grammarly products on all plans help you check for grammatical errors and syntax issues in the provided document in real-time.
The Plagiarism Checker is not available for the free version. When I inquired about plagiarism in hard copy, patch plagiarism, and ProQuest, here’s what Grammarly Support had to say:
“We teamed up with ProQuest to provide even more accurate plagiarism checks: currently, Grammarly’s plagiarism checker searches major proprietary databases along with over 16 billion web pages. You can check ProQuest libraries here http://www.proquest.com/libraries/academic/databases/.
Please note that Grammarly catches verbatim plagiarism and slightly modified text that can be classified as unoriginal. As comprehensive as our algorithms are, significantly rephrased text oftentimes can’t be traced back to its source.”
Note: I checked this document with both; Grammarly Plagiarism Checker is not as robust as Copyscape, but it’s catching up fast.
It detects a variety of tones based on the context of the given passage.
Grammarly Tone Detector
Grammarly checks for advanced issues for the Premium, Education, and Business versions. The Free version checks for limited conciseness; the rest is available on the Premium version only.
Grammarly offers support via its extensive, well-written, and user-oriented knowledge-base. Grammarly also provides support via email (24/7 for the Business version) if you can’t find a relevant answer in the knowledge-base.
Moreover, the Grammarly Blog teaches, among other useful things, the proper use of grammar in English.
The Grammarly Blog teaches the rules of English grammar and gives tips on writing. It also specializes in teaching about the most common blunders, which are also a strong suit of the application.
You can view the ‘Statistics Summary Card’ by clicking the ‘See Performance’ button. Or you can download the detailed statistics via the Download PDF Report option. These statistics are in-depth and contain exhaustive information regarding the whole document, including your score, errors, reading time, speaking time, and more.
Grammarly Performance Stats
You can customize Grammarly’s feedback according to your needs. This option gives you an adjustable chart where you can set your preferences according to your needs. It helps with the document’s tone, the difficulty level depending on the target audience, and more.
Grammarly Adjust Goals
Grammarly gives you the option to get your work checked by experts. It’s a particularly convenient option for those who cannot or do not want to rely on their proofreading skills better than finding and hiring someone yourself.
Grammarly Expert Writing Help
Grammarly has a free version with a powerful-enough spelling and grammar checker. It is available in all product forms – Online Editor, Browser Extension, Desktop Application, and Word Add-in. The Free version checks for up to 150 grammar rules.
It is superb at uncovering elementary grammar fallacies due to its context-based checking, powered by its robust AI and NLP software.
The Free version doesn’t show clarity issues. It reveals the number of clarity issues in the content, but it doesn’t tell you what and where those issues are.
The Premium version shows advanced grammar issues such as clarity, conciseness, dangling modifiers, squinting modifiers, monotonous sentences, intricate text, split infinitives, and many more. It checks for over 400 rules of English grammar, far more than the Free version. Grammarly Premium also has a plagiarism checker within the interface, which is mighty-enough for online plagiarism checking.
When you run some text through any version and product form of the app, Grammarly will process the document for the following:
However, Grammarly will not point out many of these mistakes for the Free version. It will only tell you the number of such problems in your content.
Let’s see some examples.
Grammarly detecting the wrong form of a verb.
Grammarly Context-Based Checking
Grammarly detects unknown words, and if you capitalize them, it considers them proper nouns. It can also miss the incorrect use of a term if you spell it correctly and put it within commas.
Grammarly while dealing with proper nouns, capitalization, and unknown words
Grammarly can differentiate between phrases and sentences. Therefore, you can write headings and subheadings in the form of expression.
Grammarly differentiating between sentences and phrases
Grammarly catching multiple mistakes in one sentence
Grammarly pointing out the wrong determiner-article use
The Grammarly algorithm is not good enough yet at recognizing incomplete sentences. Grammarly is far from perfect, as evident from these examples. Google Docs suggested ’was because’ for the last line instead of ’is because,’ but Grammarly missed that.
Grammarly can miss incomplete sentences.
Grammarly is only making one suggestion that the article use may be incorrect here in the below image.
Cannot detect incomplete sentences (sometimes) if other issues exist
Grammarly suggests you change the first line in the below image because it believes it’s caught a sentence fragment. You accept the suggestion, and it becomes the second line, which is, again, a sentence fragment, according to Grammarly.
Grammarly ‘sentence fragment’ suggestions
Sometimes, the suggestions are right as well.
Grammarly recognizes sentence fragments in some cases
Grammarly is a sniffing-hound-on-steroids when it comes to commas — both missing and wrong ones. It pinpoints the exact location where you should place a comma in a sentence. Whether it is between clauses, a list of items, or something else, Grammarly knows if you have missed a comma or placed a wrong one. It also exposes the famous “Oxford Comma.” Grammarly now points out any inconsistent punctuation (curly vs. straight commas, for example) in your articles.
Grammarly pointing out the missing Oxford Comma
First, it points out the missing hyphen. Once you rectify the error, it points out the wrong capitalization. Grammarly works in steps for multiple errors in a sentence.
Grammarly catching a missing hyphen.
Semi-colon & Colon
Grammarly catches the incorrect use of the semi-colon & colon.
Grammarly points out a missing period
Grammarly can catch missing apostrophes
Apart from correctness that checks for critical grammar mistakes, the Premium version has options to check for clarity, delivery, and engagement, along with many more correctness checks.
Clarity check is not available for the Free version; all other versions of the app have it. It catches linguistic issues that a fundamental grammar checker cannot reveal. These include dangling modifiers, split infinitives, misuse of passive voice, intricate text, inappropriate colloquialisms, etc.
Grammarly Premium can detect inconsistencies and gives you the option to select one form if a word has been used inconsistently in the same document. It can also detect inconsistent punctuation, for example, curly and straight commas.
Grammarly Premium identifies text inconsistencies.
For unclear or complicated sentences where there might be an issue of a dangling modifier or something else, Grammarly suggests an alternative way to write the same sentence.
Grammarly Premium giving rephrasing suggestions
Grammarly can also note if you have used many unnecessary words in a sentence. If there are more words and less content in a sentence, then it suggests you rephrase it. This option can help you make your content non-fluff.
Grammarly is so-so at deciphering when the passive voice is right to use and when you should avoid it in a sentence. My experience is that, more often than not, it will recommend that you rewrite a sentence if it detects passive voice use anywhere.
Grammarly – always – detects passive voice use.
Grammarly exposes unclear and hard-to-follow sentences in the written piece. Sometimes it gives alternatives (if one is available in its database), but usually, it only tells you to rephrase the sentence to make it more understandable.
If you continuously write similar sentences in a passage, Grammarly will detect these sentences’ monotonous nature and advise you to rephrase them.
Grammarly detecting a monotonous passage
Grammarly suggesting alternatives to sound confident
Sound more diplomatic with Grammarly!
Grammarly Premium catches informal sentence structure like a preposition at the end of a sentence. Some other informalities include inappropriate colloquialisms, split infinitives, etc.
Grammarly points out informality.
Grammarly Premium points out overused words and suggests using an alternative here, but sometimes it doesn’t provide suitable options like the Thesaurus Writing Tool.
Grammarly suggesting engaging alternatives
Most of the time, the suggestions are worth considering, though.
Grammarly is suggesting more engaging alternatives
The Grammarly Free version catches all critical issues as it checks for 150 Grammar Rules to determine errors in a document. The Premium version looks for over 400 Grammar Rules and detects far more problems than the Free version.
I wrote an article and checked it through both the Free and the Premium versions. Here is the difference between how the stats of both look like before making the suggested changes:
Original Stats (before checking with Grammarly Free)
Original Stats (before checking with Grammarly Premium)
After editing another article and making the suggested changes, here’s how the Free version stats look like:
Grammarly Free Stats
After editing the same article using the Premium version, the stats look like the following:
Grammarly Premium Stats
Grammarly is a marvelous tool, but it is incomparable to human proofreading. Grammarly cannot detect the sense and meaning of the written text. It catches blunders using English language and grammar rules as efficiently as a machine can. However, some mistakes can slip through Grammarly if there is no syntax error, but just a linguistic or semantic misuse.
Grammarly didn’t suggest anything for a nonsense sentence
Grammarly is not an alternative to human proofreading
Grammarly is evolving with time and has gotten pretty accurate in identifying common mistakes. Its extensive database helps Grammarly recognize errors based on the context.
Grammarly scours the whole text for errors when you provide it a written document. Thankfully, it also checks for blunders as you write or edit your text in any product form – Chrome Extension, Online Editor, Word Add-in, Desktop App (Windows and Mac), and the Grammarly Keyboard for iOS and Android.
With Grammarly, you get a highly-efficient software, which is not only a phenomenal editor but also incredibly easy to use.
You can customize your Set Goals and your Personal Dictionary with the ‘Add to Dictionary’ feature in the Error Cards. This element is convenient for proper nouns and personal vocabulary (even words from a different language).
Based on your Goals, Grammarly, through its tone detector emojis, cautions you of your tone – the vocabulary and phrasing you are using. You can adjust goals keeping in mind your target audience and choose the most appropriate words to use.
Apart from basic grammatical mistakes, Grammarly helps you fix linguistic oversights. It tracks down a wide range of slip-ups, including dangling modifiers, intricate text, split infinitives, passive voice misuse, redundancies, and many other slips. In essence, the Clarity Checker elevates the level of your writing.
It is a bonus in all senses of the word. It might not be essential to the app, but it certainly assists users. Grammarly plagiarism checker is not the absolute best in the industry, but it does the job swiftly. It checks plagiarism across 16 billion pages on the internet and ProQuest’s database.
Error cards are compact, simple, and instructional. They serve their purpose elegantly. Any shortcoming that you experience in Grammarly’s usage so far is due to its still-not-so-extensive database. Error cards also fall short when it comes to giving suggestions due to this very reason. Otherwise, they are usually handy.
You can proofread, remove typos, and analyze the content quickly via the app’s free version. You can also use it before buying the Grammarly Premium subscription.
Supported on both Android and iOS, The Grammarly Keyboard App functions like the auto-correct feature. It gives real-time suggestions about the proper use of grammar and spellings in the written text. Grammarly is now available for iPad and supports hardware keyboards as well.
Grammarly provides customer support via its extensive database and email. By now, almost all popular queries have a database entry. Furthermore, the Grammarly Blog assists with learning English grammar rules.
Grammarly has amassed a plethora of information in its database, which helps run the application smoothly. This knowledge allows the app to identify problems based on the context. You will find accurate solutions for most common issues, thanks to its extensive database growing with time.
The Grammarly Blog focuses on teaching people English grammar rules and common mistakes in their writing. There are dedicated articles for each item; separate sections cover different punctuation like Commas, Hyphens, etc.
The weekly writing stats sent via email and the downloadable detailed performance stats PDF give you comprehensive feedback on your writing. This feature helps you pinpoint your mistakes better than anything else available in the market.
Grammarly Insights are the real-time feedback that the application provides regarding your writing. It bases it on your Set Goals. You can customize this feedback according to your needs, which can be amazingly valuable if you cover different audiences. Insights also include the reading time and speaking time, which is particularly useful to Vloggers, YouTubers, etc., who can quickly determine how much time their script will take on the video.
Grammarly is the most popular and best-in-class digital writing assistant tool, growing exponentially both in features and number of users, indicating that it will provide the best services to its customer base.
Grammarly is notably popular among professional writers, bloggers, publishers, marketers, and businesses, showing that Grammarly has a demanding clientele to please. Therefore, their standards are supposed to be (and they are) higher than the competition.
Having more than a million downloads per month and being a top-1000 website by traffic globally, Grammarly has raised $200M in total funding at a valuation of $1B+ so far, which speaks volumes of its success, investors’ trust in the product, and its projections.
The Free version identifies only critical grammatical errors, typos, and limited ‘conciseness.’ Moreover, it only lists the number of total advanced clarity issues in the text with an ‘Ad’ that keeps asking you to buy a Premium subscription for these issues. It also doesn’t support plagiarism checking.
The biggest drawback of Grammarly is that it is a tad expensive for many. Grammarly Premium can be a costly subscription at $30 per month if you don’t have much writing to proofread.
Grammarly is good at picking fundamental grammar mistakes – even context-based grammar issues, but it still cannot understand what you have written. If you write a nonsense sentence with no grammatical fault, Grammarly will consider it a correct sentence. It can also happen with incomplete sentences.
Grammarly is a mighty grammar checker but lags behind when it comes to rating the whole document. Its scoring is based on mistakes and length of words and sentences only, unlike some other tools that provide a more comprehensive text scoring. Grammarly is also not an alternative to human proofreading as it can’t understand the meaning of the written content.
Grammarly has a limited vocabulary in its database so far, which leads to inaccurate synonym suggestions at times. The Thesaurus Writing Tool, another free digital writing assistant, has an extensive vocabulary due to its vast Thesaurus.com database and offers far more vocabulary suggestions and alternatives.
For many suggestions like Intricate Text, Split Infinitives, etc., Grammarly doesn’t provide an alternative. You have to rephrase the sentence yourself. Grammarly only points out bloopers sometimes, which can be a little frustrating for amateur writers.
Grammarly is not supported everywhere yet. The most prominent places are Google Docs (in Beta at the moment – which doesn’t include Grammarly Premium corrections and the Pop-up Grammarly Editor) and desktop applications. However, it works on the web versions of these desktop applications via its browser extension.
Grammarly Editor is imperfect for writing purposes. It is incomparable to authoritative text editors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. So you have to write your text in another editor and import it in Grammarly for proofreading if you want proper formatting of your document.
Grammarly wants you to upgrade all the time. When using the Free version, you’ll get constant notifications to upgrade to Premium to check for issues that are not available in the Free version.
Grammarly doesn’t offer support for languages other than English. There is also no option available for translation like Ginger.
The Grammarly Premium account gives you only one license for use on up to five devices. It is an obstacle for people with multiple accounts for different purposes. Grammarly Premium is already expensive, so buying two licenses is not feasible for the majority.
Grammarly stands out as the most prominent and well-received tool when you compare all popular digital writing assistants. It has been endorsed and appreciated by countless publishers and writers. Grammarly has become a top product in the digital writing industry with its robust marketing and significant NLP and AI improvements.
Grammarly Inc. has secured enough funding as of late 2019 to improve its natural language learning database to enhance its AI-based application further. Keeping all this in mind, it is evident that Grammarly is dominating the market. Still, there are a few products that come close for one reason or the other. Here are the top 5 Grammarly alternatives in 2021:
Pros: Long-Form Writing (Books, etc.), Writing Insights, Separate Checking of Issues, MS Word Add-in, Efficient Browser Extension
Cons: Short-Form Writing, Fewer Errors Detected, Not for Amateurs, No Free Version
ProWritingAid is considered a worthy alternative to Grammarly (notably for long-form writing – books, etc.), but it falls far behind Grammarly for short-form writing.
ProWritingAid is accurate, feature-rich, and integrates well with apps and websites, but the interface is not as user-friendly as Grammarly’s. It also reveals fewer issues as Grammarly has advanced context-based grammar checking capabilities.
ProWritingAid offers better pricing and value for money (Premium is $60 per year, $70 with Plagiarism Checker), and it also has a Lifetime Plan. However, it doesn’t have a free plan like Grammarly. The Online Editor has no word limit, unlike Grammarly’s 60-pages or 100,000 character limit.
ProWritingAid provides many options/tabs to check for each issue separately, handy for longer articles or books. However, it is not as user-friendly for short writing pieces.
It also presents a better analysis of the whole document and provides a lot of information regarding your writing, which you can use to improve your writing style.
ProWritingAid has an easy-to-scroll-through panel at the right-side that contains corrections and suggestions, which you can use to see all issues without scrolling the entire document.
ProWritingAid has the following tabs to check for each issue separately:
Pros: Keeps Formatting, 60 Languages & Translation, Built-in Dictionary, Browser Extension, Free Version
Cons: Fewer Issues Detected, Fewer Insights, Interface is just OK, no MS Word plugin
Ginger is also a notable competitor of Grammarly. It has a free version, and it integrates well with different websites. However, it doesn’t have an MS Word plugin. It is also not as accessible due to its clunky interface.
Ginger is not as powerful as Grammarly, but it is still a decent alternative. Ginger’s annual subscription is $89.88 (cheaper than Grammarly’s).
Ginger keeps the original formatting of the text document, which is pleasant. It also has a Translator within the app that supports 60 languages. Also, there’s a built-in dictionary, which you can use to find alternatives to overused words.
Pros: Cheap, Integrates with Platforms, Gimmicks – i.e., Templates, etc.
Cons: Interface is awful, Fewer Mistakes Caught
WhiteSmoke is cheap to use, but it has a horrible interface. It integrates with many platforms, but it is incomparable to an advanced tool like Grammarly. It has some useful gimmicks like templates for specific writing purposes, i.e., Sorry, Thank You, Condolences, etc.
The annual subscription of WhiteSmoke costs $79.99. However, it is not advanced enough to be considered better value for money.
Pros: Free, Vocabulary suggestions on hovering the cursor over a word, Blog
Cons: Editor is dreadful to use, Ruins Formatting
Thesaurus Writing Tool is a free-to-use online text editor powered by Thesaurus.com. You can copy/paste or write directly in the Editor. It doesn’t retain the original formatting, which makes it a bit uncomfortable to use. Just click on the ‘Check for Grammar’ button, and it will work its magic. It also has a dedicated blog that teaches you how to write better.
The Thesaurus Writing Tool is unimpressive when checking grammatical errors, but it is highly potent in vocabulary suggestions. Its interface is simple but insufficient. Hover over any word, and it will show you a vocabulary card with a lot of synonyms. Clicking on any suggestion will replace the original term with the selected item. The replaced word gets a yellow underline. An undo option is available if you are not happy with your word selection.
Pros: Free, Information about Text, Text Readability Score
Cons: Ruins Formatting, Fewer Mistakes Caught
Hemingway App is yet another incredible tool that is quite capable and straight-forward. It is convenient for analyzing your document as it scores the content based on its readability. It has a free web app and a paid desktop app. You can copy/paste into the online Editor or write directly, but it messes up the formatting.
Hemingway App identifies the use of passive voice, adverbs, and difficulty of reading. It recognizes long sentences – even the easy-to-read ones – as complex, which affects the document’s grade.
Using advanced NLP and AI, Grammarly free is hands-down the best and must-have writing, editing, and proofreading tool for everyone that checks for spelling and critical grammar mistakes. Easy to use, compatible with most popular products, and trusted by millions of users, Grammarly instantly elevates your writing everywhere; statuses, comments, emails, documents, tweets, you name it! Trying out the free version before upgrading to a premium plan also makes sense.
Grammarly Premium is a more robust and advanced tool with numerous amazing features like an advanced clarity checker, tone detector, and plagiarism checker. The Premium version is unparalleled when complemented with knowledge of the English language and some other tools. However, it is insufficient as a standalone tool because it can make slips (especially semantic ones).
I highly recommend Grammarly Premium to professionals (freelancers, writers, bloggers, authors, publishers, and editors) who require intensive use of the app. Similarly, Grammarly for Business is a good investment if your team does intensive writing. Non-intensive users should stick to the Free version as it suffices.
Aa one user said, “Grammarly Premium helps you sound like a pro, or at least helps you avoid looking like a fool!”
Is Grammarly a good app?
Yes, Grammarly stands out among its competitors as it has advanced context-based grammar checking capabilities, thanks to its up-to-date natural language processing and artificial intelligence.
Is Grammarly Premium worth it?
Yes, for the most part. However, it is a tad expensive for many. It is suitable for professionals and businesses that have lots of writing needs. It identifies several advanced grammar issues that the Free version only counts. However, it is not a substitute for human proofreading as it can make linguistic mistakes that a human can easily find.
Is Grammarly supported in Google Docs?
It is in Beta at the moment. So, it should be available shortly. At the moment, it is imperfect as it only specifies the number of errors. You have to scroll the document to find those mistakes (underlined red) on your own. It has already started working in the comments, though.
Is Grammarly supported in Quora?
Yes, Grammarly works with Quora.
Is Grammarly supported in Medium?
Yes, Grammarly is available for Medium.
Can Grammarly replace a professional editor?
No, it can’t. Grammarly can make simple semantic mistakes because it doesn’t know the meaning of the written text, so it cannot replace a professional editor. It is only suitable for catching syntactic issues.
Is Grammarly supported in Microsoft Word?
Yes, a plugin is available. It is an efficient plugin as it gives similar options in Microsoft Word as it does in its online editor and desktop application. Grammarly is now available for both Windows and macOS versions of MS Word.
Is Grammarly available for Mac?
Yes, Grammarly’s desktop app is available for macOS. Grammarly is available for both Windows and macOS. Grammarly for MS Word is also available for Mac now.
Is Grammarly supported in WordPress?
Yes, it is supported. You can use Grammarly in WordPress via its browser extension.
Is Grammarly supported in Gmail?
Yes, it is. You can edit your email using the Grammarly browser extension within Gmail. However, it is not the best solution for lengthy content. For extended text, the Online Editor, the Desktop App, and the MS Word Add-in are better options.
Does Grammarly work offline?
No, it doesn’t. Grammarly uses its database to run the app, so an internet connection is necessary.
Does Grammarly help you improve your writing?
Yes. If you read the weekly stats, detailed performance stats PDF, and Grammarly Blog for grammar rules and writing tips and try to implement them in your writing, Grammarly can significantly improve your writing capabilities.
Is Grammarly Safe and Secure?
Yes, Grammarly is quite safe, as Google verifies it. Moreover, Grammarly is as secure as any other site that uses SSL/TLS encryption. It is also reliable for plagiarism checking as it doesn’t violate your privacy.
What is the Grammarly cancellation refund policy?
You can get your money back if you are not satisfied with the Premium subscription by contacting Grammarly support within ten days.
Is Grammarly a reliable checker?
Yes, Grammarly outperforms its competitors. Yet, it cannot surpass a professional human editor.
Is Grammarly available for Android/iOS?
Yes, it is. You can use the Grammarly Keyboard to edit your text for grammar and spelling errors by installing the Grammarly Keyboard app from the Play Store or the App Store. It works like the auto-correct feature. Grammarly is now available on iPad as well.
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