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Proofreading your website - how important is it?

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
I was a proofreader for a local paper in Pensacola back in the day. Today, it's so much simpler with autocorrect, but bad stuff can still get through. I'm amazed at how often I'll review a site and find the grammar to be absolutely atrocious. How important do you believe it is to Google and visitors to your website?
 

lavoy.allison

New member
Proper Grammar is Professionalism

I know what you mean. I read books on learning to blog and create WordPress websites and the grammar is really bad. I am reading books from Kindle Unlimited and these authors are taking you back to their websites through links and their websites are no better than the book.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
I think that the level of proofreading and editorial checking on just about every publication is lower than it was a decade ago. Every media outlet, whether it's a global news organisation or just a blog is under so much pressure to constantly create and push out new content that simple errors just slip by.

I'm constantly surprised when I'm reading something on a major news site and see typos or similar mistakes, I shouldn't be surprised anymore because I see them all the time, but it makes me a bit angry and sad every time I do.

I don't know how much search engines care about good grammar, etc. but as a site visitor I'm much more likely to come back / subscribe / buy something / whatever if the copy is written and checked properly.
 

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know how much search engines care about good grammar, etc. but as a site visitor I'm much more likely to come back / subscribe / buy something / whatever if the copy is written and checked properly.
In the same way, if I see a website, or a communication (solicitation email, direct message), with bad grammar and/or spelling, it's game over. I can't stand it.

One More Thing I Can't Stand Is Capitalization Of Every Word. Where The Hell Did This Trend Even Come From.

or people that are too lazy to capitalize anything. anything at all. go away.
 

lavoy.allison

New member
In the same way, if I see a website, or a communication (solicitation email, direct message), with bad grammar and/or spelling, it's game over. I can't stand it.

One More Thing I Can't Stand Is Capitalization Of Every Word. Where The Hell Did This Trend Even Come From.

or people that are too lazy to capitalize anything. anything at all. go away.
For some of us that capitalization of every word is from programming. If you have ever used Camel Case then you get it because after programming for hours you can't stop putting Capitalization everywhere!!
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
I was a proofreader for a local paper in Pensacola back in the day. Today, it's so much simpler with autocorrect, but bad stuff can still get through. I'm amazed at how often I'll review a site and find the grammar to be absolutely atrocious. How important do you believe it is to Google and visitors to your website?
Steve the fact is too many people have the facebook metality of ' Is freds butchers open' they would rather ask a daft question and get someone else do the work of searching/proofreading etc. that do the work themselves.
Just look at facebook selling groups and it amazing me how many people have no idea what 'sell something' means as they use the sell something option for everything.

I dont understand why people cannot do things for themselves
 
It's important and always needs to be checked on a website. English being my second language I had a few issues with grammar as this post will reveal. I bought myself Grammarly and still sometimes when I read through stuff I've put online and I find mistakes. Im going to say this, when you look for a product online especially the newer generation of users most people skim read. They miss all those errors and the numbers of those users will increase as time goes on. Writing, as with many things, is not as respected as it once was. In response I see more and more companies worrying less about grammar on websites and more about connecting with the youth, and they are growing.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
It's important and always needs to be checked on a website. English being my second language I had a few issues with grammar as this post will reveal. I bought myself Grammarly and still sometimes when I read through stuff I've put online and I find mistakes. Im going to say this, when you look for a product online especially the newer generation of users most people skim read. They miss all those errors and the numbers of those users will increase as time goes on. Writing, as with many things, is not as respected as it once was. In response I see more and more companies worrying less about grammar on websites and more about connecting with the youth, and they are growing.
I sometimes wonder if they still teach English in English schools these days as the young generation have no clue about grammar. This is evident in facebook selling groups when they use the 'sell something ' option for things like 'has anyone seen my cat' or they start 'NOT SELLING - i want a washing machine' well if your are not selling dont use the selling option. and if you point this out to them, then they have a go at you.
 
Haha if Facebook is any indication of where we are headed the future does not look very bright. I hate Facebook for reasons other than just his topic, but I have to use it for business, and man it's shocking. I post an ad saying I provide service x for x amount both in the image and the text above. People will still message me asking me do you provide service x and how much. They say it in a snarky tone via some emoji as if I had forgotten to add the info. I have to hold myself back from saying did you actually read the post. I find the same thing on websites it's like they just can't be bothered to read. I saw it start before Facebook when we had had things like MXIT in school ( Basically an early version of WhatsApp ) almost immediately student's grades began to drop. Including mine.
 

SGraf

New member
As Lavoy said:
Proper Grammar is Professionalism

Looking at my own stuff: I do generally get some proofreading done on the main website.
However the Knowledge-Base is another matter and that i only used automated correction tools for.
Changes to the Websites are easy to plan, so its easy to integrate proofreading into the workflow.
KB entries tend to happen spontaneously at weird times such as 3AM at night.

That being said, I do plan on having my KB done at some point in the future.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
KB entries tend to happen spontaneously at weird times such as 3AM at night.

That tends to happen to me as well, but I think it's really important that KB articles are grammatically, etc. correct.

If you are giving people instructions on how to do something and there are errors of any kind in it then it doesn't inspire confidence.

Either write them at 3AM and then hold off on publishing till the morning, or at least go back and re-read them in the morning and fix anything.
 

SGraf

New member
That tends to happen to me as well, but I think it's really important that KB articles are grammatically, etc. correct.

If you are giving people instructions on how to do something and there are errors of any kind in it then it doesn't inspire confidence.

Either write them at 3AM and then hold off on publishing till the morning, or at least go back and re-read them in the morning and fix anything.

Usually both me and the spell checkers (software) think that they are okay. Given that English isn't my "first"/native language there is still a small chance of something being not 100%. :)
(As for the content/screenshots/... that obviously is okay. I'm talking subtle things, like me spelling a word with a capital letter that shouldn't be).
 
Usually both me and the spell checkers (software) think that they are okay. Given that English isn't my "first"/native language there is still a small chance of something being not 100%. :)
(As for the content/screenshots/... that obviously is okay. I'm talking subtle things, like me spelling a word with a capital letter that shouldn't
We are looking at a future where people won't have to read or write anything, not even on their smartphones. Voice commands, voice search and accessibility readers. This is only the beginning. Grammar Nazis are going to have a tough time ahead.
 

SGraf

New member
We are looking at a future where people won't have to read or write anything, not even on their smartphones. Voice commands, voice search and accessibility readers. This is only the beginning. Grammar Nazis are going to have a tough time ahead.
At the risk of being very wrong about this, but whilst i have seen that end-users have seen a decrase in text they need to read to get things done - i haven't seen much of the same trend for developers, engineers and sysadmins over the last 5 years. (Sure you can argue that a lot of new server-side software is more simple to configure, but as a tradeoff we now have a lot newer technology such as virtualization,... around that.)

Looking at my Todo List, there is an open task of - create a few "self-help" videos - that has been open for a year. Its a lot of hassle but probably the route that i will be going down next.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
We are looking at a future where people won't have to read or write anything, not even on their smartphones. Voice commands, voice search and accessibility readers. This is only the beginning. Grammar Nazis are going to have a tough time ahead.
that is way off yet as even typing on smartphones is a challenge as the phones decide what it thinks you are writing rather than what you actually want to write. with voice commands, devices will have to learn your voice and tones
 
At the risk of being very wrong about this, but whilst i have seen that end-users have seen a decrase in text they need to read to get things done - i haven't seen much of the same trend for developers, engineers and sysadmins over the last 5 years. (Sure you can argue that a lot of new server-side software is more simple to configure, but as a tradeoff we now have a lot newer technology such as virtualization,... around that.)

Looking at my Todo List, there is an open task of - create a few "self-help" videos - that has been open for a year. Its a lot of hassle but probably the route that i will be going down next.
Look it's not black and white, I could be wrong about this entirely I admit that openly. With regards to your comment on self-help - Two things that make it work for me - I don't have to Remote Access a client's pc and spend my time setting up somebody's Imap on their computer. From Google's standpoint, you are providing a website with a nice big variety of related content in relation to the main services you offer.

Heck, il admit about 50% (if not more) of people I send self-help links to don't do it and we still end up doing it for them, some I even have to go to and do it on their devices. --- but that's building a solid support relationship. The other 50% are saving me time and thinking, these guys have it together.

For those who do use your self-help they will return to find another solution and so returning visitors are also great in the eyes of Google and it's great for your brand.

Perhaps a thing a should mention and why we have a difference in opinion is that I am from South Africa more specifically the Eastern Cape. Here we are quite young as compared to the rest of the world in the online space.


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Developers, engineers, and sysadmins are not your average person they are attuned to finer details because if you leave a cap of a function or just omit a semicolon your site crashes, or things go wonky. It could also be that people who are more detail orientated naturally make for better developers...

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If you look at recent statistics on the growth of voice search you will see it growing between 9 - 10 % per year from what I could find.

Here is quite a nice article on it: https://www.oberlo.co.za/blog/voice-search-statistics . Note where it says 71% of people prefer voice over typing. That was in 2018

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To end this off from my side I don't disagree with you, though my grammar may be horrible I try to work on it still because there are high-end clients that would drop me in a second because of it. It happens still.

I myself don't use voice search, as pointed out it's still very rough around the edges in terms of giving superior search results. Google still struggles with natural language not just in voice searches but on text-based searches too.
 
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