It’s vital to ensure your blog posts are free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Poorly written content reduces the time visitors spend on your site. Although Google has said it doesn’t explicitly penalize sites that have errors, those that rank at the top of SERPs tend to be error-free.
However, it can be challenging to identify these mistakes, especially if you’ve spent hours writing the post. Even if your spelling and grammatical skills are excellent, it is hard to spot errors in your work. Fortunately, Grammarly and its alternatives are here to help you.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a digital writing tool. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to identify grammatical and spelling mistakes in writing. Grammarly’s algorithms are sufficiently advanced that the tool can also detect punctuation, word choice, and stylistic errors. It can even explain the reasons behind each correction and offer suggestions.
You can specify a level of formality, the intended purpose of the piece (e.g., to inform, convince, or tell a story) and the domain in which the piece will appear (e.g., business, academic, or technical.) This ability to define your parameters means that Grammarly’s suggestions will be contextually appropriate.
Regardless of your level of writing ability, Grammarly is there to make life easier for you. I write for a living, and I use Grammarly all the time!
If you’re looking for alternatives for some reason, I’ve compiled the ten best in this article. Here’s the summary:
|Software||Starting From||Best Thing About It||Biggest Problem|
|ProWritingAid||$20 per month||Easy to use||No desktop app for users of free version|
|Ginger||$29.96 per month||Translation feature||Limited words analyzed on website|
|PaperRater||$11.21 per month||Cheap||Free version hard to use|
|JetPack||Proofreading module is free in certain Jetpack versions||Free||Proofreading module only available in Jetpack 7.3 and older|
|WhiteSmoke||$59.95 per year ($5 a month)||Tutorial videos on English language||User interface lags|
|HemingWay||$19.99||Shows the time a typical reader takes to read a piece of writing||Best for checking for readability, not for grammatical or spelling errors|
|OnlineCorrection||Free||Five English language style options||Very basic|
|Slick Write||Free||Automatic saving||Difficult to use|
|Reverso||Free||Many features||600-character limit|
Now let’s take a look at each alternative in detail.
If you’re looking for an affordable but efficient grammar checker, then ProWritingAid might be the one for you.
This tool integrates easily with Google Docs and MS Office, identifying mistakes as you work. ProWritingAid also integrates well with Gmail and WordPress. You can even use it on Twitter and Facebook.
ProWritingAid has a clean, easy-to-use interface, but it doesn’t offer a desktop app for those using the free version.
You can choose from three English language styles: general English, US English, and British English. Having this choice prevents any language inconsistency throughout your piece and is particularly useful if you’re writing for an overseas market.
ProWritingAid performs 25 different tests on your text. Aside from spelling and grammar, it also checks sentence structure, length, transition, and choice of words.
Considering the features it offers, ProWritingAid is affordable. Its paid plans start at $20 per month. You can opt for the yearly subscription for $79, or the lifetime subscription for $299. If you want to use the plagiarism checker (particularly useful for academic writing), you’ll need one of the PremiumPlus plans.
Ginger is available for Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari, and Mac. Ginger also integrates seamlessly with the WordPress CMS. You can input text directly on Ginger’s website, but users note that only a limited number of words are analyzed there.
You can choose between two different language styles: American or British English. Ginger can also translate your text into 40 languages, including French, Hindi, Arabic, and Russian, which is a neat additional feature. You can also create your own Ginger dictionary to override the system from showing errors for specific words.
The Ginger website doesn’t list prices of its paid plans, but the annual subscription costs $12.48 per month if you pay upfront according to the information I found elsewhere online. The quarterly subscription costs $19.98 per month if paid in full. A monthly subscription is $29.96. Ginger also offers a free version that allows you to use the basic features.
PaperRater is the cheapest paid service on this list, at $11.21 per month. There is also a free version, but its features are limited, and you can only use it to check texts up to 5 pages long.
The free version is also tricky to use, especially as the plagiarism checker is not integrated into the proofreader feature. If you want to use both elements, you have to copy and paste the text twice. The free version doesn’t tell you which lines have been plagiarized, instead only indicating the percentage of the document that is unoriginal text.
Overall, although PaperRater is far cheaper than the other alternatives, its features are minimal, and it is not user-friendly.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that offers a wide range of modules, from analytics to site protection. Only Jetpack 7.3 and older versions offer the proofreading module, which checks for misused words, grammar, style, and spelling. Corrections are color-coded: red indicates a misused word or spelling error, green highlights a grammatical mistake, and blue means that the tool has a stylistic suggestion.
Jetpack is easy to use. You simply download the extension and then enable the module via your Dashboard. You can choose what you’d like Jetpack to look for, including complex phrases, jargon, biased language, and double negatives.
Jetpack does not make any distinction between the different English language styles. Variations of American, British, and Canadian English are in its dictionary, but it will not tell you if you accidentally switch from one to another.
White Smoke offers a lot of features for writers. It checks not only for grammar and spelling mistakes but also for punctuation and style. Like Grammarly, White Smoke gives specific suggestions for other words or phrases you could use. It also has a useful thesaurus feature.
A subscription to White Smoke also includes access to a range of educational videos. These tutorials cover English language topics ranging from prepositions and adjectives to noun and verb agreements.
White Smoke’s cheapest paid plan, billed at $59.95 per year or $5 per month, comes with an inbuilt plagiarism checker, setting it apart from other tools that charge extra for this feature. This tool also comes with over 100 templates for documents such as cover letters, resumes, and reports.
The one downside? Some customers have complained that White Smoke’s user interface tends to lag.
The main advantage of 1Checker is its flexibility. This tool offers an online version, a version for Windows and Windows 8, and a version for Mac. It also has Word and Outlook plugins.
1Checker check for spelling and grammatical errors and provides you with an explanation for each issue flagged. If you don’t want to review each error separately, you can click “Apply All.” The program will then make the changes automatically for you. Beware of false alarms, though. Some users have reported 1Checker flagging words when they are correct.
1Checker is an excellent tool if you’re keen to learn and improve your writing. All revisions are stored in the user center, meaning you can review the mistakes you made.
Like WhiteSmoke, 1Checker offers templates for various types of standard documents. You need to register for an account to access these. 1Checker also comes with a translation tool (though, as Google Translate and Bing power this, it may not be 100% accurate.)
Overall, 1Checker is a great tool. And the best part? It’s free.
HemingWay comes in two versions: the online version, which is free but has limited features, and the desktop version, which costs $19.99. The desktop version is available for both Mac and Windows.
This tool is most useful for checking the readability of a piece of writing. It will highlight long sentences, for example, even if they don’t have grammatical or spelling mistakes. The web version also gives your work a readability score.
A particularly useful feature of HemingWay is that it will estimate the reading time of your piece. Based on my experience, this feature is reasonably accurate.
Unlike Grammarly and all the other tools listed here, HemingWay allows you to insert hyperlinks. You can also easily customize your font, using italics, bold letters, or headers, with this tool.
OnlineCorrection is a free tool. It checks for spelling and grammatical mistakes as well as stylistic errors.
Because OnlineCorrection is very basic, it’s easy to use. All you need to do is copy and paste your content into the space provided, and press submit. If you check the Autocorrect box, the tool will correct your errors automatically.
OnlineCorrection also offers five English language style options: American English, British English, Australian English, New Zealand English, and South African English. You can also check German, Polish, French, Spanish, Russian, and Italian texts for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
For a free tool, OnlineCorrection offers excellent features. However, it does not have a premium option, so if you’re looking for more comprehensive functions, such as a plagiarism checker, you’ll need to use a different tool.
Slick Write is a free web-based grammar checker that offers many different checking features. Unfortunately, it does not have an autocorrect feature, which means that making revisions can be very time-consuming if your text has a lot of errors.
One unique feature of Slick Write allows you to quickly look up more information about a word from several sources. Click on a word, and you can search for synonyms via “Associated Words,” its definition via “Dictionary,” and more detailed information via the “Wikipedia” and “Google” options.
Slick Write also has a useful autosave feature. Don’t forget to uncheck this box if you’re using a shared computer, especially if your work is confidential.
Overall, Slick Write is a great tool. Though it is free, it is user-friendly and has several useful features.
Reverso is another free tool. You can download it as a Google Chrome extension or use the web version.
The online version is straightforward to use. Just copy and paste your text, and the program will check for grammatical and spelling errors. Be aware that there is a 600-character limit, so Reverso is only suitable for checking short passages of text.
One useful feature of Reverso is that it gives additional information if it detects errors in your text. It will provide you with the definition of a word, its synonyms, the correct conjugation of a verb, and even explain grammar rules if needed.
Reverso is also capable of translating your text into French, Spanish, Italian, or German. It has only one English language style option – British English – but you can also check for errors in French text.
Best Grammarly Alternative
We’ve looked at ten of the best tools on the market, and it’s time to reveal the best overall Grammarly alternative.
Overall, ProWritingAid comes out on top for me. It is the closest to Grammarly in terms of features offered and functionality. You can use ProWritingAid for both short and long-form content, and the 25 different checks it performs on your text make it very thorough.
If you’re looking for a free tool, Reverso, Slick Write, and OnlineCorrection are great for checking shorter pieces of content. They’re not so useful for longer-form content and do have their limitations.
Each of these tools has pros and cons, and the one you choose will ultimately be down to your needs and budget. I hope this list has helped you to compare the different tools available and decide which one is right for you.