Do You Mistrust A Company That Misspells WordPress?

As long as I’ve been involved, I’ve seen countless numbers of companies misspelling WordPress. Despite the fact that WordPress added a filter to automatically correct the word, it still happens and when it does, the results are not pretty. Members of the community point out their mistake and while generally it’s enough to get a good laugh, it’s usually followed up with “can’t trust or work with a company that can’t even spell the name of the software correctly“. So after you vote in the poll, let me know in the comments if the spelling of WordPress is an indicator as to whether a company is worth doing business with or not.

[poll id=”45″]

45 responses to “Do You Mistrust A Company That Misspells WordPress?”

  1. It depends what the company does, but if they’re marketing themselves as WordPress experts then I would definitely be concerned. If they’re experts then they should know about the filter and the ‘discussions’ around it.

  2. @Ben – I agree. I figure if you’re going to do business with WordPress involved, at least get the spelling right.

  3. Sometimes even the best of us make typos. Furthermore, it sounds a bit snobby to say just because someone typed WordPress with a lowercase p is unworthy of your trust.

    To be quite honest, most people don’t do the research into seeing how a brand likes their name to be spelled. Sometimes they know the proper formatting, but they are not super conscious about it.

    For example take this article of yours:

    PayPal has two capital Ps … not like paypal.

    P.S. I didn’t mean to be nitpicky about the PayPal spelling. I just know that a lot of people misspell that, and I needed a fast example. Quick research showed that post. Your other posts have it spelled correctly at least the ones that I saw :)

  4. @Syed Balkhi – You’ll have to find another example as I went back and corrected that post :) but ok, I can side with your points as well. But isn’t it odd that at least in the WordPress world, that if you don’t spell the word correctly, it’s like a black mark against you? I wonder what other community is like that? Although I admit that typing out WordPress and having to capitalize the P is annoying as hell on my fingers.

  5. If they misspell WordPress, use it as ‘WordPress’ or ‘Word Press’, etc.. it’s grounds for immediate dismissal for me. I’m strict on who I play ball with, and a requirement is the basic understanding of WordPress. Someone claiming to be an expert in ‘WordPress’ just doesn’t seem like an expert. I may be harsh in my judgement, but it’s logic that has yet to serve me wrong.

    Yes, plenty of people can spell it right and capitalize it right and have completely no idea what they’re doing, but this requirement makes it easy for me to filter out the riff-raff. Max I’d stay on the site is probably less than a minute longer, if not immediately closing and burning the tab.

  6. If a company bills themselves as a general web development agency that does “Word(p)ress” along with other technologies, then fine, I can deal with it. I don’t expect everyone to use the exact correct spelling of everything all the time (for example GitHub has a capital H which I often forget).

    However, if a company bills themselves as “Word(p)ress specialists” then they won’t get a second look. If you claim to specialise or be an expert in something then you are setting yourself up to be held to high standards. Misspelling the product you specialise in is not acceptable.

  7. I find the whole WordPress spelling witch hunt comical. Serious waste of time debating the absurdity of discounting something based on not capitalizing a P in the middle of a single word.

    Our company name is “rocketgenius”. All lower case. But everyone in the community spells it “Rocketgenius” or “RocketGenius” or “Rocket Genius”. Do we care? Do we bitch at people over it? do we discount people because of it? No. It’s simply not that important as long as they know who we are.

    People make an assumption that to be good at WordPress development you need to be wired into this community and be aware of things like this otherwise you must not know what you are doing and therefore you and what you do should be discounted. ABSURD.

    Case in point. The lead developer of Gravity Forms and rocketgenius co-founder Alex Cancado. He’s not involved in the community. You don’t see him much on twitter, he doesn’t read any of these WordPress blogs. He works and then he gors home and spends tome with his family.

    He wouldn’t know WordPress is supposed to have a capital P if it wasn’t for me mentioning it because of community stupidity that surrounds it. Does that mean you should discount him? Does that mean he doesn’t know what he’s doing?

    He only built one of the most successful commercial plugins in existence. So despite the fact he wouldn’t think to capitalize the P in WordPress he’s still a better programmer than you. Remember that next time you bitch or discount someone for not capitalizing the P.

  8. I agree with Carl to the point that the nonsense has to stop…

    In the case of a client misspelling– use it as an opportunity to better educate them on WordPress. Not in the sense of proper capitalization, but rather how great the software is and what it’s capable of. Chances are, if they’re spelling it as WordPress, their exposure is low and they may not know what it’s capable.

    In the case of developers and other WordPress shops– it can be used as a red flag that they may be false advertising and is a clue to see what their community contributions are. Whether it be plugins, documentation, support, etc.

    It’s time for some in the community to mature for the betterment of everyone else in the community.

  9. I have to say, I agree with Carl. I do work solely with WordPress (well, not *solely*, but close enough…) and have a couple of plugins under my belt. But I’m also a person whose fingers tend to move faster than her brain. I also consider myself a grammar nazi. So when I post something and I see those mistakes *after the fact*, I tend to beat myself up. But it’s not the end of the world. I’ll fix it (if I’m allowed to edit), but a lot of times I can’t, so I just ::headdesk:: and move on. I know a LOT of professionals who use “WP”, “Word(p)ress”, or “wordpress” when quickly communicating about it – including me. I would say, if you’re a specialist, I wouldn’t want to see “Word(p)ress on your “what we do” page (that, I *would* question your WordPress expertise on), but if you’re on some social media platform or generally writing an email and your fingers move like mine, I wouldn’t convict, sentence, and flip the switch on you in the time it takes me to click a button. It takes a lot more than that to make me write someone off.

    Not trying to offend anyone, but there’s definitely more to life than being anal-retentive about a letter. If you do, you’re missing out on a lot of pretty great stuff.

  10. To further clarify my position on the misspelling, it only applies to marketing material / website “what we do” / “we built a Word(p)ress plugin” / etc, it’s not about casual conversation or e-mails or blog posts for me.

  11. I understand that WordPress wants to educate us all about their name, perfectly fine and I get that. But it’s no reason for everyone else, and their pets, to get their ass up in the air about it.

    This “issue” is a 1st world problem… that is to say, ridiculous.

    I think it makes far more sense to say: “can’t trust or work with a company that can’t get past the fact that some companies can’t even spell the name of the software correctly”

  12. I have a thing about spelling, and grammar, so it does bother me to a certain extent. That said, I can understand why some companies do misspell – be it WordPress or PayPal – especially when they use software which automatically corrects ‘mistakes’.

    To which, I might add, WordPress is not exactly innocent when it comes to the use of the word WordPress: since WordPress is automatically marked as wrong by the built-in spellchecker on WordPress…..

  13. I agree with Carl, ‘I find the whole WordPress spelling witch hunt comical. ‘ And a little disturbing.

    As an Internet Marketing provider using WordPress for websites, I have been too busy actually getting people online/making money in their businesses by using WordPress – to pay much attention to spelling.

    WordPress is an essential tool in my business and I actively promote WordPress. Because it’s Open Source (love Open Source!) – for months I was using the WordPress brand name as an adjective: ‘WordPress’.

    Seeing the recent posts on the subject: I should be totally shamed and drop into a convenient hole in the ground. (Note to my competitors: No such luck for you!)

    Funny – I had thought I was participating in the Open Source community and using WordPress as I viewed it to be most helpful. To be blunt – I would rather spend time USING WordPress than promoting the brand name with a capital ‘P’ (no offense Matt!).

    Now that I realize that the wrong spelling equates with an opportunity for competitors to take pot-shots at me – it’s all corrected. If anyone finds a small ‘p’ – and has some intent other than feeling superior – feel welcome let me know the page of the mistake? It will be corrected.

    Feeling dazed and confused but hanging in there.
    I LOVE WordPress!

  14. @Viktoria Michaelis – Darn it! :)

    Also I’ve clearly missed some recent discussion on this topic which, from the sounds of other people’s comments, caused Jeff to open this poll.

    To me though, Jeff made a clear point. He asked whether you’d mistrust a company who misspell WordPress. He didn’t ask anything about educating people on the correct spelling or whether community involvement correlates with ability.

    As per my first comment, it comes down to due diligence. If a company who claims to specialise in WordPress can’t spell its name correctly on their home page, how can I have trust in their other quality control procedures?

  15. The answer to any question – can be ‘slanted’ by how the question is phrased and asked :)

    Perfect example: The current political debates in the US Congress. A common tactic used by some Conservatives regarding Gun Control, for example.

    Question: Do you believe in taking guns away from American citizens?
    99% will say ‘Of course not’!

    Real Issue: Would it be appropriate to require more background info when processing gun license applications?

  16. If I was looking at a resume that had typos in it, I would toss out that resume. Especially for a programming job. It’s not a great leap to imagine that the applicant’s code is sloppy, too.

    When I’m looking for a company to buy a theme or plugin from, or to hire to work on WordPress for me, their website is their resume. If it misspells WordPress, they’ve instantly lost my confidence. First impressions are important.

    Now let’s be clear: if I get an email or tweet or IM or whatever from a developer or project manager that misspells WordPress, I’m not going to care. That’s an entirely different scenario than misspelling WordPress in your marketing material, which I believe is what this post is specifically about.

  17. Your speaking to more of a “mis-casing” and not a “mis-spelling” in my opinion.

    I agree with the general sentiment here, if the verbiage is marketing its wrong. If its fired off in a 2 line email for brevity sake its acceptable.

  18. I didn’t even realize this was a religious war being fought, but honestly who cares? This is not a coding sin, it’s a matter of WP trying to protect their trademarked word. There’s far bigger and more important issues in the WP community that running about correcting people from lowercasing trademarks.

    I do however, think it’s reasonable that if you are selling products, that it is a commercial site, you do have some sort of responsibility to WordPress to respect their wishes in regards to their trademark. Personal communications though, blogs and the like? Non-issue.

    I’ve seen plenty of devs who can capitalize WordPress correctly but still can’t even follow the most basic security guidelines, so being a grammar Nazi is no assurance of quality.

  19. @Briston – You’re right. It deals with camel casing not actually misspelling. Now I’m wondering if I should start this poll over again. Just kidding. I didn’t think this poll would generate this kind of response.

  20. @Syed Balkhi – Exactly! It doesn’t make you less of a fan not to capitalise the P.
    I’m sure a grammar expert will come along and tell us that these blended words should have a capital letter in the middle of them anyway ;)

  21. I don’t know about everyone else but my teenager son saw this question and answered it differently to me. I then said it aloud and we both came to the same answer when we both heard what it was. The question should have been positive positive not negative positive;

    Do you TRUST a company that misspells WordPress?

  22. If someone or company cannot spell WordPress correctly they certainly are not going to impress me. No different than a company misspelling my name after I have provided them the correct spelling…

  23. If you can’t — or don’t — spell something as simple as WordPress correctly, it makes me wonder what you would pay attention to. It’s simple details such as that — whether it’s in a business proposal or a social media post — that I can’t bear if you wan’t to be taken seriously or credibly. Call me a grammar nazi, but, hey, I didn’t go to school for “fun.” I went to learn things I thought were important, and still are.

  24. I’m actually more likely to distrust a company that uses the Fauxgo in their marketing. I see that too-low-too-flat-W and cringe.

  25. To not pay attention to this detail means you don’t pay attention to details in your code or design.

    But not every person who could provide a WordPress-related service has to spell it correctly to be trustworthy. Some great developers and designers don’t focus on WordPress, so it would be a loss to discard them just because they couldn’t spell the name correctly.

  26. Me thinks there are too many coders anal about the spelling and not enough English grammarians to counter their arguments….

    Do you mean some some companies spell it WordPress rather than WordPress? If so, at least in media that change is acceptable in some stylesheets. For example, according to some major media style guides, we write Unesco, and not UNESCO.

    WordPress is a brand, but when writing it it is fine not to need to capitalize any but the first letter. Just like some reporters/media write it Youtube and not YouTube.

    Even the IEEE only recently went BACK (sorry for the caps) to allowing only 1 internal capital letter, primarily because too many grammar klutzes were not able to separate the idea of a brand from the idea of “writing”. See this:

    On the other side of the spectrum, some companies only have lowercase letters in their “branded name”. But writers need to sometimes capitalize the first letter either for style or for grammar purposes. Yahoo’s own styleguide discusses that here:

    I would not get so anal about it, especially since lots of grammar people are just as anal on the other side about NOT (sorry, those darn caps again) needing to capitalize the internal letter.

  27. Do I trust a blogger who tags a post with ‘mispelling’? :-)

  28. I used to always type WordPress till there were so many mentions of the ‘typo’ that I always now try to remember it is WordPress. :-)

  29. I would not necessarily discount a company/provider solely because of an improperly capitalized reference to WordPress, but it would be the first red flag that they were not very attentive to details. I think the key question for any business or professional is not whether they can justify their sloppiness, but how many potential customers are they putting off by their inattention to detail. Why risk alienating a potential client because of sloppy copy? It does nothing to present a professional image. Of course, we all goof on occasion, but why not at least strive to be accurate and precise?

  30. I probably would notice a website that spelled WordPress incorrectly. Though more alarms would be sounding if the person was making basic grammatical errors such as cant instead of can’t or cannot, there instead of their etc. As Syed says, a lot of people misspell well known brand names.

  31. You people have far too much time on your hands. What difference does it make as long at the basic understanding is there?

  32. I didn’t realize something like this would get this kind of traction/discussion. First, I feel a bit dumb because it’s not really a misspelling but rather, missing the camel case. As has been mentioned, missing the capital P in WordPress could be one of the first red flags but shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to doing business with someone.

  33. @Jeffro – calling it misspelling is okay. It communicates the point and it makes it sound like a serious offense! :P

  34. The old pop-version of the relevant wisdom is; “Call me anything you want, just don’t call me late for dinner”!

    The old biz-version of the same goes; “Call us anything you like, just don’t forget to sign the check”!

    Idiosyncratic or outright zany name-creation has its pluses, and its minuses. And there is a spectrum in such things: WordPress is not as bad as Yahoo!, for example.

    But it will not take long at all to find examples in this popular if sometimes irksome flamboyant-name genre, at which reasonable people brusquely balk.

    However – if this is the only or worst banana-peel on which Matt Mullenweg places poorly-thought-out mass & force … we should just accept Him as Jesus & call it good. ;)

  35. Honestly I don’t care. It’s the platform that’s important to me, not the name. Hell, this wasn’t even an issue until the filter was put in place.

  36. If WordPress is not typed using the proper casing and/or the WP abbreviation is used in marketing material then unless I know the person well, it gives a poor impression. I can forgive one or two mistakes because I know how easy it is to miss an error. But if there are more than that then I’ll lose confidence in them from a hiring point of view because, in my eyes they come across as unprofessional or worse, as a slacker.

    I don’t like slackers and sloppiness. By not taking enough care, they’ve just shown me that they don’t care about their own business as much as they ought to, therefore I’m not likely to get the best value from working with them.

    I love people who are anal about the small details. It means I’ll feel more confident working with them knowing they’re not going to be sloppy, especially when it comes to my business.

    It has nothing to do with not having anything better to do, or not having a life. I have better things to do than to keep having to go back to the person I hired asking for corrections because they couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to the finer details. Heck, I’ve got better ways of spending my hard-earned cash.

    Please note, I’m not referring to emails and casual communication.

  37. WordPress Foundation did not correct the usage of ‘WordPress’

    When my WP Meetup group became a part of the WordPress Foundation-sponsored WP Meetup groups in early 2013 – the Meetup group description etc had multiple use of ‘WordPress’ [with NO capital p] on the front page. This site auto-corrects the spelling of wordpress.

    Not only did the WordPress Foundation not mention the lack of a capital ‘p’, as it became the main Organizer for the Meetup Group. The WordPress Foundation also declined to comment on an email sent later – inquiring about the ‘WordPress’ usage and controversy.

    Takeaway: The WordPress Foundation is not interested in participating in this silly controversy.


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