Jetpack Retires Proofreading Module, Time to Find A New Grammar and Spellchecking Alternative

Jetpack 7.3 was released last week and if you didn’t read the changelog, you may have missed that the spelling and grammar checking module that uses After the Deadline has been retired.

“Grammar and Spelling: Remove from Jetpack. We’ve chekced the spelling alot over the years, but now time to retire.”

From the Jetpack 7.3 Changelog

According to James Huff, an Automattician and volunteer moderator, the module was removed in favor of better options being available.

“We removed the feature as it has become a bit redundant lately,” he said. “Most major web browsers have some form of this already built-in, and free extensions like Grammarly are making huge strides in the field. It felt like the right time to back out of that field and focus more on everything else we offer.”

After the Deadline is a service that was created in 2008 by Raphael Mudge and was acquired by Automattic in 2009. It not only checked for grammar and spelling errors, it did so contextually and provided style suggestions. Mudge moved on from Automattic in 2010 and the service has seemingly operated on auto-pilot.

After the Deadline Proofreading Button in the Calypso Editor

Between 2010 and 2011, the Jetpack team added support for AtD with a proofreading module. Unfortunately, the proofreading button that was available in the Classic editor was not ported over to Gutenberg. This issue was originally reported on GitHub in 2018 but was closed 14 days ago due to AtD support being removed from Jetpack, WordPress.com, and Calypso.

I’ve used After the Deadline for 10 years and although there’s no official statement on when the service will be retired, the writing appears to be on the wall.

I plan to give Grammarly a try but I’ll miss After the Deadline. What grammar and spellchecking services or software do you use and recommend as an alternative to After the Deadline?

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9 Comments


  1. I won’t be using Grammarly, as, unlike After The Deadline, they store everything you write on their servers, forever.

    I think that we should have a built-in spell checker in WordPress.

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  2. What grammar and spellchecking services or software do you use and recommend as an alternative to After the Deadline?

    Grammarly Premium is working well for my spell-checking and proofreading needs.

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  3. I use grammarly but not via the browser extension but directly on the site.

    It doesn’t work well with Gutenberg as it thinks each block is a different field and I noticed at times that Grammarly markup was being saved into the post.

    Since then I just copy and paste the content directly into Grammarly and review and fix accordingly.

    Of course you can directly do that via the browser extension if you are not so picky as me.

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  4. I have already contacted the Jetpack people directly with a simple request: Bring back the proofreader.

    Dumb, dumb decision to delete it.

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  5. For me, it’s overwhelmingly just about spellchecking. I have not used JetPack or After The Deadline, but I do explore grammar and style plugins. I do find them valuable (two different tool-categories), but for one thing lots of my transgressions are part of my style.

    It seems there is a high level of ‘noise’ in the feedback that such scripts have of offer. But there are gems, and I have blindspots, so this area is a worthwhile work-in-progress.

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  6. I use the LanguageTool extension for Chrome. While it isn’t as good as ATD, the ATD server failed enough times for me to switch long ago.

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  7. I remember a bunch of us discussing this back when this feature was created. It always seemed out of place in WordPress, when that sort of thing could be handled in the browser in a way which would benefit everything. It’s nice to see that the browser based systems caught up and presumably surpassed the WordPress plugin method eventually :)

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  8. I got the same unsatisfactory copy and pasted response from Jetpack when I submitted a ticket. Really not happy with how they simply removed the feature without a heads-up or transition period. The editors in my office are furious.

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