After The Deadline is a grammar and spelling checker owned by Automattic. That is the parent company of WordPress, the world’s most popular website builder, and content management system.
The name After The Deadline was taken from a column in The New York Times that takes a look at issues pertaining to grammar, spelling, usage, and writing style as encountered by the writers and the editors at the New York Times.
“Since AtD is a style checker to help new media (re: internet) writers shine, we found this name very fitting,” the creators of After The Deadline said on their Frequently Asked Questions page.
But does After The Deadline actually succeed at helping new writers shine? To find out, we put this service through a series of tests. These tests are the same that we conducted on larger services like Grammarly and the Hemingway App.
Did After The Deadline rise to the challenge? Find out in this After The Deadline grammar checker Review.
Pros of After The Deadline
1. Easy to Use and Accurate
I was impressed with the accuracy and ease of After The Deadline when checking a document through its official website. It’s a useful tool that serves as a capable grammar and punctuation checker. I thought that its insights into grammatical mistakes and sentence structure were right on the money.
After The Deadline is a tool mostly used as an extension for other platforms, adding the system’s grammar and spell check functionality to already established software like Chrome, Firefox, and others.
However, you’re also able to use After The Deadline through a tool on its official website, in a section marked “Demonstration.”
Here, you can paste your text. I used the sample writing that we use for every grammar checking software, online spell checker, and plagiarism detector that we review.
It’s a pretty simple set up. You paste your text into the box and click “Check Writing.” It then pours through every word and sentence. Spell checking suggestions will be marked in red, grammatical corrections in green, and style issues in blue.
I did a quick copy and paste of our sample text, and the system started editing the writing in seconds.
When you find a highlighted proofreading issue, clicking on the text brings up a list of suggestions. You can also choose to ignore the tip if you believe the system has made a mistake.
My favorite feature of After The Deadline’s interface was the “Explain” section, which can be found under all suggestions. In the above image, the system highlights an example of passive voice.
Passive voice is something that not everyone is familiar with. If you get a suggestion like this and you don’t understand it, you can click on Explain to get a decent write up on the issue.
The above image shows a great explanation of passive voice, along with some examples of passive voice and how you can go about fixing it. That’s a great way to teach lessons to improve the writing skills of users.
They get extra points for the comic book reference.
However, there was no main menu or readability score, giving you a rundown of all the mistakes. That’s something Grammarly offers.
2. Available on Many Platforms
While the demonstration section of the site was great, it’s clear that After The Deadline was not designed to be used in this way.
It is supposed to be an add-on to established platforms like WordPress and browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
After The Deadline is available on many different platforms.
- AtD Tool
- Open Office
- Windows Live Writer
- WordPress (Formerly)
There is no option for Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
3. Can be Applied to More Platforms
The list of platforms we went through above are the only ones that currently support After The Deadline. However, there is a Developers section of the website, where they encourage business owners to create their own After The Deadline integration.
After The Deadline appears to be a completely free service. You’ll have to pay for some of the software that you apply the extension to, but the demonstration page and the downloads themselves are free of charge.
There’s no option anywhere on the After The Deadline website to enter credit card information, so there’s no need to worry about the company coming after your money or inundating you with ads for a premium service.
5. Multilingual (French, Portuguese, German, and Spanish)
It’s good to see that this is not a service offered only in English. After The Deadline also features French, Portuguese, German, and Spanish for its grammar and spelling checker.
However, it should be noted that the system cannot currently differentiate between American, British, and Canadian variations of English.
Cons of After The Deadline
1. No Mobile App
There is no mobile app for After The Deadline on the Android or iOS platforms.
That means you have to be seated at a computer or using one of the platforms it operates through to use the tool.
It’s not intended for mobile use, which is a shame given the public’s ever-increasing dependence on mobile platforms.
2. No Customer Service for Individual Services
There is no customer service to speak of for After The Deadline, save for a simple contact form. That being said, they are clear that they offer no support for any of the platform versions of their product. The contact form seems to be there for general questions.
I reached out and asked a general question of my own.
I asked a simple question regarding the existence of a plagiarism detector in their software. I have yet to hear anything back.
3. No Plagiarism Detector
There does not appear to be a plagiarism detector included with After The Deadline. Plagiarism is often unintentional, and having a plagiarism detection tool built into your grammar and spelling checker can be a huge bonus that can prevent you from accidentally landing yourself in trouble.
If you want more information on a quality plagiarism detector, check out our list of the top plagiarism checkers on the market today.
4. Difficult to Download/Safety Concerns
I attempted to download several versions of this software. Every time I tried, something happened to make me pause.
When I went to download the Chrome extension, I naturally assumed I’d be taken to the Chrome Extension store.
Not so much.
I was taken to GitHub and given the option to clone or download the browser extension.
This was a big red flag for me.
If it’s a Chrome Extension, it should be linked to the Chrome store. I instantly felt uncomfortable. I’m not entirely familiar with GitHub, and when it comes to installing something on my computer, I’m very picky and careful.
We live in an era of unprecedented cybercrime, and this felt like a “download at your own risk” type scenario. I tried to get the Firefox version, and I was taken to another GitHub page.
Then I tried to access the Windows Live Writer app.
That’s an all-stop right there.
Chrome flagged the site and let me know that bad things were waiting for me on the other end of that link.
This is a serious issue and a literal red flag.
5. No Updates in Years
When I was looking through the various apps for After The Deadline, I noticed something alarming.
Check that right-hand collum. This is the Google Chrome version, and it hasn’t seen an update in five to six years.
What about WordPress? Since they share a parent company, undoubtedly the WordPress plugin must be updated, right?
It hasn’t been updated in eight years and isn’t even available for download anymore.
After The Deadline Costs, Plans, & Payment Options
After The Deadline is a 100% free service. There is no cost associated, and no payment plans accepted.
Do I Recommend After The Deadline?
No, I can’t recommend After The Deadline as a grammar and spell checker. It works well enough through its website and has a great handle on punctuation and grammar. I think if it were being updated regularly it could be a great way to teach grammar rules to people in many different languages.
But there were some serious red flags.
They have shady downloads, no plagiarism detector, no mobile app, and the system hasn’t been updated in years. That’s a shame because I genuinely liked using it on the website as an editing tool.
The website still exists, but with the WordPress plugin shutting down in May 2019 after eight years of no updates, it’s clear that this is a dead brand that is not actively keeping pace with the grammar checking industry. I’ll stick with my Grammarly account.
You should avoid this service at all costs and find a safer and more current proofreading selection on our list of the top grammar checkers in the world.