I'm the creator of this site (Grammar Gang). I'm also the founder of Codeless, a long-form content creation company that's been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, The Next Web, and hundreds more.
We produce around ~100 long, in-depth articles each month. So we're relying on these tools on a daily basis. Here, I break down the good, bad, and uuuuuuggggllllyyyy.
Latest posts by Brad Smith (see all)
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- The 7 Best Writing Tools to Write More, Faster, in Less Time - April 17, 2019
- Why Most Freelance Writers Shouldn’t Waste their Time with Pinterest - February 9, 2019
Plagly is a “free” plagiarism checker that also offers a premium service. I put the word free in quotes because, as you will see momentarily, Plagly doesn’t truly give you anything at all without a credit card number on file.
Premium services are fine.
In fact, I approve of a great many premium plagiarism detectors. They’re a sound investment for students, businesses, and educational institutions.
But a service that markets itself as a free plagiarism checker should offer something for free…
Let’s start with the positive features of Plagly, few as they might be.
They support a large number of languages and they pull from a truly massive database, with more sources than Grammarly.
1. Language Support
Plagly caters to more than just the English speaking audience. On their official website they state that service is offered in more than 20 different languages.
That also extends to their grammar and spelling reviews.
2. Extensive Database
Plagly pulls from a huge database featuring over 20 billion different websites.
That’s an outstanding selection that most services would be envious of. To compare, Grammarly has a database of 16 billion, meaning that plagly pulls from 4 billion more websites than it’s major competitor.
Ok, onto the bad.
There was quite a lot wrong here. For starters, my hands on test of the premium service was a complete and utter failure.
There is currently no reporting function, no customer support page, and a horrid word cap limitation placed upon premium users.
Take a deep breath and let’s get started.
1. 1,000 Word Limit
When it comes to checking documents, 1,000 words is nothing. Most term papers and blog articles go way beyond that.
So why then does plagly impose a 1,000 word limit on their premium service? It’s maddening to me that a service that claims it caters to students, educational institutions, and businesses would have such a low limit set on their service.
2. No Reporting Yet
On the left hand side of Plagly there is a tab for reports
I assumed that this meant you have the ability to take your plagiarism results and export them into a PDF.
Well, it might mean that one day. But for now when you click on the Reports tab, you get a message stating that this feature is not yet available.
Reports are essential, especially for businesses that are looking to hold their employees accountable. Once this service is rolled out, I hope it will be a feather in Plagly’s cap. But for now, it’s solidly in the “cons” section.
3. No iOS Support
Plagly is available on a number of devices.
First of all, it can be used via the company’s official website. They also have browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Firefox. The company makes its mark in the mobile arena with an Android application, available on the Google Play store.
The notable exclusion here is the iOS platform. Apple users have no plagly app for their mobile phones and tablets. This is alienating a strong percentage of the market and is a notable flaw.
4. System Did Not Work
First off, Plagly’s free service doesn’t actually give you detailed results. If you paste your information into their free checker, it just tells you whether or not plagiarism exists in your document.
A lot of the above could have been forgiven had the service actually worked when I tried it out. After signing up for the free trial of their premium service, I attempted to paste our plagiarism heavy sample content into the interface.
Because of the limitations I discussed earlier I was going to have to input the copy 1,000 words at a time and then compile the results at the end.
I never got that far.
I was treated to a swirly green circle of doom that never went away. At first I let it go, wondering if maybe the system was just slow. After 15 minutes I realized I was waiting for results that were never coming.
I tried this with our clean sample content as well. I also tried both articles via Plagly’s browser add on.
It was the same result every single time.
5. No Customer Support Page
Plagly has a tab at the bottom of it’s home page that is supposed to link to a help center.
Unfortunately, that tab does not work. You click on it and nothing happens. If you right click on it and select “open in a new tab” it just opens the Plagly home page again.
So that means there is absolutely no customer support for anyone who is browsing the page looking to make a purchase decision. While using the premium service I stumbled upon an email address.
I sent them an email with a question about the service, detailing my issues using it.
Ordinarily, in cases like this you get an immediate confirmation email stating that your question has been received and will be answered. I received no such confirmation.
This was several days ago and I have yet to hear anything.
Plagly Costs, Plans, & Payment Options
Plagly’s premium plan normally costs $20 per month. They’re currently offering a special 50% off price point of $9.99 per month.
As far as payment methods go, Plagly accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and PayPal.
Do I Recommend Plagly?
Unfortunately, no. I can’t recommend Plagly.
It all boils down to one major issue. I couldn’t get the program to work and there was no customer support to help me through it.