Maintain Credibility by Proofreading Everything You Publish

I received an email from a stranger, pointing out many mistakes on my web site. A couple of these were really bad ones–an incorrect description for a class I was teaching, and the wrong date for another class.

More than embarrassing, errors erode credibility. One way to avoid them is to ask somebody else to edit your content before you publish it. It seems like such a no-brainer, but it’s tempting to just get it done and publish it.

Studies done at Stanford showed that typographical errors erode the credibility of a site. Typos raise questions–“If this business can’t be bothered to proofread, what else are they sloppy about?”

In the class I taught on web site best practices, students (all  were website owners or stakeholders )  reviewed one another’s sites. Having a fresh pair of eyes  revealed big and small things they’d completely missed. They found the experience highly valuable and identified changes that needed to be made.

When another pair of eyes isn’t available, there are other tools you can use. I  installed a plugin to replace the WordPress spellchecker: After The Deadline. The people at WordPress use it, and it has these features:

1. It has a modern dictionary that includes words like WordPress.

2. You can permanently ignore any error to keep it from showing again.

3. It also finds misused words (its/it’s)

4. It checks your grammar

5. Also it works in both the visual and HTML editors.

It doesn’t check for incorrect capitalization, however.

Although your text may not be perfect (whose is?), at least you’ll have done your best to earn and maintain reader confidence.

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