My team developed a site that has a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Does this leave a bad impression for first time visiting users?

  • 26
    I already have a bad impression of @abdul wakeel just from reading the question. If someone can't be bothered to take the time to use correct spelling and grammar, it's not worth my time to help them/use their product/deal with all the other issues that are going to be found because they weren't spending time on the product.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:17
  • 3
    @zzzzBov - Not everyone in the world speaks English as their first language, have some consideration. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:38
  • 13
    @Matt, as a polyglot I understand that there are more people who speak english as a second language than there are who speak it as their first. That is not an excuse. If I needed to write something in another language, I would have someone fluent in the language review what I've written so as to fix my errors. I actually upvoted this question, as it's legitimate.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 14:07
  • 7
    @abdul wakeel: it sounds like English is not your native language, in which case you may be better getting a freelance copywriter who is a native speaker. Comments below suggest automated spelling and grammar checks, but that will only get you so far--for instance, I'm not sure they'll be helpful for that afford/effort mistake above. I see you say you can't afford it, but can you afford to lose the people you're driving away? You may be able to hire a good copywriter for a fixed number of hours to start with your most important pages, then get more as you can pay for it.
    – Pam G
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 18:51
  • 4
    @Abdul, then read more books to improve your grammar. Additionally, not capitalizing "i" makes you look childish. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 20:06

7 Answers 7



"If not even the spelling is correct, how can I trust this works correctly?" This is especially troublesome for web sites that want to hold private data. I might not even want to give you my e-mail.


When obvious errors remain online for a long time, this suggests that

  • you don't care to fix them (lack of respect)
  • you are technically unable to do so (I can not rely on the site being available tomorrow)

cheap! (in a bad way)

I.e. you couldn't even find someone to proof-read the web site, your budget is so tight that you can't afford to be friendly.

The shared theme is loss of trust.

I understand that especially the last point is not very fair towards non-native speakers, especially with completely different language roots and without easy access to native speakers of the foreign language. However, this is the cost to do business abroad

  • 1
    +1 for I might not even want to give you my e-mail
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 12:30
  • 4
    I would add lazy: didn't bother to run content through spell check. Most browsers & text editors have some form of spell check that will catch at least some errors (even if grammar & usage errors still slip through). Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 15:05
  • 10
    Whenever I arrive on a site with numerous spelling and grammatical errors, I assume it is something fradulent or otherwise untrustworthy. It reminds me of all the Viagra emails I get. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 16:57
  • once i write content, or do some work, i forgot to check it back. all time i have confidence that i did it right.
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 10:06
  • 1
    Good examples, now we are almost ready without spelling mistake
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 16:04

Yes this will leave a bad impression.

And remember, first impressions are very important. I would get this corrected as soon as possible. Not only will it make the site/company look unprofessional, but it will be difficult to understand. No offense intended, but I actually had to read this question a couple times to fully understand what you were saying (English is probably your second language). That is fine in an informal setting like this, but on a company site, you want it to be as perfect as possible.

  • 1
    but i have seen spelling mistake in reputed world class websites.
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 12:46
  • 2
    My impression was that this question intentionally uses bad spelling and grammar. It is sort of a parody of the sites it asks about.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:26
  • 1
    @GEdger - Clever observation, but I don't think that's true in this case. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:40
  • 1
    @abdul wakeel: absolutely, and although they sometimes make me cringe, there's a difference when there's one spelling/grammar mistake per thousand words and when there's one spelling/grammar mistake per ten words. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 14:21
  • 2
    @abdul I would buy a used car with a few small scratches. I would not buy a used car with broken windows, flat tires, or a "W'04" bumper sticker.
    – MarkD
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 18:22

Spelling mistakes can have quite a large impact on your site's visitors. A quote from the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. It's also important to keep your site up and running.

Typos make your site look amateurish, just like broken links or unavailable content can do. From the user's point of view this affects your organisation's trustworthiness and perceived expertise in a negative way.

  • most of the time Arabic or non English speaker have grammatical mistake.
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 10:09
  • +1. Whenever I get mail, the trustworthy ones have little to no spelling/grammar mistakes, regardless of which language they were written in. The ones that have lots of mistakes are usually spam, scam, phishing attempts, etc. Because of that, sites with lots of mistakes seem extremely suspicious to me. One exception is when the mistakes come from users of the site.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 15:10

Abdul, there is one other thing to be aware of.

There are many established websites with high visitor counts that contain spelling and grammatical errors - but a spelling mistake on those sites is different from a spelling mistake on other sites (such as yours).

When your site is established and well-respected (like BBC News) typos are bad, but users will overlook them because of everything else the site offers - in this example, established reporting that can be trusted.

When your site is trying to establish itself, and people do not know if they can trust you, every little mistake gets a spotlight shone on it - and spelling errors are just that sort of mistake.

  • +1 for, but a spelling mistake on those sites is different from a spelling mistake on other sites
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:34
  • please provide the suggestion how to overcome these type of mistake?
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:35
  • 2
    There are online tools available: see spellcheck.net. You could also use - and you'll hate this - a word processing application like MS Word or Open Office Writer. Copy and paste your text, select English as the language, and do a spell check. Very tedious. Hopefully someone will see this and know of an automated way of handling this.
    – gef05
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 13:54
  • that's good, let me forward your message to member's.
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 14:03
  • 1
    I'd also recommend doing a grammar check, although it's more painful. You'll probably want to do a few of them with a native speaker nearby to let you know which grammar "mistakes" can regularly be ignored (e.g., "passive voice"). Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 14:23

Spell Check is never something to rely upon completely. I have a client who mentioned the vast array of products in their "whorehouses". It was spelled correctly, but not exactly accurate.

  • I think the most important is understanding.. if some one understand , then spell does not matter. either its correct or not. (not in public GUI) the rule is generally for chatting or commenting
    – Pir Abdul
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 10:11

Think of it this way. It takes years of highly specialized training to become a qualified developer, but even school students are required to be able (and many are actually able) to write correctly. So writing correctly is cheaper than developing complex technical stuff like a web site. If even one of the cheapest parts can't be done right how can users not have a bad impression?


Just to point out: Error messages are a common place for both spelling mistakes and difficult to understand text.

If you get a third party to check your site they often won't know how to trigger them, so they won't find them all.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.