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.
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?