Should it be logging in to or logging into or is it log in or login or any other permutation.
I used to work in web development for various financial services companies, where the terms log in, logging in etc. are used frequently, and you would not believe the countless hours of my life I’ve wasted on this debate.
The reason it’s hotly debated, apart from the fact we were all very sad, is that there is a difference between what is technically grammatically correct and generally accepted practice.
Logging In To vs Logging Into
If you are talking about accessing a website, computer etc. then the correct spelling is ‘logging in to’ as three separate words.
– I am ‘logging in to’ your website now
– By ‘logging in to’ our site, you agree to our terms and conditions
Log In To vs Log Into
The same rules apply to ‘log in’ to vs ‘log into’, in my book it should always be ‘log in to’ but most people aren’t going to care which one you use.
Log In vs Login
OK, this is where things get a little more complicated as it depends on whether you are using ‘log in’ as a verb or a noun.
Log in – is a verb i.e. a doing word. So ‘Please ‘log in’ to our website’ is correct because you are asking someone to perform an action.
Login – is a noun or adjective and refers to the login credentials e.g. username and password.
You’re ‘login’ details are.
Please go to our ‘login’ page to access your account
Logon or Log On
Similar to ‘Login’ or ‘Log In’, it depends if you are using the phase as a noun or a verb, you would:
“Give me your logon details”
“I will log on to the site to look at my balance”
There is a subtle distinction to note here though, whilst most people would say that Log On and Log In mean the same thing others can see it differently. Some people consider Log On to mean to access a computer/website without needing to enter any credentials, whereas Log In means to input your credentials to gain access.
So ‘I will log on to your site and then log in to my account with my username and password’ basically means to visit a site (log on) and then access your account (log in). But this looks rather contrived so I would personally ignore the theoretical distinction that some people place on these terms.
If you want to avoid the confusion altogether then you can usually use the alternative phrase Sign In or Signing In instead of Log In or Logging In.
Personally, I find the phrase sign in when referring to a computer or website rather jarring as you aren’t physically using your signature or writing your name. You may sign in to our guest book (a physical book) but you don’t really sign in to a computer.
You can see from the screenshots above that Apple and Netflix have both gone done the ‘Sign In’ route rather than Log In. Also, Microsoft has set out in their style guide not to use; log in, login, log into, log on, logon, log onto, log off, log out, logout etc. and use sign in or sign out instead.
Consistency is Key
Most people are not going to get too hung up on whether you use Log In, Login, Logging In etc. as they are all generally accepted (even if not grammatically correct). The key is to be consistent, stick with spelling it one way across your site.
The same goes for words like Log Off or Log Out, most people won’t care which one you use so long as you don’t use them interchangeably. Also, don’t mix your phrasings, if you are using Log In, then logically you would Log Out, if you are using Log On then you would Log Off.