Instructables Pro Accounts Have Launched

The initial version of Instructables Pro Accounts is now live! Sign up to create private Instructables, send digital patches to other members you admire, and to proudly display your Pro Badge. Check out the homepage's "New Pro Members" leaderboard to see the latest pro members.

There are more pro features on the way! Come check out the pro forum to have your say about which features we should develop next, or which bug you really can't stand (we can barely stand it either).

As I previously wrote here, if you registered prior to now, you'll get at least 3 months of free access to the features we are turning pro. During that time I hope we can convince you that going pro is worth it.

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I "went Pro" a year ago, never even used the site, actually stopped getting the emails for some reason, and then today I got a notice from my bank account that Instructables was trying to get money for another year through Paypal. I changed banks between then and now, so they didn't get the $$ but I can't find where to go to get out of this mess. If someone could help me get back to peasant status, I would be grateful.
You need to contact HQ at service[at]instructables[dot]com.

You should get a quick response there.
Rotten1946 years ago
I really think this is a bad idea. Every other site I've become a member on had/ got a membership feature. And every time the same thing happens. Suddenly, because of the special forums, privileges, etc., If you don't/cant pay for membership, its not really as fun anymore. All the older members who are more devoted to the either can buy membership or have it donated by adoring fans, so all the "cool people" get membership. Then all the new people decide the best way for them to get started and be recognized is to buy membership, because that's what all the older members have. So the members forum gets spammed up with stupid people (NOTE: I didn't say "new people" here, as most new members to Instructables actually have a neuron to fire. But the ones who feel they really need to buy membership to get people to recognize them are usually the dumb ones) who cant post their bug topics or "AMAZING AIM CONVO !!1!!" to the "mere mortals" section, and the members forum begins to get annoying. At the same time, the other forums are full of people who want membership begging for it however they can, complaining about it, etc., because they all think that its awesome to be pro. Of course, none of the pro users will admit that its starting to suck, so people finally get it from someone so that they will finally stop begging or break down and BUY it, get access, and after a few hours, agree with the other pro members. Of course, now they can brag and act godly around normal members because they have a stupid badge/colored name/other member benefits. I'm not saying that this will happen to Instructables necessarily, as the membership comes with other benefits besides forum access. But it will have side effects, just look at all the protesters already. Instead, I would just have a donate button (With some thing like a badge, but no real benefits. Most people would donate just to keep this site running.), coupled with new merchandise in the store and more advertising for the store. You can order wristbands printed with custom words and images to sell, hold design and product contests, sell "Instructables" kits with the parts for popular Instructables (giving a cut to the authors, of course). All said, I don't think this pro thing is a good idea. It might work, but its too much of a deterrent (in my humble opionion), when you charge for half of a free show and tell.

"I do not like the change, therefore I am going to presume they will fail. I will then sit back and watch what happens. If it fails, I already have my "told you so" post written, and if it works I will simply pretend I was not so negative in the first place.

The site was paid for through advertising, but the adverts are drying up.

Without advertising revenue, the choice is pro members or no members.
Or creating a FREE Instructables Community on LiveJournal. No need to stay here.
I had a quick look, I can't see one...

I wonder why?
Please read my reply to Keith-Kid: I understand that the money for Instructables is drying up, and that's why they need the Pro members. I can read, thanks very much. My point is that it targets certain members with the money to buy pro and makes them more important than normal members. My post was simply suggesting alternatives so that Instructables could lower the price at least. Paying 30something dollars for a virtual membership is hard in these times, but I'm saving to donate because I don't want Instructables to die. As for the translation, the heck? I was suggesting alternatives. I don't really care if I'm right or wrong, why should you assume that?
Read randofo's comment

This is not a matter of Instructables getting some more pocket money, its a matter of Instructables continuing to exist in these dire economic times.

Ibles isn't the only place this is gonna happen. Sadly these next few years will be filled with similar events.
I realize that Instructables needs more money, and i appreciate that. I'm just saying that there might be other ways to get the money or in least reduce the price as to make it easier for members to contribute. I'm planning on buying Pro once I have enough money anyways. Its not the best move, and I've seen other sites get messed up from it, but Instructables can probably weather it, especially with the 3-month trial thing. But most users wont be buying for the features anyways, but to donate, like you said.
This is so sad. People making money off of other people efforts. This was a great resource for people, and DIY. But not anymore. They are taking away what this whole DIY thing is about.
Did you actually read anything in this thread before reposting the same tired comment?
Maybe everyone is saying the 'same tired comment" cause you know...its the truth?
So you didn't actually read anything. Good to know; thanks!
Grah! I'm so tired of hearing this response! That's utter bunk. The site is still a great resource for people and DIY. They did not take away what "this whole DIY thing" is about. Last I checked, DIY meant Do-it-yourself, not Everything-is-free-to-me.
I know not everything is for free, in fact, Im a paying member to one of the nets largest paintball forums (MCB). This on the other hand is a bit different.

""The site is still a great resource for people and DIY"
So part of DIY is not resourcing for parts? Alright.

Well thanks so much to everyone that contributed to this site, I have had so much fun making many of these projects, that you took YOUR time and money to teach me, and the rest of the internet. Your great.

How is this different? Why do you object to paying for this but will pay for a forum? Do you imagine the forum takes more time, money, and effort to run that instructables (I guarantee it doesn't)? >So part of DIY is not resourcing for parts? Alright. I confess to not being entirely sure what you mean...
Yay! All images are back! :D I'll consider getting pro now if I can convince my dad to stop being cheap :D
bylerfamily6 years ago
Who likes my new photo?
To each their own.
Everyone has their own preference. I like my Upside Down Pro logo. Your new Give Back my Allsteps logo works as well.
I like my new pic better...
lemonie6 years ago
(Another vanishing comment) Here we go again: The front page is showing recent Pro-sign ups, that is people who have recently paid for a Pro account. Why? They're all clickable but if you were to click them you'd get very little. I used to live with a guy who did marketing for a living and without asking him I know what he'd say about that. Why not filter this field for recent sign-ups that have been here for at least 12 months? After all we're all "recent". L
ewilhelm (author)  lemonie6 years ago
That's an interesting idea. The new pro members list on the homepage is just a rolling leaderboard by date.
If this is to serve a useful purpose, I would guess it's to be positive about signing up Pro. Showing users with pictures and some published content may be "manipulating" the data in this field, but for selling the idea it should work better. L
Kiteman lemonie6 years ago
It should also have avatars - the silhouettes make it look like they are all noobs who don't know how to add avatars.
lemonie Kiteman6 years ago
My point: they are "noobs". It should show recent Pro-signups who have done so with the experience of having used the site for at least 6 months.

Jayefuu lemonie6 years ago
Despite being one of these 'noobs' and despite having added an avatar.... I do agree with you. Having the long timers with millions of views and dozens of ibles there would add credence to the pro-ness. Though I think to improve on what you said, it shouldn't be just a fixed 10 members. That would make it seem tooooo elitist. A selected group of 50 members cycling through that bar would be better imo.
lemonie Jayefuu6 years ago
Yes, you see it like I do. The suggestion was a filter on new users with long(ish) service. Being ordered as recent gives a changing selection, but it looked like they went with filtering on "with images", which was an improvement. L
=SMART= lemonie6 years ago
yea good thinking !!
Kiteman lemonie6 years ago
OK, agreed.
It DOES show avatars- most are new people.
WHAT A SLAP IN THE FACE TO THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED MAKE INSTRUCTABLES WHAT IT IS. At first I thought Pro accounts were going to be cool.........until I found out that you simply have to buy one. WTF. Talk about a great idea executed in the worst possible fashion. Pro accounts should be for users who contribute the most, for those who generate traffic, to those who create the content for this site - not for those who can afford to buy one. And for what? To access once free features such as PDF downloads, or new features that nobody cares about such as PATCHES THAT YOU BUY AND DON'T EARN. THIS IS THE SADEST DAY IN INSTRUCTABLES HISTORY. Signed, Disappointed
I have gotten some emails regarding the pro accounts. People want to post there opinions but are afraid of being attacked. Like I was by Kiteman (a total tool and pathetic instructables paid staffer wannabe). Here is one of many: "i thought I would send you a pm and not respond in that thread, as people tend to hold a grudge around here. You could have taken the words right out of my mouth with that responce. What I don't think most of the crowd here gets is that we would be happy to buy a pro account if we were not forced to. I think they hsould have given all current members whom contribute pro status then worked on new members. what I cant gather is that if I dont go pro can I not see my own secondary pics? LOL... funny as... have a good day dude." I guess I'm not the only one that thinks the Pro feature was implemented in the worst possible fashion.
Ads aren't bringing in enough money, a store has proven itself to not be lucrative enough. What would you suggest?
Well the store isn't wxactly advertised well, the link is at the bottom of the page! and it only sells T-shirts.
There's a store? I never look at the bottom of the page. I initially thought a "pro" was one that had a certain number of instructables (with a certain rating) or won a contest or something. Now anyone can be a "Pro" Why not call them "enthusiasts" or something that shows their support and not inflects talent. I agree with others. Leave the pre-pro functionality, specifically secondary images and basic PDF downloads, add new enhanced features for "supporters" and think of new features to increase revenue. I like robbtoberfest's idea of downloadable versions.
Purchase individual instructables prepared in a downloadable ready format for the Kindle, Ebook format, or even a smart phone (Iphone or Google phone.) Like buying a music file with credit and maybe a percentage to the author.
I like that idea a lot. I'm not familiar with how the kindle works, would it be easy to upload? It wouldn't be enough to support the site, but it could definitely give them some extra spending money.
I think to view an Instructable should be free (which it is so that was a pointless bit of sentence) but to download as a PDF should be some-what like iTunes. I think that would be a good idea, because one can easily just copy and paste the instructions if they wish but it's easier and helps Instructables to just pay.
Agreed on this! First, viewing an instructable should stay free. You change this, 90% of the people disappear immediately. Second, they could just write a code to block out Copy/Paste so you have the options of: 1: print out 90 million pages of which you need 30. 2: Download and pay $ for your copy that you can use in any method you want. 3: type it all out yourself and print. Third: They should put the PDF file in a folder (for reference, let's call it Downloads) so that once you've paid for it, you've always got it. How many have had a computer crash after paying for something and completely losing it? I'm still waking up (10 in the morning here), but another idea would be to offer a book of the 100 Greatest Instructables, or a series of books (Best Robotics, Rubber Band Warriors, etc) that people could buy to have a hard copy for those times they're working on a project or need inspiration and don't want to spend 8 hours sifting through a million Knex RBG's trying to find 2 or 3 good ones. While I know Instructables is "For Profit," offer a button similar to Donations, but use it as income. I know people who would support Instructables but who wouldn't want Pro stamped all over their accounts. In fact, while I don't know them, NachoMahma has mentioned this at least once in this thread. (Note: Forum Admin with some forum slang still rattling around) The best solutions are sometimes the hardest to make, because they require the most conscious of thought and the most justified path to make people agree on it. And not everyone will agree.
Very well written, I agree but I think they should at least let copy and paste if the author is happy for that.

"And not everyone will agree."
People seem to lose sight of this, because no matter what, you cannot please every body. Some people think that their idea is best and will satisfy the needs of every one, but sadly this is not so and never will be.
I keep the "Not everyone will agree" in mind while writing. While those who are content with viewing ads and carrying a netbook to the work area for info. viewing, wouldn't want to pay, say $0.50 to load an instructable directly to the computer with no ads, could still do so, there's also something good for those who would spend $8 a month on downloaded instructables (the Downloaded folder). My goal is not to please everyone, but to get a fair compromise between all the options. The Downloaded folder is so that once you've bought and paid for your PDF of the instructable of choice, you aren't stuck worrying about your system crashing. However, I'm also keeping the theoretical prices low for 2 reasons: it's 8:15 where I live and I'm still waking up, and so that possibly more would buy the PDF for convenience of having a concise, 15 page booklet of information without ads and wasted ink.
I just do that whether or not I'm awake.
Maybe donations, for example you could have people contribute a small fee if they liked an instructable as a choice. or you could charge a small fee to enter competition. A sort of pay what you want. i don't like this pro feature thing. it going to break up the awesomely nice and friendly community
Donations can't support a business. They have salaries, rent, equipment, supplies, etc to pay. There might be a spike at the beginning, but there would not be a stead stream of income.
Donations can prop it up though. I am a member of a site that often sees 50-100 dollar donations, and has about the same member base as Instructables.
Donations have been suggested, but:

  • they will not cover Instructables's expenses (I bet the other sites you mention did not have memberships in the hundreds of thousands).
  • Instructables is not a charity - allowing donations to the site could well be illegal.
How would allowing donations be illegal? I've seen many websites with a little
"Do you like this website? Donate now!"
and it appears to work...
Most websites are not also for-profit companies.

I think (having read other peoples' comments) illegal may be stretching the idea, but it certainly makes life complicated, and if your IRS are anything like our evquivalent, "complicated" can land people in deep doodoo.
Ahh I see, thanks.
I don't whether it's legal or not, but the difference would be that those sites are usually run by people in their spare time, and not actual companies.
First point: I never said they would, I just said they would help out Second point: OK, you got me there.
It wont be illegal to get donations
How do you know? Can you cite IRS code to support your position? Goodhart has already provided a counterexample; his is based on state law, but state tax laws are necessarily broadly consistent with each other and with Federal code.
I found this answer to a similar question elsewhere concerning a for profit and a non-profit partnership:

I'm not sure what role you intend your for-profit company to play in this. If you plan for the for-profit company to receive "donations," directly, it will be income to the company. You can label it donations if you wish (assuming that such a label is not misleading), but for tax purposes, it will be income to the company and it will not be deductible to the "donor".


Your mileage may vary however, as this is Indiana based law...
But they are in California.
I didn't have time to look through the CA laws, just picked up on the most recently asked and answered question on the subject.
Oh ok
I am sure most states have similar laws, this one in Indiana doesn't prohibit donations, but does not count them as donations either, they are income to the receiver, and money spent by the giver.
Kiteman dombeef6 years ago
Eric thinks it is.
dombeef Kiteman6 years ago
Oh ok
donations have always been an option - but they never asked.
Flagged for being inappropriate, You obviously like instructables so why wouldnt you support it ? You can use instructables without being a pro. The whole idea of the pro thing is to help instructables and in return we get something for our money ! It is a great idea. Well done instructables.
I agree but please don't flag him, he's just letting his beliefs be known.
Agreed. You may not agree with him, but his opinion is still valid.
It was written recently in the New York Times that roughly 90% of startups funded in the past 3 years were strictly advertising based. Instructables was not an exception. I am not sure if you have been following world events, but the outlook for the economy is currently very grim. Companies worldwide are looking for ways to save money. Obviously, for any company, one of the first expenses to cut back on is advertising. In the past year, across the entire internet, both brand and contextual advertising have slowed down to a trickle. The simple fact of the matter is that no one can currently rely on advertising as a stable source of revenue. Advertising-based websites are left with two choices: 1) Hold your breath and hope you don't go out of business before the economy rebounds 2) Adapt to the changing economic times Needless to say, in the coming months you are going to start seeing a lot of similar systems put into place on many websites (not just Instructables). All of that said, here is the problem with your scheme: If Instructables were to divert all of their attention to making users feel good, no matter how happy they make the users feel, no matter how many awesome projects those users post as a result and no matter how many page views those same happy invigorated users generate, Instructables still has no way to monetize this traffic. To put it quite frankly, under your plan, they still run the very real risk of going out of business. To use a metaphor, your plan is kind of like demanding fancy party hats on a sinking boat rather than plugging the leak, bailing out the water and keeping it afloat. I've given the matter some thought and I've decided that I'm going to buy a Pro account because I would like to see the Instructables community continue and flourish. If there are other users on this site, who like myself, have have not bothered to post 60-some-odd projects and also want to show their support for Instructables by buying a Pro account and patches, I say, the more power to them. This will enable me to keep sharing my projects and engage with my friends here on the site. It will also enable those non-contributing users to keep learning from my projects. This will allow everyone to keep sharing and learning from one another which as far as I'm concerned is the fundamental core of this website.
Most excellent comment! *sniff* that was just beautiful, randofo.

I don't really care about the features I can get with pro account, but Im gettng one just to help the site in any way I can!
Seconded, keeping Instructables alive seems more important to me than some extra features. I plan to join if I'm aloud. I don't have my own PayPal account but if I pay mum I'm sure she'd let me use hers...
I believe something could be done for those people who help Instructables a lot like Kiteman or Lemonie and those of the sort, but I don't mind the small amount one can pay. Although... I'm not keen on the way it's executed so as to make you feel that you must buy in now, but I believe it's helping Instructables become a better site.

What, like you? Those who have really made the site what it is are the one who have been forced to make this move to save the site.
. I quit after looking at six of them, but it appears that the vast majority of the complainers are the same ppl that contribute very little or actually get in the way. And, as I commented to Jessy earlier, a lot of the ppl that are signing up are the ones who contribute the most (eg, Kiteman and jessyratfink ;) ) . There do appear to be a few ppl that just can't afford it. If someone would be willing to act as a "clearinghouse", I would be willing to contribute $5-10 every now and then to help sponsor a deserving person.
I think that would need to be done through the site - we've tried to coordinate donations to a good cause before, and one member ended up paying the lot.
. That was a small nightmare, wasn't it? Which is exactly why I suggested that someone else do it. heehee
>has guilt<
. It wasn't anyone's fault and I was glad to do it. It was a minor PITA, but worthwhile doing. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Rest peacefully and with a clear conscience. :)
How come my friend, the people whom have contributed the most, were the first ones to snap up Pro accounts? while people like yourself, with no I'bles, are complaining? Just an observation, not a flaming session. You need not reply.
I don't know who told you I have no 'ibles but they were telling a lie.
Aha, clicked the wrong name when I checked that one out, regardless, people whom have poured alot more into this site are over joyed to be able to give something back. I think you forget about the great people whom made this site from scratch. Just for one moment think about how much Eric has put on the line for this site, and how he continues to risk everything to keep this site going? I think you need to take a step back, think, then go about giving something back to a site that has given you so much.
I agree. Although I understand the fact that instructables needs money to keep this site going during the grim economic times, this is a little overboard. I am basically being forced to go to pro or all the features of being a member will be disabled after three months.
Not all the features - you will still be able to look at projects, to post your own, and access the majority of the forums. Most of the "pro" perks do not involve extra content, merely a richer way of accessing it.
How else would they make the money? They can't just give them away to people. That makes no sense whatsoever. And to be fair, many of us who generate a lot of content for the site have bought a pro account because we love the site and we want to keep it around! What is your objection to paying $24 a year?
. A quick look at the list of subscribers (I'm boycotting the term pro) shows quite a few of the ppl I think of as very-valuable-contributors (in a perfect world, Ibles would be paying them to post).
I completely agree with this comment.

I cant use paypal, so I gotta mail a check....these are gonna be the longest *insert necessary period for mail delivery here* ever!
Atomman6 years ago
That is why I can no longer download PDF's...
MizzMouse6 years ago
I have recently watched a community website in my own circle lose an entire city if not their entire network because they went to paid accounts and didnt get any results from contributing money. tribe.net. Not the same kind of forum that Instructables is, but they lost their user-base to facebook because they paid in order to help maintain and got a broken website.

Instructables is not going to end up this way because of the nature of its contents, but I must agree that I cannot afford to pay for the features that I currently utilize as a free user. I only have 2 Instructables since joining, which is a very small number. But if you look at them, I am not going out to the store to buy the items I use to build my projects. Everything is recycled because I dont have cash to contribute to this site. My contribution is green in another way.

Perhaps there should be a way to set a few standards in place for each user. For example:
1) deleting idle accounts, people who built an account but havent logged in for an extended period of time, they dont have an avatar, they havent built an Instructable, they dont participate in the community that exists here in this virtual world. They are literally just taking up space. This is a package deal, all of these elements have to apply in order to terminate an account and this is only after contacting via available email asking them to respond in order to avoid deletion.

2) Pay by Instructable, as I said I only have 2 at this moment, but Eric has 115. There must be some way to still have access to the elements that the free users have already, to a certain point i.e. I am finally to my 10th Instructable and fair percentage of them have been featured. I am now an Intermediate user and have to contribute to the site on this level until I reach the next.

3) Alternate forms of payment: CLAMORING !great idea to be able to add to your phone bill! This *is* and economic downturn for ALL of us, after all, and making your brilliant community here available only to those who can pay is like asking for a bailout when not everyone will benefit. Not like I am going to get a free car from GM and they got my tax money, you know? There must be some way to get past the floundering financial system and work from trade.

I will be reluctant to stop using Instructables as I frequent the site and have turned so many others on to you who also believe in the idea. We all stick to you because this is a rewarding place to be. Taking away our tools will only lose your members, and some of the best ideas come from the people who are broke and living off what little they have.

Best of luck to Instructables. Perhaps we can learn to be the first functioning community that holds no financial bias... Wouldnt that make a beautiful world...
I like the ideas except for 2. Paying to put up content each time is just wrong. So I just got this great idea, built it, took a ton of pictures, spent $10 on spare supplies, and now I have to mail in $5 in cash (no checking account, no paypal, nearest bank is further than the damn post office) to post my newest idea? Screw that. The day Instructables no longer has free posting ability is the day I turn around, say "F- you, Instructables" and create my own place to host pictures and projects. And I know a way to do it all.... For free.
crapflinger6 years ago
just want to ask a question at the top here for clarification (since these two points seem to be the biggest points of contention)

All steps: the only difference between pro and free is that pro(s) can set this as a preference...i.e. every instructable they look at will show up automatically as all steps....but free folk can still just click the all steps button (first slide in the instructable time line at the top of each one) and see all steps on one page right?

secondary images: that's been answered http://www.instructables.com/community/Pro-Instructables-Accounts/ ...obviously it was rethought and now everyone has all images right?

the other features don't seem all that frequently used...like pdf downloads....i've never even thought to try that...just print the whole page if you want a paper copy.....the patches? that's just silly IMO...favorites list was nice...as it made things easy to go back to...but...i can live without it

so basically...for free users....nothing changes except there's a new forum that they can't get to...they've got to click one extra button when viewing an instructable....and they can't favorite stuff...seems like a small trade off for the site staying up

i think people who are complaining have never tried to host a website....do any of you have any idea how much space this site takes up on a server? (i'm sure the admin team has an exact amount)...but with all the pictures, video and other content this thing has to have a HUGE footprint...that stuff costs money...also with all the traffic this place generates the bandwidth required for all you people to look at your k'nex builds is freaking massive...

who cares if "they" need to find a way to pay for the upkeep...and heck kudos to all involved if you're trying to make a profit! what advantage is there for the owners of the site to be working this much for free? it's ridiculous to assume than a site this large wouldn't generate some form of income for the creator(s)/operators
ewilhelm (author)  crapflinger6 years ago
New users need to have pro accounts to access viewing all steps on one page. Old registered users still have access to it for at least 3 months from the launch of pro accounts.
How about youthful registered users? ;)
but free folk can still just click the all steps button (first slide in the instructable time line at the top of each one) and see all steps on one page right?

No - free accounts will not be able to do all steps on one page.

....like pdf downloads....
I thought the same... but apparently a lot of people use 'em :p OR, they're just saying that....
gah?...in the list-o-pro features it says allsteps preference.....that suggests that it's a preference setting not an all out go or no go... that needs to be rectified (as far as documentation is concerned since this thread and the one i linked say different things)
That is a bit confusing....

http://www.instructables.com/community/Pro-Instructables-Accounts/ Does not say preference - but to date, it's been a pro feature (not the check box that says automatically all steps)

Official Clarification is probably necessary to avoid confusion
I have no problem with a Pro option, or new features being added to Pro. But it's really unfair to take away features from existing members. Especially seconday images and allsteps.
Allsteps on one page is avaible for free user.. I use it and im not a pro member
secondary image too..
nevermind I didnt read the if you registered prior to now, you'll get at least 3 months of free access to the features we are turning pro
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