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Why does one have to pay for membership Answered

If the people that share their videos and ideas on this amazing site do it for free, why one has to pay a fee to get better benefits. I do not understand. Can you correctme telling me why I am mistaken? Thank you



7 years ago

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8 years ago

The people share their videos and ideas for free, but that doesn't mean the site itself is free. All of the content on Wikipedia is user-generated for free, but they still have those massive donation drives to pay for site development, hosting and server fees, et cetera.

Instructables was able to support itself solely on advertisements for a long time, but at a certain point, the advertising was no longer able to pay for the costs of maintaining the site. That's where Pro accounts come in, they bring in additional revenue beyond the advertisement income. Your access to the user-generated content is not restricted by not paying, it is only access to the display that is restricted. Anyone with a free account can take all the content from an Instructable and make their own PDF copy of it, but with a Pro account there is a tool that does it for you. With a free account you can view each step, but a Pro account gives you all the steps at once. See the full chart here.

Search around on the Forums, this topic has been discussed MANY times, particularly when the Pro concept first came up.


Answer 8 years ago

Instructables is a business, not a nonprofit. Read back to some of the pre-pro Topics; they considered donations, but that's not a viable way to operate a business.

That said, that's essentially what Pro memberships are. It's similar to a bake sale in a way. You don't get *that* much more out of being Pro, it's more of a token purchase.


8 years ago

.  Except for the "Pro Forum" (believe me, you're not missing anything), all the info on this site is available for free. Membership allows one to download PDFs (same info, just a different format), view all steps on one page, and a few other minor perks, but that's about it. Personally, I signed up to help support the site.


8 years ago

You don't have to pay. You can use Instructables for free for as long as you want, and have almost everything available to you.

*IF* you pay, you get access to some additional tools and conveniences, and help support the folks developing and maintaining the website. It's up to you to decide whether that's worth the money or not. If it isn't, don't pay. If it is, don't complain.


8 years ago

The simple fact is that it costs money to operate a website like this.

As has been said, you don't have to pay to view most things, but as a perk for supporting the maintenance and operation of the site, paying members get some extra benefits. In the non-profit world, it'd be called a donation, and the perks would be called gifts.

Simple, really.


8 years ago

You don't need to pay at all! All of the content on this site is available to all members, paid or not. The paid memberships get a very few extra things: fewer advertisements; viewing all the steps of an Instructable via a single Web page (instead of stepping through); and customizing the format of PDF output.


8 years ago

"share for free" and being available for free are not the same thing. The site owners need to eat.


8 years ago

Ahh well you don't necessarily. If you submit something that is considered above the normal quality/content etc you may be awarded pro membership for nothing.

So come on, get those good quality photographs of your stunning projects up on the site.