Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Instructables Pro?

I've found a lot of cool projects over the years on Instructables, the place where people post various DIY projects. Some projects only require rudimentary skills and cost very little to nothing to replicate. Others seemingly require advanced engineering degrees or very deep pockets to build. But whatever end of the spectrum the projects are on, they represent the best spirit of the maker community, individuals solving a problem and sharing freely with the world.

And I say freely and mean it. All of the projects are free to view, and you don't even have to register for the site. While I apparently have, since I get  regular emails from them about the latest projects, I was also just offered a free "Pro" account from them.

Apparently Instructables is mining YouTube accounts looking for people who do DIY projects since they referenced my GhoulishCop channel and said they thought the types of things I'm doing on YouTube would also work well on Instructables. I agree they probably would, and I know a few haunters who've posted Halloween and haunt related projects on there (and some outside of Halloween too), but I'm not clear on what the value of a Pro account is.

Okay, I decided to check while writing this, and the primary thing, other than no (or fewer) ads, is the ability to download ebooks and pdf files, as well as partner discounts: "going pro gives you awesome discounts at adafruit, lion brand yarns, monkeylectric, and lumi." You do get "private Instructables,"  too, which sounds intriguing, but why wouldn't you want them all to be public?

The cost of a Pro subscription is $2.95 per month (billed annually) or $4.95 per month, billed quarterly. Or there's a 2-year option for $49.95. So the choices are $35.40, $59.40, or $49.95, which is about $25 a year. Why would anyone choose option 2?

With pdf export functions of most operating system printing options giving you a functional pdf file, I don't know that I'd pay for a membership (the partner discounts aren't exactly enticing), for a free trial -- it doesn't say how long it runs -- I might be willing to give it a go. Has anyone else gotten a similar offer?


  1. If I did not get a pro account for free because we have won contests. I would not pay for it. And I use their site ALL the time. Save your money.

    1. That was my thinking. Even the supposed benefit of being able to view "all steps" instead of having to go page by page is available by just browsing the site.

      I appreciate they're tried to monetize their assets, but there's not enough of a benefit to make anyone want to pay for a Pro membership, though I suspect some do (but I can't imagine why).

    2. Agreed, they have to offer a bit more to get my money. Since we all use computers and tablets so much, the need for printing out a sheet is not as necessary anymore. (we use an old tablet in the shop that has paint and glue all over it - for the purpose of looking things up online while we are working.)

      Let's see what they do in the future.


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