Subscribers/Patrons and other ad free members

I’m currently working on improving the advertising experience for everyone, there are some issues with ads being displayed in inconvenient locations and interspacial ads that are annoying which I want to fix.

Ads will not be shown to subscribers/patrons. @subscriber

To do this I have made a few changes in the background which means I may have unintentionally omitted some people (for which I apologise in advance!)

So if you are seeing ads and you think you shouldn’t be, please shout and I will add you to the appropriate group.

NB This group is only visible to subscribers/patrons currently.

I have not yet rebuilt the option to subscribe which is another element of this process which I am working on. I’ll post again here when that option is available.

If anyone has questions about this, please ask here or DM me if you prefer.

I am also keen to know what price point you think the subscriber tier should be at. (How much would you pay, if anything, to have no banner ads displayed when you are logged in to SF).


Ad free tier price (monthly)
  • €2.99
  • €4.99
  • €9.99

0 voters

This is a great site, and probably my most trusted way of getting information when I need it. I probably wouldn’t subscribe to it. But I did make a donation to the tip jar, no idea if it was received as I got no confirmation or response from S/F

I voted €2,99, I think you have more chance with the price set low. You could however have different price points that perhaps gave extra ‘privileges’ or you can do the €2.99 then have a 2nd box where they can self fill a higher amount, perhaps those that are well off and really appreciate the site will then put a fiver or ten a month.


it’s not called a Tip Jar for nothing… @james hasn’t tipped it out yet :wink: :grin:


I’ll reply later with my views, but pls dont forget those of the comuity that are on tight budjets & small pensions that can quite well do without publicity for many things they do not need afford ou even understand


My subscription was a no-strings decision based on its value to me and generally and not linked to the ad-free concession but it is a welcome bonus. At a push I would pay 2.99 to avoid ads but not more TBH.


I voted for €4.99 on the grounds that this ties in more or less with other subscriptions I pay and ads irritate me!


I’d rather make a donation as and when I could spare it, but not being able to have this 2 factor verification ability makes it difficult

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I don’t like monthly things, and wouldn’t subscribe monthly, but would be happy to pay a modest annual forfait. There are a number of things that I cough up around 25€ a year.

(Part of it is that we have a one account, which is also business one so have to do detailed accounts every year and having pages of tiny transactions is a huge nuisance). (Which also why use a (good) friend’s paypal for things like tip jar)


New ‘Patron’ badges :+1:

I looked in on SF this morning and was bombarded with adverts then found this thread.
I have been a member for almost the entire life of SF and have certainly benefitted from the knowledge and experience of other members and I hope I have returned the favour.
I also understand that a labour of love is one thing but labouring for nothing is quite another.
SF seems to be now one of the few sites that are advert free and I would much prefer it to continue that way.
As Jane Jones mentioned I too am not a fan of trickle monthly payments/subscriptions but would consider a discounted annual payment in the range suggested of 25 euros.
SF provides very useful information but as we all know some threads can drift off to “this is all about me” rubbish which of course we have the option to ignore.
Is becoming a subscriber creating a two tier membership of them and us, just asking?
There are many ways to gather daily information without the need to pay for it, such is the way of the WWW.
As we are often reminded SF has dinner party rules and in essence that is what the site is,a chat shop among friends or acquaintances, will adding subscriptions make the dinner party clicky and effectively create a top table scenario?
I feel that in an ideal world the SF experience should be the same for all and continue without advertising but sadly this world cannot be ideal for all.

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Interesting feedback everyone, thanks.

I would also prefer an annual sub as monthly would be a hassle to administer plus transaction fees for small sums would likely be punitive. It just seemed more in line with other types of subscription services.

SF has not been ad free since about 2012, It’s just that ads have not been shown to the Trust Level 3 visitors since we transitioned to Discourse. The majority of visitors (99.6%) see ads (less than 60 do not).

We have had the subscirber model running quietly for some time already and it is completely transparent, anyone visiting would see ads just like you do on most of the internet. This is the most common way to fund otherwise free to visit sites.

60, ohhh. It’s nice being in with the in crowd. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think a potential problem could be if someone needed to be binned who had paid a “subscription”.

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We’ve dealt with that before, they would still get binned and their subscription cancelled.

I feel too that I am being bombarded. And getting the ads in the middle of threads greatly reduces the pleasure of reading. If this was my first experience of SF I would have taken one look and left. If ads are necessary, I’d be very grateful if they could frame our content and not interfere with it. Otherwise you may find that newcomers drop away before they’ve had a chance to find they like being on SF and become subscribers.

I had no idea I could be free of ads on here, they do irritate me but I certainly would not pay to be rid of them. I can put up with them because the excellence of this forum compared to others outweighs the irritation of inserted adverts.

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The ads are not new, they’ve been running for most visitors since 2012

I pay a monthly fee; just not anywhere near that lowest level listed. I know, a pittance… TBH, in a few years’ time, I won’t be able to pay anything, regretfully (I’ll have 0 income for a few years).

Maybe I offer something (imperfectly, but positively) to the SF community… If so, could this somehow count toward inclusion with those who’d not receive ads when logging in?

I would probably prefer inclusion with the ‘non-ads’ crowd, somehow… :sun_with_face:

Hmmm… What about an option to turn off ads, if one has achieved a certain positive reputation on SF? Like a badge. That way it’s not automatic and not attributed to a TL.

Just a thought.


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