Subscription FAQ's

What's the first step with this updated site?

This new website comes with a new login process. So if you believe you still have an active subscription, use the sign-in link at the top right, enter your email address, and then, if you receive a login email, follow that link to log in. After you do that, clicking on "account" will tell you your current subscription status.

If the system tells you that there's no one registered under that email address, you don't have an active subscription. If the system logs you in but says you just have a "free" account and you're hitting the paywall when you click on articles, that means your former subscription has expired and you'd have to start a new one - you still have a login, just not a subscription.

I'm logged out of my account and I'm hitting the paywall. How do I get back in?

Use the sign-in link at the top right. Enter the email address associated with your subscription and the system will send you an email. Click on the link in that email and you'll be logged in.

In that email, below the orange "Sign In To IlliniBoard" button, there's a web address. Cut and paste that web address into the browser you're trying to use and you'll be logged in there. And that login should be good for six months (unless you have your device set to log out of every website when you close your browser).

One thing to note: make sure that it's a cut-and-paste (or a right-click and then "open in browser"). Simply clicking on that link might give you the same issue.

I clicked "Sign In" and it said to check my email but I don't see anything.

Check your spam folder. We've also received reports from a few people that the email went to the "Promotions" folder in Gmail, so check there too.

I've had a subscription for several years and I believe it's still active - do I need to do anything?

Not really. You only need to log in once here at the new site to link that subscription to our new website. When you're logged in and you click "Account", it will tell you your current subscription status and your renewal date.

How can I find the current status of my subscription?

Once you have logged in, you can click on "Account" in the upper right hand corner and a screen will pop up telling you your renewal date, your subscription status, your current payment method, and everything else. As long as you keep that payment method current, your subscription will renew each year on the same date, so there's no need to remember to renew. If you want to cancel...

How do I cancel?

When you're logged in and click "Account" in the upper right corner, the next screen will have a "Change" option under the Membership tab. Click that and there's a "Cancel my subscription" button on the next screen.

I used to have a subscription, but when I log in it just says "free membership" and I'm hitting the paywall. Does that mean my subscription expired?

Most likely. The paywall was mostly "down" in 2023, meaning you may have thought you had an active subscription (because you had access to all articles) but your subscription had expired due to a failed auto-renew (likely an expired credit card). That was all on us. We stopped sending out "your subscription has expired" emails in 2023 because the paywall was down and it didn't matter.

With this change to the new website, the process to re-start your subscription is simple. You still have a login because you had a login at the old site and we moved all of those email addresses over here. If you're seeing "free membership" when you log in, simply click "Account" in the top right, then choose "Change" under membership, and then select your subscription tier.

I'm still having trouble logging in/seeing my subscription/etc.

Just email me and we'll get you sorted.

What are the new tiers with this website change?

The old system had three tiers - $30, $60, and $90 per year. The new system will also have three tiers. The $30 tier has been changed to $25 and is now an Introductory Membership. After one year, that $25 introductory subscription will move to a full ($77 per year) membership. And you can cancel at any time in that first year.

The $60 and $90 tiers are being merged to a new $77 tier which we're calling the Grange Membership. That membership includes all of the extras including the season previews, the newsletter, and the IlliniBoard Slack (it's kind of our message board for subscribers). Starting with subscriptions after March 1st, all renewals will happen at the new level ($60 subscribers will be moved up to $77 and $90 subscribers will be dropped down to $77 per year).

The third tier is the Seventeen Club. This is for people who want to support Robert directly. There's no additional amenities (at least as far as previews and newsletters go) but you will get access to Robert and any special events for Seventeen Club members only. Seventeen Club (see Robert's Twitter bio for an explanation of what "seventeen" means) is $17 per month.

How do I upgrade?

If you have a Blue Tier membership and you want to upgrade to the new Grange Membership (or if you were on the old Orange Tier and you want to upgrade to Seventeen Club), select "Change" on your membership and then select the new level. The system then automatically prorates your existing subscription and only charges the difference.

What do you mean when you say the system will "prorate" my existing subscription?

If you're choosing a monthly subscription, it will give you a credit that will be applied every month until it runs out. And if you're choosing a yearly subscription, the system will compare your original subscription date to your upgrade date and prorate the amount. If you've had a Blue Tier membership for 200 days, the system will only apply the upgrade price to the next 165 days. And then, on your renewal date, the system will auto-renew you at the full price of your new tier.

What happened to "two free reads per month and then the third one requires a subscription"?

That has been eliminated with this website upgrade. Instead, I will have the option to choose that some articles remain free for all and some articles are behind the paywall. Obviously, if I'm writing about non-sports stuff (like, say, the articles I've written about the Special Spectators tailgates and such), I'll make all of that stuff free. But for the every day Illini articles, there's now a firm paywall.

What about logging in on different devices?

The process outlined above (click sign-in, enter email, go click the link in the email you receive) can be repeated on all devices. And should stay connected like all of your other logins. Yes, just like ESPN (or whatever), sometimes you'll go to log in and you'll find you have to go through the process again because it disconnected. But the process should be super simple now. No more "I don't know my password on your site" (something we never had access to because, well, it's a password and we shouldn't have access to it.) Now it's simple: enter your email address, click on the email you receive, and you're back in.

I won a free subscription back in the day. Is that still active?

Yes. If you're one of the students who showed up to that one Northwestern football game ten years ago when I tweeted "thank God you're here - email me a photo of you at the game and I'll give you an IlliniBoard membership for life", those accounts are active on the new site. Just log in under that email address. And if you no longer have that email address, send me an email and we can change it to your new one.

What about a tip jar? I preferred the method where I could just toss you a few bucks here and there for your efforts.

@IlliniBoard on Venmo is the new tip jar.

I still don't know How/Where/Why/When to do X, Y, or Z.

Just email me.