Feature Request: More Platform Stability

Dear Patreon,

Can we talk? I feel like you don’t understand me, what I’m doing, what my goals are, and how best to support me in those things the way you say you want to.

I use your service because I am a professional creator. I am a creative person who wants to make money by doing my creative thing and getting paid by patrons for it. The promise of Patreon.com was always to facilitate doing that.

Because of that, though, what I do NOT want, is to have to spend any time, whatsoever, on managing my relationship to Patreon.

I don’t think you appreciate this. Every time you roll out a feature – even a good, desirable, well-functioning feature! – that disrupts my workflow, you cost me hours, and even days, of lost labor, and consequently lost earnings. Every second I have to spend on relearning a new user interface, rejiggering how I work, updating my text and image assets to match your latest redesign, is a second I’m not spending creating, not spending communicating with my patrons, and not spending on doing the administrative work around running a creative business. Every time you change how Patreon works for creators, it comes out of my hide. And it comes out of the hides of every one of us.

It is NOT COST FREE to us when you change things. I really need you to understand that.

I appreciate that you want to make this site better. I appreciate that you may be under pressure from investors to “Do Something!” to try to drive adoption and profitability.

But you can’t get more honey from the bees by stirring the hive with a stick. You really, really can’t.

And it’s bad enough when you change something unambiguously for the better. When you change things for what seem to be superficial reasons, or accidentally remove relied-upon functionality, or have fundamental policy changes, or roll out features that are buggy and not ready for prime time, it causes you enormous loss of goodwill and confidence, because now we are losing hours or days of work to accommodating changes we resent and disapprove of.

I’m writing this to you now because in the very same period, you rolled out both the Income Tax change – which is totally understandable why you needed to do that! – and the user interface change to the Patron Manager, which is causing a huge number of complaints about disrupted workflows. I am really angry about how much time I’ve had to spend in the last two months on managing my Patreon account in ways which have absolutely nothing to do with serving my patrons or advancing my art.

The thing I am coming to realize I most want out of Patreon is platform stability. I want Patreon to stop constantly changing things in ways which force me to have to drop everything and respond, to learn a new interface, develop a new workflow, check your implementation for bugs, against a deadline I didn’t pick and cannot change.

I suspect you think that creators are all whiners who just don’t like change because they’re just whiners. Actually, creators don’t like change – in their payment and content delivery platform – because they are creators! When you realize what a blow it is to us when you change things, you can see why we might as a population be really change averse. It’s not that we can’t see the brilliance of your vision. It’s because no matter how wonderful the change, we pay for it in lost labor and lost patronage. Every time.

And to be clear, when you roll out new features that are purely additional to extant functionality, which force no adoption but invite it on one’s own timetable, that’s great. The problem, though, it is seems Patreon almost never does that. Changes are replacements – changing from the trad server-side site architecture to an AJAXy responsive confection, the whole pledge unbundling fiasco, the logo change, the forthcoming change in the Patron Manager system, etc.

Please stop. Please slow way, WAY down. Please focus on burning down the bug list, rather than endless redesigns and rolling out new features all the time.

I know that’s not what you want to hear. I know that bug fixing is way less sexy to investors and way less fun for developers than feature development. I know that you are grasping for a sense of control over the fate of this crazy enterprise where somehow artists – artists! – are a viable business model for anyone, ever.

But leaving us alone to do the things that get all of us, ultimately including you, Patreon, paid, is how the bacon gets brought home. Disrupting our work does not make that happen more. It makes it happen less.

Patreon creator since Oct 2014

P.S. This has approximately always been a “pain point” for dealing with Patreon, but under the present global circumstances, where a lot of us are juggling anvils, now is exceptionally bad for unnecessary additional work to be imposed on your creators. A lot of us have way less slack in our systems than we did, and are already stretched to a breaking point. Have some mercy.


Just want to say that I agree with every word. As someone whose Patreon is his single biggest source of income, I’d like to be able to make plans in advance. That relies on the platform doing the same things month on month.


I agree, strongly, with what Siderea has written here.

Additionally, such frequent interface changes make me apprehensive. I’ve observed frequent interface changes on other platforms as a sign that they are entering into some kind of “tinkering” phase, where there are more and more changes with diminishing returns. Most of them don’t stick around too long after getting to this phase.

This makes me want to look for other platforms through which to fund my creative work. It certainly doesn’t make me want to direct my own marketing strategy toward increasing the number of patrons that I have.


Thanks for writing this, @Siderea. It resonated with me.

I happened to read it on an afternoon where I’ve spent close to an hour helping patrons whose cards went into Declined status correct that situation. Which neatly underscores your point.

Patreon is a platform that processes recurring payments. That’s its primary function. Everything else that it does is distantly secondary to that function, simply because without that function, none of the rest of it matters.

And, viewed through that lens, there’s clearly still some very basic work to be done. As a creator, I should literally never ever EVER have to get involved with helping patrons be aware of and then correct Declined statuses. That should be so completely sewn up on Patreon’s end. Its engineering and communicational flow should be fine-tuned to the point where it has close to a 100% success rate. It’s what I would consider a core function.

We’re very, very grateful for Patreon. And every single Patreon employee we’ve interacted with has been unfailingly wonderful – smart, thoughtful, and possessed of a genuine desire to help. And so I want to make sure to underscore that my comments here are intended in that spirit. Sort of in the same way that my partner helps show me how I can be a better version of me. Because I do view this as a partnership – and one in which I feel fortunate to be involved.

Thanks for the good thread. :slight_smile:


I’m still reeling from that major redesign years ago that turned Patreon from a fast, performant, easy to use site into something where I can type 2-3 paragraphs before any text appears. Just about everything they launch and announce with pride loudly after that just stings, because I still can’t use the dang thing.

Pages still take minutes to load. I can’t even get as far as being frustrated about new productivity road bumps because I had to stop using the site for anything other than payment processing. Every time I go to schedule a batch of posts, I’m reminded of how everything keeps changing, but nothing that’s broken gets fixed.


100% to everything you said.

this platform used to be exactly what i needed to get paid while making whatever i wanted. easy to use, easy to understand. now with every update i contemplate leaving more and more.


This. 100%

Problem is that with investor funded platforms and especially ones that think they carry The Mandate of Heaven (to do “right” in the world) the end-users are always at the very lowest level of concern in terms of resource allocation and prioritization.


Back in 2018 I carefully created a set of five tiers with no material benefits. Then Patreon changed the user interface so three tiers were preferred, then they spammed me with email after email about the income tax thing and I spend ages wandering around my account trying to find where to set those things and trying to find the right setting for “gratuities” or “no benefit.” Then they spammed me about some tier nobody used not being classified as a benefit, and about only having one benefit. I appreciate that PT’s team is under a lot of strain right now and that global taxes are complicated but I was much happier when they were an invisible service company like Paypal, VISA, or Mastercard not a platform that people were supposed to visit with scripts enabled to get premium content!

Global sales and income taxes are complicated. Setting up a monthly payment and posting the occasional text and images should not be. I loved it when PT focused on making it as easy as possible to pay and get paid, so we could focus on making art and getting people do donate for it.


I can’t even log in without having to enable a plethora of scripts and click on a confirmation email.

Patreon did something wonderful: it started to convince people with disposable income to donate to some of the free online things they enjoy. In a world where the only ones who make money with Internet ads are Facebook and Google, that was a lifesaver. I used my time and my social network to help share the idea. But it seems to be moving away from being a site you use to handle your donations and forget about until its time to donate to a new site to being a destination with exclusive content. And from where I sit, it looks like Patreon has not been a tremendous business sense since it borrowed series C, turned against many of the creators who had built it, and tried to break up that one convenient $10-20 line on a credit card statement into 5-10 individual lines with 5-10 separat processing charges. In the early days Patreon did something wonderful and I hope it keeps close enough to that original vision that we can keep working with it.


One million percent this. I feel like the feedback to Patreon continually hits a wall, where we make clear exactly what we need, and then Patreon gives us a bunch of smiling happy talk about what they’re going to do instead of what we asked for. For instance: I do not, do not, do not want to be displaying whatever the heck the “after tax and fees and special sauce number” Patreon mysteriously calculates as what I’m actually getting in the public facing space, and with this new Manager being rolled out, I don’t even know where to find that anymore. What should matter to my patrons is what THEY contribute, not what I actually get as a consequence of fees and the like. I sent this feedback repeatedly, and was roundly ignored in favor of another smiling face message of “Everything is great! Here are the new features you didn’t ask for and don’t want! Aren’t you HAPPY???” It’s disingenuous and patronizing. Please listen to us. Please get out of our way and do what you’re supposed to do–facilitate patrons sending money to creators they wish to support. And please stop sending happy talk messages when you’re not listening to what we ask for. It’s frustrating and unfair.


I agree with everything here. Every time there’s a platform change, I lose dozens of patrons and hundreds of dollars in monthly income.

1 Like

100% agree with this. Patreon, from the people who love(d) you the most, are you listening?

1 Like

bumping this thread because it’s curious that no staff have replied yet

this still hasn’t been addressed and the further these issues we have get ignored, the more big-earning creators are going to leave the platform.


I definitely agree with all of this, and as time goes on, it seems like more and more things are ignored. I feel like the staff was way more interactive at the start compared to now.

There are bugs that have been around for years still unaddressed. And even with their recent tagging system update, it destroyed ALL of my links to specific tagged pages. I have hundreds of posts all using deprecated links now, and the only way to fix that is to manually go through myself and change them. Like what’s been stated, it’s all time wasting.

It’s exhausting having to explain every update/change to my followers. (I’ve definitely lost support from changes in the past.) It shouldn’t have to be my responsibility to explain how the site works. (Especially when some of the time, /I/ don’t even know how the site works anymore.)

Just more honesty, communication, and mindfulness of the users/creators would be super appreciated.


this is such a great post. thank you for writing it! i just flagged it for the rest of our team to read.