Frequently Asked Questions

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These general FAQs about product options and billing issues. For technical FAQs about the editor, log in and access the support environment from your dashboard.

General

What is Instant Magazine?
Instant Magazine is an all-in-one platform for creating and publishing interactive web content. Like websites, Instant Magazines use HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript; but unlike websites, they are linear in format — more like a magazine.

With Instant Magazine, you can quickly create jaw-dropping internal and external communications assets your audience won't easily forget, and easily produce immersive, media-rich sales and marketing collateral that readers can interact with on any device.
What can I create with Instant Magazine?
Your imagination is the limit. Our all-in-one creative platform is perfect for making interactive:

  • Corporate brochures
  • Customer magazines
  • White papers
  • Digital annual reports
  • Product catalogs
  • Proposals and presentations
  • Staff magazines
  • Employee handbooks
  • and much more…
How is an Instant Magazine different from a website?
While they share the same technology, their usage is very different. A website (as its name implies) is like a spiderweb where everything is connected to everything else. Content made with Instant Magazine is more like a PowerPoint presentation in that it's linear, and users flip through one page at a time.

However, unlike tools such as PowerPoint, you get all the advantages of online hosted content, namely the ability to track engagement with Google Analytics, present content perfectly on any device (responsiveness), personalize content, and many more distribution options.
Why use Instant Magazine instead of a web page?
On average, users tend to interact with Instant Magazine publications for 4 times as long as a typical web page. This is because Instant Magazines are designed to be snackable and media rich. Their stand-alone, linear format gives them a story-like feel and encourages readers to continue to each consecutive page.

If you have an important piece of content that deserves more attention than a regular blog post or website page — perhaps an event review or a product brochure — then an Instant Magazine is the perfect way to showcase it.
Why use Instant Magazine instead of printed material?
Instant Magazine publications allow you to incorporate rich media like full-screen background videos and animations. They can be personalized based on information about individual readers. They can include forms, calls-to-action, and other interactive elements. And they’re accessible anywhere, rendering perfectly on any device.

Perhaps the greatest benefits, however, lie in cost-saving (compared to print) and in the ability to track, measure, and analyze your content’s performance. See where your readers come from, which pages they engage with most, what they click on, where they leave, and then use that data to make your next edition more engaging.
How does Instant Magazine work with SEO?
Instant Magazine publications are built with SEO in mind. They use server-side rendering technology that ensures no render-blocking scripts prevent crawlers from indexing all your content. For each of your publication's pages, you have full control over page slugs, titles, meta descriptions, headings, alt image attributes, and more.

If you're working with internal documents, you can also turn this all off and prevent search engines from indexing your content.
Can Instant Magazines be embedded on websites?
No. Well, technically they can, but we definitely don't recommend it as it will likely produce unexpected results.

Licenses and products

How does the free trial work?
Our "no strings attached" 7-day free trial lets you try all the features of an Instant Magazine Expert license. You can upload and add content, create as many pages and publications as you want, use the vast array of features and settings, and preview your work on any device.

The only thing you cannot do is publish — you'll first need to upgrade to a paid license. We’ll keep what you create with your trial account for 90 days so when you upgrade you can resume working where you left off.
How many Instant Magazine publications can I make?
With a paid license, you can publish an unlimited number of publications in each Publication Group, and you can purchase as many extra Groups as you want. Every license comes with 1 Publication Group by default. See the following question for an explanation of Publication Groups.
How do publication groups work?
Every publication you make is part of a Publication Group and shares the same settings (hostname, Google Analytics code, and default logos). Publishing content on a second domain, for example, would require buying an extra Publication Group.

The diagram below illustrates an account with an extra Publication Group. For whatever reason, this user wants to keep some publications on a separate domain with its own tracking code. Adding an extra Publication Group to your license makes this possible.

Can I create a standalone publication without signing up for a license?
No. We offer Standalone Publications as an add-on product. This is a publication that exists independently of your publication groups and can have its own domain and Google Analytics settings. You must have an active license to buy an additional Standalone Publication.
Are there any limitations I should be aware of?
Not every feature is supported in every license. Please take a careful look at the feature table on our pricing page to determine which license fits best with your needs.

Options and features

Can I host Instant Magazine publications on my own URL?
Yes. Instant Magazine files are hosted on our global network of secure servers and use a state-of-the-art content delivery network (CDN) to ensure your readers get the best experience regardless of where they're located.

By default, your publications will be visible on https://your-account.instantmagazine.com, but you can easily choose to use your own domain or subdomain. Depending on your license, it’s also possible to host the publication’s files on your own servers.
Can I purchase a web domain through you?
No, in order to host Instant Magazines on your own domain, you must first purchase a domain from a domain name registrar such as Hostwinds or GoDaddy.
Can I print my Instant Magazine publications?
Yes, there is a feature to convert your publication to a PDF for printing. Because Instant Magazine publications are dynamic web applications designed for the screen, printed versions may not appear exactly as they do online.
How do I distribute my publications?
Instant Magazine publications live on the web, so you can drive traffic to them as you would any other page or piece of online content. Social promotion, paid search advertising, display advertising, and email marketing are the most common ways our customers promote their publications.

Instant Magazines are built with SEO in mind which means search engines will index your content and you’ll receive organic traffic as well, unless you choose to turn this off.
Can I upload a PDF and convert it into an Instant Magazine?
No. Unlike some other tools which simply create static online flipbooks, Instant Magazine’s distinguishing feature is responsiveness — the ability to adapt and rearrange layouts according to the screen size of the viewer. While this requires you to upload and place assets like images and text individually, it creates a much better (and more dynamic) experience for the reader.
Can Instant Magazines be viewed while offline?
No. Just like websites, Instant Magazine publications exist online and require an internet connection to view.
What data can I collect from my publications?
See the time users spend on each page, how far they scroll, what they click on, where they leave, and more. You can use our built-in reporting tools to gather these insights and/or connect your Google Analytics account for even more granular data.

You can also create and place forms in your publication to gather information from your visitors. Our built-in form builder makes managing forms easy. Use them to gate your content and generate leads, or to collect feedback elsewhere in your publication.

Working in the platform

Do I need to know how to code?
You don't need any coding experience to use Instant Magazine. Our platform uses an intuitive drag and drop interface meaning what you see is what you get. Forms, buttons, overlays, embeds, background videos, margins and paddings — everything is editable with our advanced, user-friendly interface.
Are there templates I can use?
Yes, we have a large selection of professionally designed block, page, and publication templates that you can use and customize.
How do I include videos in my Instant Magazine publication?
You can easily insert videos that are hosted on YouTube or Vimeo. You can then use them either as background videos that play automatically or as embedded videos that users can play when they're ready.
How do I ensure brand consistency?
Upload your assets like logos, colors, custom fonts and more. You can also integrate your Bynder account for easy access to corporate assets. Our theme editor allows you to save default styles and reuse them on subsequent pages and publications.
Can I add multiple users?
Depending on your license, you can add multiple users and even create sub accounts. You can assign various roles and permissions to users and decide, for example, who can edit groups and settings, and who can publish content.
Can I use custom fonts?
Yes. By default, there are a wide variety of fonts available. And with an Advanced License or higher, you can also upload your own custom fonts as .woff files.
Can I get help designing my publication?
Our platform is extremely easy to use, but we do offer design services if you want help creating a publication. We also have a partner program with numerous Instant Magazine certified design agencies you can work with, and we’d be happy to put you in touch.

Security

Who can see my Instant Magazine publications?
You decide! If you want your publications freely available on the web, we offer all kinds of SEO features and social sharing options. You can also gate your content with lead generation forms or social login so that visitors must submit their contact details to access your publication.
Can I secure my publications and make them private?
Yes. If you're working with sensitive internal information, we offer robust security features. You can secure publications with usernames and passwords, whitelist IPs, and tell search engines not to index your content.
Do you support SSL?
Absolutely. You will need to purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted vendor and then we'll help you set it up.
Can I host Instant Magazines on my own server?
For Enterprise customers, we offer the possibility to download an entire publication for hosting elsewhere.
What other security options do you offer?
If you're an enterprise organization, we offer Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions, and can facilitate other custom requirements upon request. Instant Magazine undergoes regular risk assessments and security audits and is currently awaiting ISO 27001 certification (our hosting provider is already certified).
Are you GDPR compliant?
Yes, fully. Our company follows all GDPR guidelines and we also provide tools to help our customers comply. As a customer, you can, for example, request or delete all personal data related to a particular visitor from our databases. You can also disable our global CDN to ensure no files or data are ever stored outside the EU. For more information, read our blog post about Instant Magazine and GDPR compliance.

Billing

How does your billing system work?
Whether you pay yearly or monthly, all products and license are based on a 12-month contract with a renewal date corresponding to the date of purchase. You can cancel your account up to 2 months before your renewal date. If you do not cancel within that time period, your license and active products will be renewed for another 12 months.
What payment options do you offer?
We accept all major credit cards, checks, bank transfers, and PayPal. You can choose to pay monthly or yearly. In either case, all products and license are based on a 12-month contract with a renewal date corresponding to the date of purchase.
Is it possible to change my license midway through the year?
If you find yourself needing additional features, space, or traffic allowance, it is possible to upgrade your license at any time.

You can downgrade your license up to 2 months before the end of a billing cycle, in which case changes will come into effect after the current billing cycle is over.
How do I cancel my account?
You can cancel your account up to 2 months before your renewal date. If you do not cancel within that time period, your license and active products will be renewed for another 12 months. If you decide to cancel your account, please get in touch.
What happens to my publications if I cancel my account?
Your publications will remain online until the end of your contract date. After that, they will be taken offline. Your publications will remain in your account for 90 days, so if you choose to renew your account within that time, they will still be there.
Is it possible to get a custom license with the features I need?
Generally, no. The only exception is our Enterprise License which can include many additional features, custom integrations, and special development requests.

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