There’s not much that annoys me more online than having to sign up unnecessarily for free services. I went as far as to make a [complete website](http://uselessaccount.com/) making fun of the experience.
When we began planning [Panedia Desktop Wallpaper](http://wallpaper.panedia.com) one of the first decisions we made was paid members would be the only user that required sign up, if you want free content, you could get it without barrier. If you have an account, you are a paying customer.
At first the sign up process instinctively included email confirmation for accounts. As internet users we’re highly trained in this procedure — sign up, refresh email, click confirmation link, account activated. As a developer who’s implemented sign up systems multiple times, creating a sign up system around email confirmation wasn’t something I questioned.
Until new users weren’t getting confirmation emails.
We knew this would happen, with spam filters having no reason to trust us, users not checking spam folders, server side filters and plain human error. The best we could do was tell them to check their spam and add the question to the FAQ, I mean, we *need* email confirmation, right?
Accounts at other online services required email confirmation as a layer of protection against robots signing up for multiple *free* accounts. We don’t have free accounts, our barrier to robots is *money*.
We dropped email confirmation, removed an extra step from the cumbersome process of signing up and made our lives easier by not having to deal with lost confirmation emails.