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So, your a content creator who makes not family safe and/or queer content and you're worried about puritanical USian corporate social media completely destroying your ability to publish your work.

You decide you need a website. But don't know where to start.

Well, :thread:

Websites for NSFW content creators 

First of all, I'm not new to this. I'm the admin for, which was originally a Tumblr only blog until they were bought out. Websites and infrastructure are also my day-job. So this isn't untested advice.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

Easiest is to use another service:

Squarespace, Wix, and are usually the most common ones. These services provide the ability to create a site yourself with little technical knowledge.

Squarespace makes this clear, NSFW content is a complete no go and grounds for cancellation of your account.

Wix doesn't appear to mention content exceptions in their Terms of Use, but their tooling is clumsy and can be frustrating to use.'s TOS likely also does not mention NSFW content. An [old support forum thread)( suggests that it is allowed. This service also is the most portable, as you can export your content and self-host in the future if that changes. also tends to be more reasonable when it comes to legal threats from the MPAA and RIAA and other copyright mongers.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

The downside is that all of those are, you guessed it, a very common legal target. Company lawyers love to target other companies to bully them to remove content. And sometimes, that means you're out of luck when they decide it'll cost them more to defend you, rather than cancel your account.

This means you need to be defensive. You need to either get help from someone technically adept, or develop some technical chops yourself to keep your site and your income up and running.

The more defensive you can be, the harder it'll be for corporate lawyers to silence you. It's a *cost* game; you're little, they're big. So, you need to be fast and flexible so that it costs them more than it's worth.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

To be fast and flexible that means you need to set up your site yourself without using social networking, or site-building services. It means you need to build it yourself.

First thing: Domain names. That URL you type into your browser? That's a domain name. You can actually buy a domain without buying into a service or a hosting company by going to a Domain Registrar. There's a lot of these, such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, and even Google. May favorite is -- they cost more, but the advantage is *privacy*.

When you register a domain, you need to do so with your business or house address. This is *publicly* available and can be easily searched from tools such as This is why I like Hover, as the additional cost points that address at themselves, rather than you. This makes it more difficult for company lawyers to target you directly without an expensive process of serving the registrar first.

Domain names typically cost $10 a year, although some can be cheaper or much, much more expensive. When you do find a domain name you like, you can sign up at your registrar of choice.

A backup domain name on a second registrar may be a good idea, if you believe you're likely to be targeted.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

Next, web hosting. Hosting provides the physical hardware ("servers") necessary to run your site. These fall into typically one of two classes for websites:

Shared Hosting or Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS).

Shared hosting is what it sounds like. A service such as Bluehost, Dreamhost,, Greenhost and others will rent you a portion of a web server shared with other accounts. This type of hosting is very cheap, and typically, very stable. Be sure to check your host's Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy before signing up. Each may have a policy on NSFW content which may affect you.

Shared hosting doesn't usually set up a website for you, although many will allow it either fully manually or through a UI such as CPanel. This does give you full control, but it also puts the onus of management on yourself. Again, you may have to spend some time to develop some technical chops, or have a friend who can do that for you.

I'm infodumping here because free advice is something I can do, but I can't take on other hosting projects right now without charging for it. I try to do things sliding scale, particularly queer creators because it's important to me.

Next is IaaS hosting. This has a lot of different names, sometimes called "co-located" or "VPS (virtual private server)". There are a lot of companies which do this too: AWS, Google, DigitalOcean, and others. Some shared hosting companies also provide infrastructure hosting. All of them provide you a raw, typically Linux, server for you to do with as you will. This is web hosting on Hard Mode. However, you have full control. Again, all of these companies have Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policies, but typically are slower to respond to content challenges which aren't copyright challenges.

You also have *full* control, which means no one is doing software security updates for you. This opens you to your site being hacked. Hacked sites and vulnerabilities are another mountain of issues I could discuss, as I've worked with recovery and remediation there as well. For this thread, it's important to say you need to make backups regularly, store them off-server, and do software updates regularly and often. This means both server updates, and your website code updates too.

Running a site on IaaS provides no automatic set up for software which helps your site go. You have to install and configure it all manually. An experienced friend can typically do this in an afternoon, depending on what sort of site your building.

"What sort of site?" What do I mean by that? Most sites rely on a Content Management System (CMS) to provide the UI to build and run your site. There's a. lot. of. these. The most popular are Wordpress, Drupal, Jekyll and others. They all have different features and technical requirements. I typically recommend the ones I mentioned above and in that order. They are very popular, have lots of tutorials to get you started, and are well maintained by volunteers.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench I'll note that the IaaS acceptable use policies I've looked at (not many, and less well-known providers) have very loose policies: generally, if it's not illegal it's fine. (Stuff like no pedo, no zoo, no non-consent, no revenge.)

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