Running an adult content website is often a highly profitable endeavor, but only if you do your homework properly. You need a host and server that can handle the sizeable media and constant streaming, while at the same time allowing hosting of adult content and maintaining a legal and secure status.
By reading this page, you will learn about selecting the best hosting plan for running your adult content online. Remember, there are certain legalities involved as opposed to conventional websites, so keep an eye out for these.
What is Adult Content?
First of all, it’s important to say that adult content is not reserved to describe sites with adult videos. An adult site is any kind of website that offers goods and services to people over the age of 18 or 21 depending on the age of maturity in your country.
For example, an adult site may sell things like tobacco or alcohol. They also describe websites such as those that offer gambling services.
Who's Best for Adult Hosting Hosting?
We think HostGator is the best choice for Adult Hosting.
If you already have a hosting account, your first order of business will be to find out whether or not your provider even allows adult content.
Staying Safe with Material
It’s never a good idea to simply upload this kind of material and hope it will fly under the radar. You run the risk of your site being shut down and kicked off the server. Be honest from the start, and adhere to your hosting contract. Plain and simple — if you violate the terms and conditions, you are putting yourself at risk.
Considering Free Hosting Plans
If you are reluctant and do not wish to spend a fortune on a new hosting plan for a new adult site, you may consider free adult web hosting services. However, while free hosting can be useful in some stages of development or testing, these services are anything but ideal.
Free hosts offer limited bandwidth, which may result in poor streaming quality or even something a bit worse – having your service overwhelmed and getting a lot of downtimes.
Limitations of Free Hosting
In addition, data transfer capacity and storage may be limited, which means the amount of content will also have to be limited or downgraded – i.e. images and video may have to be uploaded in lower resolution, with higher compression.
Free adult web hosting plans also come with a number of limitations aside from technical ones. Many of them lack proper customer support, which may lead to a lot of problems. Since their business model revolves around serving ads, you will not have control over what sort of ads are displayed.
The ads can be tasteless, distracting or both. These accounts may also bar you from monetizing your content in different ways, e.g. they may prevent you from setting up e-commerce solutions like shopping carts.
All these limitations can compromise the user experience, reducing your competitiveness. Therefore free adult hosting is primarily reserved for hobbyists or niche sites, while more ambitious projects need to be paid adult hosting packages. More often than not, good plans do not come cheap.
Choose Premium Plans for Premium Services
As a result, it’s necessary to find a host service that provides adequate security, disk space, bandwidth, and a server uptime guarantee. Along with shared hosting, most web hosts provide unlimited bandwidth and sometimes unlimited disk space as well.
Though this will be good for small, beginner websites, you will have to share the resources of a single server with other customers. This makes it less ideal for larger, growing sites. Especially if you’ll be expecting heavy traffic or hosting large video files.
Dedicated Servers May Be Ideal
Large amounts of bandwidth are especially important if you’ll be offering downloads from your website.
For this reason, it may be essential to use a dedicated server to host your adult site. Of course, this depends on what you’re doing. But a dedicated server will give you the highest power, security, and flexibility for your site.
If you’re not willing to shell out the cash for this, you could start with a cloud or VPS plan and see how your site performs on these. If you’ll be selling items or services through your adult site, you’ll also need to have e-commerce functionality with your hosting plan.
Why Paid Hosting is Better than Free Hosting for Adult Sites
Paid adult hosting offers greater flexibility in terms of storage, bandwidth, support, features, and services. In addition, your visitors have a smaller chance of being bombarded by advertisements that take away from your content and degrade the user experience.
Hosting companies offering adult plans always take a number of potential issues into consideration. Adult sites usually offer a lot of video content and high resolution 1080p streaming is quite demanding.
4K or UHD adult content is coming, too, so it’s worth keeping that in mind. If you want to offer cutting-edge, high-resolution content in the future, you will need a flexible plan.
Security for Adult Sites
Security is another big concern for premium adult sites. If you plan on setting up a paid service with a subscription model or a different monetization model, you must be very mindful of security. Otherwise, your content could easily end up on torrent sites or any of a number of free ‘adult tube’ services.
If you accept payments and require user registration, this also means that a lot of sensitive data could be lost. This includes credit card numbers or data that allows attackers to identify your users, which can be especially damaging in the adult content business.
Features to Look for in an Adult Hosting Plan
You may also want to pick a web hosting provider that includes email hosting. Many web host services include an e-mail account. This can be useful for sending out updates about your website or creating an e-mail marketing campaign if you’re running an adult e-commerce store.
To summarize, you’ll need 5 basic things in order to host adult websites:
Plenty of disk space
An uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%
Safe payment methods
On top of this, you may also want:
Video hosting optimization
An included domain name
Since we are talking about an adult site here, we could be referring to selling products, alternatively streaming content of any sort. Whether it’s a selection of classic Tarantino favorites or conventional adult material, you’ll need a decent amount of bandwidth.
This is specifically for those who may be selling copious amounts of products, alternatively storing thousands of media files. In either case, you’ll need plenty of storage space in order for the plan to suffice. The last thing you want is limiting your content due to lack of space.
Having decent uptime guarantee is everything for any site unless it’s a not-so-important hobby site you’re creating. Even then, it’s vital for your site not to go down when visitors are trying to access it. The difference between 99.9% and 99% is pretty significant, so try to go for 99.9% at least.
With 99.9%, you have a potential weekly downtime of 10m and 48s. However, with 90% you are exposed to a downtime of up to 1h, 40m and 48s. Do the maths and you’ll see.
Again, a prime thing to consider for any site containing sensitive information whether it’s payment or user data. Do not leave your exclusive content or customer data exposed. This will avoid trouble from both ends.
Safe Payment Methods
Most adult content related websites usually involve a form of monetization — commonly products or subscriptions. Having a safe, reliable and user-friendly payment method is sub-standard. Moreover, many visitors expect a variety of payment methods now, making it a worthwhile investment.
The Difference Between Shared, Cloud, VPS, and Dedicated Servers for Adult Hosting
It’s paramount that you’re aware of the difference in the types of hosting plans you may opt-in for. Here, I’ll go over the obvious options in some detail, to build a basic understanding.
It will be the hardest task to find a shared host service that allows adult hosting. Though, there are some options. Shared hosting is the cheapest, but also the least powerful. You may not meet the bandwidth or disk space requirements if you’re hosting adult websites with a lot of content.
Though, shared plans may be good for small adult e-commerce shops. Similarly, adult website blogs on WordPress will run just fine on a shared hosting plan.
Virtual Private Servers
Hosting a website on a VPS will give you much more power and control over your hosting environment than a shared hosting plan will provide.
But, VPS plans lack the scalability of cloud hosting options. So, if you’re expecting large spikes in traffic or you need to store large amounts of website files, then VPS plans may not provide what you need.
Cloud hosting can provide much more reliability for your adult website since it hosts your site on multiple redundant servers. It’s also very scalable and can handle large spikes in traffic and heavy resource demands.
Dedicated hosting provides you with your very own server. This will give you complete control over the server and everything to do with the programs running on it, including security for your website.
Many web hosts offer managed dedicated servers for people who aren’t technically savvy enough to run their own server but still need the customizability that they offer.
Adult Website: What Kind of Hosting Do I Need?
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from each server type to help you decide what kind of hosting you need.
Legislation governing the distribution of adult content in various jurisdictions varies and you may need legal advice before you proceed with your project, especially if you are new to the industry.
This may involve setting up disclaimers that warn visitors that they can proceed to view the content only if they are of a certain age (18, 21, etc.).
Many sites also prompt users to confirm their age before any adult content is displayed. Of course, these measures cannot keep underage viewers away on their own, but at least they can show you are acting in good faith.
Protect Your Site from Illegal User Content
Another thing to consider is illegal content. Many adult sites allow user uploads and these may be very problematic indeed.
It is vital to ensure that all uploaded content is legal, not only from a copyright aspect but from another much more serious criminal angle.
If your service allows users to upload and share content, you must make sure that sexual predators and pedophiles cannot use it to share illegal content.
This is also a big problem for webcam services that allow social interaction between visitors. Hosting companies offering specialized adult web hosting should be able to assist you in preventing these potentially catastrophic legal issues, as it is in their own best interest, too.
Key Points to Remember
While we covered the topic extensively, there are some factors which are worth summarizing, prior to jumping to the list of best hosts.
Free adult hosting services aren’t reliable and come with many limitations.
Hosting companies that offer adult hosting plans will give you the best power for demanding video streaming.
Adult websites have high-security demands which need to be met by the host that you choose. Or, if you’re using dedicated hosting you must ensure that you take care of security yourself.
You must be aware of the legislation that governs the distribution of adult content in your jurisdiction to ensure you don’t do anything illegal.
Make sure your web host allows the hosting of adult content so you can avoid being kicked off your server or banned from your account.
My 3 Favourite Adult Hosts
So, let’s take a look at the best options for you to host your website with adult content. Here are the three I would recommend.
HostGator is a rare mainstream web hosting company that allows adult websites on their servers.
Adult sites are allowed on any of their hosting plans. They’ve got shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated servers to choose from. HostGator’s 2 times faster cloud servers give you scaling of up to 4 times your initial resources so you can handle large traffic spikes without disruption.
TMD Hosting will be the best web hosting provider for you if you need regular customer support.
In our experience, TMD responds to customer inquiries faster than HostGator. Better yet, they provide a fully-managed adult hosting plan at an amazingly low price. This plan comes with a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Compared to HostGator’s 99.9% uptime, TMD ensures higher availability for your site.
Certified Hosting has supported adult websites for almost 20 years. Their servers are optimized for FFmpeg, a software for handling multimedia data. You can try them out risk-free due to their any-time money-back guarantee.
They even guarantee 99.999% uptime on their dedicated servers. Handle streaming services including Wowza, Red 5, and Flash Media Server on their VPS and dedicated plans.
Do guidelines for adult hosting differ from country to country?
Yes. Every country has their own regulations regarding adult content, and content in general. In some countries, laws may even vary from region to region, so make sure you do your research before you start posting content.
What if my host is in a different country? What laws do I have to obey?
You are bound by the rules of your own country. However, if your host is in another country, they are bound by their country’s rules, which means your site is too. You should adhere to the rules set by both countries.
If I’m on a free plan with my host’s ads, can I add my own ads too?
This shouldn’t be a problem. Hosts want you to stick around, and eventually upgrade to a higher plan, and they know you won’t do that if you can’t make money too. Before you go and post your own ads, make sure to check your terms of service, and ask questions if you’re unclear about guidelines.
Are there external sites where I can host my adult video content (like YouTube, but for adult material), so I can cut back on bandwidth requirements?
If you’re okay with your content being publicly visible elsewhere, there are sites similar to YouTube or Vimeo that allow adult content. This will significantly reduce the load on your server, but it will also mean giving up the security and exclusivity you receive from self-hosting.
What type of material can I post?
That will depend on several variables, including your local or national laws, and your host’s guidelines. If you reside in the US, most adult content is protected by the first amendment; however, obscenity laws still apply, and any outright illegal acts, such those involving underage or unwilling participants, are strictly prohibited. In other countries, the guidelines can be much stricter. And still others have little to no guidelines in place. Be sure to research your local laws. Your host, too, will likely have their own guidelines in place for legal purposes, so be sure to carefully review those as well.
I’m new to this. Are there guides for getting started in adult hosting?
Yes, but the first place you should probably check is your host. If they cater to adult hosting clients, they can likely provide advice or direct you toward qualified adult business consultants. Remember, your host is going to be your partner. The more traffic you get, the more money you both make, so they’re typically happy to assist, even with green clients.
Does adult hosting cost more than regular hosting?
If you’re starting out, you’ll find plenty of low-cost, shared hosting plans that cost the same, and sometimes less, than standard hosting plans offering the same storage, bandwidth, and features. If you don’t go over those amounts, adult hosting is an inexpensive business. But adult hosting can very quickly get expensive because it will be much more storage and bandwidth intensive than typical hosting.
Do I have to purchase an adult hosting plan to use my site for adult content?
Not necessarily, but you definitely need to review your host’s terms of service before you do. In general, you’re better off looking for a host that sells adult hosting packages. This way there’s no question about whether or not they allow adult content, and they will be better equipped to handle your site’s needs and answer any questions or concerns you may have specific to adult hosting.
Are there any server requirements for adult hosting?
You can find adult hosting plans for Windows or Linux servers, and at all ranges of the hosting spectrum. The size and speed of your server should be considerations, particularly if you expect significant traffic, but they aren’t requirements. If you want to start out with the least expensive plan offered and work your way up, you can. The only true requirement is that your host allows adult content.
Are there specific programs I should install for an adult site?
The specific software will vary based on your site’s offering. You should have no problem setting up your website with any modern CMS. You will need a photo gallery application capable of handling the demands of your site, and likely a tool for hosting a variety of video formats. If your host offers packages specifically for adult hosting, they will likely have most of the tools you need already set up, or be able to provide assistance as you choose the tools that are right for you.
How do I set up secure credit card payments?
There are a number of shopping cart options available to accept a variety of payment methods. When considering a host, make sure they provide a shopping cart with your plan. It’s also a good idea to verify the security features they offer, including PCI Compliance and SSL certificates. An SSL certificate will likely come with an additional annual fee, particularly if you are choosing a low-cost, shared hosting plan.
If I start with a shared plan, is it easy to upgrade?
Most hosts will gladly convert your low-cost, shared plan to one of their higher-priced, private hosting accounts. They can typically do this without requiring you to move any files yourself. In some cases, settings may need to be adjusted, but your host will guide you through this process. Of course, if you plan on changing hosts, the process will become more complicated, but should still be manageable. And your new host will most likely be willing to help.