The best web hosting services for sex workers and adult artists

Being a sex worker online is difficult in the post-SESTA-FOSTA era. After the law passed through Congress in spring 2018, websites began pulling providers’ posts and restricting NSFW communities. Then Wix shut down sex workers’ websites and Google deleted their Google Drive files.

Adult web hosting is particularly tricky for 18+ content creators and sex workers. Sites that were long tolerant or even welcoming toward sex workers and adult material have preemptively shut out their clients for good, further marginalizing NSFW content creators, adult performers, and online users that rely on full-service work (paid sexual encounters) to pay the bills. As San Francisco and L.A.-based dominatrix Colette told HuffPost last year, SESTA-FOSTA is making “all of us sex workers think twice about everything we do.” And that includes what technology providers use.

But there are alternatives out there for hosting adult websites. Sex worker-inclusionary and NSFW-friendly hosting sites are gradually cropping up, and some of the best hosts will either help creators screen their clients or provide discreet, offshore solutions to protect sex workers’ identities. While the pickings are slim, these are the best adult web hosts in the SESTA-FOSTA era.

The best adult web hosting services for NSFW content

Before getting started, read over Liara Roux’s sex worker resources over at liaraslist, which includes information on payment processors that target providers and their clients. Roux also offers resources for sex workers of all trades, and how they can switch over to services that won’t remove their uploads or webpages.

Additionally, before purchasing a domain or acquiring one through the sites below, consider using Njalla to pay for your domain. Njalla was created by internet privacy activists as a way to protect users’ information from prying eyes. The service buys domains on the user’s behalf and then gives them full control of the domain, so the customer’s name is never shared via a WHOIS domain lookup. Payments can be made through cryptocurrency, too, assuring sex workers’ purchases cannot be traced.

Best adult web host for sex workers and adult creators: Red Umbrella Hosting

Best Adult Web Host Red Umbrella Hosting Red Umbrella Hosting

After SESTA-FOSTA became law, the Daily Dot profiled Red Umbrella Hosting, a safe, discreet, and offshore web hosting alternative run by a sex worker for other sex workers. To date, it’s our top recommendation for both providers and adult content creators of all trades, doubly so if you’re a veteran of the field and know your way around web hosting. Affordable and safe, it’s easily one of the best hosting solutions available.

Red Umbrella Hosting is run by Melissa Mariposa, a sex worker who wanted to create a sex-positive and open-minded web service for her fellow adult providers. The site’s Terms of Service protect a wide variety of ethical porn and consensual sex work, and Mariposa herself is an advocate for defending internet privacy. “The fact that people are ready to hand over a chunk of their digital rights and freedoms because of the stigma behind sex work is frightening, to put it mildly,” Mariposa told the Daily Dot in 2018.

Unlike other sites that sacrifice security for ease of use, Red Umbrella Hosting’s accounts are created by hand. Mariposa offers three discreet payment options to prevent information tracking: cryptocurrency, gift cards, and money orders for long-term payments. While the hosting service does not provide domains, Red Umbrella is split into three different plans, starting at $200 per year or $20 per month. For more information, head over to the adult web host’s official site.

Best adult web service for quick and easy hosting: Cuties Tools

Best Budget Friendly Sex Worker Web Host Cuties Tools

Red Umbrella Hosting offers incredible options for putting together a website. But what if you’re just starting out, have little technical knowledge, and just need a webpage to send to clients ASAP? Cuties Tools lets you quickly and easily create your own homepage for any form of sex work or adult content, which means less time setting up an online presence and more time marketing your services.

Cuties Tools is run by a six-person team that offers anonymous, offshore adult web hosting to models, performers, full-service sex workers, and anyone else that wants to create an account. Cuties Tools features pre-built templates, search engine optimization software, an accessible web editor, client screening features, and a mobile UI perfect for smartphones and tablets. While Cuties Tool’s monthly option is slightly more expensive than Red Umbrella Hosting’s entry tier, the site’s privacy terms aren’t quite as hands-off as Red Umbrella’s, and your mileage may vary for technical support, its various features and ease of use makes it a great start for newcomers getting their bearings in the industry. Cuties Tool’s base plan for models is $24 per month, which offers space for “up to 1,000 photos” and “up to 500 videos.”

Best NSFW web host for adult artists: Kupaa Networks

Best NSFW Web Host Adult Artists Kupaa Networks Kupaa Networks/Twitter

Professional artists, game developers, and writers want to work with a hosting site that understands their work and won’t discriminate against 18+ material. Enter Kupaa Networks, a boutique adult web hosting service tailored around 18+ artists and game developers.

Since 2016, Kupaa Networks has offered enterprise-grade hosting services and career support for adult artists looking for NSFW-friendly hosting. Features include off-site backups, career advice, privacy options, and “multi-site replication for disaster recovery and prevention.” All this makes Kupaa Networks a fantastic choice for professional artists that don’t know where to upload their portfolio, webcomic, or 18+ video games.

While Kupaa Networks is a great host for adult creators with established careers, it also comes at a steep price. The site’s basic plan offers 30GBs of space, 3GBs of RAM, and automated backups for $110 per month. Higher options are available for premium members, too. This makes Kupaa Network a fantastic option for studios, adult teams, and 18+ artists with a dedicated following. But its high entry point means it may not be the best decision for artists who are just breaking into the field.

Best budget NSFW-friendly web host: Neocities

Best Budget NSFW Friendly Web Host Neocities Ana Valens

Remember Yahoo’s Geocities? Neocities is its 21st century spiritual successor. Created as an open-source solution for web developers of all stripes, Neocities stands out on our adult web hosting list thanks to its minimalist design, easy CMS, and support for 18+ material. Best of all, Neocities is free to get started, and it doesn’t require a custom domain to use. Just sign up, mark your website as an 18+ domain, and get to work. Power users can even sign up as a Supporter, which offers 50 GBs in storage, 3000 GBs in bandwidth, custom domains, and lets you upload any file that you’d like, all for $5 per month.

Neocities uses a simplistic HTML editor and CMS to let users create their own pages from scratch. If you know your way around HTML and CSS, you already have everything you need to start making your own site. For those completely new to both markup languages, consider using an HTML web editor or learning the hypertext platform Twine; just output your HTML file as “index.html” and replace the index.html file in the back end.

While Neocities is a fantastic tool for adult artists, writers, and game developers, it’s not ideal for anyone doing full-service sex work. The site’s Terms of Service outright ban “illegal” content and any material that may “subject [Neocities] to liability.” It also promises to “respond to any subpoena, court order, or other legal process if we are legally compelled to do so.” So while the site is adult-content friendly, it’s not sex worker-friendly per se. (Disclosure: Reporter Ana Valens uses Neocities as a Supporter. She uses the service to host her adult video game Blood Pact, as shown above.)

READ MORE:

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.