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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 eschergirls.com, 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.

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re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

Easiest is to use another service:

Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress.com 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.

Wordpress.com's TOS likely also does not mention NSFW content. An [old support forum thread)(wordpress.org/support/topic/ad) 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. Wordpress.com also tends to be more reasonable when it comes to legal threats from the MPAA and RIAA and other copyright mongers.

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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.

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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 Hover.com -- 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 Whois.com. 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.

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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, Pair.com, 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.

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re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

Another thing, you do *not* need to stay in your nation of origin to host your site. If you live in the US, there's nothing preventing you from buying hosting in Canada, Europe, or other nations with stronger privacy laws. In fact, I recommend you do so, as it makes it even harder for corporate lawyers to kill your site by requiring them to tangle with international law. Remember, the game is to make it cost them more to go after you. The more you cost them, the more they're likely to not want to bother.

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re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

Finally, the hardest mode of web hosting:

Self-hosting.

Self-hosting is when you literally buy hardware to run your site and host it over your own internet connection. For sites which don't require a large amount of traffic, this may be a good option as the initial cost is high -- you have to buy a physical thing, after all -- but you only pay for energy and an internet connection thereafter.

The trick here is to see if your ISP allows it. Comcast typically does *not*, although you can get away with it. A smaller ISP with stronger privacy policies is preferred here.

Also, pipe size. Ever have a web site load slowly because you're also watching Netflix? This is because your internet connection is only so "wide". Video takes up a lot of that "width", leaving you with less for other things. Running a web server in your house will constantly take up some of that width. If you have a high speed connection, particularly a fiber optic connection, you should have enough for any sort of website save for one which is very video or download intensive.

The trick with self-hosting is to find your external address on the internet. Your cable modem or fiber optic modem must be assigned an address to function, and IP addresses are inherently two-way on the internet. You can find your IP by using sites like whatismyipaddress.com/ or even searching for "What is my IP address" in Google, Duck Duck Go, or your favorite web search provider. Once you have your IP, you need to configure your registrar to point your domain name at it. That's all a domain name is, really, a human name for an IP address (yes, it's more complicated, but that's the key function).

For hardware, you can use an old desktop machine you have kicking around, or even a Raspberry Pi. The latter can be slower, but it's small, doesn't require a lot of power, doesn't create a lot of noise, and easily replaced if it fails utterly. Remember though, it has to be on all the time. If your house has a power outage, your site has an outage.

The key advantage of self-hosting is that a lawyer would have to serve a physical search and seizure warrant to take down your site. Yes, they can go after your ISP, but this also presents problems for them. If you live in an area where the policing system is particularly authoritarian, this may not be a good choice for you.

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re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

So that's everything general I can dump. It's a lot of stuff, but remember these key points:

* Make it more costly for them to take your stuff down.
* You will need to invest time and energy for this.
* You need to be in multiple places at once. Don't close your social media accounts, just *link* to your site.
* Backup, backup, backup! Backups aren't just for technical failures, but for defense.
* Be fast, be flexible!

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re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench Your IP address will usually change, so it's good to use a dynamic DNS service that will switch to the new IP fast. Also, when self hosting check out yunohost.

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.)

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench btw, if you want some ideas for domain names, scroll through en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o

The primary caveat is that not all registrars support all domain suffixes. There's also a bunch with additional restrictions.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench I am partial to porkbun but if you are really worried about staying online you should use njal.la

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench I have a wordpress site. Mature content such as nudity is allowed, but porn is not. In the case of mature content, the way to get the site marked as mature is to report your own site, which gave me a lot of anxiety but came out fine.

re: Websites for NSFW content creators 

@pastelpunkbandit @socketwench
I wouldn't know

probably?

Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench wait, are you Ami?

Websites for NSFW content creators 

@socketwench i looked at the /about, and found my answer

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