We often hear adult web masters talking about ‘web hosting’. Adult web masters fail to read the Terms of Service (TOS). Some fail to comprehend the rules and regulations. Some fail to find the right web hosting provider. Unable to figure out the right kind of adult website hosting, adult web masters hit me upon my email and drop lengthy messages. First, let’s understand the basics. A website is a collection of web pages. It is more than a domain name. A website encompasses text and graphics linked by HTML code. A website is a collection of files. An adult entertainment website comprises adult content- both video and audio files.
Just because you own a domain name, it does not necessarily mean that anybody will be able access the files you have created. You require a web server which facilitates requests from the porn audiences / users. Let me mention an analogy here: Assume that you have gone to a restaurant and ordered food. A waiter in the restaurant takes your order, forwards the order to the kitchen, collects the food and subsequently brings you the food. In other words, the waiter facilitates your request. Hence, the waiter is also called ‘server’.
A web server is a dedicated computer or an application or a program or a system which uses a protocol called HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) to receive requests from other computers for the files stored on a website and send those files to the requesting computer. The primary functionality of any web server is to process the requests. Thanks to the various software installed on the web servers, creation and management of databases is easy.
Categories of web hosting
There are three categories of web hosting:
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- VPS – VPS entails two sub categories: Managed VPS and Un-managed VPS
Not every website contains hundreds and thousands of files and graphic content. A few websites contain content pertaining to a very small section of audiences. As the number of visitors is limited, small websites do not require complete resources of a web server. For example, websites that teach Yoga and meditation cater to a very small section of audiences. In an era where youth prefer hitting the gyms, not many target audiences will be betting their chances on Yoga and meditation.
Take a large general site such as Yahoo! which targets every user who uses the internet. Yahoo! definitely requires all the resources of a high-performing server. Shared hosting does not work here.
Web servers are powerful computers. They can handle more than one hundred small websites. Shared hosting is a web hosting environment in which more than one website is hosted on one particular server. Here is an interesting stat- Approximately, 95 percent of all websites on the internet run on shared hosting platforms. The various resources to be shared amongst the websites are:
- Disk space
- Email Addresses
- Network Bandwidth
Thanks to sharing of the resources, websites can minimize their respective operating costs. Be informed that shared hosting is also known as ‘Virtual Hosting.
If you are new to adult entertainment industry, you may opt for shared hosting. Once your adult venture becomes profitable, opt for a dedicated hosting platform.
Established adult entertainment websites such as XVIDEOS, YouPorn, PornHub etc., require huge resources. The magnitude of digital content on such established porn websites is huge. There are quite a few problems associated with shared hosting. A few hosting providers are notorious for their non-performing servers. They impose extreme restrictions on every resource. Some entities may intentionally or accidentally crash the server. As a result, all the other parties suffer. It is therefore understandable why certain smaller adult sites mostly prefer dedicated hosting platforms.
The hosting environment in which all the resources of a server are leveraged by one and only one website is known as dedicated hosting. The web hosting company takes care of maintenance of the server’s hardware. However, you have greater degree of control over configuration of the server.
Semi-dedicated hosting is a hosting environment in which a dedicated server is shared among not more than 3 clients. This hosting environment is also called ‘Managed Hosting’. To prevent companies from over-utilizing the resources, strong partitions are laid.
There are a few people who desire to control every aspect of web server. In other words, ownership and maintenance will be controlled and taken care by them. The hosting company sells its servers to them. It is not a good idea to purchase a web server unless you have enough resources to deal with power outages, roof leaks, thieves and other hazards. It goes without saying that you should have a fast and a reliable high-speed internet connection. Purchase a data center to take complete control of the server (both configuration and maintenance). If you have enough expertise and time to run a web server, this should be an ideal alternative.
Co-location is the process of renting a physical locale which has continuous electrical power and a super-fast internet connection. If you engage in co-location, data center will not be responsible for hardware or software maintenance of co-located severs. Of course, this is a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting.
Purchase and maintenance of servers is not economical. You should pay for the expertise of the people who can keep it online and run seamlessly round-the-clock in a secured data center. You should consider hiring a separate team for this.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. A VPS is nothing but a virtual machine whose services can be availed by paying certain amount to Internet hosting service providers. There are two sub-categories in VPS:
- Managed VPS
- Un-Managed VPS
Whenever an adult web master opts for a managed VPS, service provider is responsible for fully managing the server. In other words, the service provider takes complete care of system administration, software installation, support and configuration of services. In case of un-managed VPS, the adult web master has to take complete control of software installation, support, administration and configuration. The service provider is not responsible for managing the server. Unless and until you have certain expertise in managing web servers, it is recommended to opt for Managed VPS services.
Before choosing a web hosting service provider, you should definitely look into the following factors:
Storage is also known as ‘Disk Space’. In other words, every web server should have enough hard disk memory to store your files. The higher you pay, the higher is the disk space allotted to your files. Web server’s hard disk is capable of stacking pictures, videos, web pages, etc. The space allotted to your website may not be sufficient. Purchase more disk space from the adult website hosting service provider.
Bandwidth is the data transfer rate at which you can transfer a file from the web server to the requested computer. Bandwidth has to be purchased from ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Let me explain the true essence of bandwidth with an example- If you are viewing a page whose file size is 3KB and apart from the file, if the web page encompasses three pictures of sizes 43KB, 104KB and 249KB, you have used 399KB of bandwidth. In other words, you have downloaded 399KB of data from the web server.
How is bandwidth measure? More often than not, bandwidth is measured in Gigabytes (GB). Your target audiences can download as many copies (more than a million) of your files. One and only copy of your files has to be stored on the server. If you exceed the permissible levels of bandwidth, your website may be turned off until the next billing period starts. Depending on the policies of the adult website hosting service provider, you might be billed for the excess bandwidth consumption. Bandwidth consumption and website traffic go hand-in-hand. If the traffic increases, you should always purchase more bandwidth.
Uptime is the time during which a computer or any other machine is in operation. If the adult website hosting service provider guarantees 99% uptime, he means that the web server will be operating and running for 99% of the billing period. Why don’t the service providers guarantee 100% uptime? Web servers are computers. Computers need repair and maintenance. They may get obsolete and out of date. Therefore, web hosting service provides provide 99% uptime and not 100% uptime.
This is extremely tricky. The magnitude and quality of support varies from one support representative to another. Evaluation of web hosting service providers on this parameter is extremely dicey. Many web service providers offer best of the class support for a few days. Once the bill payment is done, the so called ‘best of the class’ becomes worst of the class.
Many web hosting service providers offer traffic statistics software with their hosting package. Traffic statistics software is capable of providing insights on:
- Number of unique visitors
- Number of frequent visitors
- Most popular video
- Most popular page
- Most frequent search terms
Statistics can be displayed in an excel dashboard in the form of tables, graphs and charts. Excel dashboard should have intuitive features with great displays and effortless navigation.
A famous adage says, Be concerned about your reputation. Reputation is what others think you are. A good reputation is more valuable than money. Check the reviews, ratings and take opinions of industry veterans. Sometimes, reviews and comments can be fake and misleading. Use your discretion to evaluate your judgement.
CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. CGI scripts serve as an interface between forms on web pages and web servers. The data from the forms will be put into databases. The data collected from forms can be used for sending personalized email messages. CGI scripts can be used to process information. In addition, they can be used to create interactive programs. CGI scripts are usually written in Perl. Some programmers write CGI scripts in C++, C and UNIX. CGI scripts are capable of enabling cookies and reading the data from them. They facilitate behind the scenes interaction with web readers.
Efficient CGI scripts enhance the performance of web server. A poorly written CGI script will put a lot of load on web servers.
M3 Server is known since 1996 for its excellent web hosting services. Apart from Managed virtual server and dedicated server hosting environments, M3 Server offers global CDN (Content Delivery Network) to give you an extra edge over your competitors. Its hosting plans come with brilliant server backups and SSL certificates. Apart from state of the art infrastructure and best of the class support, M3 Server is well known for its cost effective plans and schemes. To know more about its features and pricing plans, visit M3 Server.
If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I will be happy to help you. My best wishes are with you and your adult website. Keep watching this space for tips and tricks on starting an adult site and adult website hosting. Cheers!