If you want to make a living as an adult webmaster, you are going to have to pay for your own domain and your own hosting. Free hosts simply will not cut the mustard. Sponsors, link lists and TGP hate free hosting and frankly, there are too many strings attached to the concept.
Most free hosts force you to fly their banners, which only results in you losing traffic to whatever ads are embedded at the top of your page. There are sponsors that offer bannerless, free hosting and that is fine as long as you promote that sponsor’s programs. That is, unless the TGP or link list you are trying to submit to does not like that particular sponsor.
The fact is, free hosting makes you look like an amateur. The people you are going to be dealing with want to know that you take your work seriously and a free-hosting account simply does not convey a professional image. You need paid hosting. Period.
Do not flee, little newbie. It is not that scary. Finding a good adult web host is does not have to be an agonizing experience. Remember this very important fact, you are new affiliate.
Right now, you do not need to worry about things like managed servers and terrabytes of bandwidth. You are small and therefore, you will want to start out small. All you want is to find a decent adult host that can offer you a virtual package with a fair amount of storage and transfer and the ability to host a few database applications. You want a host that can handle a good day of video listings but need for some massive server of steel is not where you are at.
Fortunately for you, you are in the right business. Adult hosts know better than to overcharge for storage, transfer and extras. They are also pretty adept at the security needs of our special field. Chances are you can get set up with a sweet, little virtual hosting account for $10.00, depending on set-up fees. Hosting features should include 500 MB 2 GB of storage, 50 GB of transfer/bandwidth, at least one if not more email accounts, Perl, CGI, and the capability for at least 2 MSQL databases applications.
A Virtual hosting account means that you are going to share a server with other accounts. That can be problematic if you have massive amounts of traffic but for a small, start-up site, it should be no big deal. As you build up your traffic and your finances, then you can move on to managed, dedicated and co-located servers.
For your newbie needs, the most important thing to look for is customer service. How easy is it to get a hold of your host? Do they have a telephone contact? Do they offer IM support? How quickly do they return an inquiry email? When you open a support ticket, how fast is the turnaround? If your host anticipated an outage due to server upgrades, do they let you know? Does your host have a message board for account holders? Is there an informative FAQ page? Tutorials? Is your host physically located in the country where you live? If they are in another country do they at least speak your language? If all goes well, you might never need to take advantage of customer support but the point is, when things do go wrong, you want to have confidence that your host is on the job.
Another way to scope out a good host is to visit adult webmaster message boards. Ask other webmasters who they use for hosting. Look around and see if any webhosts are regular posters, that actually participate in the community instead of posting spam.
A good host is not scared of the scrutiny of adult webmasters. They do not clam up when someone bitches about downtime. A good host makes their reps and techs available to webmasters.
There are mainstream hosts with good prices but when it comes to adult content, their Terms of Service tend to be vague. It is really best to go with hosts that you find listed on adult webmaster resource sites like here. Check out our Hosting Listings.
Your web host is probably the most vital expenditure you are going to make as an adult webmaster, because without hosting, you do not exist. Take the time to shop around for the best deals. Ask other webmasters for recommendations. Try not to get involved with any super long-term contracts, just in case you decide to switch to another host. Look for a host that is easily available and offers attentive customer service. You web host is your lifeline. Choose well.
I use and recommend HawkHost. This is a very sound and reliable hosting provider, I use it for commercial sites however it is adult friendly as well. Good support and staff, more affordable than most, especially if you take advantage of their coupons specials, they honor them for a good duration. Their support is quite good and while they do not offer a lot of space with their basic shared plans, I overlook that for the up-time, support and options.