It’s so confusing; WordPress.com OR WordPress.org?
Should you choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org when setting up your new escort website? This is a common dilemma for sex workers in most countries, but knowing the difference makes your choice an easy one.
Let’s look at the differences, as well as the pros and cons.
Should I choose WordPress.com?
When you choose WordPress.com as your website builder, the ‘hosting’ is provided by WordPress.com itself. This means that you cannot choose separate hosting, especially a ‘sex worker-friendly’ website host, and you could lose your website in an instant.
WordPress.com is NOT a sex work-friendly hosting choice. Their user guidelines and mature content policy do not permit pornographic content or content relating to erotic or escort services.
WordPress.com also puts some restrictions on which plugins you can run on their hosting platform. Sometimes this can be a good thing, not all plugins are secure, some may not follow best practice coding standards. However, you may run into limitations down the road as your business grows and you need more customisation.
According to their guidelines they define ‘pornography’ this way:
“We know that there may be different definitions of this, but generally, we define pornography as visual depictions of sexually explicit acts. Nudity, in and of itself, is fine.”
They also define ‘mature content’ as follows:
- Post visual depictions of sexually explicit acts (such as, but not limited to, images, videos, and drawings) that can be considered pornographic
- Post links or ads to adult-oriented affiliate networks, such as pornography site sign-ups
- Post links, text, or images promoting or advertising escort or erotic services.
As you can see these are quite strict rules and very limiting for the type of website you need.
The better choice is WordPress.org
When you use WordPress.org, you’re using WordPress’ open source content management system (CMS) on a host of your choice.
WordPress.org is a free and open-source (CMS). It is the most widely-used CMS software in the world and it powers more than 39% of the top 10 million websites, giving it an estimated 62% market share of all sites using a CMS.
This means that you can choose a sex work-friendly hosting company. Red Cloud, WP Engine are our recommendations depending on your needs and circumstances.
There are other great reasons to choose WordPress.org too:
- It’s a great supportive community with lots of open-source resources and free guides online on how to get started
- Being an established and familiar platform there are lots of developers around, including Bumbershoot Creative, that can help you
- If your hosting company changes their policies, you can easily migrate your site to a new host. We can also migrate your existing WordPress website from your current host to a sex work-friendly alternative
- WordPress.org is much more flexible in terms of customisation
- You will have more control over your data, choose a hosting company in a country outside of US FOSTA-SESTA laws.
If you want to have a go at building your website on your own but you’re not very techy, there are themes such as Elementor and Divi that are page builder plugins for WordPress. These platforms give you drag and drop functionality, without the risk of losing your website.
But if you want a fuss-free, done-for-you option, we’re here to do it for you.
What about Wix, Squarespace and other website builders?
Other website builders just don’t understand our industry or protect our websites and other online platforms.
Squarespace has this point in the acceptable use policy:
6.3. Don’t publish sexually explicit or obscene material.
So as you can see, not the one for you.
Wix is rather vague about it all but does use the term ‘obscene content’ in it’s T&Cs – this phrase is one you should always be aware of in all of your online dealings. They have a history of deleting content too, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Another good resource for our industry is Survivors Against Sesta. They have comprehensive lists and information about sites that are prejudice against sex worker content.
Tip or Hint: If you want to learn more about the ways that Bumbershoot Creative can safeguard your website, we have blog post all about it.
Porn performers, escorts, webcam workers, strippers, and all other types of sex workers who use the internet to promote their services have had their content or profiles deleted at some point in time. We’ve been there ourselves; we’ve lost more Instagram accounts than we can count. At Bumbershoot Creative we can help you make the right choices on how to keep your content safe.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about building your website.
Your Sex Work-Friendly Web Designer
Kim is an independent filmmaker and web designer/developer. Her short films have been selected for and screened at festivals around the world from Perth, Australia to New York City. As the founder of Bumbershoot Creative, she aims to apply her own creative skills and experiences to new projects, helping and supporting her clients as they grow their own businesses and ventures.
Kim has years of experience building websites for individuals and businesses in the adult industry. As such, she understands the unique challenges that owners of adult businesses are often faced with, including billing discrimination, hosting and service restrictions, shadow-banning, and stolen content.