Brad Mitchell

High Quality Website Hosting for Adult Content with Mojohost President Brad Mitchell TPP279

In this episode I’m joined by my new favorite web guru Brad Mitchell for a next level journey into the value of the high quality services provided by Mojohost

Please visit Mojohost at:

 https://www.mojohost.com/

About Brad:

For 21 years Brad Mitchell has been a presence in the adult space that has defined him as one of the most trusted, respected and recognizable faces in the industry. As the president and founder of MojoHost, Brad has built one of the fastest growing and customer-approved hosting companies with more than 1,200 companies as clients worldwide. Brad has been published many times over the years and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. MojoHost is a multiple winner of XBIZ’s Best Web Host, GFY’s Web Host of the Year and Ynot’s Best Hosting Company Award and Brad himself holds numerous distinctions, topped by the AVN Hall Of Fame Internet Founders Award. Often recognized as the preeminent host of our industry and acclaimed by customers, Brad is a family man who will always take the time to help. Brad’s experience, knowledge and personality make him a go-to guy in the adult industry. He believes in honest business practices and helping people, and lives by the motto #ThatsGoodMojo.

My Non Verbatim Show Notes:

BM: Corey Silverstein, most profound industry attorney, representing talent and companies, he’s actually my best friend, met long time ago, before he passed the bar, mojohost has been using his legal services for the whole time he’s been a lawyer

TP: awesome, glad to hear that

BM: started august 1999

in health care before tech and adult entertainment

life moments, purchasing first house, getting married, 23-24 years old, decision, job that I had wasn’t inline with goals, 7 years into career, that going in all right places, decided wasn’t what signed up for, gave notice

started searching for business for sale

collection of adult website for sale, active in commerce, bought pay sites, started journey down path

first few years, bought websites that had revenue, 10-12k a month in rev, didn’t know when started, awful lot, didn’t know due diligence, didn’t know person selling was defrauding me, rocky start, management to make the best of it

sites were, all stolen content, fraud recurrering credit card database, deleted everything, rebuilding different niche sites with licensed content, starting all over again, before starting hosting company

established pay site program, for a few years also had phone sex marketing company, early on as site owner, trying to figure out what else I could promote

didn’t trust concept of affiliate programs, traffic was organic from search engines

got niche specific toll free premium rate entertainment lines

first conference may of 2000, on mission trying to find company there to do fulfillment

teach other webmasters to do what I’m doing, make .25, .50

back then, searching on internet, weren’t marketers there

early origin story

always been technically inclined, bought service, put in data center,

made friends in industry

started to re-sell some hosting to offset and lower bills

april of 2002, when I officially went into hosting business, running phone affiliate program,

current business partner today, upon his suggestion, started partnership, he was CTO managing all things technical, I was managing finances, sales, operations, been a long time since then

today over 1000 clients all over the world

1500 servers, 2 different data centers

several dozen employees doing technical support

quite a journey, watching all the tech, working with so many companies

the 1000 I host today represent more than 3000 individuals and companies I’ve worked with since we started

TP: blessings to you for taking on these opportunities and challenges, a lot of learning curves

BM: for sure, never really learned anything the easy way

remember having talks at trade shows, people arguing about giving away 15 second free video clips, around those years, people started to publish video on the internet, bandwidth used to be super expensive,, content was behind a paywall

typically a life cycle of 4-6 years, for someone’s business

so many amazing entrepreneurs, very few ideas and implementations you can create once and just sort of last forever

have to continue reinventing selves and products

catchphrase, that’s good mojo

corporate mantra, from sales to technical support

always in support of customers

give as much info as possible

as much as can, try to empower customers, with all the tools they need

much rather have creative entrepreneurs finding a home here that people with stagnant businesses

95% customers in adult entertainment or advertising space

busy in this space

1-2 years, making efforts, adding staff, augment marking, expand reach

amazing set of technical products, haven’t been reaching fullest audience

TP: appreciate longevity of your operation, definitely hanging in there, flash backs of those chokepoints in bottlenecks in bandwidth and streaming

survived different waves of politics/tech

difference between adult friendly and unfriendly web hosting services

pitch for why people need to do it right the first time, start with adult friendly tech stack for content

BM: my experience, as always a lot of preconceived notions

most basic level, being on internet, even buying a domain, they think godaddy

even when it comes to starting at very beginning, most registrars, have something that looks like a bundled plan,

hosting package, maybe includes domain, show low domain price, 9.99, details fine print, intro price, renews at price higher on year two

we’ve done, convenience for client base everyday low price on domains, include privacy services

.com, always 9.99 no higher, no upcharge for privacy, offer as convenience

for average person, challenging to pick a good web host, if not what experience is grounded in

10s of 1000s website selling hosting, most are resellers, reselling hosting services from other organizations

one or several servers in a data center, don’t own servers don’t own network, don’t own ip space, aren’t negotiating bandwidth, their providing tech support, renting server from hosting company

always gonna be a cheaper price for webhosting, paying for what you get

smaller companies, maybe a great match, get lucky, super attentive admin

wake up in middle of the night, respond timely, handle tickets quickly

don’t have economy of scale for support

when we started, literally, if in middle of night server went down, he’d have to get woken up to fix server

extreme example on small end of webhosting, dont think it’s good place to host with

dont’ have depth of experience, or buying power to assemble a good product

mojo host, servers in 2 continents, separate company in netherlands

1,500 servers online

one of things differentiates us the most

going from one end of spectrum, small web host, selling management on top of renting a real hosting company

opposite would be going with something like go daddy, huge company

challenge with opposite end, is that they have many many tiers of technical support experience, pick up phone, call, medium or complex question, get someone at first tier of tech support, navigate through technical bureaucracy, to get right advice

mojo host 25 senior sys admins, 5-15 years experience

spend several months teaching more, how to do things our way, we can be accountable to expectations/outcomes for customers

few hundred very large webhosting companies, I’m on small end of spectrum, we’re on of them based on traffic, client count, server count,

most of larger companies not selling high touch customer service product, they are trying to move quantities of servers, selling just based on price point, buying hosting can be really confusing

misleading

analogy, ever had unlimited cellular plan, only to find out its not unlimited?

Rate limiting/throttling, no body wants that

definitely don’t want that on a server

revenue tracks with customer experience

difference in cost, less than what you think

can explain how hosts buy bandwidth, how they do their internet routing,

we assemble best networking, best support team, hardware nerd

goal, to deliver everyday good price for great product, with support that’s amazing

proud of it

our tech support, not allowed to say no, work till blue in the face to help

programming advice, feedback on bad scripting, mindful of security considerations

manage to client success

independent creative thinker, problem solver

TP: more and more sold, a lot of my pain points are being nudged on a bit

realizing more and more, I probably have been shooting myself in the foot

BM: don’t beat yourself up too much

I see it a lot when people are buying

takes a connection, good conversation, have it explained to you

a buyer of hosting, always okay to ask why, always an explanation

there’s an answer for everything

truth of it is, on tech support, wage scales are very high for top notch, technical talent

staff used to cost me 30-45k a year 10 to 12 years ago, now in north america,

65-over 100k a year with full benefit package,

tech support may take an hour to solve your problem, complex trouble shooting

if you’re buying a plan that’s 10 or 20 or 50 or 99$ a month, there’s a real clock that’s ticking on the other endof the phone,

support difference, it would be very easy to try to layer that with less qualified tech support to average those costs down

I’ve had such a crack sys admin team

team is global

guys in us, michigan where headquarters, florida, maine, wisconsin

office in ukrain, 18 sys admins

2 in phillipenes

high standard for who your hiring, english skills, good team fit?

Fit for company culture, integrity, work ethic, creativity, attitude, positive attitude, make for great employees

physically living doesn’t matter so much

super high quality staff

don’t hire any candidates

TP: if I’m dealing with any service provider who’s not on board with adult industry, tip towing, egg shell walking, shy, enter what’s your domain, on support ticket, I cringe, will they be biased

BM: you never know,

personal views might affect outcome of what your trying to accomplish, that’s one risk factor, the other

big companies, broad sweeping policy changes that affect everybody

canadian web hosting company, didn’t want to host any more adult website, never got to speak with any principles of that entity, don’t know what rationale was, led to them having many customers that needed to find a new home

found us, seamlessly get those people moved over

helped them all win

more servers, more bandwidth, better or lower price

that’s the risk you run with medium size companies that think to have policies

with larger entities, even more complex risk factor,

example: abuse complaints can be a very wide spectrum of opinion, there’s the laws that exist, very real, all abide by those, when it comes to email or content related, obscenity, start getting into areas some of which well defined, others very subjective

when a client is sitting at a very very large web host, dozens or 100s of people in abuse department, handing broad spectrum they’re not invested in understanding what’s going on, what they’re looking at, maybe they don’t have to care… that right decisions being made, right actions being taken

we’ve got silverstein as attorney, see eye to eye on all of those issues

protect customers so they can feel safe if they’re doing good honest business

at same time, I do everything in my power that people doing bad things on the internet don’t have any safe places to hide, can’t do it on my network

another benefits to being at a host that’s so engaged with whats right/wrong legally and dare say morally, I’m able to keep whole flock of customers safer by making really smart decisions about what we will and wont’ allow on our network

mega hosts, often the victim of neighborhood that they’re in

making sales, everything a sign up page, not really conversation with customers

not interested …some fly by night spam nonsense, things that are deceitful can create bad internet network neighborhood

more often victim of ddos

beautiful things at mojohost, network, filled with good neighbors, makes everyone’s stuff safer, not looking to add every possible sale to mojohost, only seeking good customers

any indications that someone’s doing something fraudulent/illegal, happy to get them off our network, helps protect …other servers, protects IP reputation

TP: again all these flashbacks, being hacked by some vuln on some other shared host, not maintaining

you get what you pay for

you don’t get what you don’t pay for

BM: in order to keep my staff effective, don’t sell shared hosting, we do sell them to people, mostly friends and family, anyone we’ve known or met can talk to us, if don’t have a plan at your price point we’ll create one for you, good people doing good things on internet

shared hosting is massively over subscribed, dozens to hundreds of customers, hundreds to 1000s of domains and put on single server, problem is working under same installation of operating system, all same memory, ram, disk resources, hard to give somebody guarantee on quality of service at that price point

say you have wordpress site, one domain, hundred other people wordpress site on own domains, inexperienced, start adding things to wordpress, no consideration, exploits that theme or mod, when last update, how secured,

shared hosting, someone got rooted on the box, affects everybody’s websites

sharing ip addresses, now goofed for everybody

im not able to serve all of the masses, but that’s not the goal of the business

if you want a more predictable, more reliable, higher performance, more deeply supported experience you’re gonna have to pay a bit more, not necessarily a lot more, but a little bit more

10 a month to 50 a month, what are you getting what are you paying

company like mine, committed to industry, really resourceful

open line of communication, jack, keith, natalie, to our attorney,

if someone’s smart, tap relationships right, being in the club gets you access to everybody

travel the world, 10-12 adult conferences a year, meeting people all over the place sometimes that means, if you had a problem with say your paxum account, maybe I can connect you with someone to help you get it fixed

good mojo, I know such and such, see if I can help you get this squared away, other business value feel like we can add, for customers and friends

always happy to help whenever possible

TP: definitely stoked on that way of approaching it, I’ve felt very alone, naked and afraid, on the internet, I would say to be honest at this point, the threshold I’ve arrived at personally, I’ve been sort of in a bit of an incubator, experimenting, see if can find niche, find traction, it is what is, been what’s it’s been, now would be able to justify premium, more robust

can’t justify liability, not having team behind me

it wouldn’t be one of those 3 letter agencies to be the first ones to tell me I’m doing something wrong, it would be you and corey and everybody else, have all the security on your end correct, things you’d never know in your blindspot, never ending attacks

advanced round

what I’m desperately looking for now, cyber security, info sec, data breach, listening to podcasts

hole in most hosting service providers, some of them them allow multifactor authentication on cpanel, most don’t looking for ones that do, in today’s world, have shared secrets on server, evil made, insider, issue, public key, shell, mfa,

could you give me the elevator pitch on how the admin dashboard, cpanel, ect. Even ftp/ssh access, how can people have the most bulletproof secure access and management experience

BM:

blow your mind, hate selling people cpanel, recommend against it every chance we get

you’ve got managed hosting here’s your cpanel, have at it, doesn’t sound very managed, self servicing, hoping you don’t fuck things up

on top of it, baked into your costs, cpanel licensing fees, cpanel bought by larger entity, licensing very different, what does it mean to you

changed all licensing and royalty amounts

increased prices to consumer

some instances double or triple the fees

change in raw costs on licensing

cpanel has a great product, some alternatives, mostly at mojo, very different, no control panel, my staffs doing the work, you want to ad 5 domains, you put in a support ticket, tell us what the domains are, alright guys go in and add all the domains, we set up all the firewalls, add all email accounts. Like a consierge service

TP: feel like infinite attack surface anytime I log in

BM: …from tech perspective, staffed up with such qualified sys admins, more granular, directly command line, write on scripts to manage server, automate things on the back end, not like my guys going into control panel, copying and pasting into script, lots of things in backend, more efficient, more accurate, customize for betterment of client

when you order hosting for pretty much any other “regular host” getting default install, no tweaking anywhere, not database, …

we believe, best practices all of these different very specific areas, security, performance

might be paying a little more with us to have personal support, senior level sys admin, don’t have to know how to do the work, don’t have to know how to solve the problems, we’ll fix it, explain what happened, explained what options are, removed learning curve,

not just default, taylored to support your needs for some part of your runway

experts at helping people grow your business

we’ve got all that experience

you could start with small vps, dare I say shared hosting account, specialists at highly complex set ups

we help guide our customers into those solutions

we have the way we want to do things…do these complex set ups, end up writing wikis for each client

TP: definitely just blew my mind, dream come true, never would have thought that far out of the box, foot bound by all my experienced about 20 years, web master, designer, always renting, bouncing from one nightmare meltdown to another

BM: gap from when where you’re buying before and where you could be buying may be 10s of dollars

…we’ll do the whole move for you, we’ll move em you test tem

TP: want to get into some weeds with some of your tech guys, gonna make the commitment to make the migration as soon as possible, mind has been blown

the thing that is the deal breaker that sounds like you’re able to soothe my stress around these deal breakers

BM: satisfaction guarantee

I want your complete satisfaction

we’re all human, mistakes do get made, work for a client, work hard for them

with us, we are always going the extra step

mistakes are made, happens some times, important to us that we own it, responsibility, apology, real explanation

very subjective from there on out

get very few requests for invoice credits

my hope is we’re always having a conversation

corrective measures so doesn’t happen in future

things come up, issue at next staff meeting,

something really bad does happen, wanting to overcompensate, can’t insure somebody’s whole business….do best we can

TP: what I could hope for is something almost unimaginable in other paradigms, what I’ve always wanted to do is actually have the engineers behind the delivery of my content, have the master plan of threat model, growth trajectory, proactive about hedging risk, move slowly, absorb surprise scaling, client-consultant relationship, within reason is bundled within hosting plan, wiki for client, that’s the level of now we’re talking high level , intimate codevelopment of a brand

BM: even if you did find another good host, give attention, whole experience breaks down at initial sales process, sales person…

cool thing about mojohost, we all work together when needed, depending on clients needs, not managing to monthly bonus, no trickery, not trying to upsell, scaled business without that, doesn’t work to my benefit in some ways, long term establishes rapport with customers, trust them with business

very consistent experience

if you’re business changes on the fly, get some crazy social media, something goes viral, we figure out all that billing shit afterwards, if it’s an event already happening, happening now, post mortem, we can figure, this is maybe how we need to change your plan, resources

very fluid, if you’re going down or up….

Make changes retroactively, bigger, smaller, which ever direction it needs to go

TP: great general overview, I’m sold, I’m moving forward, honestly having corey on your team is all it took, wonderful vibe from you

my biggest wet dream is to have sophisticated penetration testing/red teaming, sure you have access to the kind of people who would be trust worthy in that department, hesitant to go shopping for pen testers not knowing if they’re just gonna have a good old time, joy riding my site backwards and forwards, installing back doors, a lot of trust in that kind of stuff

BM: we take a very interesting approach, within your desire to do that, experiences in the past, fears of the future, best place to take that conversation, could happen in support ticket, we could talk through and explain over the phone, Vps, any of the guys on our staff, really nerds, love what they do, understand your business, what the risks are

when we install on server, not default install, its a mojo installation, no ssh or ftp access unless ip is white listed

part of list of best practices on how we want to deploy service, I’m warrantying your whole service on my network and hosting company

sometimes might mean you may ask for something and we say no, always a reason for it, always based on experience, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to accomplish what the clients want to do

happy to help any way we can

TP: gives me chills, want to not have a million options that open me up to all kinds of fuckery, want a very hardened experience

have people with more experience watching over it, being that war room

BM: first thing you truly want to look at , what’s all the software you’re running on your server

battle tested software solutions in adult space, serve us very well, maybe ongoing cost …some upfront fee, but you’re buying something that’s been installed on 1000s of sites, storage cloud, cdn, turn key

a lot of security stuff comes down to good software choice and bad software choices

hard way seems like easy way…cheap plugins

different trade offs

we can help clients, guide into make right choice for business at right point in time

I boot strapped my business, understand what it’s like

have to remember, trying to build an environment for self, predictability, scalability, safety, follow path others have gone before you, its a good way to go, expert level experience

software that’s been battle tested

10s of millions, 100s of millions of vistors a day

bad programming makes for bad hosting

always gonna be working hard to compensate for bad programming

people miss point of that

don’t see how much extra its costing them to use something they could have paid a little more upfront for that’s gonna work better

TP: pay the farmer or pay the doctor, ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, how much does it cost for the average data breach settlement, pay upfront for more hardening, security,

BM: appreciate being on podcast

TP: can’t get enough

BM: mojohost.com, international, mojohost.eu, two separate portals

have conversation with us

[email protected], copies whole team, someones always working or watching their email

skype call or zoom call, want to learn more about your business, experience in the past

use all of our experience to make the best solution that meets your budget and your technical requirements

make your hosting free while you’re doing a move

concerned about quality job, customers number 1 over here

affiliate program pays really well

can set people up as an affiliate, referral, code, 8% residual, very personable here

TP: xbiz show, andaz hotel, rooftap rager, mojohost, silverstein legal party, had that good time, coming full circle, can’t thank you enough, corey enough, look forward to next steps, having you on again soon