GeoCities Shuts It Doors and Thousands of Sites Could be Lost,But There Are Other Options
GeoCities has long been one of the big names in the world of free web host providers, but as of October 26, 2009 the free service provider shall be no more. Yahoo!, who fully took over the company in May of 1999 made the decision back in April of this year to discontinue the free service in favor of only offering their paid hosting plans.
Since its conception in 1995, GeoCities has offered free hosting for thousands of people who needed to get online in a quick and easy way. From fan sites to hobbyist and school projects to small business owners who needed a simple way to put their business online for the world to see; they all found their way to GeoCities. This service provider was also a gateway for many when they were first getting into the world of web building and while many of those self proclaimed geeks have since moved on to bigger and better ways of building an internet presence, the closing of GeoCities will still result in the loss of thousands of sites.
When it was originally launched, GeoCities had a very unique community directory format where each site was listed by a city name, for example, sites about entertainment would have been listed in Hollywood, etc. But when the company was taken over by Yahoo! it lost a lot of that edge and community feel. This combined with the rather large and annoying amount of space that yahoo took up for ads made it a bit unpopular with many users. All the same, there are thousands of users who will now have to relocate their web sites or watch them go the way of the dodo.
So, if you happen to be one of those webmasters being affected by the closing of GeoCities, not to worry, there are still a few good web site providers left out there that will not end up costing you an arm and leg to get started. Here is a quick list of some great alternative free web host providers:
Webs: This has perhaps become the new standard in free web host providers and was certainly one of GeoCities big competitors. They offer a quick and simple web editor with tons of features including blogs, counters, and easy to use web forms. It is advertiser supported of course, but the ads tend be tastefully placed as a single banner ad along the top or a boxed ad on the side depending on which template you are using. They do offer affordable paid hosting plans that remove the ads and can even include your own domain should you prefer to go that way.
Weebly: Weebly is another easy to use free web host provider for creating quick and professional looking sites without any technical knowledge. There are not a ton of ads spread all over your page and they have some nice features to offer. You can also edit the html code directly for more advanced users.
UCOZ- For more advanced users looking for a complete CMS (content management system) on a free host, uCoz might be a good choice. They offer several top quality templates and an interesting user interface.
There are also domain providers that are offering free web site hosting with purchase of a domain, such as dot easy. It seems that some of the current free providers, both in standard web hosting and the world of blogs, are not going away any time soon. As the economy is making its slow recovery, and advertisers are realizing the power of the internet, it does not appear that users will be left without at least some options for the time being.