GeoCities closes its doors for good


27 Oct 2009

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Yesterday heralded the end of an era as Yahoo shut down its free web-hosting service more than a decade after it acquired GeoCities from a small web company back in January 1999.

Long before the days of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, for many of us, Yahoo’s GeoCities was where we made our first tentative steps building, creating and designing our own little part of the web; a place where you were able to host a fanpage or personal profile for free, complete with cheesy animated GIFs.

Yahoo alerted users to the shut down back in April 2009 and while there is no longer a free web-hosting service, Yahoo! Web Hosting is the paid-for replacement.

As a nod to the legacy of GeoCities, webcomic XKCD yesterday gave its homepage a GeoCities-esque makeover, complete with animated GIFs, broken links and exposed coding.

Although Yahoo decided to close down the long-running service, the site got 18.9 million unique visitors from the US alone in March 2006, according to ComScore. However, in March 2009, with 11.5 million unique visitors, it had experienced a 24pc decline in traffic year-on-year.

By Marie Boran