Internetting in the 1990s was much different than it is now: it was slower, you likely paid by the hour, no one had any idea about web design (remember frames?), and we used Netscape.
Everyone ever had their own website, whether it was personal, for their friends, or even a fansite. These were the days before social media and wikipedia when fan pages were a necessity. But where do you get started on your website? How do you get those edited Netscape Editor pages and crudely typed Notepad files online? Enter GeoCities.
You have your Sailor Moon fansite ready to go, and now it’s time to sign up for GeoCities. Great! Just pick a neighbourhood for your page to move into. Should I pick Hollywood? SunsetStrip? TelevisionCity? Oh, how about Tokyo! Perfect!
Now that you’ve picked your neighborhood, you have to pick an address. After you pick the address, you need to confirm everything. You’re on a 14.4K modem, this has been a grueling 45 minute process. Click okay and… SOMEONE STOLE YOUR DAMN INTERNET HOUSE!
Start the process again and spend approximately five hours simply registering for your web space. Great, now you’ve exceeded your allocated Internet time for the week, plus your mom needs to make a phone call. Get off the Internet and start building your page next week.
Ah there it is, utilizing the whole megabyte of space GeoCities handed you. Glorious.
As much as we poke fun, GeoCities was a staple of the early Internet and was one of the most visited sites of its time. It was founded in 1994 and sold to Yahoo in 1999, which is when GeoCities went downhill with forced advertising and these weird glitchy bars that covered half the page. Yahoo pissed off the Internet with their new terms of service, too, stating that anything on GeoCities now belonged to Yahoo (see, you ain’t so special now, Facebook and Instagram!) What they were planning to do with all that Sailor Moon fanfiction and N*Sync fan sites, we may never know. Yahoo also instituted vanity naming. No longer could you embark on the adventure of a lifetime moving into that Tokyo/Tower, you were now relegated to /smoonluvr
Yahoo shut their GeoCities services down for good on October 26, 2009, killing 38 million user-built pages that hadn’t been updated in a decade. Shockingly, GeoCities is still available in Japan. What even? I don’t know.
Our times with GeoCities are fondly remembered, but not completely gone. You can always Geocities-ize any website with this handy-dandy Geocities-izer.
Did you have a GeoCities website? Share your GeoCities memories with us by leaving a comment!