R.I.P. Geocities


On Monday, October 26, Yahoo officially pulled the plug on Geocities, the web hosting for Yahoo users. Why is this significant? Geocities was the home to many people’s first websites. A long time ago, I started on Angelfire and then switched over to Geocities when I was only in junior high school running fan websites. The legacy of Geocities is that it was the starting ground for nearly everyone who was an amateur. It was a testing arena. HTML, CSS and any other primitive coding was first uploaded there for the most part.

Geocities is best known for its slew of fan webpages/sites/shrines for any subject of interest you could imagine. It was the home for neon GIF images and blinking text. We’ve come so far in such a short period of time, and it’s time an era is erased from the Internet. Sure those flashy graphics got annoying real fast, but it was symbolic of the times when web design was at its early stages. Let’s also not forget about all the pop-ups and spam Geocities unloaded onto visitors. Good times.

Like different periods in historical time, the Internet has it’s own time periods. We had AOL, gray and white websites, Netscape, Yahoo, Google, pre-YouTube, YouTube, Web 2.0, Social Networking. These are just a few of the small eras that the web has undergone in the last decade. Geocities belongs there somewhere during the mid 1990s to early 2000s.

R.I.P. Geocities, without you there wouldn’t have been millions of start-up web designers. Because of you, all of us who aspire to work on the web found a common framework. Thanks for everything.

I’m laughing right now because I just thought of the countless “hit counters” and “guestbooks” that littered geocitie websites. It’s funny because those things are all irrelevant now and yet were so important back then to web design.


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