Geocities.com is a service provided by Yahoo, Inc that allows any person to create a small website at no cost. This service was introduced to the world in 1995 and since then, millions of people have created pages dedicated to a particular hobby, animal, or other interest. Although it is a free service, a Yahoo account is required; the sign up process automatically creates one.
Once the sign up is complete, the user is prompted to answer questions about the site they intend to build and are assigned a geocities URL based on their account name, i.e. http://www.geocities.com/YAHOO ID. They are now ready to build their website and are directed to the control panel. The control panel offers several different functions including the ability to view, create and edit files, and to monitor site activity. There is a brief tutorial on site building in the ‘Geocities Tour’ section and there is also a brief overview of the control panel in the ‘Learn About the Control Panel’ section. There are four site building options provided, these include PageWizards, PageBuilder, file uploads and html file creation in the file manager.
The PageWizards tool guides the user every step of the way and helps them create a basic site within a few steps. The PageBuilder tool allows access to more design options and features. Both of these tools require no html knowledge and offer detailed tutorials. The user can also upload pages to the file manager or create files within the file manager using the html editor. These last two options require a working knowledge of html. Yahoo also provides a list of web ready add-ons like email forms, guestbooks and donation buttons for more sophisticated pages. Once the website is complete, it is displayed at the url previously given.
Every Geocities website features a set of ads on the right hand side but visitors are able to hide the ad section by pressing the ‘>>’ tab.