Born in ’89, I first cracked into the internet when I was just a kid in 1998. From a very small town in Florida with not much to entertain myself with, I immediately grew addicted. The internet is one of those things that (in my opinion) saw its most beautiful days in the late ’90s and early 2000s. I’d say the same about other popular forms of entertainment like TV, movies, and video games, but that’s probably got some bias to it!
The internet of those days is already worth feeling nostalgic over. Yahoo! was the big search engine back then, at least for me, which ties into this story well because that same company eventually ended up with their hands on the most memorable free web host we’ve ever known: GeoCities.
Today, free web hosting is a thing of the past. Major search engines like the aforementioned Yahoo! and Google weren’t such monsters yet, either. You could search for popular keywords and some of the first results would actually be free websites running on GeoCities, made by people just like you and I. Even I ran several of my own GeoCities websites, my most memorable being a Street Fighter fansite.
GeoCities eventually came to a close, much like a lot of the internet. It’s impossible to find sites like these today. That’s okay though, because there are ways to venture back in time and see the remains of one of the coolest internet time capsules ever.
ReoCities is probably the cleanest and most true experience you’ll get when it comes to emulating the old days of GeoCities. To begin browsing the archive, navigate to the Neighborhoods page. Like the original GeoCities itself, the archive is categorized by the theme of each website.
Clicking into a Neighborhood will bring up an open directory page that has an index of all of the sites. They are numbered in no particular way (that I know of).
From there, feel free to click around and explore. Even the political websites looked plain back then.
One of the coolest things that ReoCities has to offer over alternatives is a Greasemonkey script that will actually convert old GeoCities links into their archived version. I don’t exactly know where you’ll be able to find GeoCities links anymore, but it’s a neat gesture.
Geocities.ws is actually a free host in the same respect as GeoCities was back in those days, but that’s not what we’re here for. They have a nice archive of over 500,000 old GeoCities websites for you to search through.
GeoCities.ws has a huge index of websites organized in alphabetical order. Finding websites that interest you may be easier using this archive (over ReoCities) because of that. Each website also shows a description line in the listing.
The above screenshots shows search results for the keyword “food”. You’re basically able to use this archive as a search engine to navigate websites on the old GeoCities.
OoCities is the most complete and informative website about the old GeoCities. It includes hundreds of thousands of pages, indexed by GeoCities usernames and by old Neighborhoods.
Scrolling down the main page, you’re able to easily navigate to the Neighborhood listings or any of the 437 username-sorted pages that include 1000 results per page. That’s a lot of browsing.
OoCities has a lot of interesting information about GeoCities, too. Scroll down the main page to read a lot of interesting statistics as shown below.
It’s crazy to think of how popular and beloved GeoCities once was, and how it fizzled away so quickly. The internet has a changed a lot, but you wouldn’t be crazy to think for the better.
So which of these three archives is your favorite? Let’s get nostalgic in the comments! Let me know what you think of the websites and share your favorite old GeoCities memories.
Explore more about: Yahoo.