How to Move Your Site from Geocities to a New Host

April 24, 2009

in Internet

by Tina Gasperson

Yahoo! announced it is discontinuing its free Geocities hosting service later this year. If you’d like to get a jump on transitioning to a new host, here are some ideas for you.

Where to Go Now?

If you’d rather move to another free hosting service, there are still quite a number of those available. Just remember that free hosting is more likely to disappear than paid, and other hosts may not give you as much notice as Yahoo! is extending. The customer service isn’t usually very good either. But if you insist, google “free web hosting” and you’ll find somewhere else to hang your shingle.

It’s worth mentioning first that Yahoo! would really like for you to become a paying customer of its branded Web hosting service. While you may feel a bit of angst toward Geocities for giving you the boot, signing up with Yahoo!’s paid service caould be a good option. Yahoo! is likely to make it super easy for Geocities users to transfer their files to a new hosting account and may offer special deals.

Even if you don’t want to use Yahoo!, I urge you to consider a paid hosting service. This is a very reasonably-priced option (usually less than $10 per month) for the average user, and you get actual support and much more autonomy. Web hosts these days have lots of cool tools to help you build an actual 21st century Web site.

How to Get Your Page Moved

If you used Geocities “Page Wizard” or Pagebuilder application to make your page, don’t expect to be able to perfectly duplicate your site somewhere else. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view it), other hosts don’t have the Page Wizard and the Pagebuilder application. However, you can come pretty close by copying the source. To do that, load your page and click “File”, “Save As” and save it as a complete Web page, not just the HTML. To see how it looks, open the file you just saved in your browser. The nice thing about HTML is you can edit it yourself and get your page looking the way you want it to. This might be a good time to learn something about writing and editing HTML, CSS, or XML so you can be in charge of your own site.

If you wrote your own files and uploaded them via Geocities’ FTP, it’s easier for you. Obviously, just reverse the process, and when you find a new host, upload the files there.

Is There a Big Rush?

Yahoo! says you have plenty of time before the company will shut down Geocities. That doesn’t mean you should wait until the bitter end. But it does mean that you don’t have to panic while you’re getting your things packed for the move. Relax!

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.


Bill 04.24.09 at 9:11 pm

Yahoo/Geocities does not allow people who only have free accounts to download via FTP – at least not per their help file at

…any automation tricks?

Tony 04.25.09 at 9:03 am

In linux:
wget -c -t 0 -r -l4 http: etc
will download to 4 levels and rewrite the links so all is “hosted” on your own PC
Also available for Windows as wget.exe – search the web.

Tony 04.25.09 at 10:06 am

Correction to wget procedure
In linux:
-k is the option to convert links but it is limited as follows:
(from the man page )
After the download is complete, convert the links in the document
to make them suitable for local viewing. This affects not only the
visible hyperlinks, but any part of the document that links to
external content, such as embedded images, links to style sheets,
hyperlinks to non-HTML content, etc.
Probably the same in Windows.

Kat 05.03.09 at 12:53 pm


Thanks so much. I was looking on how to bail it out. I gave Geocities the benefit of the doubt that maybe they would have an export tool for users so they could save everything in one go. Nope. Enter Linux as usual. Thanks so much for sharing.


Nick B. 09.04.09 at 4:03 am

I’m using the wget option but you need to limit the rate otherwise the site will give you “Error 503 – over capacity”.

wget -m -w 2 –limit-rate=5k is working for me.
-m = mirror site
-w 2 = wait 2 seconds between each get
–limit-rate=5k = limit bandwidth to 5k

Good luck!

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