Yahoo!, which owned GeoCities, has decided to close down GeoCities a free web hosting service provider which was immensely popular during the dot-com bubble era, with FTP and FrontPage support but no ads. But it’s going downhill since Yahoo! acquire it. Currently, all new registrations for new web space on GeoCities has been stopped, and the existing accounts are expected to be shutdown, deactivated and terminated by end of 2009. Visitor will be shown “Sorry, new GeoCities accounts are no longer available.” on GeoCities homepage.

Yahoo! GeoCities Alternative Web Hosting

Unfortunately, Yahoo! doesn’t provide GeoCities webmasters another free web hosting service. Instead, the homesteaders are offered a paid web hosting service by Yahoo! at $11.05 a month, with first 3 months at discounted price of $5.98. DreamHost (ref) decides to counter-offer with two (2) years of free DreamHost web hosting account, including free domain registration, in part also to honor the WebRing, which made the developer tens of millions dollars.

The free 2-year domain registration and web hosting offer is limited to the first 1000 GeoCities users who sign up. In order to take advantage of the promotion worth $214.80, GeoCities refugees need to login into GeoCities Control Panel or File Manager, and then edit or upload a HTML web page with the following word:

I’m off to DreamHost!

The string can be placed on any web page or URL, including index.html. Then head off to DreamHost (ref). Select top option “Host a Domain” and sign up for 2 year hosting plan (note: must be two year, else you can get Promo code error: To get two years free, you must pick the two year plan! error). Then, enter full URL (web address) that points to GeoCities page with “I’m off to DreamHost!” text string as the promotional code in the promo code box. Click “Proceed to Payment” and DreamHost will check for the string to verify that you are existing GeoCities customer. If everything goes through, the free domain registration for 1 year (another 1 year can be registered at the end of 1 year) and web hosting for 2 years will be processed, and ready within seconds.

If you “Promo code error: We couldn’t find the string “I’m off to DreamHost!” at that URL to verify your ownership!” error message, try to replace apostrophe (‘) with titde (`) in the string. Better yet, enter all possiblities of the text on the web page to submit as DreamHost promo code.

I`m off to DreamHost!
I'm off to DreamHost!
I’m off to DreamHost!

Too long to remember your old GeoCities account. Out of luck then. Too bad DreamHost doesn’t allow multiple registration for one GeoCities account. If you try to use existing web pages with “I’m off to DreamHost!” on it, you will be asked to fix the “Promo code error: This Geocities Refugee has already signed up with DreamHost!” error.