Yahoo has announced that GeoCities, once one of the biggest destinations on the internet and often one of the strangest, will close its doors today after 15 years.
The web giant warned that anyone who runs a GeoCities site has until later today to back up, move or save their pages.
"If you do not download your files and images before October 26 2009, you will no longer be able to access that data. After October 26, your GeoCities files will be deleted from our servers, and will not be recoverable," the firm said on its GeoCities help page.
Yahoo bought GeoCities in 1999, but has since seen a dramatic change in the way hosting is provisioned and used. Personal web spaces with clear and concise URLs are now much more commonplace, and Yahoo is hoping to move any remaining active users onto its more 'modern' hosting and profile packages.
"We recommend our award-winning Web Hosting service, which works a lot like GeoCities but includes a personalised domain name (such as widgetdesigns.com) and matching email, terrific new site-building tools, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, premium customer support, and more," Yahoo said.
"You can also download your pages and images to your own computer, then recreate your site with any hosting provider."
GeoCities users concerned with preserving their site for the good of history, but less interested in doing so themselves, can submit it now to the non-profit Internet Archive digital library, which is building up a database of GeoCities sites.
"GeoCities has been an important outlet for personal expression on the web for almost 15 years. The Internet Archive is working over the next few months to ensure that our collection of GeoCities sites is as deep and thorough as possible. As a GeoCities user or fan, you can help," said the organisation.
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