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How to Build a Free Home Page Through GeoCities

Many people are terrified of the Internet. If using the Internet is scary for them, imagine how they feel about creating their own web page. They are probably petrified. They do not know that creating a Web page is not difficult. In fact, it is a good idea to learn how to create a page. Many companies already have or are creating web sites on the Internet, and they may expect their employees to understand the process behind it. If you do not have a job, putting your web page’s address on your resume certainly looks good to a prospective employer.

In one day, you can easily create a personal home page for free on the Internet through the GeoCities free Personal Page program with no previous knowledge of HTML, the programming language used to create web pages. All you need is access to the Internet and an e-mail address.

"Everybody has a right to their own Personal Home Page in cyberspace," according to the GeoCities web site. The company claims to be "the most popular provider of free home pages.” The purpose of the program is to give people the chance to create a page on the World Wide Web that is based on their interests. GeoCities allows members to use up to 3MB of disk space for their free pages. Previously, Geocities only allowed members to have up to 2MB of free space. 2MB is about 100 pages of text or about five to ten graphics that are the size of 1/4 of a screen.

GeoCities is able to provide these home pages because it receives advertising and sponsorship revenue from its customers who have commercial web sites. According to the GeoCities web site, its philosophy that "locations on the Internet become easier to relate to when they are rich with content and closely identified with an actual idea or location" influenced its decision to develop this free Personal Home Page program. GeoCities says it is building societies of the New Frontier.

If you create a page on the GeoCities site, it cannot include illegal or offensive material. It does not permit any page that promotes harm against any group or individual. GeoCities also discourages members from using a page for commercial purposes. For page content guidelines, click here.

Before you can create a web page through GeoCities, you must have access to the Internet and an e-mail address. You will need the e-mail address to apply for a page and to receive your password and confirmation. If you do not have an e-mail address, you can get a free one at www.hotmail.com or www.collegeclub.com or you can use a friend’s e-mail address. GeoCities does provide its members with a free e-mail address if they request it, but it cannot be used until you receive your confirmation and password.

By following the four simple steps below, you can create a successful home page quickly on the GeoCities web site.

1. Choose a GeoCities neighborhood that fits the theme of the page you want to create. GeoCities has over 30 different neighborhoods to choose from. At www.reocities.com/neighborhoods, you will find descriptions of all the neighborhoods. Examples of neighborhoods include:

Area 51: Science fiction and fantasy.

College Park : University life.

Hollywood : Entertainment.

RodeoDrive : Shopping and upscale living.

The Tropics : Vacation, resort, travel and leisure opportunities.

Yosemite: Outdoor recreation.

2. Find a vacant address in your chosen neighborhood and apply for that address. To search for a vacancy, go to the neighborhood you have picked by clicking on its name at www.reocities.com/neighborhoods. Then, on that page, click on "Join This Neighborhood." When you click on those words, Geocities will let you know if there are any vacancies in that neighborhood. If there are vacancies, click on the vacancy you would like to apply for. You will then be sent to the block where the vacancy is located.

When you find the vacancy and you want to apply for that address, click on the vacancy. After you complete the application form, the address will be reserved for your home page. Make sure to use the correct e-mail address when applying for your page, or you will not receive confirmation of your address and your password.

Within 2-3 hours, you (or your friend) should receive an e-mail with this information. Once you receive this e-mail, you are ready to create your page.

3. Create your page. GeoCities recommends that you create an initial home page within a week of receiving your confirmation and password. If you do not at least create a page that says something similar to "Coming Soon" or "Under Construction" within a week, they may open your space and let someone else apply for your address. You can update your page as often as you like. In fact, GeoCities encourages its members to update their pages frequently because people will visit your page more often if it occasionally includes new information or graphics. If you never change your page or add things to it, they probably will not visit your page as often.

Creating a home page through GeoCities is not difficult. You can use one of the three home page editors provided by GeoCities at www.reocities.com/members/tools/file_manager.html to create your page. The three editors are:

Basic Personal Home Page Editor

This editor is for those who are new to making web pages and are unfamiliar with HTML. You can only use this editor to create your index.html file, which is your home page file. When you use this editor, all you have to do is type text into the boxes provided and choose graphics to place on your page. These graphics are provided by GeoCities. The editor will create the HTML code for you.

Advanced Personal Home Page Editor

This editor is for those who are familiar with HTML. You can use it to make new .html or .htm files or edit any .html or .htm files in your directory. When you access this editor, it provides you with space to type in or edit your HTML code for your page.

EZ Editor

The EZ Editor can only be used by people who have Netscape 3.x on Windows 95, NT, Macintosh or Unix platforms. This editor is more complicated than the first editor, but it is more flexible. For example, you can put your own graphics on the page and change text styles and colors. On the Basic Personal Home Page Editor, you cannot use your own graphics and change the color or style of your text. You can use the EZ Editor to create new pages or to edit pages that were made with this editor.

You can also create your own pages using HTML, GIFs, JPGs, and other files and send them to the GeoCities server. You can upload these files to your page by using the EZ File Upload Utility available through www.reocities.com/members/tools/file_manager.html. This utility is the easiest way to upload files to your page. As soon as you upload your page, it is up.

You can also transfer your files to GeoCities via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). More information about FTP can be found at www.reocities.com/members/info/ftp_procedures.html.

GeoCities also offers many features that you can use on your page. You can access these features through www.reocities.com/members/tools. These special features include:

Counters: Program that tells how many people have accessed a specific HTML document.

Forms: Parts of an HTML document that allow readers to respond to questions or provide information.

Imagemaps: Images or part of images that you click on to link to other information.

If you need more help building your home page, many GeoCities members have home pages that contain information on how to make and improve web pages. At www.reocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/4124, you will find "The Totally Free Homepage Resource Center." This page contains information on HTML and web page design. Another page, "The ‘Home Page’ Home Page," at www.reocities.com/Athens/2090, will teach you all the HTML you will need to know. You will find links to these two pages and links to other helpful pages at www.reocities.com/members/help/resource_guide.html.

There is also an Online Help Guide at www.reocities.comm/members/help and a Help Tutorial at www.reocities.com/members/zine/tutorial.html.

4. Promote your page. After you create your page, you definitely want people to see it. At www.reocities.com/members/info/promote.html, you will find several ways to advertise your home page to get more visitors.

For example, through this page, you can join the Internet Link Exchange. This program involves placing a banner on your page that advertises other web pages. In exchange, you create a banner that advertises your page, and it will be placed on other participating pages.

You can also go to Submit-it. By using this service, you will be able to add your home page’s address to 15 search engines and catalogs including Lycos, Webcrawler and Alta Vista.

At www.reocities.com/members/info/tenways.html, you will find "10 Ways to Promote Your Home Page." One tip from this page is to tell everyone you know to visit your page. Then, they can tell others to visit it as well.

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