The Geocities Archive Project will make you want to gouge your eyes out [Update]

The internet has changed significantly over the years. These days if you want a public presence on the web you can create pages on various social networks, or build websites and host them on your own domain, or on a service like Weebly or Wix.

In the nineties though, many of the web’s home brew sites were to be found on GeoCities, and they were usually created with enthusiasm, rather than ability or design sense. The service hosted tens of millions of the ugliest pages ever created, often filled with garish colors, flashing images, tiled backgrounds, and guest books.

The company behind GeoCities started life in 1994 as "Beverly Hills Internet," and then briefly became "Geopages," before finally settling on the name we still remember today. Yahoo purchased GeoCities in 1999 for a staggering $2.87 billion and kept it running until 2009. (The "Cities" part of the name incidentally came from the early conceit of choosing a city appropriate for your pages -- "Hollywood" for a fan site, for instance.)

If you need a reminder of just how eye-searingly awful GeoCities was, you can now take a trip down memory lane at the Geocities Archive Project.

The site is currently home to over 40 million user created files that you can search for or browse through.

As is befitting for a site devoted to GeoCities, it’s still very much under construction, so finding good pages can take a little work. If you had a GeoCities page back in the day, then you might just find it here.

Update: Some readers informed us of trojans on the site, so we removed this post while we investigated. A handful of A/V engines on VirusTotal are currently reporting malware, but the site owners tell us:

The only thing we can see if that some pages had 'Hacking tools' available for download e.g. VBScripts to open up a persons CD tray etc. Over the last 24 hours we have removed the ability for anyone to download anything but .html and images. Embedded JavaScript will no longer work as well just to be safe.

We've not encountered any problems, but bear this in mind when visiting the site and ensure you have up to date antivirus software installed just to be on the safe side.

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