Recommendations from an activist who has built almost forty sites for very-low-income groups and individuals.
General All-Purpose Warnings
Always have your own backup of your own pages and all related files. This protects you from server crashes, and from misunderstandings with server administrators. Almost every free server is fast on the trigger to delete sites that are accused of copyright infringement or other terms-of-service violations -- they usually ask questions later, if at all.
Read the Terms of Service before you start uploading your files -- and check them now and then afterward. Almost every server reserves the right to change its terms without notice.
Caveat Emptor -- Let the buyer beware. If you are getting something for free, divide your wariness by zero. (Check with Dr. Wes Browning: this yields infinity.)
Do everything you can to protect intellectual property rights -- but don't put anything up on a webpage that you aren't willing to see on the back of cereal boxes acros America the next morning.
- Netscape: http://home.netscape.com/sitecentral/
Fast and flexible site-builder. FTP capability, or browser upload. Narrow, tasteful server-banner, no ads at all at all. Dependable as all heck.
My Netscape site
- Hypermart: http://www.hypermart.net/
For experienced site-builders: no site-builder tools yet, although they may have them someday. Dependable and professional. I like the URL style.
Downside: They've gone to huge popups, and multiple ones.
No current sites here.
- Freespeech.org: http://www.freespeech.org/
No ads whatsoever. You can't sell anything at all either. Geared mainly for video/audio sites. You are pretty much on your own as far as tech support goes. The ONLY access is by FTP and the FTP server is down a lot, so if you do frequent updates you'll be frequently annoyed. But the site stays up and accessible, in my experience.
No Freespeech.org site
- Tripod: http://www.tripod.com/
Yes, the popups are annoying. But the popups can be replaced by a banner, and your own banner can be entered in the rotation; the server is dependable (if a little slow at times and cosmically slow in answering tech-support questions); they've got great resources and community.
My sites here:
- Angelfire: http://www.angelfire.com/
Now that Angelfire has true FTP capability, three-level subdirectory capability, and a more flexible addressing system, it has become one of the easiest places to build a webpage. They have one of the largest libraries of tools and graphics on the web. Your choice of popup or banner. Dependable service.
They did crash and lose my site once (along with many others) which is why I don't have them in the top category. That's the only problem I've had with them, though.
But they have improved lately: They no longer have the stupid crawly-logo thing.
I have no sites at Geocities.
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