Saturday, May 09, 2009

My Genealogy Site is on Geocities. Now what do I do? Part III

Geocities is soon closing its doors forever. If you have a genealogy site on Geocities, you may want to read

Those who want to save copies of their Geocities sites before it closes have a couple of choices:

  • Copy each page manually using the Geocities File Manager
  • Use a program that automatically copies the whole website to your hard drive.

Copying each page of a site individually might be OK for a small site, but for a larger site, it would be very tedious and extremely time consuming.

I decided to try the free to copy a Geocities website. Httrack is meant to be used to copy sites to browse them off-line, but is also ideal for copying a site for which there is no FTP such as Geocities sites.

I downloaded the Windows version of httrack and tried it to copy a couple of my Geocities websites.

The first site I copied was small - about 25 pages. Hhtrack copied my site to my hard drive in only a few minutes. Note: Httrack copies the linked pages only, so that if you have some pages or graphics in the Geocities file manager that are not linked to other pages, they will have to be copied manually.

Then I tried a larger site that had over 700 pages. Httrack started copying this large Geocities site, but when it finished, I noticed I had many errors in the error log and saw that the whole site wasn't copied correctly.

Part way through the copying of the site, the httrack error log started to show the error message "Service Temporarily Unavailable" for each page. I realized that once Httrack reaches the Geocities' bandwidth restriction, it copies the error page that Geocities displays instead of the page on your website. Thinking that perhaps Httrack's "resume download" feature would resume the download from when I started getting error messages, I found I was wrong. Since it copied the whole site as it was displayed (albeit with many Geocities error pages noting that the bandwidth restriction had been reached), Httrack started to copy at the beginning instead of resuming and I quickly ran into the bandwidth restriction again.

Httrack does allow copying one directory at a time. I was able to copy directory by directory spaced out over time so as not to invoke the Geocities limit. Make sure each copy is at least an hour apart.

If all of your files are in one directory, you can move them into separate directories for the purpose of being automatically copied. Just click on the check box for each page you want to move into a directory, then select move to a directory.

Httrack does a good job of copying the linked pages of a website to your computer. However, you must manually copy anything from the file manager that is not linked.

And if you have a large website, Geocities bandwidth restriction will keep you from automatically copying the whole thing. Check the error log for problems and check the pages you copied onto your hard drive to make sure you have your website pages and NOT the Geocities error page. You don't want to find out too late that you haven't successfully copied your whole site and have a couple hundred pages of Geocities error pages instead of your site.


Unknown said...

Yahoo announced the closure long ago. It will allow (?) Geocities users to move to the pay version of Yahoo web hosting.

Yahoo also promises more information "this summer." Whatever that means.

Info at:

Susi's Quarter said...

Anyone learn anything more about Geocities I tried to call no phone numbers work. Will Yahoo automatically move over to SusiCP

Kathi said...

Yahoo has announced that Geocities is closing October 26, 2009. They have a help page about the closing at

If you want to move to Yahoo hosting, you must sign up. If you do nothing, then on October 26, 2009, your GeoCities site will no longer appear on the Web, and you will no longer be able to access your GeoCities account and files.