In this week-long series on expressing yourself on the web, I want to talk about five separate services that allow you a platform you can use to express yourself on the web. Today, we’ll be talking about Neocities, a host of static HTML pages and popular with sites that use old-web tech.
What can you build on Neocities?
Honestly, if everything your website can do is done in the browser with no server processing, Neocities is okay for you. Though, you probably would need some knowledge of HTML and CSS. You can find free learning guides on Sadgrl’s website and Codeacademy. However, if you want a guided learning path, I’d recommend this track from Treehouse.
Put simply, if you used something like Geocities back in the day (think 1990s to early 2000s), this is the service for you.
If running WordPress is crossing your mind, Neocities is probably not for you. If you plan to use this to build a blog, don’t. Honestly, this service isn’t great for that. Also, any preprocessing is going to be out the door, so things like Markdown are not going to be interpreted into HTML for you.
Having said that, though, the wide variety of sites that exists on Neocities is something to behold. As someone who actually used the old web, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. Seeing all these websites use old web tech makes me irrationally happy. I, for one, would love to see more people building websites using this tech.
What would I recommend this service for?
Honestly, pages that you don’t intend to update often. Also, if you’re not uncomfortable with a text editor like Nova or VS Code. Alternatively, you can use some sort of WYSIWYG HTML generator.
On the one hand, it is a free service. However, on the other hand, you’ll have to work to publish anything here. So, this service is perfect for smaller websites where you don’t mind updating things manually.