Pros and Cons of Using Neocities

I have been shilling neocities so hard that I should be paid for it

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There are many platforms such as wordpress, google blogger to make your website on. Heck if you don't care about making a unique looking site and just want to get your word out there then you're probably better off just posting on social media. There aren't even any baked in plug and play monetisation options on neocities so why does this site still have a small but dedicated userbase of web masters? Is it all just nostalgia for geocities, or worse yet fake nostalgia by Zoomers who never even used Yahoo!'s Geocities service but is just larping enough to make people spend so many hours tweaking their sites to their tastes?

First of all let's get one thing out of the way, if you are thinking that making a generic site about anime or whatever hobby you are into is going to get you some e-fame and tens of thousands a views a month then you are wrong. So many web masters go ahead and make bloated blog sites on wordpress when in fact it only makes sense to use a Content Management System if you're making a site with more than one writer/contributor.

Let's filter some more folks away by mentioning some more of the cons of neocities, you can't use any server side scripting as far as I am aware, so basically you can't make a template for your site using php includes to edit the footer and header on every page at the same time. No, you can only edit one page at a time, unless you have some sort of complex text editor which can replace text in multiple text files at the same time.

On a free neocities account you only get 1GB of storage so if you have an image heavy site then you will have to hotlink your images from some other image hosting service. And if that third-party image hosting service goes down or your images get deleted from their server then all the images on your site are going to stop working, so you better keep a back up. For $5 you get more storage and you can use your own custom domain though you will have to buy the domain name from somewhere else like namecheap.  Honestly I think they should allow us to map my own custom domain even on the free account like Google's Blogger does. I have heard .xyz domains are cheap. You also get support WebDAV which, as far as I understand, will allow you to sync a folder on your computer to your website, so you can just edit files on your drive with your own text editor, speaking of which neocities the neocities web text editor is very basic so you're advised to use your preferred text editor (be it vim, or notepad++ if on Windoze). Finally the github for neocities looks a bit inactive so it is worrysome. The last edit was 12 days ago. To be fair I have not encountered anything wrong yet, and only one feature which is absent which I would like to have (a properly funcitoning RSS feed for my site, I know this goes against the sandbox nature of the site but there just isn't anyway to do this without server-side stuff, and anyway people follow other sites through the social-media like feed interface, an actual rss feed would not be a step down - as I could use my own proper RSS feed reader to keep up with updates to sites I follow). There are no detailed stats inbuilt, the only thing you can see is a total hit counter for your site. The last con is that you really can't have a self-hosted comment section, basically you can embed disqus comment section, add a link to a free "guestbook" site like smartgb, or yet some other third party service like html box. People can post comments on your site updates but it's kind of a mess as there is no way to get updates for commets you leave on other people's equivalent of facebook walls, so you wouldn't know if the site owner replied to your comment.

I would argue though, that this last con really is not a con, as you will soon find out when working on your site - no matter what website platform you are on your site is not going to get many viewers and almost no comments. When once in a blue moon a comment will show up you will be happy but that happyness will ruin yout pleasure of working on your site. Why would this be the case? Well, because when you receive one comment you will expect more to follow then when they don't follow then you will wonder why you bothered at all writing that wall of text pertaining to boring but personal and embarassing thoughts and interests usually. Don't lie to me, I know it, literally every hobbyist site is that. Basically you should never forget that the reason you set up your site is to gain some pleasure for it, some comfort, working on your site has to be comfy if you want to keep on working on it for long, and not being able to see any detailed stats or graphs with long term growth or comment sections will help you be happy and have fun on the web again, which will mean that you will want to work more on your site. Basically the advantage of having your own little site rather than being part of a community is that it's less of an attention-whoring contest. There's a community on neocities and I know a few site owners a bit, but for the most part we all do our own things and regard each other as independent creators and not some community. I wouldn't mind to see more collaboration but I like that if there is any it is from the site owner's own initiative. I don't like how on social media you constantly feel like you are packed like sardines with people you do not like, or I should say that I do not like. I guess neocities is the interent equivalent of living in a cabin in the woods but not so far away that you are completely isolated.

The fact that there is no server-side crap encourages every web-page on your site to be a bit different, for there to be more variety because you are not locked into a template. Sometimes the results of this are not good and lead to websites which are difficult to navigate then again I have come to enjoy figuring out how to navigate other people's sites which have been "coded" in HTML and CSS. A lot of neocities sites do not work well on mobile, not because you can't make a neocities site which runs well on mobile as I have done but because many of these web masters do not care about phone-users which is prettty based, desktop is the way. There are no trackers or telemetry on neocities and the software the server runs on is open source though good luck getting it to work - but there is no need to install any complex server software because your site is perfectly portable. This website, Otaking, is only 3.41 megabytes in all and I can download a back up of it at anytime. In fact many people on neocities run their own mirror site to the site they host on neocities, mine's at sosbrigade.club. Unlike when using a CMS like wordpress you will actually know the basics about why your website looks like it does which means that you will not be tied to any one platform. For example if wordpress totally changes its editor to a modern trash called Gutenburg as it recently did, that doesn't concern you as you can still edit your site in your preferred editor. If you are a complete n00b as I am then I recommend you to download the SeaMonkey web browser and check out its visual html editor "Composer." Even worse closed source platforms like wix or weebly could shut down at any time and you will lose all the work that went into designing your site, then again if you used Wix to design your site you didn't really put any effort to design your site.

There are no ads on neocities, so as far as I am aware the platform is just run with the $5 subscriptions, as far as I am aware there have been no investors, the problem with investors is that they want returns for the money they lended which leads to things like ads being introduced and other features that are not in the interest of the user. The guy who owns and runs neocities is a liberal from what I have heard, yet he has not censored me or anyone I know yet, and I think I have been edgy enough so you should  most likely be fine. Another nifty feature which sort of acts like an old fashioned "web ring" is that you can see what sites other sites on neocities follow, so after you have found one or two sites you like you just have to go through the sites that they follow so you won't be running out of sites to explore any time soon. There's thousands of them, a few of which have a couple of million views. Usually the meme lain sites, don't take them too seriously, they're just pretty to look at but a good shock therapy to the lame and sterile web design of most websites. I don't think neocities will ever become popular and I am more than fine with that because things which become mainstream have a tendency of getting ruined.

By Otaking, or The Good Student

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