I had started trying to learn how to write web pages in the year 2000, using a hosting service called Freeservers, on a tip from a friend in the States. I don't remember why I started to ask around about an alternative host, but I think Freeservers was beginning to get buggy. I moved to Homepage.com on the word of the technical advisor at De Leydse Herbergh on Leidseplein in Amsterdam.
Homepage was workable. While online I discovered Geocities.com finding that I already had an account there by virtue of my Yahoo! email address. The beauty of Geocities was the preview mode in its file manager. The page on this server would preview on the same page as the edit window, which meant that I only had to scroll up and down to edit and view. This is much more facile than returning to another page and waiting for it to reload before I could modify again.
One feature that I enjoyed at Homepage was that I could access the edit window with a hidden link in the viewed page. [Note: I know now that this was not a good idea.] Geocities does not allow this, prompting directly only to the file manager. This makes the first visit to an edit window a manual affair. I kept my index at Homepage and proceeded to create new pages in Geocities. I did not back up earlier pages onto Geocities, and I eventually lost the work I had left solely on Homepage. This happened for a couple of reasons, either one of which would have scuppered the pages I'd made there.
The first indication something was amiss at Homepage was that the "sign in" button disappeared. I was still able to edit my pages there because I had in fact embeded links, via the template I was using, to the corresponding edit window. But I didn't back them up and bow out of that service as I ought to have. Later, a visit to homepage.com began to redirect to "frontera.com." Same page, graphically, but clearly things were amiss. Well, I still didn't grab those pages when I could have.
Then, I went to Spain. While in Spain, I simply didn't work on pages with any regularity. Because of this, my account at Homepage, or whatever it had become, "timed out." Work gone. Not much, and probably of only "archival" interest to my page-writing.
I did, of course, continue to use email. Since, as I mentioned, my Geocities account is associated with my email address at Yahoo.com, this account remained active, and my work there was saved. When I found a renewed interest in working on pages, while in Dublin, I was able to resume with what I had created on Geocities.
When Geocities went out of business in the autumn of 2009, I got a real website address and started paying for Yahoo web-hosting.