If you need another reason to always host your websites at your own top level domain (TLD) the recent announcement of Yahoo permanently closing GeoCities should be enough to convince you.

At the end of 2009, GeoCities will cease to exist, and if you don’t move your site, it will be permanently deleted. Yahoo is urging existing users to sign up for their paid hosting of $5.98/month. This closing is a reminder that no free hosting is guaranteed forever. The only way to ensure that your website address will always be safe is to own and host it on your own domain.

GeoCities has been around for as long as I can remember. Even my own first website was hosted at GeoCities. It was a service that I would have assumed would last forever – now it will soon be gone. If you are starting a new website or blog get your own domain. Even free WordPress and Blogger blogs seem like they will be around forever, but you never know, some day they could be gone too. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

For users that have a personalized GeoCities email address (name@geocities.com) they will not have their email removed with the closing of GeoCities.