*This post was written a long time ago when I was much younger. Any views represented in this post may not necessarily be shared my present day me. They are being included for historical posterity and amusement of past thoughts on the subjects of the time.*
Update – August 19th, 2001: Xoom.com was completely taken over by NBC and became NBCi’s free sites. NBCi has subsequently had problems with managing their finances. This resulted in the cancellation of the free websites, and ultimately, the death of Xoom. Justice has been served.
The search for a good free website host is a hard and difficult one. You want to have a decently fast access to your site, preferably no ads or pop-ups or banners, and a good uptime (not too much a lot of space for your stuff and leniency of strictness on rules. Well, for starters, DO NOT, under any circumstances, use XOOM.com to host your site. There are others that should be mentioned in length, (Geocities/Yahoo, Spree, Homestead) but I’m gonna concentrate on Xoom. Now what brought my attention to their site was the “unlimited space” they USED to offer. They have recently cut that down to 500 mb. But soon after signing up I found out their evil plans. They disallow any mp3 files to be uploaded, no 11 mb+ file size allowed, and of course ultra strict (and even beyond) keeping to their Terms Of Service. So first this cancelled any plans to put some of my (2000+) mp3s on the site (trying to put them in zip or renaming them didn’t work). That’s sucked because I really wanted to have that available, but since finding out I couldn’t add those to my site, I discovered Napster, and if you want mp3s, go there. Next, the max file size excluded any hopes I had of putting larger sized movies on the site (some really good fun ones). This, so far was enough to put me off, but not enough to anger me or to use another (not quite as decent) site. This changed when they cancelled my site. I had just finished uploading all my stuff, had the site completed (about 6 months or so ago), and they cancelled my site. They said that I had violated the TOS by uploading a couple mp3s. This was my fault, I should have adhered to their rules. So after resigning up (they wouldn’t let me use my same user name, I had to get a new one), I tried it all again. Once again, soon after I had uploaded my stuff, cancellation for TOS violations. This time, I had done nothing. I began searching for other alternatives, but came up with only more lame sites. So once again I decided to re-sign up for Xoom. Since then, they have cancelled my site twice more, each time giving my the TOS excuse for reasons they don’t care to elaborate on. I have done nothing to violate their TOS and have been severely abused by this site. I’m very upset with Xoom, and only with I had more power to argue and influence them and cause them problems. But taking on the near 10 million user enlisted Xoom, which was recently bough by NBC, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting through to them. You may notice a counter/guestbook and chat option that I still use from them, and this is only because I haven’t found a suitable free alternative. But for anyone else who even considers creating a website, I urge you to strictly avoid Xoom.com. You will have nothing but hardships with them (I forgot to mention the constant frame ad bar they put across all pages of your site), and they are slower than just about any other site on the net. I’m using my college’s server to currently host my site and am very happy with it. Thanks for your time, email me if you got a problem or rant you’d like to see published/covered. Peace out folks.