FortuneCity Pulls The Plug On Free Hosting

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 24, 2012
Updated • Mar 24, 2012

Another dinosaur from the beginning days of the Internet has just announced that they would stop offering free hosting services. The company began as a free web hosting service in the late 90s, similar to what services such as is offering users now. Users could join districts in the virtual city where they would create their websites in. This was very similar to what GeoCities started to offer two years earlier.

If you are now visiting the FortuneCity website you are greeted with the following text:

Dear FortuneCity Customers,

We've enjoyed providing free hosting the past twelve years, but due to rising costs it is no longer feasible for us to provide the free service. As a result, your free website will no longer resolve as of April 30th, 2012.

You can log into your website before April 30th to retrieve your files. If you are looking for a website hosting provider, transfer your files to Dotster hosting. FortuneCity customers can get 80% off a new Dotster hosting plan by using coupon code FORTUNE80 at checkout.

The announcement basically states that FortuneCity will close all free accounts as of April 30, 2012. From that day on, free websites will no longer be accessible on the Internet. The reason given are increased costs to host the free service, which basically means that the ad revenue is not enough to keep offering the service. Customers with free accounts can log into their websites until that day to export their files to their local computer or the hosting company Dotster (if they get a paid account there).

New users who try to sign up for a free website will also be directed to the announcement on the front page. It appears as if FortuneCity will continue to offer paid hosting accounts and websites, and that only the free accounts are removed from the service.

To be honest, I have not seen a FortuneCity website in a long time. The same was true when Geocities was still operational. The biggest problem that free Fortunecity users face is that they cannot redirect their original site to a new one, which in turn means that they will lose all of the traffic and links that point to their free site.

What's your take on the announcement?


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  1. Marc Aguilar said on May 22, 2019 at 7:25 am

    How to delete our site completely?

  2. Sam said on December 8, 2012 at 3:20 am

    I thought FortuneCity finished years ago. I transfered my site from them to Zyworld, then after a while they to suspended free hosting. I then moved to Geocities, which also suspended free hosting, and then moved to Bravehost. Bravehost ceased free hosting in July 2012, so I am now hosting at

  3. GreenLeoFiend said on October 10, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Yay! My site was archived. Well most of it. I hope I can find the ones I don’t have on my mom’s computer. I had lots of scenes transcribed for Leo and Greenlee. GreenLeo forever!

  4. RG said on September 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I too didn’t receive the email advising the end of FortuneCity’s free hosting – I just discovered at the start of May that I couldn’t access my site or any of the information (and I had no backup). I then spoke to Dotster every few weeks and was told each time that someone would contact me back in the following days as the account needed to be restored, reactivated, found etc etc.

    I have just been told that all content was permanently destroyed quickly after the end of April 2012 and there is nothing that can be done.

    I am devastated to have lost the content – it is irreplaceable. Silly me I suppose for not having maintained a backup, but both FortuneCity and Dotster’s service has proven to be disgustingly bad!!!

    I can’t even find a cache or archive of my site.

    1. tobias said on February 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Just one tip:

      Have you checked if has a copy of your website archived?
      Both mine and my friend’s website are on there, most of the text and images at least. Both are archived on March 20. It seems Fortunecity “ordered” Waybackmachine to copy every website on March 20, 2012 (just prior to shutting down) because there are no other dump dates.

      1. RG said on February 8, 2013 at 4:26 am

        Thanks Tobias, but Wayback Machine has no capture of any of the pages from the domain myblogsitecom.


  5. FortuneCityArchive said on June 26, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Hi! in we have over a millon of sites backuped , a part of the history of the internet. offers the possibility that your site can survive! :)

    1. Alberto said on October 16, 2012 at 5:34 am

      I will start the search as i have no backups, is there any way to search for my old site faster than checking every single file?

  6. Mark Hoffman said on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I just got off the phone with Dotster.
    I missed the email announcing the end of FortuneCity’s service.
    The guy that I talked with at Dotster didn’t know anything.
    From what I can tell Dotster just destroyed all the content for the free web sites.
    It’s hard to believe that they didn’t try to make it easy to transfer the content to a paid version.
    I would have done that, at least for a trial period.

    1. Fallout Boy said on July 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Mysteriously my old FortuneCity homepage still comes up when using Google. Following that link from the search results ends up at some Dotster landing page for former FC-members. Seems to me, that they still have those old websites stored on their servers, but they are just presenting it to search robots but not to real visitors. Or are those robots that lame???

  7. kainr2 said on March 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Oh, the good day of plain HTML, and annoying midi.

    But yeah, it is hard to find any fortunecity site. Actually, any free old HTML site for that matter (fortunecity, tripod, geocities, etc)

  8. JohnMWhite said on March 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I am not surprised to see this happen, but I am surprised at how little notice they have given. There’s only about five weeks, far less than comparative services have offered when they have shut down. I wonder if this means there is more significant trouble brewing under the surface at FortuneCity.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Maybe they do not care anymore?

  9. Isac Freeman said on March 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    It’s sad to hear they no longer offer free hosting, it really was a great way to put websites for free. Well, I guess it just suited them better not to offer that any longer..

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