Tripod review: Tripod

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
  • Overall: 5.7
  • Setup and interface: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Service and support: 4.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent tools for beginners; full-featured blogging capabilities; FTP access for free accounts; traffic reports and raw access logs for paid accounts; good online Web tutorials.

The Bad Jumbo-size ads and pop-ups on free Web sites; no phone support and spotty "live" help; skimpy disk space for upper-tier paid accounts; no secure FTP transfers or MySQL support.

The Bottom Line Tripod boasts excellent tools for beginners, but it's light on advanced features, stingy with disk space, and spotty with support.

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Even the greenest of Web newbies could build a multipage site in minutes using Tripod, the Lycos-owned Web host that boasts an arsenal of easy-as-pie building tools. Beginners willing to shell out a few dollars a month will enjoy dozens of simple Web-building wizards, a full-featured blogging tool, and excellent online tutorials. Unfortunately, Tripod splashes large ads and pop-ups on its free Web sites, and experienced users will bemoan the stingy dollar-to-megabyte ratios, lack of advanced features, and weak support options. EarthLink, in comparison, offers ad-less free pages, while Yahoo offers more megabytes for paying subscribers, and both provide better customer support.
Free Plus Pro Webmaster Deluxe
Setup fee n/a $10 $15 $15 $15
Monthly fee n/a $5 $9 $12 $20
Domain registration included No No Yes Yes Yes
Subdomains 0 0 5 10 15
POP e-mail accounts 0 0 5 10 15
Data transfer per month 1GB 5GB 10GB 20GB 30GB
Disk space 20MB 25MB 50MB 100MB 150MB
FTP access Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Site backups No No No No No
Phone and e-mail support No E-mail and live chat E-mail and live chat E-mail and live chat E-mail and live chat

Advanced users with paid accounts can use Tripod's traffic reports and raw access logs to gauge the popularity of their Web sites. Even Tripod's free accounts support CGI and Perl scripts, but there's no sitewide MySQL or PHP support, although PHP-powered modules are available. Tripod also lacks secure FTP access or regular account backups that let you roll your pages back to previous versions (a Tripod spokesman said sitewide backups are made in case Tripod's servers crash). Even worse, Tripod is pretty stingy when it comes to disk space: the pricier $12 and $20/month packages only offer 100MB and 150MB of disk space, compared to 2GB and 4GB for Yahoo's $12 and $20/month plans. Setup for either a free or paid account is a simple, five-minute process. Once you've entered your personal information and chosen a username and password, you then pick the type of ads that will appear on your site (if you're getting a free account): the choices range from autos and computers to shopping and travel. After you've picked your ads (and skipped past a few opt-in special offers), you're ready to build.

Tripod's simple, click-and-edit templates make Web building a snap.

Tripod's easy Web building, blogging, and photo album tools are ideal for beginners.

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