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Go Daddy outage hits small businesses hardest

Go Daddy, the website hosting service, was hit by a four-hour outage Monday afternoon. Go Daddy says it hosts more than 5 million web sites, mostly for small businesses.

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Go Daddy Girl and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.

(Photo: Business Wire)

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Thousands and possibly millions of websites hosted by Go Daddy.com went down for several hours on Monday, causing trouble for the mainly small businesses that rely on the service.

A Twitter feed that claimed to be affiliated with the "Anonymous" hacker group said it was behind the outage, but that couldn't be confirmed. Another Twitter account, known to be associated with Anonymous, suggested the first one was just taking advantage of an outage it had nothing to do with.

Go Daddy spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll said the outage began at around 1:25 p.m. EDT.  By around 5:43 p.m. EDT, the GoDaddy.com website was back up and service was restored for the bulk of its customers. Driscoll said there was no loss of sensitive customer information such as credit card data or passwords and that the company was investigating the cause.

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Go Daddy hosts more than 5 million websites, mostly for small businesses. Websites that were complaining on Twitter about outages included MixForSale.com, which sells accessories with Japanese animation themes, and YouWatch.org, a video-sharing site.

Catherine Grison, an interior designer in San Francisco who operates the site YourFrenchAccent.com, said she had to stop sending emails with her website link in them while the outage was ongoing. The site is where she displays her portfolio of work.

"If I have no visuals I have nothing left except the accent," said Grison, a native of Paris. She said she was already shopping around for another site host because she was unhappy with Go Daddy's customer service.

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