Tim Holmes checked his website Monday morning to see whether online specials were attracting attention.
If they were, the owner of Tim's Backyard BBQ on Court Street in Medford had no way of knowing.
Holmes' website was among thousands, possibly millions, of websites hosted by GoDaddy.com that went down for several hours on Monday, causing trouble for the mainly small businesses that rely on the service.
"I looked and started thinking, 'Where is it? What's going on? What's up? What is happening?' " Holmes said. "I know there were a lot of others wondering, too."
A Twitter feed that claimed to be affiliated with the "Anonymous" hacker group said it was behind the outage, but this 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.
GoDaddy.com hosts more than 5 million websites, mostly for small businesses. Some customers who don't host with GoDaddy but did register their Internet domain names with the company also have said they've experienced issues, including users not being directed to their desired websites. GoDaddy said it has registered more than 53 million domain names.
Spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll said the outage began shortly after 1 p.m. EDT. By around 5:50 p.m. EDT, the GoDaddy.com website and sites hosted by the company were back up and running. Driscoll had said the company was investigating the cause.
The Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings websites experienced intermittent problems for about four hours because some elements are hosted by GoDaddy.com services. Both websites were fully restored by 3:46 p.m.
Dan LePari runs a company that specializes in mobile Web optimization for clients. When calls started coming in on his day off, LePari knew something was afoot. It didn't take long to discover a hacker had overloaded GoDaddy's servers to the point where anyone using the company's Web-hosting or interacting with its servers was in trouble.
"I buy all my domains from GoDaddy, so as soon as they got hit, none of my sites or the sites I created for clients including mobile were up either," LePari said. "I had no idea until clients started texting me. Technically, I could have lost some income. If someone is trying to pull up a lunchtime menu and can't see, they will go somewhere else. In the grand scheme, it wasn't huge. My own website was down for 30 minutes."
Dan Woolard, a Web developer at 5 o'clock Marketing Group in Medford, said GoDaddy was a high-profile target after it aggressively backed a congressional bill to give the government more control over Internet activity.
In the interim, Woolard said, 5 o'clock Marketing Group has suggested clients use other Web hosts because of potential security issues.
Even so, Woolard said, 5 o'clock Marketing Group ran into sporadic difficulties during the breakdown.
"A couple of our clients are still on GoDaddy," he said. "When you type in their website, the screen just sits there for a few seconds and then says it can't find their website. It's almost like you don't have an Internet connection. When it first happened to us, we thought we lost our Internet connection when we were trying to get to those websites."
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail email@example.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.