September 23, 2010, 3:06 PM

Home Depot’s e-commerce site crashes twice this week

The home and garden retailer launched a new site earlier this year.

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The e-commerce site operated by multichannel retailer The Home Depot  Inc. crashed twice within a 95-minute period on Wednesday.

HomeDepot.com went down at 11:50 a.m. Eastern time and came back up at 12:19 p.m., according to a spokesman for Alertbot, a web site performance and measuring firm. The site crashed again at 1 p.m. before coming back into service at 1:25 p.m.

“Both downtime events began with an HTTP time-out error, meaning the server responded very slow and was unable to send the entire HTTP page within the 30-second limit,” the spokesman says. Then the page switched to a 404 error, which means that the page could not be found.” Alertbot says the retailer did not display a “site currently unavailable message” on the site.

A spokeswoman for Home Depot, No. 39 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, confirmed the site was down but provided no other details. “We quickly resolved the matter and there was no material sales impact,” the spokeswoman says.

Alertbot does not believe the error was due to scheduled web site maintenance, the spokesman says. “Typically, scheduled maintenance is performed between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. when the least amount of people are online,” he says. “There are always things that happen that you can't plan for, but a large retailer like Home Depot should have the I.T. resources to reduce any downtime to seconds or, at the most, minutes.”.

Just before the Memorial Day weekend, Home Depot launched a redesigned e-commerce site with such features as a bigger site search box that delivers keyword results organized by category, brand, project guides and a buyer’s guide, and a “how-to” center.

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