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Wikipedia suffers outage after technical glitch

A technical outage left millions of Wikipedia users unable to use the site for a brief stretch this morning. Wikimedia said "networking issues" were to blame.

Wikipedia displays an error message during today's outage Screenshot by Zack Whittaker/CNET

Wikipedia struggled this morning as users took to Twitter and other social media sites to vent their frustration.

The world's largest online encyclopedia began to have problems at around 6:30 a.m. PT, with an error message on the site's front page stating that its "servers are currently experiencing a technical problem."

When users navigated to Wikipedia, pages partially loaded, stripping out much of the site's content styles and layout. The site loaded slowly for some, but many others reported that Wikipedia's homepage was inaccessible.

The site's error message advised the the site "should be fixed soon." And then about an hour later, Wikipedia appeared to be fully functional again.

Wikipedia's status page earlier had shown a sea of orange warning and red critical messages warning of "service disruption," but within half an hour many were upgraded to orange or green -- signaling the all-clear. Wikipedia's mobile site was unaffected during the outage.

An earlier Wikimedia tweet said the sites "engineers are working on [the issues]" and that the site would be back "soon," despite offering no estimated time frame for the site's recovery.

A Wikimedia spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement that the outage was "due to networking issues with servers in Tampa, Florida" but did not have any further technical information at the time of publication.

"We certainly haven't been hit by a denial of service attack," the spokesperson said, ruling out foul play by a third party.

The spokesperson noted around half an hour into the outage that "the sites should be up and running again now, to a point." While text and images were displayed, the site's style sheets failed to load. The site now is now back on its feet again.

Update at 7:30 a.m. PT with Wikimedia statement and then again at 8:00 a.m. PT following the restoration of Wikipedia's services.