You need to fix it immediately if your WordPress website is hacked. Hacks cause websites to be seriously damaged, some of which can become irreparable. Why are hacks so hazardous and need to be quickly cleaned up? Hackers use your site to, among a long list of other things, perform malicious activities such as injecting spam links, phishing, defrauding visitors, and stealing confidential information.
Search engines like Google will blacklist your site when your site is involved in such activities. The hosting account will be suspended by your web host, which means that your site will be taken offline. Your income will plummet and your credibility will take a hit.
If you’ve tried a couple of hack repair solutions already, you’d understand that not all of them work effectively to get rid of a hack. But don’t be afraid. We will show you the correct steps to take in this guide to make your site 100% hack-free and restored to normal. We’ll also show you ways to prevent hacking attacks on the WordPress website.
Use a security plugin to effectively repair a hacked website. On your site, instal MalCare and it will run a deep malware scan automatically. You can clean it using MalCare’s Instant Malware Removal after it identifies the malware on your site. Within few minutes, the WordPress website will be hack-free.
You need to make sure it is compromised before you jump into the cleanup of your WordPress account. First we’ll discuss a compromised website’s numerous signs or symptoms.
Basic Symptoms of a Hacked Website
Although a compromised site has many signs, there are those that are more frequent and popular. Here, we discuss the classic signs that signify the hacking of your website:
Your Homepage Looks Different
One of the first changes you will find is this. You may find that a hacker has altered the material when you visit your website. It is likely that the website shows advertising and banners for pornographic and adult content. To market their own goods, they could have updated the homepage.
You Are Unable To Log Into Your Admin Panel
Locked out of the website is another classic sign of a hack. When hackers obtain entry to your site, by removing your account, they delete your admin rights. You can be sure the site is compromised if you are unable to access and you see that your account does not exist.
Your Website Suddenly Slows Down
There may be many explanations why your website, such as so many pictures or images, is sluggish. But if for no particular cause, you experience a sudden decrease in the output of your website, you might presume that your site is compromised.
Your website uses your web server services to run the normal operations, such as visitors viewing information. They use it to run their own malicious operations, which normally take a lot of money, as hackers break into your site. Their operations use the energy of your server that would otherwise be devoted to running your web. This decreases its productivity and makes it sluggish. You can verify the performance of your website using Pagespeed Insights from Google.
Your Site Displays Malicious Ads And Pop-Ups
To advertise illicit or counterfeit goods, hackers can use your platform. For adult websites, they feature advertisements. Visitors will find these pop-ups difficult to close.
These pop-ups can also trigger automated updates on the machines of tourists. Such downloads include malware that infects the machine or system of the user.
Google Marks Your Site As Deceptive or Not Secure
Google prioritises happiness and security for its customers. They track and search pages for viruses continuously. On your web, when they find malware, they blacklist it and display an alert like this:
It warns visitors that your website is false and is not secure. If you see this kind of alert when you go to access your domain, it means that your site has been flagged for malware by Google.
Hosting Provider Takes Your Site Offline
Your host may have sent you an email saying that you have deactivated or suspended your account. This is a snippet of what it would be like to email:
Decline In Site Traffic
You will see if there’s a sudden drop if you’re using a service like Google Webmasters to chart the traffic. Many times, such a decrease may mean that a Google algorithm upgrade has penalised you.
But if there was no upgrade and there was no explanation why traffic was expected to dip, then it might be a hack. To steal the traffic and divert it to their own websites, hackers use tricks. They actually hijack yours, instead of using the legal route to obtain SEO ranks and traffic.
Ranking For Random Keywords
In Google Analytics or some other keyword monitoring application connected to your site, you can find that random keywords appear. This is a clear hint of a hack. Many hacked websites are known to show keywords such as “buy online cheaply,” “buy online viagra,” “cheap branded products,” and the like.
It takes a lot of time and work to get to the best positions on Google. Hackers hijack the SEO attempts and inject their own keywords instead of putting in the hard work. To get their goods or websites to rank, they use this SEO Spam Trick as a shortcut.
You need to verify if it’s a hack if you find any of these symptoms on your website. To do this, there are several resources you can use that we will cover in the next section.
How To Check If Your Website Is Hacked
If your website is accused of being compromised, we suggest using the following tools:
- Web Security Scanner
- Google Search Console
Use a security scanner to see whether hacking is done on your site
It is easy to use a website security scanner to search your website.
Step 1: Get the MalCare Plugin enabled
It’s easy to instal and use MalCare. Simply upload it either from the WordPress folder or from the MalCare website and trigger it.
Step 2: Search the Web’
Access MalCare from the left-hand panel if you’ve activated the plugin directly on your site. Choose ‘malware check’ and then press ‘scan location.’
You can connect your link to the dashboard if you have installed MalCare from the official website, and the search begins automatically.
After the scanner combs through your website’s files, folders and database, it will identify the hack and display and alert like so:
Note: You can contact the dedicated MalCare team to search your site for you if you do not have access to your wp-admin account.
To verify if your website is compromised, use Google Search Console
Alternatively, your Google Search Console account can be logged in. You can build one automatically if you don’t have one. Next on your left-hand panel, open Security Issues. Here, if any security threats have been detected on your site, Google will warn you.
The drawback here is that if Google has not yet crawled your site and found the malware, it will show that your website is safe when it’s not.
Once you’ve identified the hack, you can begin to fix it. Let’s take you through the process.
Repairing Hacked Website: Step-By-Step Guide
There are two ways a compromised website can be repaired-manually or via a plugin.
Manually Repairing a Hacked Website
We don’t suggest this corrupted form of website repair and we’ll discuss why.
- A considerable amount of technological expertise is needed for this process. You need to be comfortable with the WordPress site’s backend. There are not many! WordPress is designed to make it easier for everyone to create a website, without the need for any coding skills. It’s best not to do this if you don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the inner workings of WordPress.
- It is highly dangerous to dive into the site’s archives and directories to make improvements. A minor coding mistake or omission will cause your site to crash.
- This technique is highly time-consuming and requires dedicated energy to search the website manually, find and delete the virus. Hackers upload their malware into several files and the servers in several situations, because it’s hard to detect any instance of malware current.
- Finally, you will have to search for code that is perceived to be malicious, such as ‘foundation 64’ and ‘eval.’ You won’t be able to locate it if a programmer designs a new code or disguises it well. You need to uninstall or delete the malicious code that has been injected if you happen to find the corrupted files. And since these files are co-dependent on other files, it will cause your site to break down if you uninstall them. Hence, most of the time, this strategy is inefficient.
Instead of going through this ordeal, we suggest using a reliable and efficient WordPress Protection Plugin that will search the site and delete the malware. There are several plugins available on the market that provide malware removal services for testing and WordPress. Not all of them though, are efficacious and have enough defence.
We’ll be using the MalCare WordPress Security Plugin to return the website back to normal and provide successful protection. We’re going to explain why we choose MalCare and how we’re going to use it next.
Using MalCare to Repair a Hacked Website
To fix your compromised WordPress website, we have picked MalCare because of what it has to offer:
- Since reviewing over 240,000 WordPress websites, MalCare was devised. It utilises over 100 smart signals that help immediately identify and delete any trace of malware.
- Many plugins depend on redundant tactics such as matching patterns or signatures where the scanner is only searching for proven malware. But to grow above the matching process, MalCare is carefully constructed. It analyses, instead the actions of the coding of your website. It is possible to decide, using this approach, which code is malicious and which is not. Therefore, whether a hacker masks or disguises it or has come up with brand-new malware, doesn’t matter. Every type of malicious code can be found by MalCare.
- It runs effectively and rapidly. Within minutes, MalCare will detect ransomware and clean the web. Because of the automatic operation, this is likely. The majority of plugins depend on a mechanism that allows you to contact the security staff of the website. They will then allocate to your case an analyst who will vacuum your site manually. This method of malware cleanup will take hours or weeks.
- To clean the domain, you don’t have to hand over management of your site to a third-party website security team. MalCare has an auto-clean alternative that needs no outsider intervention.
- To assist you with any security challenges you might encounter when cleaning the site, there is a dedicated support team of security experts working around the clock.
We will start cleaning up your site now that you know why we choose MalCare. We discussed how you should search the web with MalCare earlier in the post. MalCare tells you how many hacked files are visible on your site until scanned. We will continue with the cleaning of your site.
Clean your site with MalCare
It is as simple as one click to clean your site with MalCare. Click on the ‘Auto-clean’ button on the same tab.
Note: WordPress Malware Removal is a difficult process and hence all plugins are a premium option. You can see an option to upgrade’ instead of ‘auto-clean’ if you have not bought a plan. You can auto-clean your site until you move to a paid package. For a year, MalCare will help to defend the website from hackers.
Within a couple of minutes, MalCare will clean the site and warn you until it’s done. To double-check, we suggest running a second search. Then you’ll see a screen like this:
This screen will show if your plugins or themes and your main WordPress need to be changed. It will even show you whether your site has been blacklisted by any search engine. If you’re on the Google blacklist, check our How to Quickly Delete Google Blacklisting guide.
Finally, in order to keep your site safe, you should add the recommended WordPress hardening steps. In the next segment, we’ll further explore this.
MalCare provides you with all-round management tools for WordPress and website upkeep. And with that the WordPress platform should be completely malware-free and protected from any hacking attempts. We’ll send you useful tips before we wrap up so you can enforce on your website hacked website recovery methods to deter such attacks in the future.
How To Prevent Hacks on Your WordPress Site
To protect your website against hackers, we’ll give you five easy steps:
Use a Security Plugin
On your WordPress account, always have a security plugin working. It doesn’t matter whether the site is huge or small, hackers tend to prey on easy targets. There are strong risks that they will make a few failed attempts and go on to the next target as they see that you have simple website security measures in place.
We recommend downloading MalCare. It will search your website for malware on a regular basis and warn you if anything unusual on your site is detected. It will set up a firewall that guards the website proactively and blocks hackers. And it also introduces password security on your site automatically, reducing the amount of chances that a visitor would have to enter the right credentials. This blocks attacks through brute force in which hackers seek to guess your login credentials in order to enter your site.
Update Your WordPress Site Regularly
WordPress is a stable website-building tool. We must also, however, take into account the fact that each WordPress platform uses themes and plugins produced by third-party developers.
Security problems with any programme will grow over time. And as this occurs, the vulnerability bug is patched by developers and a patch is issued with an improved version. You’ll see an upgrade available on your dashboard for WordPress:
The safety bug or vulnerability will be patched after you roll out the upgrade. Yet you leave your site open to threats if you chose not to upgrade. This is how the developers officially reveal what the problem was and what has been resolved before an upgrade is made available.
So hackers know this weakness to look for. Using obsolete tools, they locate websites and unleash their attacks.
We suggest daily updates to the WordPress website. Refer to our Guide on How to Securely Upgrade your WordPress Platform if you find it tough to keep up with updates or face challenges with rolling them out.
Harden Your WordPress Site
In order to harden the WordPress website, WordPress.org advises those moves. This suggests that by blocking traditional entry points, you actually make your site safer against hackers.
These steps include, among others, preventing access attempts, introducing 2-factor authentication, disabling the file editor, disabling the installation of plugins, resetting passwords and encryption keys.
Some of these steps, though are technological and it is simple to run into roadblocks attempting to execute them. So if you’ve installed MalCare, in only a few taps, you can enforce hardening steps straight from the dashboard.
Monitor Your Themes and Plugins
Statistics suggest that through vulnerable themes and plugins, most hacks occur. This occurs several times due to null or pirated copies of themes and plugins. Although these versions are free, malware on websites is still pre-installed. This helps hackers to spread and exploit several websites with their malware. But you’re just downloading the malware and installing it on your web. We never advocate using nullified apps.
Besides this, theme and plugin creators work tirelessly to preserve their designs and keep them up-to-date. Any engineers, however do not routinely upgrade their applications and often they leave it because it becomes hard to manage.
You, the website owner/admin, are responsible for monitoring the themes and plugins. You need to make sure you use the WordPress repository’s trustworthy themes and plugins. Keep monitor and ensure that you periodically refresh them. Keep just the themes and plugins you use, lastly. Delete any disabled ones on your site that you might have. On the web, this would delete unwanted elements that can make it insecure.
Use An SSL Certificate
Data is transferred between your visitor and your site while you are operating a website. Among browsers and servers, information is relayed. Any of this information can contain personal information, such as the visitor’s usernames and passwords, credit card information, or private details.
To intercept this information when it’s in motion, hackers use numerous techniques. You should use an SSL certificate to eliminate the possibility of this occurring. It offers data encryption as it’s being processed. So even if a hacker happens to intercept the data, since it would be encrypted, they won’t be able to decode it.
You should be confident that you have made the hacker’s task incredibly difficult once you have introduced these steps. You can rest assured that your WordPress page is safe.
In addition to these, you should take a few more security steps, such as blocking IP, protecting wp-config.php pages, and following this full WordPress security guide.
Having cleaned up too many compromised WordPress websites, when their website is under threat, we know the pain website owners face. Hackers add backdoors several times that allow them to re-enter a site even after it’s cleaned and hack it again. It’s becoming a challenge to handle.
Simply add MalCare in order to prevent those cases and scrub the web properly. It’s going to search over the web and delete any malware traces. Knowing that the platform is in safe hands, you will now have peace of mind. By setting up a solid protective firewall along with scanning your site every day, MalCare will continue to protect your website from hackers.