What to do if someone has hacked your WordPress website.
How do you know if your WordPress site has been hacked?
Well there are a few telltale signs:
- There are links to viagra products or something similar that has nothing to do with your content.
- When visiting your site the browser warns you not to continue, with a big red page.
- You might have gotten an email from some Google product like Webmaster Tools telling you that your site has been compromised, or your hosting provider might have sent a similar email.
- Someone visiting your site, like a client or customer, might have contacted you and warned about that big red page.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you should have it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Contact your web developer, an online cleanup site, like Securi, or me. You want to jump on this right away because the longer your site is hijacked the worse it is for your website’s reputation. When your site is hacked Google will blacklist you — all of your SEO efforts will be out the door. It could take a while for Google to acknowledge that your site is clean again and you might have to build up your search reputation all over again.
What else do you need to do?
After your site has been cleaned up and restored you should change all passwords associated with it, this means your WordPress password and FTP if you use it. You should switch to SFTP if you can. I’d also recommend switching your site over to a more secure hosting provider that specializes in WordPress hosting. Personally, I love WP Engine and have a partnership with them. They offer wonderful features to help combat these nasty hackers who keep trying to mess with our stuff. On top of being more secure, they offer daily backups, daily malware scanning, core updates, excellent support and more. If you host your site with me I’ll also make sure all your plugins are updated frequently. Keeping plugins up-to-date reduces the risk of someone breaking in. You can review our WordPress Support Plans.
That’s it. Get your site cleaned up and get it moved to the better place.