How To Clean And Repair A Hacked WordPress Website

WordPress is a popular free content management system platform used by millions of people around the world for building websites, but unfortunately, it is also a popular target for hackers. If your WordPress website has been hacked, it is important to act quickly to fix the problem and secure your site. The following steps will help you repair a hacked WordPress website


How Do I Know If My WordPress Website Has Been Hacked

  1. Changes to Your Website: If you notice any changes to your website that you didn’t make, such as new pages, posts, or images, it’s possible that your site has been hacked.
  2. Slow Website Speed: A sudden decrease in website speed can be a sign that your website has been compromised. Malicious code or files can slow down your website’s performance.
  3. Unauthorized User Accounts: If you notice new user accounts on your website that you didn’t create, it’s possible that someone has gained unauthorized access to your website.
  4. Google Warning: If you receive a warning from Google that your website may have been hacked, it’s important to take immediate action to investigate and resolve the issue.
  5. Strange Pop-ups or Ads: If you notice pop-ups or ads on your website that you didn’t place there, it’s possible that your website has been hacked.
  6. Unusual Traffic: If you notice a sudden increase in traffic to your website or unusual traffic patterns, it could be a sign that your website has been hacked and is being used to generate spam or malicious traffic.

How Do I Clean & Repair a Hacked WordPress Website

Step 1: Identify the Problem

The first step is to identify the problem. Common signs of a hacked website include:

  • Unexpected changes to your website, such as new pages or links that you did not create
  • Your website redirects to other sites
  • Google flags your website as dangerous
  • You receive notifications from your hosting provider or search engines that your site has been hacked
  • Your website is slow or not working properly

If you notice any of these signs, there is a high likelihood that your website has been hacked.

Step 2: Take Your Website Offline

The next step is to take your website offline to prevent further damage. This means putting your website into maintenance mode, which will display a message to visitors that the site is down for maintenance. You can do this by adding a plugin like WP Maintenance Mode or by modifying your site’s .htaccess file.

Step 3: Change Your Passwords

Once your site is offline, you need to change all of your passwords, including your WordPress admin password, hosting account password, and any other passwords associated with your site. Use a strong password that is at least 12 characters long and includes a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Step 4: Scan Your Site for Malware

The next step is to scan your site for malware. You can use a plugin like Wordfence to scan your site for malware and other security issues. These plugins will identify any suspicious files or code on your website that could be causing the issue. Once you have identified the malware, you need to remove it from your site.

Step 5: Update Your Plugins and Themes

Outdated plugins and themes can leave your website vulnerable to hacking. Make sure that all of your plugins and themes are up-to-date to prevent future attacks.

Step 6: Restore from a Backup

If you have a backup of your website, you can restore it to a previous version before it was hacked. This will erase all of the malicious code and restore your website to its previous state. However, be careful to only restore from a backup that you know was created before the hack occurred.

Step 7: Harden Your Website’s Security

Finally, you need to harden your website’s security to prevent future attacks. This includes:

  • Installing a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri
  • Using strong passwords for all of your accounts
  • Limiting login attempts to your website
  • Enabling two-factor authentication
  • Regularly backing up your website

Fixing a hacked WordPress website can be a daunting task, but by following these steps, you can get your website back up and running and prevent future attacks. Remember to act quickly, take your website offline, change your passwords, scan for malware, update your plugins and themes, restore from a backup if possible, and harden your website’s security.