WordPress Hacked: How To Get Rid Of This Trouble?

WordPress Hacked!! It is any website owner’s nightmare and why not? After all website owner put their all efforts and hard-earned money to develop and grow their website. Which can vanish within few seconds. It is all due to the popularity and vast majority of people using WordPress to build their website.

More than 40% of the total websites on the internet are built on WordPress, this is the main reason why it attracts hackers to WordPress hacked. It is also not to be misunderstood that the developers and programmers of WordPress are not working on it to make it secure. WordPress has a highly skilled team who work all the time to make WordPress more secure from hackers’ attacks. They try to bring regular updates for securing core WordPress software from hackers and malicious attacks.

And you are also aware of the fact that WordPress is a highly flexible and customizable CMS available. You can install plugins and themes to increase the functionality and add features to your WordPress Website. But there are also some chances that the themes and plugins that you are using might have security flaws or loopholes present in them, which can be vulnerable for your website.

But you do not need to worry about it anymore. Prevention is always better than cure, but if you still get caught in this problem we have the solution. In this blog post, we try to provide you a complete guide on How you can prevent WordPress hacked? What are the reasons for being WordPress hacked? and What are the solutions after WordPress Hacked?

Let us get started!

What are the signs of WordPress Hacked?

Sometimes, you may weren’t able to figure out, that your website is being compromised or WordPress hacked. But after some time you might sense an unusual behavior that is not as it should do. It can be a server problem or bug, but how do you assure that the problem arises due to a hacker attack.

Let us take a look at some of the most common signs of WordPress hacked:

  1. You are unable to log in your WordPress site account.
  2. You find there has been certain changes in your website look or design.
  3. Your website might be showing redirection to another location.
  4. A warning message is being showed on screen whenever you try to login into your WordPress site account.
  5. You receive a warning message or email from your security plugin intimidating about security breach or an unusual activity.
  6. You even received an warning email or message from your Web hoting service provider about an unsual activity on your website.

Let us get into more details on each point that I have mentioned above:

Sign of WordPress Hacked 1: Unable to log into your WordPress site

If you cannot get access through your WordPress admin page, this is probably a sign of Serious WordPress Hacked. Or you might be not able to recall your password. So, without going into any further solid conclusion it is better you first try to reset your Password, but again if you couldn’t do so. Then it is a matter of concern.

Even if you can get access after the hit and trial method, it is still possible that you become a victim of WordPress Hacked. And you are required to do more investigating.

This happens when hackers hack your website and change or remove login credentials such as username and password to prevent access. And due to this, you won’t be able to even reset your password and all these are signs of WordPress hacked.

Sign of WordPress Hacked 2: Your WordPress Website Look bit unusual or Different

Another sign of WordPress Hacked is the appearance of your WordPress Website will be quite different from before. There might be your Homepage get replaced with a static page, Your website look might be completely changed or the website theme has been changed.

Then there are high chances that you are a victim of WordPress hacked. The changes can be small but impactful, adding some graphic images, malicious links, or post some illegal content. Your website footer might have a lot of link options that you have not added, especially check out their font size and look at their appearance. Even if you are using a website theme from an unreliable and genuine source, and you have recently updated it, it can also be the culprit. All these signs are showing your website has been seriously hacked.

But again before coming to a final and solid conclusion, always check with other website users or editors whether they have made the changes or not.

Sign of WordPress Hacked 3: Your Website Redirecting to another location

Site Redirecting to another location
WordPress Hacked: Site Redirecting to another location

It has become a common practice by hackers to redirect the home page or the website address to some other location. This another location might be the address that you would not like your visitors to visit. At this moment you might be a victim of WordPress Hacked. This can seriously impact your website Traffic and DA (Domain authority).

The main culprit for the above security breach is mainly due to security flaws on the server side. And this is the main reason why I always highly recommend you to use the best and Quality Managed WordPress hosting WPOven. The security at WPOven is top-notch and even if you encounter any problem, the WPOven support team will help you out at any time.

Hence, I highly recommend whenever your face such a situation, without any second thought, immediately switch to WPOVen a more reliable and secure Web hosting service provider as soon as possible and we ensure your server is behind hacked in the future.

Sign of WordPress Hacked 4: Warning message from Your Browser

Browser warning message of WordPress hacked
Browser warning message of WordPress hacked

Sometimes, you may receive a warning message on your browser showing your website is compromised or show there is a potential risk on your website. These are the signs that your Wordpres hacked. However, this kind of issue can also arise due to various other factors such as issues with the theme, plugin, or your SSL certificate.

You must remove the plugin or theme ASAP to solve this issue if they are the culprit and do like the advice provided that can help you to diagnose the problem which is mentioned along with the warning message in your Browser.

Sign of WordPress Hacked 5: Warning Message From Search Engines

On some occasions, even Search Engines like Google can also send you a warning message showing “This Site may be Hacked”. This warning message is likely due to your sitemap has been hacked. That restricts Google crawlers to crawl your website. Or it can also a sign of some serious problem happened with your Website. It is better you must conduct a proper diagnosis to find out the exact reason before coming to any conclusion.

WordPress hacked Warning message from Search Engines
WordPress hacked: Sitemap Hacked

Why Hackers love to attack WordPress Sites?

One thing just let me clarify before beginning the reasons behind why hackers love to attack WordPress sites. It is not just the WordPress sites, hackers attack and hack almost every website on the internet, or every website on the internet is vulnerable to being attacked or hacked. The point is, majority of the website (more than 40%) on the internet is built on WordPress. That means millions of the websites available on the internet including some high authority websites get powered by WordPress.

Hence, due to its huge popularity, it also attracts many hackers to find out loopholes and an easy way to look out for less secure websites to hack. The severity of hacking a website depends on the motive of hackers.

  1. Some hackers who are in their learning phase, try to hack simple and less secure wordPress websites.
  2. Some would like to spread malware either by using plugins and themes or by using a website to spam other webistes on the internet.

Let us check out Some of the common and main reasons why your site is vulnerable to WordPress hacked. And what prevention you must take to not getting WordPress hacked in the future.

1. Cheap and Insecure Web Hosting service

As you know, a website needs to be hosted on a webserver to run. But sometimes due to low budget or to provide lucrative offers, some web hosting companies do not provide a proper security system for web hosting. Due to this all the websites which are hosted on the same hosting platform become vulnerable to WordPress Hacked.

Hence, it is the main reason, that you must always try to choose the best and reliable WordPress hosting that provides secure infrastructure. A secure hosting platform has the potential to block many of the most common cyber-attacks and properly secure the server.

And if you want to host your website on a solid and more secure hosting platform, WPOven is one of the best options to choose your managed WordPress hosting provider.

2. Using Most common and Weak Passwords

As you know how important a password is and it is the key through which you can only get access to your WordPress site. But the only thing you must care about is to make it enough strong for anyone to guess the right password. Since technology has been evolved, there are new techniques have been developed by which hackers can easily get through websites by using some simple but impactful techniques such as Brute force attacks.

The only thing that you can do the best is to create a strong unique password for every account associated with your website. Because these are some of the ways through which a hacker would attempt to hack your website and intrude on your website.

  1. Website Admin login page.
  2. Your Hosting cPanel account.
  3. File Transfer Protocol Account
  4. Your Personal email accounts that used for signup Web hosting and Website Admin page.
  5. Database account

All these accounts that I have listed above are password protected. Hence, it is highly recommended that you must use a strong password for each one of them so that it becomes tough to next to impossible for hackers to crack it.

3. Vulnerable WordPress Admin login page

Vulnerable WordPress login page
WordPress hacked: Vulnerable WordPress admin page

WordPress Admin page is one of the ways through which web site admin and other users such as Editor can get into Website dashboard. Hence, it is one of the most targeted areas for attack and gets WordPress hacked.

Without any additional security layers or protection measures, Hackers will try different methods to get access to our website. However, you can apply different protection layer to this page and make a lot more difficult for them to crack.

The first and the most basic protection layer is to use a strong password to Protect your WordPress admin login page. You can also read our detailed article on the Best way to change your Default WordPress Login Url and add more layers to it.

If you have a multi-user WordPress site, You can assign roles with certain limitations and ask them to create strong passwords.

4. Stopped Updating WordPress Core Files

Due to lack of knowledge, some WordPress admin fears Updating WordPress core files regularly. And if you thought, updating WordPress could lead your Website to Damage or adding some bugs that are unstable for their website. You are just exposing your website vulnerable to attacks and ultimately become a victim of WordPress hacked.

But still, if you fear about updating can harm your website, then should take a different path. Make a complete backup of your WordPress website before updating your WordPress files. Hence, by doing this you can be assured that whenever there is something that went wrong with your website you can easily revert to the previous version.

5. Stopped Updating WordPress Themes and Plugins

Like not regularly updating WordPress core files, you might have also stopped updating your WordPress themes and plugins. Which you are only making more vulnerable to your WordPress Hacked. As mentioned earlier, Hackers often try to find security flaws in plugins and themes. Hence to encounter such situations, developers and authors always try to fix these issues by bringing regular updates.

Hence, if you do not update them regularly, then even the support them cannot help you with it. And your website becomes vulnerable to getting WordPress hacked.

6. Using Simple FTP clients

To access web server files of your websites, generally, FTP accounts are used using an FTP client such as FileZilla. And there are different Protocols are available such as Plain FTP, SSH, and SFTP.

So, if you are using a Plain FTP, the risk of being hacked and data theft is more. It is because The plain FTP will send your username and password on an unsecured and encrypted server. Hence, it is highly recommended you must choose either SFTP or SSH to access your web server files.

Another thing you must not that, Most of the FTP clients available uses SFTP or SSH to connect. Hence, there is no need to change your FTP client, all you need to do is just change the SFTP-SSH protocol while connecting.

7. Using “Admin” Default and most common username

By default, WordPress assigns the username as ‘Admin’ and many users do not like to change it. But, it is highly recommended that if you are a web admin and use Admin as an admin username, you must change it as soon as possible with a different uncommon username.

8. Using Plugins and Themes from unreilable and not trusted sources

To save some money and looking for better offers, many websites on the internet offers premium paid plugins and themes either free or at a very less price. Hence, users find this kind of offers tempting and get into their trap and get WordPress hacked.

Not they downloading from such unreliable and untrustful sources can lead to your WordPress being hacked but can also steal your sensitive information.

Hence, I highly recommend you to always download Themes and plugins from trustful sources such as the WordPress repository and also check out the user ratings and reviews.

However, for beginners who do not have the budget or are in their learning phase, then they can go for Free plugins and themes that are always available in WordPress. You may not find these Free plugins or Themes as good as the premium ones, but they can do the most basic work and your website will be safe

Things you must do when WordPress hacked

If you have already hosted your website on WPOven, their powerful security system won’t let your WordPress hacked Easily. We have customized IPTables based Firewalls on all servers which are hosting your sites.

  1. The firewall can be customized further based on threats faced by your site.
  2. We also offer help against basic DoS attacks against your site.
  3. We also have daily malware scanning to detect code injections if they take place.

To avoid getting hacked we recommend using the latest releases of the plugins and themes on your site. Also updating your WordPress regularly ( If you have stopped auto-updates).
WPOven also offers some features to protect you against getting hacked –

  1. Site Lock – Available in your site tools page this will lock down the files on your site so that they cannot be modified to include malicious code.
  2. Plugin Checker – In your Site dashboard WPOven scans for the currently installed version of plugin on your site and if any exploits have been found for the same , use this to update plugin which have known exploits.

In addition to it, we can even clean your website and remove any malicious code found in your setup. And then we will migrate you to our servers so that in the future this does not happen again.

But if your website is not hosted on WPOVen, You need to follow these steps depending upon how your website has been hacked.

Step 1: Be calm and figure out the problem

After being WordPress hacked, it is obvious that any website admin will get panic. But you don’t have to, all you need to do becomes calm and clear your mind so that you can easily figure out the degree of damage and solution to fix it as soon as possible.

However, if you are unable to figure out the solution, Meanwhile, you can simply put your website into Maintenance mode until your mind is calm and relax.

Step 2: Put your Website on Maintenance Mode

When WordPress is Hacked, it can affect your SERP as well as DA. Your visitors will find out something fishy or wrong with the side and you don’t like them to see whatever you are doing with your website while fixing it.

Hence, If it is possible, the best thing you must do is to put your website on Maintenance Mode while figuring out the problem and fixing it. However, if you are unable to get access to your website after being WordPress Hacked, try to get access as soon as possible and then put your website on Maintenance mode.

There are various WordPress plugins are available, with the help of which you can easily put your website on maintenance mode, make show it to your users as the site is under maintenance rather than showing that WordPress hacked.

After doing so, you will have a stable state of mind, and you can only see your hacked and broken site but not your visitors.

Step 3: Change or Reset all your Passwords

It is difficult to figure out which login credentials have been compromised, hence it is better to change or reset all of them rather than the single username and password. Doing so will help to prevent hackers from using the previous password to get access.

You are not just limited to reset only WordPress passwords but even reset or change your Web server, database passwords, and the login credentials that your Web hosting service has provided you. Also, ask your other website admin users to change or reset their password from their end too.

Step 4: Keep regular updating themes and Plugins

Keeping Regular updated your WordPress plugins and themes with their latest definitions can reduce most of the risk of getting WordPress hacked. All you just need to log in to your WordPress admin > Dashboard > Updates and update the plugins or theme that is out of date.

But one thing you must note is that before attempting or trying to fix any other thing, the first thing you must do is to update our plugin or theme. Because, in most cases, if there is any trouble happening with your website, the malfunctioning theme or plugin can be the culprit. Hence, it is best to approach to update everything before you try to fix anything.

Step 5: Remove unauthorized and suspicious admin user

In any chance that you have added another admin accounts without your knowledge or you find suspicious, then it is best to remove them immediately. But before doing so, check out all the website Admin settings, that if they have been altered or not.

You need to go to your WordPress dashboard > Users > Admins, and look out any unauthorized or suspicious admin added or not from the list of all the users. If you found any user who should not have certain permissions, immediately remove them by clicking on the delete link provided.

Step 6: Clean up and remove unwanted Files

Due to some files which are not required or malicious plugins that you have installed might be left some unwanted files along while installing them. These unwanted files can be consists of malicious scripts that are vulnerable to getting WordPress hacked.

Hence, to avoid such, you can install a security plugin that can regularly scan your website files and alert you when there are such unwanted files are present.

Step 7: Purge your old Sitemap and submit a new one

If your Website has been hacked and the search engines marked it as red-flagged, it means hackers attacked your sitemap. In such a case, the only option left for you is to purge the old/hacked sitemap.xl file and generate a new one using your SEO plugin.

In addition to it, you are also required to let Google know that you have successfully purged the old sitemap.xml and your website has been cleaned. To do this, submit your new generated sitemap to Google Search Console and tell inform Google that your website is now clean.

However, Google doesn’t need to start crawling your website immediately. It can take up to weeks or months, and you can only have to wait.

Step 8: Check plugins and themes if necessary reinstall them

If the problem persists, the next thing left to do with your website is to check plugins and themes and reinstall them, even if you have already updated them previously. But again, one thing to keep in mind is that always put your website on maintenance mode before deleting or removing your WordPress theme or plugins.

If you are not sure or confident about the plugin or themes that you have purchased from the third party. You must reconsider whether you continue with them or remove them. In addition, if you have Free themes or plugins that you have installed from 3rd party sources other than the WordPress repository, it is better do not to reinstall them again.

It is better go for plugin and themes either from their official website or some trustful and reliable marketplace. And if you cannot afford to buy paid plugins it is better you must go for the free version with limited features but a reliable source.

And still, if you are not able to fix your website, check out the reviews and ratings of all the plugin and themes on forums or on their website and see if other users are also experience the same problem or it is happening with you only.

Step 9: Purge your WordPress Database

If your WordPress database has been hacked, in that case you need to purge or clean your WordPress database completely. However, cleaning your database has its benefits.

  1. The website will have less unwanted data
  2. Take less pace
  3. The website speed will be increased.

But the thing is, How exactly you came to know about your WordPress Database has been hacked? Well, if you are using a security plugin that scans your website regularly. It will intimate you immediately if the site database has been hacked.

Step 10: Reinstall again the WordPress Software

If doing all the above steps doesn’t give you satisfactory results or is unable to fix your website. The only and the last step left for you is to reinstall the WordPress Software completely. It is because sometimes hackers get into the WordPress core files and infect them, the only solution to this problem is to replace the WordPress core files with a completely new WordPress installation.

You can do this by uploading your WordPress files to your website using SFTP and overwrite the files with the new ones. But before doing such, always keep your website backup so that you won’t lose any data. Another thing you must consider is to avoid using an auto-installer instead use SFTP to upload the files only. It is because Autoinstaller will overwrite your database and the content of the website will be lost.

Things you must do to Prevent from WordPress hacked

Apart from the solution, it is always highly recommended that you must take necessary preventive steps to avoid such a catastrophic situation with your website. Since we have already mentioned that prevention is always better than remedies. You must take some Preventory steps so that you have not been a victim of a WordPress hacked.

Let us check out what are they?

Regular Update WordPress softaware themes and Plugins to their latest version

It has been noticed that more than 60% of WordPress users prefer to update their WordPress regularly, however, some of them still do not do that. It is also worth mentioning that there are millions of websites on the internet are built on WordPress. You can easily estimate how many websites are there that are at the brisk of being a victim of WordPress hacked.

This is all due to WordPress’s chaotic updating system. For minor update releases that contain regular bug fixes and small improvements, it can automatically update. But if there is major update releases, a user has to manually update their WordPress software all the way from the WordPress dashboard.

Hence, due to this many website admins fail or procrastinate to update their WordPress with the latest version which contains security patches and bugs fixes. And this takes them to the risk of being a victim of a WordPress hacked.

Take Regular Backups

Taking regular Backups is one of the most essential and precautionary steps one should always take. No matter how many security measures you have taken, there are always slight chances or risk that your website can get hacked. And many users are unaware of this fact, due to which once the website is being hacked, the hackers will infect the website files by adding malicious codes or files to them. And there are high chances that you will not retrieve your website back like it used to before.

Hence, it is highly recommended that, No matter how high security you have enabled on your websites. Always remember to take website backup regularly. For this, there are thousands of WordPress backup plugins are available from which you can choose. For your convenience, you can also check out a detailed article on the Best WordPress backup plugins as well.

Install Best WordPress Security Plugins

When we talk about WordPress platforms, it is generally secure. The things that make it vulnerable to get WordPress hacked are the themes, plugins, and Website admin’s recklessness. Due to this Hackers get easy access to your websites. You may do not notice at first and due to this it becomes late to take any action, as a result, your WordPress hacked and blacklisted by Google.

Hence, due to this, it is crucial to scan your website completely at regular intervals for any malicious activity or files. It is also important to get notified or alerts when there is a possibility of any threat is found.

All this can be possible by simply using a WordPress Security Plugin, that can easily handle such a task. Again for your convenience, we have a detailed article on the Best WordPress Security Plugins you can try.

Summary

Being WordPress Hacked can be a devastating situation for any individual. Because it took a lot of time and effort from building a website to bring it to the top positions of SERPs by pushing tremendous SEO efforts. All these can vanish in just a snap of your fingertips. And your efforts will go in vain. Hence, to avoid such a scenario, you can take some preventive measures that we have already discussed in this article in detail.

Here is the recap of Preventive measures you should do to avoid WordPress hacked.

  1. Regular WordPress plugins, Themes and WordPress core updates.
  2. Take Regular Updates of your WordPress website.
  3. Install WordPress Best Security Plugins

Apart from taking preventive measures, there at times when your website still get Hacked in that case let us check out the recap of the steps you must follow:

  1. Figure out the problem
  2. Put Website on Maintenance mode
  3. Reset your all Passwords
  4. Regular update plugins and themes
  5. Remove unauthorized and suspicious admin user
  6. Clean up and remove unwanted Files
  7. Purge your old Sitemap and submit a new one
  8. Check plugins and themes if necessary reinstall them
  9. Purge your WordPress Database
  10. Reinstall again the WordPress Software

Always remember, do all these above steps if your want to secure your website from getting WordPress Hacked in future or it it get hacked. If you have more tips on preventing WordPress Hacked or any solution to fix it. Please do let us know in the comment section below, I would love to know valuable inputs.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is WordPress easily hacked?

In a short answer, No, It is not possible to get WordPress Hacked and it is one of the secure platforms available. But What makes vulnerable to WordPress hacked are the plugins, themes, and the user’s recklessness.

Can someone hack my WordPress?

Yes, there are high chances of your WordPress Hacked if you do not follow these steps:
1. Cheap and Insecure Web Hosting service
2. Using Most common and Weak Passwords
3. Vulnerable WordPress Admin login page
4. Stopped Updating WordPress Core Files
5. Stopped Updating WordPress Themes and Plugins
6. Using Simple FTP clients
7. Using “Admin” Default and most common username
8. Using Plugins and Themes from unreliable and not trusted sources

What are signs that a website has been hacked?

The signs that a Websites or WordPress Hacked are:
1. You are unable to log in to your WordPress site account.
2. You find there have been certain changes in your website look or design.
3. Your website might be showing redirection to another location.
4. A warning message is being showed on screen whenever you try to login into your WordPress site account.
5. You receive a warning message or email from your security plugin intimidating about a security breach or unusual activity.
6. You even received a warning email or message from your Web hosting service provider about any unusual activity on your website.

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