It is a nightmare to read a message on your WordPress website saying it has been hacked. The first thing that you can do, as impossible as it may seem, is to stay calm. Here is an easy guide to help you fix your hacked WordPress website.
Not all of us can handle servers and code—the solution is to seek professional help. There are many options available. For instance, Sucuri, which offers malware removal and complete clean-up and provides monitoring and firewall service for a year. Another excellent example is MalCare. It has a one-click automatic malware removal feature and an intelligent plugin-based firewall along with an intuitive site management module.
Perhaps you want a more personal cleanup service than the automated services, in which case you could contact us at Fullworks, as WordPress experts of many years, including security and cleanup we are always glad to help – contact us for WordPress hack repair here.
In case you want to take control of the clean-up in your own hands, below are some steps to follow.
First and foremost, once you get the confirmation that your site has been infiltrated, you should identify the hack. Try to gather all the possible information regarding the hack. Make a list of things such as whether or not you are able to login to the admin panel, is your site redirecting users to another website, are there any illegitimate links present, is your website tagged as harmful by Google, etc. It is also extremely necessary to change your password before and after the clean-up.
Next, contact your web host and follow their advice and instructions after you have shared all your information with them. If the hack is not limited to only your website, the hosting company may also provide more information regarding the hack. HostGator and Siteground are useful at such times.
Then, if you have backups of the previous versions of your website (which you should always have), restore them immediately. For malware removal, check and delete WP plugins and themes that are inactive as this is mostly the place from where hackers get remote access to the server without being noticed. Now, it is time to scan your website for the hacks. Sucuri WordPress Auditing, iThemes Security, and Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) are free plugins that you can install for this purpose. This scan will show you whether the integrity of your core files is intact, or if they are infected. At this step, you can choose to remove the indicated malicious code either manually or you can also replace it with the original file i.e. override the corrupted files with fresh ones. However, replacing is only an option if you have not made changes to your WP theme codes, because if you have, then they will be lost.
After this, check the user permissions—only you and the trusted members should have admin access. In case of doubt, delete them. Then, create a new set of secret security keys to disable the hacker’s access to your website. Finally, remember to change your passwords once again.
Whatever option you choose, it is always useful to learn to manage your website efficiently and be aware of a few basic precautions and measures that can be taken to prevent or deal with hacks.