When your website or blog gets hacked it really sucks. Christmas was the first time I noticed something wasn’t right with my blog. When I spoke to my hosting provider they said it had been compromised as they could see some unusual files which had been added. These were deleted and I thought that was the end of it. Sadly it wasn’t and I kept finding issues and problems over the last few months. I’d think it was fixed and then the issues would come back.
What I discovered was my site wasn’t hacked to access my information but to add new pages and posts to the site to help with SEO for other sites. These included sites relating to pornography, pharmaceuticals and shoes! None of which I wanted on my site – Even though I do love a nice pair of shoes.
Here are 3 tips if you get hacked to try and solve the problem. It may take you a long time to fix any issues but these points are good starting places.
1 – Talk to your hosting provider
As I mentioned talk to your hosting provider to see if they can help to delete any unwanted files. Some are more helpful than others. Although my original provider was helpful, in the end I decided to change hosts as I was advised sometimes this can be the only way. My other option would have been to hire somebody as eventually I was out of ideas. I decided to move to 34SP who have been excellent and did my transfer for me. Sometimes weaknesses and files can lay dormant for a while so you think it’s fixed but then they come back!
2 – Change your passwords
The first thing to do is change all the passwords you can including your site admin and any passwords you have which relate to the hosting of your website. Again you may be able to speak to your hosting provider who can help you with this.
3 – Scan your site
I added the Wordfence plugin to my WordPress site which scans your site and alerts you to any issues. This was so useful when my problems came back as I then knew which files I needed to go into and delete. To find the files which needed deleting I logged into the cPanel on my hosting account and went through each file Wordfence had flagged. Although this may not completely get rid of your problem it allows you to delete obvious issues to help prevent your site being flagged up on google or by any virus scanners your audience may have.
I really hope your site never gets hacked as it really is a pain but if you do it’s good to be prepared with some first steps in getting your site safely back to normal.
Have you ever been hacked and if so what did you do to fix it? Share your experiences in the comments below.