Handy Guide to Recover When Your WordPress Site is Hacked

If your WordPress website has been hacked but has a complete backup, then you will never lose your data, or any other information related to your site.
However, many website owners don’t prepare themselves for such a situation, and never keep a backup of their site. There is no doubt that WordPress is the most popular CMS tool used by millions of people. It comes with tons of great plugins, themes, and add-ons that one can use to create engaging and superb blogs and website. But these same advantages turn into disadvantages when you understand that hackers and attackers have the same power to access as you do.
If you really want to deal with this situation then you need to consider the two things- being able to recognize the warning that your site has been hacked, and also knowing how to rectify the mess while protecting your website for the future.

How to Recognize that Your Website Has Been Hacked?

identify the hack

Certainly, the very first step to recovering from a hack is to acknowledge that it occurs. Most of the hackers play with your code in such a way that you won’t be able to notice them. But, if you are able to detect what is exactly going on, you will take steps to fix it.
Well, you can also install a program known as Sucuri that monitors your code from hacking attempts and also helps in the recovery procedure. But if you don’t have a monitoring program, you need to be more zealous about watching your site for hacking attempts. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to identify the signs, but you can also keep an eye on the following changes:
Site Crashes
The objective of a hacker is not to crash your site, but it does happen from time to time. Usually, it will happen if the hacker inserted too many bad codes to your site that eventually slows down your site, or crashes completely.
In fact, you can also face this situation, if the hacker adds your website to a network of websites that is utilized to redirect email traffic. If identified, your ISP may shut down your site with their terms of service.
If you get a lot of traffic on your site, you will either recognize this hack yourself or hear about it from your follower.
Loss of Traffic on Your Site

decline in site traffic
A slowed down or crashed website will automatically result in a loss of traffic, but it is not the only clue that can determine your website has been hacked.
Many hackers or attackers will commandeer your website, and utilize it to re-direct your traffic to another page that definitely reduces the visitors count on your site. It will also affect your bounce rate because visitors visit your site and then leave after viewing something suspicious.
You can also detect that if Google has blacklisted your website due to the availability of malware or other bad code, then your traffic will decline as the visitors will view a warning message when they click on your site in the search engine result pages.
When You See Bad Content on Your Website
Most of the website owners can go months or years, without recognizing that their site has been hacked. However, with most visible hacks, you will detect strange code in many of the possible places, such as:

  • Your comments section
  • Your site’s images
  • Your footer

It is easy for attackers or hackers to add code into your website that Google will view, but you and your potential visitors won’t. Even if these additions are not visible, it can slow down the speed of your site.

How to Recover from a Website Hack?

The word debt written with a pencil on white paper. An eraser from a pencil is starting to erase the word debt.

After detecting your site has been hacked, you don’t need to panic because it can make things more complicated for you. But in such a situation, the first priority for you is to recover your website from a hack.
Let’s Overview the Steps that Can Help You Handle Your Website’s Hack:

It is always better to take action as quickly as possible when it comes to recovering your site from a hack. If you are unable to detect the hack before things get too worse, then you have got two options. You can either fix it yourself, or can hire a professional.
If you are familiar with the technical coding, you can repair your site by your own. But, never try to underestimate your hacker because they get into your site for a reason. So, it will be better for you to hire an expert who can help you in recovering your site from a hack.
Inform Your Followers
It becomes really important for you to notify your followers, especially when there is a chance that any of their information you had saved or stored on your site was accessed. In this situation, you can create a draft mentioning what has happened, what sort of information may have been compromised, what followers should do and many other things. In fact, you should offer an apology to your potential followers – even if there is not your fault.

Protect Your Site for the Future
If your website has been hacked once, you have already guessed that your first priority is to reduce the risk that this kind of attack will ever happen again. And, if your site has not gone through a hack yet, then you should follow some security measures to prevent your site from hackers.
If you are having a WordPress site, then there are several steps that you can use to protect your site from hackers and attackers:
Select a Strong & Secure Password: Always use a strong and secure password for your WordPress site’s login page. It is because an easy password can make it simple for hackers to get into your site and make changes.
Don’t Use “admin” as Your Admin Username: Usually, hackers know that WP comes with a default username named as “admin”. If you have not changed it, you are essentially allowing hackers to break into your site by using the same username.
Update Your Core WordPress, Plugin and Themes Regularly: If you want to protect your site from hackers, then you need to update your WordPress site and other themes and plugins on the regular basis. Actually, the new version of WordPress comes with security fixes and other solutions that can prevent your site from hackers. So, it will be beneficial for you if you regularly update your site, themes and plugins with the new version.
To an addition, you can also use the following security plugins that can help you detect the weaknesses and loopholes in your site:

  1. WP DP Backup
  2. WP Security Scan
  3. WP Login Security 2
  4. WordPress File Monitor Plus, and more

Security of a website is the foremost priority for the site owner. In order to protect your site from hackers, you need to keep certain things in mind. In this blog post, we mentioned the ways that can help you recognize that your site has been hacked. Apart from this, we also explained the ways to recover your site from a hack. So, through these procedures you can prevent and secure your website from hackers.

Author Bio: Lucy Barret is a WordPress Developer at HireWPGeeks Ltd. She handles PSD to WordPress conversion projects with her team of experienced WordPress developers who are working hard to achieve maximum client satisfaction. Follow her company on social media networks like Facebook and Google+.