WordPress Hacked: What to Do When Your Site Is in Trouble

WordPress Hacked: What to Do When Your Site Is in Trouble

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, powering millions of websites worldwide. Its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin library make it a preferred choice for website owners. However, like any other platform, WordPress is not immune to security threats. One of the most alarming situations for website owners is when their WordPress site gets hacked. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t panic. In this article, we will guide you through the steps you should take to recover your hacked WordPress site and ensure its security.

As a website owner, it can be distressing to discover that your WordPress site has been hacked. However, it’s essential to remain calm and take immediate action to minimize the damage. In this article, we will outline the necessary steps to restore your hacked WordPress site and safeguard it against future attacks.

1. Signs of a Hacked WordPress Site

Detecting a hacked WordPress site can sometimes be challenging, as hackers often try to remain discreet. However, certain signs may indicate a security breach. Look out for the following:

Unusual Website Behavior

If your website suddenly behaves differently, such as displaying unexpected pop-ups, redirecting visitors to unrelated pages, or showing excessive ads, it could be a sign of a hack.

Suspicious User Accounts

Check your WordPress user accounts for any unfamiliar or unauthorized users. Hackers may create new accounts to gain control over your site.

Unexpected Code or Scripts

Inspect the source code of your web pages for any unfamiliar or malicious code. Hackers often inject malicious scripts to exploit vulnerabilities in your site.

Immediate Steps to Take

When you discover that your WordPress site has been hacked, it’s crucial to act promptly. Here are some immediate steps you should take:

Disconnect from the Internet

Disconnect your website from the internet by disabling the server or putting it in maintenance mode. This will prevent further damage and protect your visitors from potential malware.

Change Passwords

Change the passwords for all user accounts, including your WordPress admin account, hosting account, and FTP/SFTP access. Ensure that you use strong, unique passwords.

Scan Your Computer

Perform a thorough malware scan on your local computer using reliable antivirus software. Hackers may gain access to your website through infected files on your computer.

Check File Integrity

Compare the files on your server with a clean backup or a fresh WordPress installation. Look for any unfamiliar or modified files that could indicate a security breach.

2. Assessing the Damage

After taking immediate steps to contain the situation, it’s time to assess the extent of the damage done to your WordPress site. Here’s what you need to do:

Conduct a Full Site Audit

Perform a comprehensive audit of your website to identify compromised files, vulnerable plugins or themes, and any backdoors that hackers may have created. This audit will help you understand the scope of the hack.

Review Website Logs

Analyze your website logs to identify any suspicious or unauthorized activities. Look for IP addresses, user agents, or other information that could provide insights into the hacker’s actions.

Assess SEO Impact

Check if your website’s search engine rankings have been affected by the hack. If you notice a significant drop in rankings or strange content appearing in search results, it’s important to address it promptly.

Removing Malware from Your WordPress Site

To regain control of your hacked WordPress site, you must remove all malware and malicious code by wordpress malware removal. Follow these steps to clean your website:

Take a Full Backup

Before making any changes, create a complete backup of your website. This ensures that you have a restore point in case something goes wrong during the cleanup process.

H2: Utilize a Malware Scanner

Use a reputable malware scanner plugin to scan your WordPress site thoroughly. It will detect and remove any malicious files or code.

Remove Infected Themes and Plugins

Deactivate and delete any themes or plugins that are known to be compromised or contain vulnerabilities. Replace them with updated versions or find alternative options.

Manually Clean Infected Files

Inspect files that were flagged as infected by the malware scanner. Clean them manually by removing malicious code or restoring clean copies from your backups.

Update Core WordPress Files

Ensure that your WordPress installation is up to date by applying the latest updates and patches released by the WordPress development team. This helps to close any security loopholes.

Strengthening Website Security

After recovering your hacked WordPress site, it’s crucial to reinforce its security to prevent future attacks. Here are some essential security measures:

Stronger Passwords

Enforce the use of strong passwords for all user accounts, including administrators, contributors, and subscribers. Encourage regular password updates and consider implementing two-factor authentication.

Limit Login Attempts

Install a plugin that restricts the number of failed login attempts. This helps to prevent brute-force attacks where hackers repeatedly try different username and password combinations.

Secure Hosting Environment

Choose a reliable hosting provider that prioritizes website security. Ensure they offer features like firewalls, malware scanning, regular backups, and secure file transfer protocols.

Regular Updates and Backups

Keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up to date to ensure they are equipped with the latest security patches. Additionally, schedule regular backups to safeguard your website’s data.


Discovering that your WordPress site has been hacked can be a stressful experience. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can restore your website’s security and protect it from future attacks. Remember to act quickly, clean up any malware, strengthen your security measures, and consider seeking professional help when needed.

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