How to Know if Your WordPress Website Has Been Hacked
What’s worse than having a hacked WordPress website? Not knowing it!
Discovering that your WordPress website has been hacked can be a nightmare. Worse yet, not knowing that it’s been hacked can make the situation even worse. In this guide, we’ll discuss the most common WordPress hacks and the steps you can take to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some of the most common symptoms of malware:
- Your homepage has been replaced by a message regarding downloading spyware or your financial information being exposed
- Your website is loading very slowly
You’re unable to access your admin dashboard even though your username and password are correct
- You’re receiving error messages when trying to access certain webpages on your WordPress website
- Your website has been down or inaccessible for more than 12 hours straight
- Your Google Analytics stats have changed overnight
If you suspect that your WordPress site has been hacked, the first step is to look for malware. There are several ways to do this, including using plugins and other tools or searching your database directly. If you’re unable to access your WordPress dashboard or database, you can use an external scanner such as Sucuri SiteCheck. If you can access your dashboard, a free WordPress security plugin such as Wordfence can help you perform a basic scan.
If your login credentials are no longer valid, you can reset your password by clicking “Lost your password?” on any WordPress login page and following the prompts. If this doesn’t work, you can try resetting your password through the database if you have access.
Restoring your website from a backup is one of the easiest ways to remove basic malware. However, if the website has been significantly compromised, you may need to reinstall the root of WordPress and restore the website backups along with the database backups on the new installation. It’s important to make daily or weekly backups to ensure you have a recent restore point in case of a hack.
To prevent future hacks, keep all WordPress plugins up to date, as new vulnerabilities are discovered daily. Additionally, regularly clean and scan your site for malware and make sure to have a backup system in place that is regularly updated.