What to Do When Your WordPress Site Gets Hacked Part 1

It was Monday morning and I was on a call with a dozen others who are my peers. Each of us helps

the small business owner with their businesses in one way or the other. It was at the end of the call and we were each sharing our websites and going over how to make little improvements here and there. Time was running out and there was just enough time for one more website review, I volunteered. As my site was coming up for all to see suddenly the screen turned a maroon red with an outline of a security officer with his hand stretched out and the words of “don’t precede malware danger.” There was more but I was too horrified to remember exactly what it said. I was concerned about my website that I had spent hours on being ruined plus humiliated that the people on the call had seen me so vulnerable.

Protect Yourself

My first step isn’t one you have to take but it helped me. I had a good old fashion pity party. I cried and railed against the evil hackers (that where probably 13 and smarter then me.) And then I did what I should have done before I even started my website. And here is where I want you to start as well. Learn how to protect yourself before you get hacked. The beautiful thing about WordPress and why so many of us recommend it is because it is so easy to learn. Unfortunately, that can also be a detriment to the health of our sites. We have to learn how to add a security fence around our site.

Keep Updated

Here are some things I learned the week of coming back from being hacked. It can and will probably happen to you. I had gone five years on the internet without being hacked and got lazy. I had several domains being hosted together. I didn’t keep them all updated with the newest plug-ins and themes. There is such a thing called cross contamination of sites that share a hosting spot. And if your site has outdated items on it that becomes an opening for hackers and then it just spreads. I had a backup plug-in but when I went to check to see how to get the site back it didn’t cover all of the different areas of the website. It was worth the amount of money I paid for it. Zero.

Keep Informed

I was scared and didn’t know what I was going to do. I don’t know code how was I going to wade through lines upon lines of code finding the problems. I went looking for people who could clean my site and it was expensive. By this time I was frustrated and angry at myself. How could I let this happen to all the work I have done. And what was I going to do now. I remembered a year ago I went to a conference in Atlanta and meet a woman who worked helping other small business owners keep their WordPress sites safe. I contacted her on Facebook and was directed to a site called safewp.com. They give out weekly WordPress security reports, best WordPress security practices and best of all a weekly webinar which was going to run that night.

There’s More to the Story

There is more to the story. You are just going to have to read the second part to hear what I learned that night that saved my WordPress site from being destroyed. Until then don’t make the same mistakes I did. Learn more about how to protect your sites from hackers. Keep all your sites updated, it is so important that the plug-ins and themes stay updated within the sites. Keep yourself informed this is the informational age and things change daily. One of the best ways I found is a great site called safewp.com. I’m not an affiliate for them. Just thankful for the information they provide.

About Shawn Snyder

Shawn Snyder owns SRS Virtual Assistant. We work as consultants and virtual help for the entrepreneur and small business owner who is looking for help with their social media needs, email marketing and admin office help.
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8 Responses to What to Do When Your WordPress Site Gets Hacked Part 1

  1. Dee says:

    Hi Shawn,

    A couple of years ago, all my sites bar one went down as a result of the tiny thumb vulnerability. Oh my, that was just awful.

    I got an email from one of my clients asking for help for their site, and discovered mine had the same problem. Tough thing to discover while hanging out on the sidelines of my son’s football training!

    Luckily, I had my laptop with me, and connecting through my phone, I used Sucuri to locate the “offending” files, and a quick Google search told me how to fix the problem.

    I love the pity party part :) I had one too, after I got home :)

    Can’t wait for part 2!
    Dee recently posted..November: New Month, New ChallengesMy Profile

    • admin says:

      I’m so sorry Dee that this happened to you too. I meet Sucuri and signed up. But in part 2 I tell about another item that was way more help then Sucuri. Also, check out safewp.com I love this site because they are very active and have a weekly webinar to touch base, give advice and to answer questions. Love them.

  2. How awful for you. Thanks for educating us.
    Bonnie Anderson recently posted..Help, I’m Chained to my ComputerMy Profile

  3. Yikes! I feel sufficiently motivated to checkout safewp.com. Thank you for this resources Shawn. I’m sorry you went through this and glad you learned from it so you don’t have to go through it again and so that I can be better protected.
    Julia Neiman (@julianeiman) recently posted..Building Brands for the Connected WorldMy Profile

    • admin says:

      I think you will enjoy safewp.com. I personally know the two women who run it and know they care about helping people keep their WordPress sites safe.

  4. Beth says:

    I am going to make sure that all my stuff is backed up and secure by the end of the night after reading this post. Thank you for sharing your story. I am almost positive that I have everything backed up but almost positive is not the same thing as 100% sure.
    Beth recently posted..How to Scrap Quickly and Easily Part 3My Profile

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