Was your WordPress website hacked?
Removing malware from a compromised website can be a challenge, and often becomes a recurring frustration if the point of vulnerability isn’t identified and addressed. Even worse, it can lead to problems such as lost business, a data breach, or having your website taken offline by your hosting provider.
Common Signs of Website Malware
In many cases, organizations don’t find out about malware until long after it appears on the website, and sometimes only after a customer reports a problem. Potential signs of malware may include:
- A defaced or distorted page on the site
- Being unexpectedly redirected to another website or prompted to download a file
- A warning that appears when attempting to visit the site
- Passwords that have been changed without your knowledge
- A significant drop in traffic or your search engine rankings
- The appearance of pop-up ads or other unwanted/unrelated content
WordPress Malware Cleanup
If you suspect your WordPress site has malware and you’re not sure what to do, Midwest New Media can help. Our website malware cleanup process includes the following steps:
- Creating a backup of the website as a precaution before making any changes
- Taking the site offline if necessary, to limit further risk to your business and website users
- Scanning for malware both within WordPress and in folders outside the WordPress installation
- Inspecting key files and folders for signs of problems
- Reviewing traffic reports and access logs to check for suspicious usage patterns
- Removing or editing files that have malicious code, or rebuilding the website if necessary (for example, if the vulnerability isn’t apparent or if the malware is widespread)
- Installing and configuring a firewall to help protect the website from future attacks, and to help quickly identify any new issues that arise
- Updating outdated software as needed, including the WordPress core, plugins, and themes
- Replacing vulnerable plugins if no updates are available
- Removing unnecessary components such as unused themes and plugins
- Hardening WordPress by preventing code execution in specific folders and implementing other security-related measures
- Resetting user passwords as well as passwords relating to the hosting account, and replacing common usernames such as “admin”
- Looking for other potential issues or signs of trouble such as unidentified user accounts, strange files outside of the WordPress directory, unusual file and folder permissions, and sensitive data that doesn’t need to be retained
- Testing the website to confirm that any user-facing problems have been resolved
- Implementing scheduled backups if they aren’t already in place
- Discussing our findings with the client and suggesting best practices they can apply to help protect their website going forward
- Monitoring the website on a regular basis and keeping software up-to-date, for clients who would like our ongoing assistance
We’re here to help.
If you urgently need help with malware removal on your WordPress site, please contact us using the form below. In most cases we’re able to follow up within one business day, often within a couple hours.
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