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How to Clean a Hacked WordPress Site (And Recover Fast)


In 2020, more than 700,000 cybercrime complaints were reported across the US.

A hacking attack is one of the most annoying, if not business damaging, problems WordPress website owners have to deal with.

If you experience hacking damage to your website, the next step is to try to clean and recover the hacked WordPress site. But what's the best way to clean a hacked WordPress site?

First thing's first, don't fret. Take a deep breath and check out this helpful guide on how to recover a hacked website.

Clean Hacked WordPress Site

Once you're sure your site has been hacked, it's time to take the next steps to salvage what's left. And learning how to clean up a hacked website is the first step.

1. Check You Can Still Login

If you're lucky enough to still have access to your WordPress admin area, delete the hacked files. Then, change your login details and update your themes and plugins.

If you're locked out, contact your web host. They should know what has happened and provide advice on how best to continue. They might even be able to solve the problem for you.

2. Back-Up Your Site Immediately

Avoid re-building your site from scratch. Create a backup of your WordPress website before making any changes to your site.

That way you can be comfortable cleaning your site knowing you have a backup copy of your hacked site and won't lose everything.

3. Clean Hacked Files

Cleaning is the process of deleting and replacing damaged files. The time it takes will depend on how many of your files have been targeted by hackers.

You will need to login into your cPanel, select File Manager and delete or replace the affected files. If your themes or plugins are infected, you can install a fresh copy or uninstall them entirely.

4. Recover Hacked WordPress Site

Once you've cleaned your site, it's time to recover what's left. This may mean some rebuilding is needed. You should also contact your web host to remove the blacklist warning from your site. To speed up recovery, leverage SEO industry tips to help the process.

5. Tighten Security

Hackers aren't one-hit wonders. They will hack your site again if you don't take appropriate action. After you have recovered your site, tighten your security. Make sure to:

  • Regularly update themes and plugins
  • Reset all passwords
  • Update security keys in your wp-config.php file

You should also scan your site often with an automated scanning service that alerts you to any future hacking threats.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Being hacked can be a daunting and stressful experience. But knowing how to recover a hacked WordPress site will put you on the front foot of your attackers.

But sometimes knowing how to salvage a hacked WordPress site isn't enough. If the worst does happen and you can't clean your hacked WordPress site, it might be time to rebuild.

And when you are ready to get back on your feet, Elite Web Design is here to help.

Time to rebuild your dream website? Contact us for a quick estimate today.  

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