Identifying the Cause and Fixing a Hacked WordPress Site

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WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used by millions of websites today. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, WordPress sites are often the target of malicious hackers. If your WordPress site has been hacked, it can be a daunting task to fix. However, with the right steps and an understanding of the process, you can restore your site to its original state. 

Signs Your WordPress Site Has Been Hacked

The first step is to identify the type of hack, which can manifest in one of the five ways listed below:

  • You Can’t Log into Your Account

If you experience difficulty attempting to sign into your account, it could be a sign that someone has gained unauthorised access. While this is often a tell-tale sign of a breach, it is not always the case. Many cyber criminals know that their activities will be more easily discovered if they cause the user to notice their presence. It is very common for hackers to use tactics such as WordPress hacks which require multiple attempts to log in. When you enter your correct password on the third attempt, the hack is complete, and any signs of the breach are erased.

  • Your Website Is Going Slow

When malicious individuals or organisations use your website for their own gain without your permission, your website may begin to slow down. They may be using your website’s bandwidth to hotlink images, redirecting people to malicious websites, or using it as part of a larger botnet to carry out cyberattacks. In all cases, this will cause your website to be slow to load and dangerous if not addressed.

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  • You Found Unknown Files and Scripts

You can review your WordPress website for any potential security risks if you have the necessary coding knowledge. You may come across malicious scripts, suspicious plugins, and unknown files left behind by cyber criminals. It’s important to take care of these issues as soon as possible to prevent your site from becoming compromised.

  • You Found Odd Additions to Your Website

A silly way to get yourself in trouble is to add pop-up notifications to your website. Initially, it may seem like a good idea, but it will lead to your website being flagged as suspicious. Additionally, pop-ups can add links to scam websites, which could cost your visitors money. Eventually, search engines will pick up on this, and your website may be banned.

  • Your Traffic Is Down

You may notice that there is unusual activity in your website analytics. This could signify that someone is taking advantage of your website’s resources, such as traffic and affiliate money, for their own benefit. This is a surefire way to tell your WordPress website has been compromised.

Identifying and Fixing the Issue

To protect your website from future attacks, it is recommended to identify the source of the attack, block the IP address, change your passwords, change the primary email address, review your plugins, check security logs, and ensure that any permissions given out are secure. Additionally, check with your web host to ensure their security protocols are reliable. These steps can help prevent future attacks and keep your website safe.


It is essential to take the necessary steps to fix a hacked WordPress site. It is also important to remain vigilant and monitor the site for any suspicious activity. One can successfully secure and fix a hacked WordPress site with the proper tools and knowledge.

ThriveWP is a team of UK-based experts in WordPress support, site care and management. Our experts will take the stress out of owning and maintaining WordPress websites with support, hosting, daily backups, updates, uptime monitoring, malware removal and security scans. Whether you’re a blogger, small business, charity, or agency, we have you covered with our WordPress website maintenance packages! Get in touch with us today to book a call!

Gavin Pedley

Gavin Pedley

Gavin is the guy behind the award-winning ThriveWP. He has over 18 years of experience creating, developing, hosting and managing WordPress websites.

Gavin regularly shares his expertise via the ThriveWP blog and Youtube channel, where he creates informative and helpful WordPress tutorial videos.

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