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Why and How Exactly Your WordPress site gets hacked?


Why and How Exactly Your WordPress site gets hacked?

Let’s first cover the why your WordPress site gets hacked.  The primary reason your WordPress site or any other site get hacked is usually for monetary gain.  Once the hacker has access to your site, typically one of your files the header, the footer or even the wp-config file itself is injected with malicious links to either their site or another spam site.  Your site now gives the hacker’s site credibility by linking to it.

Often times you can tell your site has been infected when you visit it.  You may notice the layout is a bit off either on the front end of your WordPress website or the admin area.  Some things to look for are extra white space or a line of code that suddenly appears.  Another almost given is if you attempt to login to your WordPress admin area and you can’t login any longer.

So now that you know why your site gets hacked, lets go over the how which is a little more convoluted.

WordPress is an extremely popular platform to get hacked due to its popularity and wide spread use.  There is a large percentage of people using it from simple blogs to complex e-commerce type websites.  With that in mind, and from a hacker’s standpoint, it is a no-brainer not to try and hack WordPress.

On to the question of ‘how’ they get in to your website.  With the vast amount of plugins available for WordPress it is easy for a hacker to find an exploit within that plugin.  There are even times when there is an exploit found within WordPress itself.  To WordPress’ credit, it does a pretty good job of patching an exploit when one is found.  Some authors either abandon their plugin leaving you with no fix or don’t bother to fix it when they are alerted.

Once a fix is made available it is pushed to your website.  You’ll see the update notification as soon as you log in to your WordPress administration area.   Unfortunately these updates are as random as the changing weather and there is no predictable pattern for them.

Not heeding these update notifications in a timely fashion is a leading cause of WordPress websites getting hacked.  With as busy as everyone’s lives are, missing these updates is a frequent occurrence.  Here is where hosting with a premium managed WordPress hosting company such as WP Engine can help.

As a solution for this, I can recommend WP Engine. They have a variety of hosting packages offering differing levels of storage, bandwidth and features to fit all needs.  All of our packages include:

  • Daily Backups
  • Malware scanning every 6 hours
  • Malware removal if found
  • Free caching technologies
  • Free CDN
  • Free WordPress core and plugin updates

In a nutshell, they take the management of your WordPress website out of your hands.  No longer do you have to worry about missing an important update and having your site hacked. Even in the event your site is hacked, they take care of getting it back to its normal operating status for you.  Our caching technology and free CDN give your website a serious speed boost.

Keeping visitors coming to your site and keeping your website off blacklists is extremely important.  Check out the WP Engine pricing page for more detail on what each of our packages offer.

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Szabi Kisded

Hey there, I'm Szabi. At 30 years old, I quit my IT job and started my own business and became a full time WordPress plugin developer, blogger and stay-at-home dad. Here I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Read more

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