I was recently contacted by Megan because a website she runs, The Gluten Free Vegan “It’s Gluten Free. It’s Vegan. It Actually Tastes Good.”, seemed to have been hacked and malware warnings were popping up when people would visit her blog.
Obviously not a good situation for a website – particularly one that’s all about food. People gotta eat!
The Gluten Free Vegan runs on WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS) that powers many blogs and websites – including this one. It’s a powerful CMS that allows for a lot of customization through it’s use of themes and plugins and it’s through these themes and plugin options that hackers try to sneak their way into WordPress websites. Most of the time the hackers are just looking to add some code to try and promote their own advertising/spam websites, not do anything really damaging. And this was the case with The Gluten Free Vegan – just some code added to try and create more links back to a spam site.
After reinstalling WordPress, uploading clean copies of the theme and plugins she was using and changing passwords on the WordPress users and database connection and verifying that the database was clean, she was back up and running with a secure website.
Keeping a Website Clean and Secure
Having a clean, secure website is something to be very vigilant about. A blacklisting from Google for serving up malware/viruses on your website can mean not only that those pictures of your cat don’t get LOL’d at by as many people – but more importantly if the website for your business is blacklisted it can mean a loss in revenue.
Like most things on the web these days, it’s great that it’s so easy and free to do so much – but that does come at a cost. There’s still lots of work involved in maintaining a website – even if the software is free to install. Get in touch with me if you’d like help cleaning up or securing your WordPress website.