WordPress being an open source system is always under the threat of getting targeted by hackers. Millions of people are already using WordPress with the number growing rapidly every day.
Having a huge user base may sound good but it also comes with some perils. WordPress has become the foremost choice of hackers when they are trying to invade random sites.
In most cases, when your website gets hacked you will instantly come to know about it. There are a few signs that will act as confirmation about your website being hacked.
Let’s have a look at the top 8 signs that show your WordPress website is hacked.
1. Failed Login Attempt
This is one of the most evident signs that your WordPress website has been hacked.
If a username and password combination has worked for you without facing any trouble then you are bound to get suspicious if WordPress stops recognizing your account.
The first thing a hacker would do is to change your login credentials that include your password or even delete your account. However, starting to panic after the first unsuccessful login attempt is not a wise thing to do.
It may be due to entering the wrong credentials.
2. Slow Load Times or Crashes
There are many reasons that are associated with this.
One could be that the hacker has added your website into a Spam email network or a network of websites where the traffic is sent to the website and re-directed.
Either of the ways is not good for your site. It is better to find the actual reason as quickly as possible.
3. Sudden Drop in Traffic
If your website is receiving a constant traffic for quite a while now and suddenly there is a drastic drop, it may be the case of your website being hacked.
The hacker would redirect your website to another site and in doing so he would send visitors away from your website.
One of the main reasons getting fewer visitors is that Google blacklisted your website. Every user who would choose to open your website will stop because of a message displaying that the website is infected.
4. Emails Getting Bounced
When your emails start bouncing, this is one of the adverse effects of hacking.
A hacker would break into your WordPress website and install scripts that send a large number of emails from your IP address. On receiving such unwanted mails, people will report them as spam.
In such a scenario, your website will be reported and add to the block lists. One worse thing about this is that a website owner might not even know that his website is hacked.
A ban on your website would affect your client’s domain if you have an agency that is hosting websites for others.
5. High Bandwidth Usage
Whenever people visit your website or send you emails, this leads to the usage of bandwidth.
In case your website gets hacked this would increase the bandwidth usage and have a significant impact on your bandwidth charges.
This might be due to the large files that have been added by the hacker that increases the amount of data that is downloaded every time there is a visitor.
The addition of malicious scripts to your server that sends thousands of emails adding to your bandwidth usage. It is better to take a control of the situation before it gets too late.
6. Addition of Malicious Content
If a hacker gets access to the admin area of your website, he would change your theme and plugin files.
This would enable them to add unfamiliar content on your website. If you start noticing such content, this is a clear indication that your website is hacked.
By having an access over the admin area, a hacker can change anything on the website that he wants to. In some cases, a hacker would completely modify your website and even display a message that your website is hacked.
7. Strange Search Engine Results
If you start noticing strange search results in Google and other search engines but see no changes on your website, this might be a case of your website being hacked.
A hacker would have made changes to your content making in such a way that it can only be viewed by an expert. However, the changes would be visible in the search engine results.
8. Website Doesn’t Exist
If you see a message like ‘Server not found’ and everything including your internet connection is working fine, your website might have been hacked.
Sometimes, a hacker would only want to crash your website and not perform any of the other malicious activities.
This makes it important to host your website at a well-known hosting company that will keep your website secure and maintain regular backups.
In the End
Above mentioned are some of the common signs that indicate the hacking of a WordPress website.
Do let me know your views about the article in the comments section below.
Sarah is a front-end WordPress Developer for WordSuccor Ltd., a reputed company in WordPress Web Development. She is an admirer of sharing her innovative ideas with others on the web. If you are about to hire a professional WordPress Programmer. Sarah can prove to be your right choice.
Image source: Author-owned