Some of you may be aware I offer Monthly Maintenance Plans for WordPress sites. I’ve highlighted the reasons for this plan in my post: 3 Reasons Your Website is Like a Car.
This past week, I had to break the unfortunate news to a former client that his website had been hacked. This client had an existing website that I had done some minor updates to about 9 months ago. Upon logging into his WordPress site, I noticed his WordPress version and several plugins were out of date. I updated the site for him and offered him my monthly maintenance plan. He declined.
Earlier this week I received an email from him at 10:00pm with the subject title “Quick”…
For some reason I’m locked out of WordPress. I even pulled up the email I sent to you months ago with the login info. Are you able to login to (website name)?
Thanks so much for your help.
I figured he probably had the credentials wrong. I went to his homepage…it loaded his page for a split second…then redirected me to a porn site.
I ran his site through a site checker tool for malware and these results show up:
Notice the small print at the bottom of the image:
Your site appears to be hacked. Hacked sites can lose nearly 95% of your traffic in as little as 24 to 48 hours if not fixed immediately – losing your organic rankings and being blocked by Google, Bing and many other blacklists. Hacked sites can also expose your customers and readers private and financial information, and turn your site into a host for dangerous malware and illicit material, creating massive liability. Secure your site now…
Yes, it says you can lose 95% of your traffic. The good news is this site hadn’t been picked up by Google and other search engines as “hacked”. If it would have been, users would have been informed by Google’s search results that the site may harm their computer and they would be presented with a giant “red screen of death” after clicking on the link warning them to not visit the site.
The bad news is this client is a motivational speaker…High school administrators and promoters are the main visitors to his site. If you’re an administrator considering several speakers, and you came across a hacked site that sent you to a porn site, how likely are you to book this speaker? How likely are you so share their website with others? Not very likely I would imagine.
I do not know how long this site has been hacked. It could be days, or even weeks, as site owners do not always visit their sites every day. He could have lost thousands of dollars in potential booked speaking engagements and his credibility with site visitors.
To make matters worse, his hosting company’s earliest backup was also compromised; meaning the hosting company’s backup is no good. He’s having to rebuild his site.
The bottom line is have your site secured. Check out our Monthly Maintenance Plans for WordPress sites.