One of the worst feelings I have had is being hacked, I don’t mean by Jim Duggan. I mean by some most likely 8-year-old kid in a really cold country that has nothing better to do than try to ruin your day. It’s like having your house broken into or your car stolen. Just a sinking horrible feeling. Luckily with the right web host, it’s not the end of the world, just a major pain in the butt! We will try to make this super simple so you can get through the process and back in action ASAP. In case you’re wondering, most hacks (about 95%) are from old scripts like WordPress or a shopping cart that is not being updated. Updates are for security and all scripts should be updated often. Our free script installer does this for you by the way!
1. You have to find it in your heart to accept that you will need your host to format your account. Anytime a server or website is hacked, it needs to be taken offline and a new site made with none of the old website’s files.
2. Ask your web host to open up cPanel and FTP access. They can do this by directing your DNS to never land while you fix the issue. If you have a dedicated IP they will need to remove that.
3. Log into your cPanel or phpmyadmin and back up your databases if you have any. In cPanel this is under the backup section and in phpmyadmin, you will just click the database to the left and then click export. Choose the default settings when exporting which should be a .sql file.
4. Download everything via FTP, even the hacked files. Don’t worry hacked server files are not the same as a Windows virus, and will not affect you.
5. Remember any other settings like emails or random tools you might have used in cPanel, make a reference list, or remember them if you are the Rainman.
6. Ask your web host to format the account.
7. Install any scripts you had from scratch, with Web Host Pro use the script installer and choose to have it update your scripts automatically!
8. Import the database with phpmyadmin, this tool is in cPanel in the MySQL section. Do not use the cPanel restore option. You will first need to choose the database in phpmyadmin to the left, then delete all the tables, click the import tab, and upload the .SQL database you saved.
9. O.K. your site is back up, but wait…. where are the video and images? That is where FTP comes in. But this is tricky, you need to remove all the files that are not media files. You might want to just search the folder for .jpg .jpeg .png .gif and any other media files. Never upload a .php file or a file extension you have not heard of like .c .ba etc… (<< that is sketchy). With WordPress, you can just upload the wp-content/uploads folder once you remove any bad files and you should be fine. Check it though for .php drop files the hacker might have left. These are called back doors and are bad. You can also just use the WordPress upload tool in the WordPress admin section. You’ll need to re-link all the images though if you do this.
10. You are almost back! Great job. Now it’s just adding some details like your email, and changes to your theme if you had one, in most cases this is a chance to update the site to something new and in most cases better.
Again, if I can emphasize one thing it’s to never upload a .php file. That’s the type of file they normally use to hack back in!
You can with experience or professional help look through each PHP file to make sure it’s safe and upload it. But this is very, very, advanced!