12 Major Signs that Your WordPress Site is Hacked

Major Signs that Your WordPress Site is Hacked

How to find out if your WordPress site is hacked?

There are signals that you can notice to check if the security of your site is intact.

By taking action at the right time, you can protect your online presence from any severe damage.

Read why WordPress site get hacked?

Signs that your WordPress site is hacked:

In this article, we are going to see some signs that indicate that your WordPress site is hacked.

  1. Changed Homepage
  2. WordPress Login
  3. Site goes Offline
  4. Redirection
  5. Web Browser Alerts
  6. Search Console Alerts
  7. Search Results
  8. Unknown Links Added
  9. Popup Ads
  10. Unknown Users Accounts
  11. Emails
  12. Traffic Surge or Drop

#1 Changed Homepage

Hackers don’t usually make visible changes on the site. They do not want to come under the radar after getting access to the site.

But if your homepage looks different than it supposed to be, it is a sure sign that somebody else is customizing your site.

Hackers mostly leave a message on the Homepage announcing that they hacked your site.

Sometimes their intention is to ask for money. In some cases, they are having fun.

site is hacked WordPress Site is Hacked

#2 WordPress Login does not Work

Unable to log in to your site is a major giveaway that your WordPress site is hacked.

It means the hacker has deleted your admin account files. You would not be able to reset the password, as your account does not exist.

WordPress site is hacked:  Login changed

There are other ways to add your account to the WordPress site. A quality Hosting company could help you to get your account back on the WordPress site.

Always keep your WordPress login secure.

#3 Site goes Offline

Hosting providers actively look for any hacking attempt directed at their client’s websites.

When their security observes any infected site, they turn it down. By this way, they stop the infection from spreading to other websites or the central server.

We, at ServerGuy, keep the backup of the site before making it offline.

Our tech team monitor the client’s accounts and notify them when any unusual activity shows up.

#4 Redirected to the Different Website

Hackers redirect the site to the spammy sites. It could be an indication that someone has hacked your Domain name account. 

You have to analyze your Domain Name provider and Hosting account to find the exact reason for the redirection.

Smart hackers redirect the sites only for the log-out users. Log-in users keep using the website as usual, without noticing that their website has already become a victim of hacking.

This redirection leads to a drop in the traffic of the site

#5 Web Browser Alerts

Chrome, Firefox, Edge or any browser display a warning when a person tries to visit a webpage that hosts harmful content.

If any of your visitors find this message, your site likely has some malicious codes.

Chrome display warning

In this case, the hackers use sites as a host to gain information from visitors.

Warnings could be of different types:

  • Site contains Malware
  • Deceptive Site ahead
  • Site contains harmful programs
  • Loading scripts from unauthenticated sources

It also affects your WordPress site traffic, obviously.

#6 Search Console Alerts

Google Search Console alerts the webmaster when there is something wrong with the security of their site.

You can find this in Security & Manual Actions tab.

Search Console Warning

#7 Search Results shows Chinese Characters

The search results show gibberish or Japanese Character. It means your site’s backend is corrupted.

There are three kinds of hacks that are most popular:

Japanese Keyword Attack
Japanese Keyword Hack Example

In these hacks, Hackers are using your website to host spammy content. 

You might see clear meta-descriptions and meta-titles, but Google Crawlers reads the content differently.

Check your Site Search results: site:yoursite.com

#8 Unknown Links Added to the Website

If you noticed external links on your site, that you don’t remember adding, it means someone else is making links on your website.

There are Marketplaces where Hackers sells backlinks from Authority Sites. They get a handsome amount in return. Thus, making the hacking worth of time.

Mostly these links are sitewide, but not always.

Keep checking the outbound links of your site. If there are links on your site that leads to shady content, your site would also be in danger.

#9 Popup Ads Everywhere

Popup ads happen to your site when hackers want to earn money.

They inject all these spammy ads that lead to open the affiliate links of the hacker. Popup ads open in a new window, hence even the users don’t notice them.

They do not show these ads to regular visitors. Only the traffic that is coming from the search engine gets to interact with such advertisements.

#10 Unknown Users Accounts

If you find unknown users account in WordPress Users section, it might be possible that your WordPress site is hacked. 

You can quickly delete such type of spam accounts from the dashboard area.

Though, if the hacker is adding an account, he will surely give the admin role to that account. You will not be able to delete the Admin account from the WordPress admin area. 

You can delete the unknown accounts from the cPanel.

#11 Mass Emails Campaigns

Email Spam

Hosting service provides free email accounts, associated with the domain name. These email accounts are helpful for WordPress and business-related mails.

When hackers hack the sites, they use this email hosting to send a huge number of spam mails. Due to that, Spamhaus.org flag your mail account as spam.

You may not be able to notice at first that your site is hacked. You will just notice that Emails are not working anymore.

So, if your Emails stopped working suddenly, you should run a security scan.

Read: Holiday eMail Marketing Tips for festival Season

#12 Traffic Surge or Drop

Sudden hike or drop in traffic is also an unusual activity. 

Browser Safety Alerts and Redirection can drop the traffic. The bot attack increases the traffic.

In both cases, your site is not secure.

Excessive spam traffic can increase the load on servers as well. Actual visitors will find the site slow because the Bots would be eating the bandwidth.

That’s why keeping an eye on the site stats is essential.


Is WordPress safe from hackers?

No. By default, WordPress is not secure.

But you can use plugins, and there are ways to make your WordPress site secure. This is how you can protect your WordPress site from getting hacked.

How can I tell if my website has been hacked?

You can tell if your website has been hacked or not by regularly visiting it. There are some signs you can notice, like:

  • Changed homepage
  • Unexpected high or low traffic
  • Not able to login
  • Unknown Accounts added
  • Unknown Plugins installed
  • Browser gives Warning
  • Search Console Security tab
  • Use Google Safe Browsing Tool

Can WordPress be hacked?

Yes. WordPress is open-source CMS. Anybody can read the coding and find the vulnerabilities. 

Most of the WordPress site that gets hacked is because of Plugins.

How do you know if a website has a virus?

You can run a scan to check if your Site has any virus. There are various Security Scan Services, like Sucuri, that provide free scans. 

Other than that, you can check the security tab in your Search Console.

Final Words

If you look for the signs we mentioned in the list, you will be able to detect the hacking. You would be able to prevent any severe damage.

If you are using a quality hosting, then you only have to raise a ticket. The hosting provider will help you at every step.

You can recover your site yourself too, but that is painfully tiring work. We suggest to have a quality hosting service, so you don’t have this problem to tackle.

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