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best wordpress malware removal

Tips for WordPress Malware Removal

WordPress is currently the most popular web management software. Software by its very nature is something that needs to be maintained when new updates and fixes are available. WordPress has been freely available since 2004 for creating a people site and the versions stay online from 1.x and are very up to date.

From the first version of WordPress to the latest, there were hundreds of updates available - some of which fixed very large security holes. 

In recent years the term "malware" has been used in conjunction with WordPress sites that have been compromised (hacked) through one of these security holes. 

While malware is usually a term for describing a virus with a load on your computer the term is now more often used to describe a site (WordPress) that is infected with SEO spam or scripts or malware.

The best prevention for WordPress malware is to simply update it. When new editions are available upgrade as soon as possible. Also, make sure that your installed WordPress theme and malware removal plugins are up to date as well.

Malware Prevention Tips

While updating WordPress is a great preventative medicine there are a few more things you can do to protect your site:

1. Remove old extensions

Be sure to remove any extensions that you do not use (that are disabled). Even unused additives can pose a security risk. 

Also, be sure to leave only installed malware removal plugins that have been updated during the last 12-18 months on WordPress. If you use older malware removal plugins than this they may not be compatible with the latest versions of WordPress (or your theme) - and may also have security holes.

2. Check out your theme

How old is your WordPress theme? If you purchased it from a developer check to see if there is a recent update for your installation. 

If you have a custom theme (or even a theme you typed yourself), be sure to have it checked by a qualified developer or security expert once a year to ensure there are no security holes in it.

3. Security and Hardening

You need to install and configure one or more popular WordPress malware removal free plugin to secure and make your website more secure (beyond the 'out of the box' setting). 

While WordPress is a mature and highly secure platform you can easily add a few more layers of basic security by changing your administrator username default WordPress table name and security against 404 long attacks and malicious URL attempts.

Malicious Software Removal Tips

If you think your WordPress site has been hacked or injected with malicious software scripts, spam links, or code the first thing you need to do is get a backup copy of your site (if you do not already have one). Get a copy of all the files in your web hosting account downloaded to your local computer as well as a copy of your database.

Then install one of the many free malicious crawler malware removal plugins in the official WordPress plugin repository. 

Turn it on and see if you can find the source of the infection. If you are a technical person you may be able to remove the code or scripts yourself. Be sure to check out all of your design files and you may need to reinstall WordPress.

If your core WordPress files are infected one of the best ways to remove the source of infection is to delete all the wp-admin and wp-folders (and content) folders as well as all the files at the root of your site. 

Inside the wp-content folder delete the topics and extension folders (save the uploads which include attachments and images you uploaded). Since you have a local copy of your site you can reinstall the design and you know which plugins have been installed.

The best thing to do at this point is to download a new copy of WordPress and install it. Use the local copy of the wp-config.php file to connect to your existing database

Once you have done that before reinstalling your WordPress theme and malware removal plugins you may want to connect once to the wp-admin dashboard and go to "Tools-> Export" and export and a complete copy of all your content comments tags categories, and authors. 

Now (if you want) at this point you can drop the entire database, create a new one, and import all your content so that you have a completely new copy of WordPress and also a new database

Then lastly reinstall the design and fresh copies of all the plugins from the official WordPress repository (do not use the local copies you downloaded).

If these steps are too technical for you or if it has not removed the source of the infection you may need to seek the help of a WordPress security expert.

Preventive Maintenance Moving Forward

If your site is important to you or if you use it for business - it is important that you protect it as if it were your physical business. Would this happen if your site was disconnected or left the committee tomorrow? Will it hurt your business? Some preventative medicine goes a long way:

1. Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

Make sure you have a working and tested backup solution (this is what most businesses call a disaster recovery plan). There are many free and paid plugins and solutions to achieve this for a WordPress site.

2. Basic Security Install

If you do not have a WordPress security or malware removal plugin install from the free official database of free highly rated and recently updated plugins to protect your site. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself or do not have a technical website person then hire a WordPress consultant or security expert to do it for you.

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