Emergency Guide: How to Clean Malware from Your WordPress Website

unrecognizable hacker with smartphone typing on laptop at desk

If you’re reading this, chances are your WordPress website has fallen victim to malware. Don’t panic; you’re not alone. Malware infections can happen to anyone, but the key is to act swiftly and methodically to mitigate the damage and regain control of your website. In this post, we’ll guide you through the steps to clean malware from your WordPress website and offer assistance if you need further help.

Step 1: Identify the Infection

The first step in dealing with a malware-infected WordPress site is to identify the problem. Look out for these common signs:

  1. Unusual Website Behavior: Random redirects, pop-up ads, or strange content on your website.
  2. Google Warning: If Google has blacklisted your site, it will display a warning when users try to access it.
  3. Changes in Site Appearance: Malware can alter your website’s design, including adding unexpected elements.
  4. Slow Performance: Malware can slow down your website significantly.

Step 2: Isolate Your Website

Before you start cleaning, isolate your website to prevent the malware from spreading. You can do this by:

  1. Taking the Website Offline: Temporarily take your site offline by putting it in maintenance mode or disabling it.
  2. Change Passwords: Change all passwords, including your WordPress admin, hosting, and FTP.

Step 3: Backup Your Website

Before making any changes, create a complete backup of your website. This ensures that you can revert to a clean version if something goes wrong during the cleaning process.

Step 4: Scan and Clean

To clean malware from your WordPress site:

  1. Scan with a Security Plugin: Use a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri to scan your website thoroughly. These plugins can identify and remove malware.
  2. Manually Review Files: Examine your site’s files and database for suspicious code or files. Pay special attention to the wp-content and wp-includes folders.
  3. Remove Malicious Code: Once you’ve identified malware, carefully remove it from your website’s files and database.

Step 5: Update Everything

Outdated themes, plugins, and the WordPress core are often entry points for malware. Update everything to the latest versions to patch vulnerabilities.

Step 6: Harden Your Website Security

Prevent future infections by implementing security measures:

  1. Install a Firewall: Consider using a web application firewall (WAF) to block malicious traffic.
  2. Limit Login Attempts: Use a plugin to limit the number of login attempts to thwart brute force attacks.
  3. Regular Backups: Schedule automatic backups of your website.

Step 7: Monitor and Seek Professional Help

Regularly monitor your website for any unusual activity. If you’re unsure about your ability to clean the malware or if the infection is severe, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a WordPress security expert.


Dealing with a malware infection on your WordPress website can be stressful, but with the right approach, you can effectively clean your site and enhance its security to prevent future attacks. Remember that immediate action and continuous vigilance are key to maintaining a safe and secure online presence. If you encounter difficulties during the cleaning process, feel free to contact us for expert assistance in restoring your website to its full glory.

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