Disasters happen when you are not expecting and make you panic. So it is important that you prepared for it during normal course of time. You may be duplicating all your PC or Mac’s content in an external hard drive or store it on cloud as a precaution. Similarly you should have a disaster recovery plan for your WordPress site to handle emergency situations.
What Will You Do in Disaster?
It will be a nightmare if you are not prepared and the following things will happen:
- All hard work you had spent over years will disappear in minutes.
- You will loose traffic of your website.
- You may incur revenue lose due to downtime of the site.
- Probably you will not know what to do next and in most cases recreating the entire content is almost impossible.
- Your brand reputation will impact if hackers shows some irrelevant messages on your site.
- Some hosting companies may isolate your site and ban you account.
How it Can Happen?
There are many ways you may get into a problem and some of them are out of your influence.
- You accidentally delete the entire database or tables when playing around with MySQL or phpMyAdmin sections of cPanel hosting account.
- Your friend or employee purposely or accidentally delete the database.
- Hackers or malware might attack your site and taken the control.
- Hosting server is attacked and entire site is screwed up.
Whatever the highest security you have for your site, mistakes and threats are unavoidable. You may need to permanently forget your online dream if you did not have a disaster recover plan in place.
How to Prevent Hacking and Other Security Problems?
Prevention is better than cure – there are simple precautions which may save your entire site from hackers and malware.
- The only way to have peace of mind is to backup the database, images and other site files periodically. Ensure to store the backup on local drive or on cloud without relying on the backup stored on the same hosting server.
- Use latest WordPress version and updated theme and plugins.
- Use strong security plugins like Wordfence, iTheme Security or All In One Security & Firewall plugin.
Most of the popular security plugins offer all needed features to protect your WordPress site from attackers. Ensure to read the documentation of your security plugin and enable options like login monitoring, brute force attack, captcha on login and registration forms to prevent simple attacks.
Monitoring Security Issues
When the disaster strikes, it is important to get the information as early as possible.
Regular monitoring of site’s health will help to get the information quickly so that you can start troubleshooting.
- Use file change detection and malware scanners to find the changes happening on your site.
- Monitor the downtime of your site to get a quick email when your site goes down.
- Frequently login to dashboard and check the status.
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Preparing Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster recovery plan avoids getting panic and start working on predefined steps to restore your site. Follow the below step by step recovery plan when your site is hacked.
- Access your site’s dashboard and check whether you can do something. For example, you can display a maintenance mode page till the time the problem is identified and resolved.
- If you are not able to access dashboard, contact your host to understand the problem. You host might already aware of the issue and preparing for a solution.
- If you and your host can’t repair the site then use external scanning services to scan for malwares and malicious codes on your site.
- The final action is to delete the infected site’s content (database and files), install fresh WordPress and restore the database.
- Again check for malware and other problems on the fresh installation. Change database password and install strong security plugin.
This is just an example plan, we recommend you to prepare more detailed recovery plan considering various situations and the hosting company you use.
Do not hesitate to get paid services for scanning and other activities. It may be difficult to do everything on yourselves. Also ensure to use quality hosting company especially when the site’s traffic is going up. This will really help in getting quick responses from your host. In most cases your host can help to restore your site in one click.