When a web host like GoDaddy suspends your website, all hell breaks loose. Your visitors cannot avail your products or services. Google blacklists your website. Your brand and revenue starts decreasing in value. What can you do?
You unsuspend your site, of course. This is extremely important, since every minute you leave your site suspended, you are losing visitors, customer trust, and revenue, not to mention, your own peace of mind.
In this article we aim to tell you exactly how to get your site back online.
What is Web Host Suspension?
Hackers can access websites from a hosting server and spread the infection from one website to another. On shared hosting there is the added danger of infecting other websites on the same network. In one particular case we came across, a hacker was using an existing hosting account to read the wp-config.php file in other hosting accounts containing the database server address, username and password. The attacker then simply used their database access to create an admin level user and they had full access to the compromised website in that hosting account. Accounts that are not completely isolated are easily prone to hacks.
If you think you need not worry because you are on Managed hosting, we are sorry to burst your bubble but hackers can still infect your site. What’s more, they can inject malware in your visitors sites too!
If GoDaddy hosts your website, when it finds malware presence on your site, you will be notified about it. GoDaddy’s Abuse Department catches the irregularities on your site and suspends it accordingly. You will receive an email informing you that your domain has been suspended for violation of the GoDaddy Universal Terms of Service:
"Recently, this domain name was identified as the origin of phishing activity targeting 3rd party companies. Because we are the Registrar for this domain, our reputation has been negatively impacted and GoDaddy will not allow the service we provide to other customers to be compromised. Due to the nature of this situation, the domain name cannot be reinstated at this time."
Upon contacting GoDaddy over email, they will inform you of the reason for your site suspension and the specific page or pages in your site that contain the malware or phishing code. All your operations, web pages and content will be affected as a result of this. They will expect you to remove the malware from your website before the website can be unsuspended.
How to Unsuspend my Website?
Now you can either reach out for a (much more costly) technical security assistant, or you could scan and clean your site on your own.
The following are the steps to Unsuspend your website:
1. Update your Plugins, Themes, and WordPress Core
Often it is the outdated plugins or themes that are the culprits of a malware presence on your site. Older versions of plugins and themes are more vulnerable to attacks. Once you make sure your plugins, themes and WordPress core is updated you are a lot closer to detecting and cleaning up malware on your site.
2. Detect Malware on your site
Scan your site for malware using a site scanner. Make sure it catches all the malware on your site, so run it a few times even after it looks like there is no malware on your site.
3. Remove Malware from your site
This is the tricky part. You need to remove only the infected files, without affecting the rest of your website. Your precious content is in danger of getting lost if you are not extra, extra careful.
4. Add a Web Application Firewall
A Web Application Firewall will help you block unwelcome visitors on your site. This can be your first line of defence against any future attacks. Plus, you earn brownie points with your web host, since it shows that you are serious about securing your site.
5. Report Malware Removal to GoDaddy hosting provider
Let GoDaddy know all that you have done to secure your site in detail over an email. You can mention the malware that was plaguing your site and how you took care of it. The security measures that you have taken for your site will ensure that the malicious activity on your site is kept to a minimum. Contact them from here.
6. Prevent Hackers from Accessing your site
Ensure that you will never be suspended by your web host, ever again by protecting your site, proactively. Harden your site security.
How to Remove Google Blacklist?
When Google detects malware on your site, you will receive a blacklist warning. Remove Google Blacklist Warning by cleaning up your site first. .
What if I do not have the required Technical Knowledge?
Before you start thinking that you can just wing it, despite not having the required technical skills for such a task (and you might as well give up and start a new website from scratch), consider this: Malware that is hard to find, is hard to remove from your site. Any small mistake here or there can lead a website crash.
This is why we recommend a WordPress Security Service like MalCare to handle your site scanning and cleaning for you. MalCare’s technology goes beyond simple signature matching. It can even help prevent another web host suspension by detecting malware in your files and tables before your web host gets the hang of it. MalCare also provides best in class Firewall, strong login protection and flexible site hardening features that helps secure your site against possible hacks.
After you have followed all the steps that we mentioned to unsuspend your site, you can rescan your site on MalCare to check that all the malware on your site is truly removed from your site. This is to ensure that GoDaddy will not find any more infections on your site. The next step will be to create and send a detailed report on the measures you have taken to clean your site, to GoDaddy. If you are an MalCare Agency or Developer plan user, you can schedule MalCare to automatically create in-depth daily or weekly reports. When you show your web hosting service these reports, you are backing up your claims.
That’s it! Once you send the email to GoDaddy, you can expect your site back online in no time. And it is just that easy with a service like MalCare by your side.