How to fix GoDaddy Malware issues on your WordPress site?

Aug 28, 2020

How to fix GoDaddy Malware issues on your WordPress site?

Aug 28, 2020

GoDaddy has faced multiple security breaches over the years. With 77 million domain names under its belt, it is no surprise that GoDaddy is a big target for hackers. 

If you’re here reading this, you probably suspect your GoDaddy site has malware on it. 

Chances are:

  • GoDaddy has warned that your site has malware
  • Your GoDaddy hosting account has been suspended
  • Your site is almost being held “at ransom” by GoDaddy

In either case, what you need to know is this: you can easily get rid of malware on your GoDaddy hosted website! 

We’ve had hundreds of customers come to us with their hacked GoDaddy sites. They’ve all come with the same questions.

Should I opt for GoDaddy’s Malware Removal? Can they remove the infected files? Is my site even infected?

If you can relate to this, you’re in the right place. 

We’re going to walk you through the steps to identify if your site has malware and how to remove malware on a GoDaddy website. 

If you urgently need to clean the malware, skip to this section below.

Let’s dive in!

How To Check For Malware On Your GoDaddy Website

You might’ve already got a warning from GoDaddy or your security plugin about malware on your site.

But there’s a good chance that it is a false alarm. 

To avoid any confusion, you need to confirm if your site does have malicious code on it.

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to use a free WordPress malware scanner like MalCare. But before we get to that, let’s look at the glaringly obvious signs that your site has been hacked.

  • You’re unable to log in to your website even with the right credentials and aren’t able to reset your password.
  • Your GoDaddy Hosting account is suspended and you get a warning from GoDaddy that your site has been flagged for malware.

GoDaddy Host Suspension Email Alert

  • You get a warning from GoDaddy for exceeding or consuming too much of your server resources.
  • Your website has been blacklisted by Google and other search engines.

Google Blacklisting Warning

  • Your site is being redirected to other unsolicited websites that promote gambling or sell drugs.
  • Your website is displaying content that you don’t recognise.
  • If you have antivirus on your computer, it might display a hacked warning when you visit your website.
  • There are unknown user accounts added to your dashboard that you don’t recognize.
  • You get a notification from Google Search Console about a newly added property owner or changes in Geo-targeting settings.
  • Your site is suddenly very slow or unresponsive. 

These are the most common ways to determine if a site is hacked. You could also be getting a warning from Google saying ”this site may be hacked” or seeing Japanese keywords on your site. 

If you notice any of these signs, you need to confirm that your site has been hacked.

How to Scan A Hacked GoDaddy Website?

There are 2 ways to scan and find malicious code on your website.

  • Scan the site manually: You need to access your WordPress files and database and then manually search for the malicious code. This method is very risky as a slight misstep can break your website.
  • Use a WordPress Malware Scanner: A fast and efficient way to identify malware on a WordPress site is to use a WordPress Malware Scanner. But how do you choose which scanner to use? Here’s our take.

Characteristics of an Efficient Malware Scanner

There are 3 main characteristics that define a good malware scanner.

  • It is thorough: The scanner should check every file, folder, and database of your website.
  • No extra load: An offsite scanning process will ensure zero extra load on your site.
  • It isn’t effort/time consuming: You do not want to be stuck scanning for hours. An efficient malware should be easy to use and should run the scan fast.

MalCare meets all these requirements and…it’s free. 

Not just that, MalCare uses a self-learning algorithm and 100+ signals to find even the most complex malware (usually missed by other scanners).

Let’s see how to scan your site using MalCare.

How to Scan Your Site For Malware Using MalCare For Free

  • On your WordPress dashboard, select MalCare > Malware Scan and click on Scan.

Scan Using MalCare Free

  • The scan will automatically run.

Malware Scanning in Progress

  • Once it finds the malware, you’ll see a malware warning like so:

Hacked files found by MalCare's scanner

Et́ voila!

When you’ve confirmed malware on your site, you might wonder “why me”? After all, what could a hacker gain by hacking your site

What you need to understand is that most hackers aren’t targeting your site particularly. They are either looking to redirect your traffic to other unsolicited sites, exploit the data stored on your site, or use your site as a testing ground for new hacking techniques.

Either way, you need to work on getting rid of this malware immediately!

GoDaddy has a Malware Removal service powered by Sucuri. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for 3 reasons.

Why We Don’t Recommend Cleaning Using GoDaddy’s Malware Removal

  • It’s expensive – it costs upwards of $170/year.
  • It’s laborious – you need to buy the plan, submit a request, and coordinate with their security experts.
  • It takes time – once you submit a ticket, it takes 30 minutes for a security expert to look at your GoDaddy malware removal request. Post that, it can take anywhere between 4 hours to a whole day for the cleanup process.

This may seem like a decent process. Frankly, despite these points, it does clean your site at the end of the day. 

But here’s the thing. 

Malware removal doesn’t have to be this complicated.

Wondering what we’re on about? 

Read on! 

Our 3-Step Method To Remove Malware From Your GoDaddy Website

Here are our recommended steps to clean your site.

The first step is to clean your site using MalCare’s 1-click malware removal. 

Yep, you read that right – just one click!

Step 1: Auto-clean Using MalCare’s 1-click Cleanups

  • When MalCare finds and displays hacked files, there is an option called ‘Auto-Clean’. Click on this button.
  • MalCare deletes the hacked files and removes any trace of malicious code on your site. The best part? It takes just 30 seconds-1 minute for this! You don’t even need to stay on the same screen, you can do other things while MalCare’s cleans your site in the background.
  • Once the site is clean, MalCare sends you an alert.

Note: Instant Malware Removal is a premium feature of MalCare. It can be availed at just $99/year or $8.25/month. 

A Possible Alternate: You can alternatively try to manually clean your site using our Guide to Manually Remove Malware From Your WordPress Site. However, this process is laborious and needs a lot of expertise with WordPress. It involves modifying the WordPress code and can require troubleshooting as many things that can go wrong. 

If GoDaddy has suspended your account, the next thing to do is contact them and remove the suspension.

Step 2: Remove Host Account Suspension

  • Take a screenshot of MalCare’s “Your Site Is Clean” status.
  • Get in touch with GoDaddy via email, phone, or chat and share the screenshot and the steps taken to clean the malware with them.
  • GoDaddy will then verify if your site is clean and remove the suspension.

Your site will now be back online. 

The next step is to ensure that the Google God knows that your site is clean. 

Step 3: Remove Google Blacklist Warning

Google might’ve blacklisted your GoDaddy site if it has malware. In this case, you’ll need to submit your site for review. You can refer to our Guide To Remove Google Blacklist Warning

And there you go! Your site is now spick and span. 

To ensure it stays that way, we have five measures we strongly recommend implementing on your site.

How To Ensure Your GoDaddy Site is Never Hacked Again

Getting rid of the malware on your GoDaddy site is great, but you need to take measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

Here are the top 5 measures to take:

1. Use a Security Plugin

Without a strong layer of defence, your site will remain an easy target for hackers. A malware cleaning and firewall plugin like MalCare will give you ample protection to keep hackers at bay. MalCare scans and monitors your complete site. Its firewall will proactively defend your site and block malicious IP addresses, hackers and bots. And let’s not forget, malware can be cleaned in just one click!

2. Update, Update, Update!

Plugins, themes, and core WordPress regularly release new updates that contain security fixes to bugs. The updates also bring new features and improve the performance of the software. If you have MalCare installed, you can use it to run bulk updates across multiple websites.

3. Harden Your WordPress Site

You can use WordPress hardening measures to secure your website better. This includes implementing 2-factor authentication, limiting login attempts, disabling the file editor, resetting passwords and security keys, among others.

Some of these measures require technical knowledge. But if you have MalCare installed, you can implement hardening measures directly from the dashboard – in just a few clicks!

4. Be Mindful of Your Plugins and Themes

Ensure you never use pirated versions of themes and plugins. Pirated software is usually used by hackers to spread malware. Once installed, the malware can infect your site and device.  A good example of this is the infamous WP-VCD Malware. 

Another good practice is to delete any inactive plugins on your site. This will remove unnecessary elements on your site that can make it vulnerable.

5. Use An SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate ensures that data transferred from and to your site is protected. It provides encryption of this data, so, even if a hacker manages to intercept the data, they won’t be able to decipher it. This prevents data breaches. If you haven’t already, use our Guide to change HTTP to HTTPS on WordPress.

These measures will make it very hard to break into your site. You can rest assured your WordPress website is safe!

What Next?

Take any 8 random websites and at least 1 of them will be hosted on GoDaddy. 

What does this mean? You absolutely need to secure your GoDaddy website!

While this article can help keep your GoDaddy website free of malware, you need to have a good backup and security strategy in place. It can help you keep your site hack-free and secure, at all times.

This is why MalCare is an all-in-one solution. With its regular scans, advanced firewall protection, and 1-click cleanups, it is the best line of defence for your site. 

Try MalCare Today!

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