GoDaddy Suspended Your Site? Here’s How to Fix it
GoDaddy, like all web hosts, suspends websites for a variety of reasons, however, the two top reasons we have seen are payment failures and malware infections. There are other reasons as well, like policy violations for instance, but these are less common.
The first step is to figure out why did GoDaddy suspended your site? and then set about fixing it. In this article, we will show you how to diagnose the common scenarios and set about remedial action for GoDaddy site suspended message (this site has stepped out for a bit of error) so that your site can be back up and running as soon as possible.
TL;DR: GoDaddy account suspended? To clean your website right away, use MalCare’s Instant Malware Removal Plugin. It’ll take 60 seconds to remove every trace of malware from your website. Then, request GoDaddy to unsuspend your website.
Why GoDaddy suspended your site
In a nutshell, GoDaddy suspends site due to non-compliance with their policies. You should be seeing a vague, unhelpful error on the page that says “this site has stepped out for a bit” or a site suspended warning message on your website that looks like this:
Important: GoDaddy usually sends an email notifying the reason for the suspension to all suspended websites. You must have received an email on the same. If you can’t find the email, check your spam folder.
Typical reasons for GoDaddy site suspension are:
- Your website is hacked
- Your website is using excessive resources
- You failed to renew your subscription
- Other policy violations
Let’s explore why GoDaddy suspended site in the first place.
1) Your website is hacked
Hacked websites are very bad for web hosts for several reasons. They routinely check for hacked websites and immediately suspends them.
You must be wondering – why would they do that? A hacked website is your headache, not theirs!
There are many reasons:
- Excessive usage of resources: Your web host allotted your website with limited resources. Hackers utilizing your website to carry out their own nefarious activities end up hogging excessive resources. This affects other websites on the same server, in a shared hosting environment (more on this in the next section).
- Sending spam emails: Hackers sending spam emails from your website can get your hosting provider’s IP blocked by email services.
- Attacking other websites: This too can get your hosting IP blacklisted.
- Warning from data centers: Blacklisting of IP addresses draws the attention of data centers. They send severe warnings to web host providers.
Scan your website right away to learn if it is indeed hacked.
Reach out to your web host and ask them to whitelist your website, so that you can install a malware scanner. Only high-end security plugins like MalCare are equipped to find even the most difficult to detect malware. It’ll even help you clean your website.
You can also access your website through FTP, and download a copy to scan it manually. However, it is important to be aware that this is not efficient, and quite often ineffective also. Certain keywords like eval and base are used to identify malware. But these keywords are found both in good and malicious codes. Removing good code can break your website which will lead to more headaches.
2) Your website is using excessive resources
Every website is allotted a certain amount of resources like processing power, storage, and memory. In a shared hosting environment, these resources are distributed among multiple websites.
When one website ends up using more resources other websites on the same server are affected.
Hosting providers send an email notifying you about the excessive usage of resources and requesting you to upgrade.
This may be a tempting solution, and if you have the budget, you may consider it. However, upgrading to a bigger plan is a superficial solution, because it is important to first determine why your website is using excessive resources in the first place. Remember, this is a symptom of a problem.
→ Start with Google Analytics. Look at your past six month’s data. Do you see a gradual increase or a sudden spike? If you see a noticeable difference in traffic, then jump to this section for a fix.
→ If you don’t notice anything extraordinary on Google Analytics, then your website is most likely hacked. Essentially, malware on your website is using your server resources to execute code that you probably didn’t realize existed in the first place. Excessive use of resources is often a symptom of a hacked website.
The only way to know for sure is by running a malware scanner on your website.
If your website is hacked, then cleaning it is your top priority. We have covered how to fix your hacked website in this section.
3) You failed to renew your subscription
Renewal of subscription fails for reasons like expired cards, insufficient funds, and fraud prevention.
A month before your subscription ends, your web host will send you a number of reminders via email.
If you tried to renew your subscription and it failed you will get a notification on your web host account and along with an email to update the payment information.
4) Other policy violations
Most of us rarely read policies because they are long, boring, and difficult to understand. But the policies are very important. Violating them, even unintentionally, will get your website suspended.
Using copyrighted media, storing illegal files, selling banned drugs, uploading pornographic content and harmful political content are leading causes for suspension.
GoDaddy has a ton of policies. Plowing through them all is going to be a super time consuming and frustrating experience.
Instead, if you look at the suspension email that GoDaddy sent you or get on a chat with a customer support representative, you will get to the heart of the issue right away.
How to fix GoDaddy site suspended issue?
If your website gets suspended, it can potentially lead to huge business losses. Good web hosting companies are aware of that. They don’t suspend websites unless there are solid grounds to take such an action.
Website owners are informed about the suspension and offered an explanation via email.
In the example below, GoDaddy found malware on a website, suspended it, and informed the website owner about it.
A good way to begin fixing your website is to look at the email GoDaddy sent you. If you can’t find the email then give them a call to learn why they suspended your website. You also have the option for a live chat.
So, now that you understand why GoDaddy site suspended, it’s time to figure out how to fix this mess.
1) Fixing your hacked website
To fix a hacked website you need to clean the malware infection. MalCare will help you do just that.
Ask your web host to whitelist your website and install the plugin. It will scan your website immediately and inform you about the malware found on your website. All you need to do is click on the Auto Clean button. It’ll take the plugin 60 seconds to remove all traces of malware from your website.
If you want more options, then check out this list of the best WordPress security plugin.
Important: Generally speaking, websites are hacked due to vulnerabilities present on your website. In most cases, it is an outdated plugin and/or theme or weak user credentials.
Before you appeal to GoDaddy to unsuspend your website, update all your plugins and themes, delete inactive and nulled plugins and themes, and fix weak credentials. Also, take hardening measures to ensure that your website is never hacked in the future.
2) Fixing the excessive resource usage issue
There are two plausible scenarios where you’re spending server resources due to an uptick in traffic:
- A gradual increase in traffic
- A sudden spike in traffic
A gradual increase will mean your website is drawing more and more traffic every month. This is great news and it means that your marketing efforts are working. You should be seeing a traffic graph that looks something like this:
All you need to do is upgrade to a higher plan.
But if there’s a sudden spike, that’s concerning. This is what a sudden spike should look like:
If you see a sudden spike in traffic, try and break down the sources of traffic.
Were you running ads to drive traffic to your content? Are you hosting a giveaway? Did one of your articles go viral?
These are all great outcomes and in this case, you should simply upgrade your hosting plan.
But if none of these things happened, it’s a giant red flag.
Your website is most likely experiencing a DDoS attack. In this type of attack, hundreds of thousands of bots are sent to your website to overwhelm your server and bring your website down. Here’s our guide on how to stop DDoS attacks.
However, if DDoS attacks are not the real issue, then you can try to check out the server usage report in the GoDaddy dashboard. Here’s an article that shows you how.
If the server usage report is too vague or too difficult to analyze, you should contact the GoDaddy support team and inquire if you can gain some insight into the inner workings of your website. Perhaps it’s an errant plugin or theme using those extra resources.
Just bear in mind that it’s a complete Hail Mary at this point. If nothing works, you will need to hire a developer to debug this issue.
3) Rectifying payment issues
Payment issues are fairly common and shouldn’t take you long to fix them.
As we said earlier, there can be different types of payment issues like insufficient funds and expired cards. The email GoDaddy sent you will inform you about what type of payment issue you are facing. If you can’t find the email, just open your web host account and check your notification.
We recommend that you fix your payment issues quickly because once a website is suspended, hosting providers will store your data for a short while before deleting it permanently. You need to restore your website before the data is lost forever.
In GoDaddy’s case, they do keep a backup of your website but if your account was suspended due to payment issues, they charge you a massive fee to restore your website. We recommend using an alternative backup plugin that can quickly restore your website whenever required.
4) Fixing policy violation
Once you know which exact policy you are violating, you can take steps to rectify the issue. In fact, you can ask GoDaddy’s customer care representatives for help in resolving policy infringements.
Request GoDaddy for review and unsuspension
When you are ready, inform GoDaddy you have fixed the issue.
You can find a GoDaddy representative by calling 1 (480) 463-8389. You can also get on a live chat.
We highly recommend that you take additional measures like removing inactive plugins and themes, updating the rest of the plugins and themes, installing a firewall and security plugin. Take a few WordPress hardening measures.
All this is not mandatory but it’s good to implement because it demonstrates a sincere effort. That said, don’t overdo it. If your GoDaddy site suspended due to payment failure, you don’t need to install a firewall or take hardening measures.
Well… you should, ideally. But you don’t need a firewall to fix an expired credit card.
Please ensure that you are sending detailed information about all the steps you took to fix your website. Your website should be unsuspended within 72 hours max.
How to prevent GoDaddy site suspension in the future
The secret to prevent GoDaddy site suspended messages like “this site has stepped out for a bit” in the future is simple – follow GoDaddy policies to the letter.
This is not easy. There is too much information and the policies are hard to understand. Don’t worry, there are many online communities that’ll help you understand the policies. There are subreddits such as:
You can also join Facebook groups such as:
Another common reason why websites are suspended is due to malware infection. Keeping a security plugin installed will ensure that your website is being protected 24×7. Maintaining basic security hygiene like updating plugins and themes, proper user permissions, strong credentials are a must.
To avoid payment failure, switch to automated upgrades. Remember, your account should be linked to an active credit card.
If all goes well your website will be up and running in 3 days max.
That’s great … but your work is not done yet.
Many of you had your website suspended because of a hack and infected with malware. Like your web hosts, Google may have also detected malware infections on your website.
Malware infections are deemed as dangerous for Google users. Google routinely scans the internet looking for infected websites and blacklists them.
If your website is hacked, there is a good chance that it’s blacklisted. Here’s a post that’ll help you recover your website: How to remove Google blacklist warning.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Why did GoDaddy suspend your site?
GoDaddy suspended your site because of a number of reasons. It could be policy violation or payment failure or malware infection or something else.
To learn what led to GoDaddy site suspension, check your email. GoDaddy usually sends an email notifying the reason for the suspension to all suspended websites. You must have received an email on the same. If you can’t find the email, check your spam folder.
Didn’t get any email? Follow these instructions to learn why GoDaddy site suspended.
What to do when GoDaddy suspends your site?
If GoDaddy suspended your website, you need to figure out the reasons behind the suspension and then fix your website. Primary reasons for suspension include policy violation, malware infection, and payment failure. You can fix these issues by:
1. Reading GoDaddy’s policies carefully
2. Cleaning your website
3. Clearing all payment dues
For detailed instructions on each step, follow this guide.
How to remove malware from GoDaddy websites?
Sufia is a WordPress enthusiast, and enjoys sharing their experience with fellow enthusiasts. On the MalCare blog, Sufia distils the wisdom gained from building plugins to solve security issues that admins face.