As most of our regular visitors have noticed, we haven’t been posting much on our site recently, but that is going to change. The reason we weren’t posting anything to our site is because we were victims of a hack.
Near the beginning of February, our website was affected by a Pharma Hack. Although our site looked and functioned properly, Google was indexing our site differently. The titles, content and links that were getting indexed were not right. So, we have spent the last couple months cleaning the site up, identifying holes in code and plugins, and moving our site to a new host. We are still waiting on Google to reindex some of our pages, but things are looking up.
Now, our website is ready to rock, so get prepared to start seeing fresh new freebies and resources posted regularly.
What Exactly Happened
After scouring our code we did find a couple vulnerabilities that we were able to fix, but we aren’t 100% certain about how the hack occurred. Typically a WordPress site is vulnerable when you are not using the most recent version of WordPress or you have plugins that are out of date or no longer supported. This wasn’t the case for us we have been quite diligent at keeping everything up to date.
Another possibility is that because our website was on a shared web hosting account, another website on our shared host was compromised and because of that our freebies site was compromised as well.
I did a lot of Google searching about this hack and learned a lot about WordPress security and vulnerabilities. The best resource I found though was an article on the Smashing Magazine website called Common WordPress Malware Infections.
What We Did
As mentioned above, we started by optimizing the code of our theme and making sure our plugins were up to date. This will help us guard against attacks no matter where the site is hosted.
Next, to try and eliminate our site getting hacked again, we decided it would be best to setup a fresh new install of WordPress on a new host. Our website traffic has been consistently growing so we thought this would be a good time to move this site to its own host. Not only will this help with site loading speeds, it will prevent the site from being compromised by another site on the same host.
The host we chose to go with is ServInt. We setup a new VPS there and have been super happy with the support we received setting up our new account and moving our site over. This VPS also allows us the flexibility to upgrade as our this site grows.
This site used to be hosted on a Dreamhost shared hosting account. Dreamhost is a good host if you are web designer or developer hosting multiple websites. We still use this host many of our clients sites and haven’t had any major issues.
Well, we have been stacking up the freebies and are anxious to release them. Make sure you’re subscribed to our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get notified of our upcoming releases.
We have also finished developing our new WordPress theme, so watch out for the release of that very soon.
Thank you for your patience over the last couple months. We look forward to the future!