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How to Fix a Hacked WordPress Site – Part 2 – Gather the Necessary Information

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In this session we show how to gather the necessary information needed for rebuilding the site: the WordPress version, the theme versions, list of all the plugins and database username and password. It’s important to know what version of WordPress we’re using because sometimes versions update the database and we don’t want the database to believe it’s using one version while we’re installing the other.

Video Transcript

The first step in this process then is to gather the necessary information. That necessary information means the WordPress version and it means the theme that we’re using and its version, a list of all of the plugins that we are using then we need to gather the database username and password. Obviously, as I said before, we don’t have access to the administrative side of our site so we’re going to have to extract this information from our files on the site itself.

We’re going to do that by opening up our Control Panel. This site is hosted by Bluehost so we’re going to go to our control panel here at Bluehost. The first thing you need to know is where in Bluehost or where in your hosting account is the site located.

Now this hosting account has several sites on it, most of which are not affected by this. But the Vashte site is affected and it is contained inside of this directory inside of public HTML called vashte. This is the location that we’re going to work on.

If we open up Vashte, in order for us to get our WordPress version, what we’re going to do is open up the Read Me HTML file because it has the version of the WordPress that we’re using. The reason why it’s important to know which version of WordPress you’re using is because sometimes, versions of WordPress update the database. We don’t want the database to believe it’s using WordPress 3.1 and we’re installing WordPress 3.4 files. We need to make sure we know which version of WordPress is currently installed so that we install that version.

We’ll start off with this Read Me HTML and I’m just going to select code edit for that. According to this, the version is 3.4. Now the current version of WordPress is 3.4.1 so when we download our WordPress version, we’re going to be downloading version 3.4, not 3.4.1. There’s our first piece of information.

The next piece of information is to get our theme version. If we go to wp-content and themes, since Thesis 1.8.4 is listed here, that Thesis 1.8.4 is actually the theme that’s being used so that’s the theme that we’re going to upload. We’re not going to worry about the Small Biz theme Thesis 1.8.2 2011 or 2010. We’re only going to worry about Thesis 1.8.4.

Now if we were using version 2011 to find out what version that is, we do essentially the same thing which is open that up then go down and find our style.css. If we were using this version of 2011 then this is the version that’s currently there, version 1.4. That’s what we would need to upload but we aren’t doing that so we won’t worry about that here.

The next piece of information we need to gather are the plugins that we’re using on the site. We’ll come over here to plugins, we’re using Akismet and Jetpack. We don’t really have to worry about either of those currently. We’re using the really simple Facebook, Twitter share buttons, the 2011 theme extensions, Ultimate Tiny MCE, and Wiziapp. These are the plugins that we’re going to need to download from WordPress.org.

We’ll just make a note of those. In fact, I think I’m just going to put that in a text file here. We have Akismet, Jetpack, Really Simple Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons, 2011 theme extensions, Ultimate Tiny MCE and Wiziapp. Those are the plugins we’re going to have to download.

One final thing we have to get is the database username and password so that means we have to come back to the root of our site and open up wp-config. The wp-config file contains your user database name, your username, your password and your local host information. We’re just going to go ahead and copy it. I’m going to paste it into my text and that’s the only thing we need from the wp-config file so we close that. We’ve gathered all the information that we need.

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