Is a Virus Diverting Your Website Traffic?

Over the past 3 months I’ve discovered viruses on the sites of 4 of my clients. On one of the sites Google Analytics showed that 40% of the traffic coming into the Home page was being redirected, and the site visitor was receiving a 404 error.

I don’t know a lot about how viruses work, and at first I thought the site owners had infected their sites by uploading from their own computers. With more research I found information about a virus that is not new, but it seems to be spreading more quickly than before.

The bad guys have found ways to hack into the ftp account, which allows them to do just about anything they want with your site. This virus shows up under a variety of names but the result is the same: Your website will be flagged and you will need to jump through some hoops with Google to get it released. The site could be down for 3 days or more.

The basic steps to recovery are:

1) Prove that you are the site owner

2) Scan the site with 1 or 2 virus detectors (I like Microsoft Security Essentials and Malware Bytes)

3) Ask Google to check your site and remove the warning.

You can read full instructions from Google about Malware and Hacked Sites to learn what to do.

Of course it’s best to have a backup of your entire website before you need it. Once your site is infected, the cleanup and recovery process can be pretty expensive. Save the database files with a plugin (I use WP-DB Manager) and download the site files through ftp.


If you don’t have time or don’t know how to do this type of backup, we’ll take care of it for you as part of our Monthly Maintenance Program. You can contact me at


Does Your WordPress Site Have a Virus?

I recently discovered that two of my clients had viruses on their WordPress sites. Each had a different virus, and both viruses were ‘Backdoor Trojan’ type, rated Severe. These viruses can change or delete your settings and can steal credit card info, email addresses etc. from you or your customers.

I found the viruses because my client’s websites are backed up to my hard drive as part of the monthly maintenance program I offer. My personal virus detector caught them.

I Googled “how can my website get a virus” to find out how this could have happened. The answers indicated that a virus within your website comes through someone who has your admin ID and password. This most likely does not mean your password has been stolen. However, it could mean you infected the site yourself, if your hard drive had a virus which attached itself to content you added to your blog or other pages.

It could also come from someone who was authorized by you to work on your site. I know many people who hire through Fiverr (or other companies) to get special plugins installed. I’m not pointing fingers here… there are many fine freelancers and they provide great services.

Besides, placing blame and living in fear will not keep us protected. Here are the important things to keep in mind:

1) Your website needs to be backed up on a regular basis. Don’t rely on your hosting company to do it for you.

2) Your website files need to be scanned for viruses too… it’s not just for your hard drive.

The virus detection program I use is Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free, and it runs nicely in the background without slowing down my system. I also have it set to do a deep scan in the middle of the night. Here’s the link if you would like to download it

If you would like to have us take care of your site so you can take care of your business, feel free to contact me at


Why Would a Customer Choose You?

Whether you’re using a brochure or a banner, and have a web business or a brick and mortar store, the goal is always the same:  Get the most possible customers to buy what you’re selling.

As a business owner you might think customers want to know what you DO, but they really want to know what sets you apart. For example, you may be a great realtor, but do you have what it takes to sell my waterfront property during hurricane season?

These pictures were all taken along US Hwy 19… a typical 8 lane road with a 55 mph speed.  From the time each sign comes into your vision you have about 8 seconds to absorb its message before you pass it.  (That’s about how long you have to catch the attention of your website visitor, too.)

Based on this picture, which attorney would you call first?

Most people think they’re attracted by favorite colors, typestyle, a preference for male versus female, etc.  But marketing experts agree that the number one question in a customer’s mind is “What’s in it for me?”

Convince the customer that you’ve got an added benefit and they will buy from you.

In my opinion, only one of these billboards tells me what I’ll get from the attorney.  Billboard number one lets me know I’ll get 20+ years experience, and to me that’s an important piece of information.  I might plan to interview 2 or 3 people before making a final decision, but if I’m sold after talking to the first guy, then the others never get a chance to sell me their story. Leave a comment to let me know which attorney you would choose, and why.