How Many Support Interactions Are Needed to Fix a Website Breach?

screen shot php code
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 09:34 CST

On behalf of client: I am having an issue with
wit Google which you can check here –



Olga Labova
  • [“Cust Service Rep of 2014”]
  • Posts: 72950
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 09:44 CST

Hello Mitch,

Thank you for contacting our Help Desk.

I checked the details on my end and I confirm that I was able to recreate the same issue on my end.

To resolve it, I would highly recommend you to try requesting the re-index of the site from the Googlebot by following these steps:

As a result, the information should be properly updated and the site should once again show the correct content.

If afterward the results are the same or you need any further assistance and guidance- we are available 24/7, so feel free to contact us again.

Best Regards

Olga Labova
Senior Technical Support



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 09:50 CST

the site is indexed I can see the results when I search – the server is blocking the site from google

If it was not being indexed I could not do this





Olga Labova
  • [“Cust Service Rep of 2014”]
  • Posts: 72950
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 10:20 CST

Thank you for the update, Mitch.

In order to investigate further on, can you please confirm when was the last time it was functioning properly and whether there were any recent changes applied on the matter?

For example, if you have applied any important changes in the configuration of the site and its database.

Awaiting your update,

Best Regards

Olga Labova
Senior Technical Support



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 10:26 CST

The drop in traffic occurred sometime around midnight cst wed 12/18

I have found the issue – search console has been blocked until just now and this is what I have found

The site has been hacked and content injected

it’s important to note is 2 sites zencart for eCommerce and WordPress for the blog which is why you see 3 databases but only 1 domain



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 10:27 CST
sorry 3 databases but only 2 domains



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 10:45 CST

please make no changes to the site without talking to me I know about the php (5.4) issue – it’s because of zencart – I don’t want to pay $750 to upgrade all the (62) zencart plugins – especially because I’m about to abandon the site.

Please see if maybe we can roll back

In the meantime, I will accelerate my build which is to become will try to do that in 2 – 3 days

thank you



Maria Genova
  • Support Guru
  • Posts: 37600
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 10:57 CST

Hello Mitch,

Thank you for the update!

As per your request, no changes were applied to the website.

Please allow me to explain that as the website was marked by Google it would be best as my colleague mentioned to be re-crawled so this way it will become accessible from Google search.

In regards to restoring the website, this could be done from your cPanel > Backup Tool

If you are not sure how to restore the application, please post a separate ticket from your User Area > Support section > Backup Restore so we could perform it on your behalf.

Also, I ran a malware scan on your account and I am providing you with the results:

[HEX]reversed_base64_decode [13/06/18] /home/customer/www/
[HEX]reversed_base64_decode [13/06/18] /home/customer/www/

Please make sure to clear the provided files as they seem suspicious.

If we could be of any further help, do not hesitate to let us know!

Best Regards
Maria Genova
Technical Support Team

At this point, Siteground asked me to re-crawl the site –  twice now


Firstime – Siteground is saying “we don’t know  how to fix this”



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 11:20 CST

I’m talking to my developer – because of the 2 databases zencart and WordPress that have been merged via customization – I’ not sure how to approach the rollback – any suggestions?

for clarity – here’s the issue


When you pay $500 a month for web hosting, “I can’t help you” when you know they can is not acceptable.

So I called the 800 number about a half-hour later and spoke to Alexander briefly.

He was worse.

“There is definitely nothing we can do on our end here.

I’m very sorry I wish we could do more but it’s something that you can have to work out with Google

Good luck”


Second time – Siteground is saying “we don’t know  how to fix this”



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 12:17 CST
which database was the scan run on?



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 12:26 CST


I just ran the SG site scanner which indicated the site was clean and not black listed? how can that be if you found suspected malware and we know is blocking the site?



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 12:27 CST
sorry google is blocking the site



Maria Genova
  • Support Guru
  • Posts: 37600
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 13:47 CST

I apologize for the delayed reply!

Please allow me to explain that the scan has been made on the cPanel account with username wcparrot. Both of the files are related to your cache folder.

It is just a suggestion to check them and make sure that this account is clean in order to prevent any further issues in the future.

In regards to the website under, I was able to resolve the issue by restoring only your .htaccess file and the website is now accessible from Google.

However, I left the previous .htaccess file under the name .htaccess1 and it is under your root directory. I would advise you to contact your website developer so he/she could check the rules inside which could be causing the issue.

If we could be of any further help, do not hesitate to let us know!

Best Regards,
Maria Genova
Technical Support Team


Third time – is the charm



  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 15:38 CST
I’ll be adding you to my list of future ex-wives Maria:-)



Bozhana Tringova
  • Support Guru
  • Posts: 16561
  • Posted On 20 Dec, 2019 15:50 CST

You are most welcome Mitch 🙂

I am glad my colleague was able to assist you.

If you need any further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Best Regards,

Bozhana Tringova
Senior Technical Support

Why is Elementor Not Suited for Woocommerce Shop Designs?

keyboard-enter key saya shopping cart with red X over it

Spoiler alert – The two “nails in the coffin” with respect to Elementor not being compatible with Woocommerce are:


Why you can’t use Elementor to create Woocommerce categories


From Elementor support


What the other support teams were saying is essentially right.

The plugin (Elementor pro) won’t recognize it as an endpoint because it isn’t actually an archive page generated by WooCommerce (or WordPress for blog posts).

The plugin searches for archive and single pages (whether blog or product) and adds them to the breadcrumbs.

Standalone pages aren’t added since that’s not a part of what the plugin looks for.

In order for this to be recognized, you’ll have to create actual categories in WooCommerce (since you’re working with products) and create a template to display these within Elementor and that will ensure that the pages get picked up but look the way you want them to at the same time.


Continue reading “Why is Elementor Not Suited for Woocommerce Shop Designs?”

If You Are Not An Expert In Programming and Opensource – Be Careful

Professor teaching computer class

From Ron H regarding a post from our sister site’s blog at Windy City Parrot

Your new format….. I can accept that you are doing Keto, but a “bird based email” (birdy brunch) should probably have bird info before all the other stuff you 2 are doing.


With all the spread-out interest you 2 have, you are spending less time on the basics: proper English:


Here’s an example from today:


Why are so people down and negative about free flight of birds?


On your pet project from the last year – it appears to be how to do websites.


Continue reading “If You Are Not An Expert In Programming and Opensource – Be Careful”

How We Repaired A WordPress Database Crash After Site Migration

Database rendition

HI Jim,


Hope your weekend is going well


When trying to add a new post in WordPress, the site times out.


I drilled down and it looks like a really quick fix – please provide a fix at your earliest convenience. (see SG support response below)


Hello Mitch,


Thank you for contacting our Help Desk center!


I checked your website and I noticed that upon creating a new post the page is loading with 404 page not found.


This is why I checked the setup of the website I noticed that there are two URLs applied for it:

Continue reading “How We Repaired A WordPress Database Crash After Site Migration”

Why Open Source Is An Experts Choice For Ecommerce Vs Hosted Platforms

open source globe on hand

If I were a cockatiel my crown would stand up straight when reading articles comparing web hosting sites like Shopify to WordPress.

cockatiel with crown up


There are other examples but to start because it appears that many people don’t understand the cord differences.


Shopify is a hosted platform.


You rent their servers, use their templates and are beholden to their support.


I think Shopify has about 600,000 stores right now.


WordPress is open source – it’s free, anyone can start a WordPress site although they will lead a host with the server to mount it on.


There are about 77,000,000 WordPress sites globally – about 1/3 of all internet sites.


Continue reading “Why Open Source Is An Experts Choice For Ecommerce Vs Hosted Platforms”

eCommerce Migration From Server Box To The AWS Cloud

Infinity And Beyond

In 2004 having taken the reins of IT duties for Windy City Parrot, I moved the website from a desktop server under Catherine’s desk to a server somewhere that I forget, but within a few months enough web hosts pissed me off until I ended up on a Wolfpaw server in Tenafly, New Jersey.

We’ve been in the cloud for 15 years.

In 2005 when our Milwaukee Street (Chicago) facility burned to the ground.

Had our website been on Catherine’s desktop server with all the local backup we would have lost the entire website and would’ve had to start from scratch.

With the site on a remote server we just needed new computers so we could talk to the Internet once again.

Continue reading “eCommerce Migration From Server Box To The AWS Cloud”

Quicker Online Store Cash Flow And A QuickBooks Accounting Hack

attractive woman holding credit card out in front of notebook computer

I thought some history of credit card processing would be a good base to build this post upon.

Going back as far as 9000 BC one could use cattle, camels and fish as currency.

You had to spend the fish fast.

Cowrie shells, gold and silver nuggets leading to Chinese deerskin notes and Native American wampum beads.

The Manhatten Wampum bead myth

“In the Dutch National Archives is the only known primary reference to the Manhattan sale: a letter written by Dutch merchant Pieter Schage on November 5, 1626, to directors of the West India Company, which was instrumental in the exploration and settlement of “New Netherland.” In the letter, he writes, “They have purchased the Island of Manhattes from the savages for the value of 60 guilders.” (There is a surviving deed for Manhattan and Long Island, but this was made well after this initial Manhattan purchase, when the Dutch had already been inhabiting the island for several decades.) 

Read more

As far back as 5000 years ago Mesopotamians used clay tablets but found them to be impractical for their wallets and purses.

Melting down tons of copper was not a much better option as you needed a horse and cart full of copper to go shopping at the renaissance mall.

In the 19th century, merchants would use “credit coins” and “charge plates” to extend credit for local farmers and ranchers, providing credit until their crops and livestock were sold.

Growing up in the 20th century long before Internet, payments were primarily made in cash or with a paper check.

In1946 guy by the name of John Biggins, a banker created the”Charge-it” card.

Purchases were forwarded to Mr. Biggins bank who reimbursed the merchant and chased the customers for payments.

This was coined the “closed loop system.”

Five years later, New York’s Franklin National Bank issued its first charge card.

Charge cards like the Diners Club card and American Express emerged but banks found a gravy train with consumer cards providing revolving credit with Bank of America leading the charge <-pun, in 1958.

Franklin’s marketing plan was to mail out thousands of cards arbitrarily to folks in California.

In 1966 MasterCard was born out of a group of banks forming the Inter-Bank card Association (ITC)

Bringing us to “now,” the buffet of payment processing choices is large enough for a kings celebration.

  • Credit Cards
  • Mobile Payments
  • Bank Transfers
  • Ewallets
  • Prepaid Cards
  • Direct Deposit
  • Cash

Cities are trying to ban cashless businesses 

Good luck with that.

What’s even more remarkable is the exponential explosion of companies and methods for processing money online.

Here are a few that I found, I’m sure there are more

Apple Pay
Amazon Payments
PayPal (237 million people have active PayPal accounts)
Visa checkout (20 million active customer accounts worldwide)
Google wallet
ACH (a U.S.-specific payment method) increased by more than 1 billion in 2017 for the third year in a row)
Ali Pay (China)
iDeal (the Netherlands)
Giropay (Germany)
Sofort (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain)
eNets (Singapore)
Boleto Bancaio (Brazil)
SEPA Direct Debit (500 million Europeans)


Begin Quicker Online Store Cash Flow And A QuickBooks Accounting Hack

Every article you’ll read and all the questions you  see on LinkedIn about merchant processors sound like:

“What’s the best merchant processing rate I can find?”

“What are all those fees and will they keep me PCI DSS compliant?”

Editor’s note – We currently use PayPal exclusively online for credit card processing (and PayPal Express) which does not require PCI DSS compliance.

Continue reading “Quicker Online Store Cash Flow And A QuickBooks Accounting Hack”

Herding Cats And Chasing Social

Young stressed handsome businessman working at desk in modern office shouting at laptop screen and being angry about spam



Why I see social media imploding under its own weight.


None of the big-brained internet CEO’s nor the billions of people who walk the planet with a not-so-smart-phone held out in front of them so they can interact with people not close have figured out what James Madison meant when he wrote the first amendment.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


December 5, 2018, Tumblr banned porn.


A couple of little hiccups as reported by the Washington post cropped up:


The first lesson is that it’s hard.” 

Continue reading “Herding Cats And Chasing Social”