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Wordpress developer stole my website files

Active Member
Mike M Member Since: Jan 26, 2019
11 of 34

Hello.    I found your comment thoughtful and accurate with regard to this person "stealing of files" issue.   I am considering using upwork to help clients fix / update websites.  Primarily Wordpress.  

 

Please comment on my concerns and if you would give (in general) WP admin to upwork freelancers: 

 

I fully understand that my client will trust me with login infomation to their WP admin and maybe (in some cases) even their host admin.   I in turn will trust my upwork freelancers.     I will put in good security protocol (like changing PW after work completed)  . I will do reasonable due dilligence  and work with freelancers with decent records ( I also believe in helping out newer Upworkers) . 

 

I help Independent Business to get things done and create profitable business models.  I totally belive in upwork and feel it helps me help small business and it helps people in deveolping countires with their incomes.  Totally cool for everyone. 

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
12 of 34

Janet, will all due respect, if by 'cancel contract' you mean 'End contract' (and I don't think it could be anything else), then freelancers absolutely need to be able to do this, because a 'pattern' of open contracts with no activity will lower freelancer Job Success, not to mention the fact that having dozens of 'Jobs in Progress' (which are actually inactive, but Upwork algorithms don't recognize this) listed with one's profile could make a client think a freelancer is too busy to take on new work. If every client would end the contract when the job is completed, this would be moot, but regrettably, many clients disappear without closing the contract or leaving feedback when the job has been completed.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Janet A Member Since: Nov 7, 2016
13 of 34

Hmmm. Did I post this on the wrong forum? Is this forum only for developers?

 

YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOUR ISSUE YOU ARE MENTIONING ABOUT "YOUR REVIEWS" VERSUS SOMEBODY ACTUALLY STEALING YOUR WEBSITE FILES. Your issue you are mentioning about damaging your reviews does not come close to what contractors can do by actually stealing files from you. You can easily have upwork close open jobs if put you need to. This is fraud we are talking about not damaging your reviews. You did not give any useful information about my question I don't need anymore responses from you.

Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
14 of 34

Then I respectfully suggest that you take Valeria's advice to heart, confident in the fact that Upwork is investigating your assertions.  As none of us are Upwork employees (with the exception of Valeria), we are unable to fix your issues.

 

This is a public forum and we are all allowed to participate, provided we remain civil.

 

It was you that suggested that freelancers be stripped of the ability to close contracts.  The responses you've received speak to that suggestion and you have been provided reasons why this would be unwise and poorly received. 

 

Best of luck to you.

 


@Janet A wrote:

Hmmm. Did I post this on the wrong forum? Is this forum only for developers?

 

YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOUR ISSUE YOU ARE MENTIONING ABOUT "YOUR REVIEWS" VERSUS SOMEBODY ACTUALLY STEALING YOUR WEBSITE FILES. Your issue you are mentioning about damaging your reviews does not come close to what contractors can do by actually stealing files from you. You can easily have upwork close open jobs if put you need to. This is fraud we are talking about not damaging your reviews. You did not give any useful information about my question I don't need anymore responses from you.


 

Active Member
Brandon T Member Since: Nov 13, 2015
15 of 34

You're right, reputation can't possibly be as important or as valuable as configuration and layout files for an e-commerce site selling widgets.  Except that it can be, and usually is, given that you're not likely to face issues related to a cloned site for reasons already explained.

 

You're also right in that contractors can easily close open jobs they have - if they are willing to potentially forfeit pay and permanently damage their online reputations here.  But I guess that's OK, because the reputation a career is built on can't possibly be worth anything, right?  Not like what a brand can be worth, no sir!

 

Clients misleading freelancers is fraud just as much as the reverse.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Active Member
Janet A Member Since: Nov 7, 2016
16 of 34

Yes, they can close open jobs when they know they have something more valuable such as website files that can make them money. Yes, you are right your comments are not applicable to the question I asked here. So, you are correct I don't need anymore responses from you.

Active Member
Andrei G Member Since: Nov 26, 2016
BEST ANSWER
17 of 34

Hello Janet. 

 

I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. 

 

I would like to assure you the reason why they broke your website is not because they wanted to steal your website files. For two very simple reasons:

 

1. They could have done so without you knowing it. There was absolutely no need to break your website in order to get the files

2. Without your domain and your business, your website files are pretty worthless to any developer, unless they have a client who requests an exact replica of your website which is highly unlikely. Also, even if your theme and/or plugins were premium and had some purchase value, I can assure you versions of about any premium theme or plugin out there are fairly easily obtainable for free.

Any decent WordPress developer has copies of the most popular premium plugins and themes on the market, simply because they are installing or modifying them day-in day-out for their clients.


You should be a lot more concerned about restoring your website to an earlier state from a backup (normally your hosting service should be able to provide you with one) and you should hire a professional to look for and clean any form of malware the previous developer might have placed.

 

If you have trouble trusting developers from Upwork, which would be understandable in your position, you should consider finding a decent security plugin developer for WordPress. Most of these plugin developers also offer a one-time installation service that consists of clean-up, back-up, scan and restore from backup. In order to decide which plugin developer to trust, look for the ratings of their free versions on http://wordpress.org (most of the ratings are coming from real users who actually have the plugin installed). You may even find a few comments on the worth of the premium version of the plugin.

 

If it is any comfort, freelancers get their fair share of scams. You just need to learn how to spot scams and avoid them. This is the world we live in.

Active Member
Janet A Member Since: Nov 7, 2016
18 of 34

Thanks for your input Andrei. At least your post is related to my question here not whether contractor should be able to cancel their contracts. 

 

FYI, I had told this developer that I had made a backup of the site before he started working on it and I told him I would take care of any syntax issue. So, him uploading the plugin and making a full copy of my site INCLUDING previous backups tells me that he wanted my files for something. I know what you are saying that I should restore my site to a previous version but the backup he got included my previous backup so it doesn't make sense to restore to those versions. I am hiring a developer to help me clean any malware. I already changed the wp key in my wpconfig.php file and already changed the db user password. I did not give him cpanel or ftp access. So, I don't think he can access my site or you think he still could even though I made the changes I mentioned about the db user password and wp key? I don't think so but maybe it can still be possible. My site is actually an e-commerce site and what I am thinking is the he wants to sell what I sell himself and make money that way.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
19 of 34

Andrei G wrote:

 

I would like to assure you the reason why they broke your website is not because they wanted to steal your website files.

 

Andrei, she didn't even say that he broke it. Apparently, the website is just fine. She's in hysterics because the developer made a back-up of her site.

Community Guru
Claudia Z Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
20 of 34

@Janet A wrote:

So, what he did is he uploaded the "file manager pro" plugin and he made a back up of my website files which included previous backups done by me through c-panel and then after for no reason he cancelled the contract so that I would not give me the bad review that he stole my website files.


Did you agree and specify to the freelancer that no backup is needed to be done and you've taken responsibility for restoring if the update goes wrong?


It's normal, highly recommended to make a backup prior any update. Maybe the freelancer intent was just that, to make a backup, with no malicious reason.


The file manager plugin has a .quarantine folder, it's part of the plugin.

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