Last week I added WooCommerce and YITH (catalog mode). All seemed fine. Today, I log in and I no longer see (in the left admin sidebar) the following items/tools:

  • ‘Appearance’ (with theme and such)
  • Plugins
  • WooCommerce
  • user Admin
  • Theme admin
  • (maybe more, but those I remember using before and they are all gone).

I fear the site/account was hacked and I’m no longer admin, only user. Is that possible??? Or is this related to WooCommerce or YITH?

How do I fix it?

(using GoDaddy managed WP hosting)


I'd look at your error.log file just after you access the admin page. I'd suspect that there is a plugin code that is failing on the admin page. The error log might point you to the culprit.

Alternately, you could disable recently added/updated plugins by renaming that plugin's folder (in wp-content/plugins folder), which will effectively disable it. That will disable that plugin's features, but you can quickly re-enable by changing the plugin's folder name back to the original name.

It's possible that some malware is on your site, but I'd suspect a bad plugin first. You can manually look at files via your hosting's File Manager or FTP. Don't forget to look at the wp-settings.php and wp-config.php files -- I have seen malware write obfuscated code in those files.

  • I enabled the WP_DEBUG and found a deprecated widget line. Fixed it. But that didn't solve the problem. I also disabled plugins (renaming folder via FTP, since the Plugin area of admin is vanished). That didn't fix it (got some errors that were to be expected relating post type). Any other ideas? How would I recognise malware in wp-settings.php or other files? – Anne Stahl Nov 8 '19 at 12:47
  • Recognizing malware: just edit the wp-config.php/etc files and it will pop out right at you, usually on the first few lines of the file. Will be a string of numbers and slashes, usually. And you can get back to one of the default 'twenty' themes by renaming your theme's folder (not the main theme folder). Look in index.php files, and htaccess. I wrote my procedure for cleaning up here: securitydawg.com/recovering-from-a-hacked-wordpress-site which might help if site is hacked. Look at error.log in wp-admin folder also. – Rick Hellewell Nov 8 '19 at 22:30

Ok, I feel somewhat stupid.... the cause of this was that I logged in with an Editor user account. When I log in as admin, all is good. Duh!

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