Probably you are wondering if the website you visit is made with WordPress. And, additionally, you want to check what the theme and plugins are being used.
This is most likely because you’re caught up in its design. Or there are unique features you like so much and want to replicate those changes on your own website.
Well, this is natural and it gives us inspiration. And this is usually what I did when working on a new project.
In this article, I will show you simple techniques to check if a website is powered by WordPress.
And finally, I will list down cool tools that will help you easily detect and check out which theme and plugins a WordPress-powered website is using.
How To Tell If a Website Is Built On WordPress
Naturally, there is no way to tell whether or not a website you visit is built in WordPress.
The design of the website often will not give us an idea of which platform it’s using.
So, before we can dig deeper into finding out what plugins and themes a website is using, we have to know if the site is built on WordPress first.
There is really no sense in using any tools to check if it’s not.
It is just like buying some hardware items from a bakery. Really unlikely to happen.
Here are some techniques I used to check if the website is built on WordPress.
1. View the Site Source Code
The very first thing I usually do to find out whether a website is using WordPress or not is to check the source code.
In Google Chrome, right-click on a blank part of the page and select View page source from the pop-up that appears.
Alternatively, you may also use your keyboard and press CTRL + U.
Both methods work and show you the site’s source code.
This article teaches you how to view HTML source code for major web browsers and more.
In the source code, you can search for words like wp-content or wp-includes.
Here you can see the CSS and JS files are situated in both folders.
The image above clearly shows that the website is using the WordPress platform.
2. Visit the readme.html File
Another method you can use is to check for the readme.html file. This file can be found in the site root.
You can do something like:
Note: Replace domainname with the actual domain name you want to check.
This file will provide basic information about the software being used.
If the website is powered by WordPress, you’ll see information like: installation, upgrade, version, system requirements & resources, etc.
Be mindful also that having this file left on your website can cause vulnerabilities.
Hackers are always on the lookout for ways to exploit websites, especially with such information. It is recommended to delete this file.
Read also: WordPress Security Tips to Keep Site Secure
3. Visit the robots.txt File
A robots.txt file is a website owner’s way of telling search engine crawlers not to crawl parts of their website.
Just like the readme.html file, this text file is located in the site root.
Here, you can search words like wp-content and wp-admin.
Both directories are WordPress specific. Once you found this directory, surely this site is powered by WordPress.
4. Visit the License.txt File
WordPress is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.
This information is located on the site root with filename, license.txt.
All you have to do is append any URL or website you’re visiting.
Once this file is present you can see something similar to the screenshot below.
As you can see, it is in fact a WordPress – Web publishing software.
And as a security measure, together with the readme.html file, these files should not be left behind in the site root.
5. Visit the WordPress Login URL
By default, the WordPress login URL can be found by appending any domain name with either /wp-login.php or /wp-admin.
Visit a website and load like so:
If you see this screen, then this site is WordPress.
However, due to security reasons some websites may hide or block this URL.
6. Check WordPress Credits in Footer
Another way of identifying a WordPress website is by checking its footer credits.
WordPress websites usually have these credits added to their footer section.
You’ll see “Proudly powered by WordPress” or something similar if it is.
7. Use the Chrome Wappalyzer Extension
If you are using Google Chrome or Firefox browsers, you would instantly tell if the site is using WordPress with this great browser extension – Wappalyzer.
Wappalyzer identifies the technology used in the websites you are visiting.
Once Wappalyzer is installed, an icon will be displayed in your web browser every time you visit any website.
If the WordPress icon displays on the browser menu, then the site has been built with WordPress.
Tools To Check WordPress Plugins and Theme Detectors
Now that we’ve finally identified a site is indeed WordPress.
It’s time to check out what particular theme and plugins a site is using with these tools and detectors.
1. Developer Method
You might not discover this yet but in fact, your web browser itself is a tool for checking almost anything by viewing page source code.
And as a Developer, this can be a time saver and allow me to investigate any websites.
And in my opinion, it’s the simplest method, which I highly recommended in finding a theme and plugins used for any particular WordPress website.
This method does not require any browser extensions and add-ons or using any online tools.
All you have to do is open your web browser and view the web page source code and search for “themes” if you are looking for the theme.
Alternatively, you can search for “plugins” to check for used plugins.
And, that’s it. Your job is done. Really simple.
Try to see it in action by viewing the source code of this site.
However, this might not always be the case. For some websites, even though it uses WordPress, you can’t find these folders from the source code.
It is altered for security and for whatsoever reasons.
If this would be the case, you could try one of the following cool tools below.
Scan WP is one of the best WordPress theme detectors. I’ve used this tool a lot of times and it just works.
A simple website with great functionalities (in my opinion).
Now, all you have to do is add the URL of the website in the field provided and then click Detect button.
The tool will check the URL for a moment and return several information about the site. Which include the WordPress theme and plugins, and several other information such as web hosting provider and more.
It will also identify if the URL you’ve entered is a WordPress website or not.
If you’re also spying on your competitors then this tool is a great addition to your collection.
What the tool does is list down keywords and backlink information about the site. Perfect!
WordPress Theme Detector is another tool that allows you to check WordPress themes and plugins.
It has a really nice and simple interface and just like any other, you just need to add the URL of the site you’re interested in.
If the site uses a Child theme, then this will be included in the results page as well.
In this article, I’ve shown you a few tips on whether a website is made with WordPress or not.
And in the latter part, I’ve shown you my developer’s way of checking themes and plugins.
We’ve also seen different ways and best tools that can help us check what particular theme and plugins are being used.
If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure to leave a comment in the comment section below!