This tutorial works for WordPress v5.8.1.
Are you looking to find out if a website is using WordPress as their CMS? If so, that’s what we’ll be covering here.
First a bit of background about WordPress and why you might see it everywhere you look online, or well at least it feels like that. So WordPress is a CMS, which means content management system. Website owners use WordPress to build their website as it is a lot easier and faster to do that than to build a complete website from scratch.
It used to be easier to know if a website uses WordPress
In the early days, it was pretty simple to know if a site was using WordPress, as there were only a handful of good themes to choose from. Now, website owners have much more choice and can create truly unique site. That don’t look like they would be built with a CMS, and instead look bespoke!
Because of the evolution of theme design and the advancements with the customization features within WordPress it’s no longer a simple case of looking at a sites design to tell if a site is using WordPress or not.
Below we’ve put together a number ways you can know if a site is built using WordPress. Enjoy!
Table of contents
1. Check the footer credits
The easiest way to check if a site is built using WordPress is to take a look at the sites footer. Most themes by default will display a footer credit linkg and will say something like “Powered by WordPress” or “Developed by WordPress”. If you see this, then there’s a good chance the site has been built using WordPress as the underlying CMS.
It’s worth noting however, that many themes allow the website owner to change the footer copyright message with built-in options. So it’s not uncommon to see website owners adding their own footer copyright message and replacing the default copyright.
Because of this, although looking at the footer credit is one of the easiest ways to check if a site is using WordPress, it’s also something many websites owners can easily change. Therefore, this technique is not the most reliable.
2. View the websites source code
The source code for a website shows you the HTML code that’s being used to display the website in your browser. However, within the HTML there’s a lot of hidden information which can easily reveal if a website is using WordPress or not. Bear in mind, that website owners can still hide this information, but it’s much more difficult to do so.
In your browser either right click on your mouse and select “view source” or alternatively press “CTRL + U”. This will open up the source code for the webpage.
When the source code is open do a search for the term “wp-content”. If you find any results then you know the site has been built using WordPress. If not, then it’s likely that the website is not a WordPress site.
How do we know this? Because wp-content is the folder directory for the website on the server in which all of the file content for the website is located. So things like images, js and css files.
3. Check the sites login page
By default WordPress provides a login page which can be used by the website owner to access the admin area and make changes on the site. Although the admin area is password protected, you can still access the login page. You just won’t be able to login of course, unless you know the login details.
Essentially if the website has a WordPress login page, then it’s safe to assume that the site is a WordPress site.
You can easily check if a website has a WordPress login page by adding “/wp-admin” to the end of the domains url. For example if you want to check if wordpress.org is a WordPress site, simply go to wordpress.org/wp-admin.
In this example, we’ve landed on a WordPress login page. Great! If it wasn’t a WordPress site, then we’d have got a 404 “page not found” error message. Just a quick note, many website owners will change the url to their login page to improve site security.
So again, this technique isn’t 100% accurate, as the site may not have a WordPress login page, when in reality it is a WordPress site. Confusing eh?
4. Use a theme detector
Theme detectors are basically online tools which can tell you what WordPress theme a website is using. If it detects a theme is being used, then it means the website is a WordPress site. Why? Because, every single WordPress site needs theme.
Without a theme, the site won’t work. It’s what everything we add to our site is built upon. A WordPress site is essentially a theme + plugins + custom content… simple!
There are a range of theme detector tools out there and they all pretty much do the same thing. All you have to do is add the url for the website you want to check and start the search. Here’s some popular tools worth checking out:
Hopefully that was helpful and now you’re a wiz at checking whether a website has been built using WordPress. So whether you check the sites footer, login page, source code or use a 3rd party tool, hopefully in future you’ll be able to detect a WordPress site in seconds!