You come across a website that looks amazing and has great functionality. And now you are left wondering how did they build this. What platform did they use?
Or a new client approaches you with their website issues. They have no idea how to fix their website, and they don’t even know why it is not working in the first place!
You ask them what platform they used when building this site, but all of your questions are left unanswered as they have no idea.
If you are stuck in that scenario, let me tell you that it is pretty easy to get a good idea of what platform a particular website is using.
One of the easiest and most popular methods is by looking at their HTML source code. But if you’re not a developer or don’t want to dig through a thousand lines of codes. There are other ways as well.
I’ll show you how to look for this information with free tools so that anyone can find out!
For people who just want the name of the tools, here you go.
How to find out what platform a website is using
To demonstrate how all these tools work, I will be using alphaleteathletics.com as an example.
1. Go through the code
One of the easiest ways to find out what type of platform a website uses is by going through their HTML code and finding out.
Steps to look for clues in the code to find out what platform a website is using
Step 1: Open the Inspect elements (Chrome) or Inspect (Firefox)
Step 2.1: To open Inspect elements in chrome:
- Method 1: Open View > Developer > Inspect elements
- Method 2: Right-click > Inspect
- Method 3: Click three vertical dots on top-right > More Tools > Developer Tools
- Method 4: Press Option + Command + C (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows)
Step 2.2: To open Inspect in firefox:
- Method 1: Open Tools > Browser Tools > Web Developer Tools
- Method 2: Right-click > Inspect
- Method 3: Press Option + Command + I (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + I (Windows)
Step 3: Search for “Wp-content” or “wp-include” in the code to detect if the website is using WordPress
Search for “Shopify” in the inspect element screen or write /admin at the end of the URL to see if you get redirected to the Shopify login page.
You can use these steps to figure out if a website is using a popular website builder.
2. Use Builtwith.com
Builtwith.com is a website that offers an API to figure out what other technologies are used on any website, like Google Analytics or Cloudflare, for example.
Search the domain in BuiltWith, and you’ll get information about how many websites with the same domain as yours use Shopify, WordPress, Squarespace etc., giving you a good idea of what type of platform a website is built on.
How to find out what platform a website is utilising with builtwith.com
Step 1: Head over to builtwith.com
Step 2: Type out the website/domain name in the search bar and hit ‘Lookup’
Step 3: Analyse the plugins/widgets, CMS or Frameworks to get a good look at what platform a website is using.
Builtwith.com provides a comprehensive report on a website by presenting what analytics and tracking tools they use to the Content Delivery Network.
While all this information can sometimes be a little overwhelming, it is beneficial to know what other technologies a website uses and the website builder.
This can also help you decide on what plugins, widgets or CDN you can go for.
3. Use Wappalyzer.com
Wappalyzer.com is an online tool that can analyse any website to determine what technologies are being utilised.
It searches for digital fingerprints such as scripts, stylesheets or images associated with specific platforms, generating a report about them.
This will help you to identify what platform the website is built on.
How to find out what platform a website is utilising with wappalyzer.com
Step 1: Head over to wappalyzer.com
Step 2: Create an account and verify it. (This will give you 50 website lookups per month)
Step 3: Navigate to the technology lookup page. Products > Technology Lookup. Or you can get back to the home page and scroll down a bit until you see the search bar.
Step 4: Enter the website URL or domain name and hit enter. Note: every search consumes one credit out of our 50 credits per month.
This tool is just like builtwith.com, will display all the technologies used on the website. But it summarises them in an elegant way where you can quickly skim over to the necessary details.
4. Use W3techs.com
This website may seem one from old age, but trust me, it gets the job done.
The website user interface is a bit cluttered and not so easy to navigate, which is why I would recommend sticking with the above three options.
But, if you want another opinion to solidify the answers received from the above two tools, go ahead and use this tool.
How to find out what platform a website is utilising with w3techs.com
Step 1: Head over to w3techs.com
Step 2: Navigate to the Sites option in their navigation menu
Step 3: Enter the domain name/website URL in the site info box and hit enter.
Step 4: Analyse the technologies the tool has come up with.
A hidden benefit of using this tool is that it also comes up with technology previously used by the website. They will be presented as crossed-out texts.
Why it is important to know what type of platform a website is built on
Website builders come with a list of benefits and drawbacks. They make it easy to create an online presence, but you might find that some websites don’t function how you want them or are missing some important features.
Knowing what type of platform a site was built on will let you know any significant modifications needed to get the features you want.
This is also helpful to know if there are any compatibility issues with other platforms.
In this article, I’ve covered four free tools to help you figure out what platform a website is using.
This can be useful for digital marketers looking to see if their competitors are on the same technologies and platforms to know how best to market against them or create an effective strategy with one of those platforms themselves.
Are there any other tools you use? Let us know in the comments below!