We want to find out what web builder was used for many reasons. We may want to copy the layout, do a competitive analysis, or use the same capabilities. Fortunately, most web builders wish us to know. They use sites built on their platform for free marketing.
Imagine you’re browsing the internet and stumble upon a website with a stunning layout. The design is sleek, the navigation is intuitive, and every element seems perfectly placed.
You think, “I want my website to look like this!” But how did they do it? What tools did they use? Let’s dive right into the steps of how you can find out:
Viewing Page Source
Step 1: Open the website whose builder you want to identify.
Step 2: Right-click on a blank area of the page. Look for an option that says “View Page Source” or “Inspect” and click on it.
Step 4: Press Ctrl + F (or Cmd + F on Mac) to open a search box. Type in keywords like “WordPress,” “Wix,” “Squarespace,” or other builder names. If the site is built using one of these platforms, you’ll likely find a related piece of code.
Step 5: Look for specific paths like “/wp-content/” for WordPress or any other unique identifiers tied to website builders.
Analyzing the URL Structure
Some website builders have unique URL patterns that can be a giveaway. Here’s how to spot them:
Step 1: Look at the URL in your browser’s address bar while navigating the site.
Step 2: Pay attention to the structure. For instance, Shopify stores often have URLs containing “/collections/” or “/products/.”
Step 3: If you notice any peculiar patterns that repeat across different pages, a quick web search of these patterns can reveal if they’re associated with a specific website builder.
Looking for Signs in the Footer
Many websites credit the builder in the footer. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Scroll down to the bottom of the website.
Step 2: Check for any text or logo that says “Powered by [Website Builder Name].” For example, this is the case with Divhunt.
Step 3: Even if there’s no explicit mention, sometimes the footer’s style can indicate popular platforms like Wix or Squarespace.
Using Online Tools and Extensions
Sometimes, the clues you need aren’t visible on the surface. That’s where online tools and browser extensions come in handy.
Step 1: Choose a browser extension like ‘Wappalyzer’ or ‘BuiltWith.’
Step 2: Install the extension. Go to your browser’s web store, search for the extension, and click “Add to Browser.”
Step 3: Once installed, navigate to the website you’re curious about.
Step 4: Click on the extension icon in your browser’s toolbar. It will display, if detectable, a list of technologies used on the site, including the website builder.
If you prefer not to avoid installing anything, online services are your go-to. Websites like ‘WhatCMS.org’ can detect content management systems and sometimes website builders. Here’s how to use them:
Step 1: Open a new browser tab and visit a website like ‘WhatCMS.org.’
Step 2: Enter the URL of the website you’re investigating into the search bar.
Step 3: Hit enter or click the search button. The service will analyze the website and attempt to identify the technology used.
Step 4: Review the results.
Limitations and Accuracy
Previous methods can uncover what web builder was used. Here’s why they might not always hit the mark:
Use of Multiple Technologies
Many websites use a combination of technologies. For instance, a site might be built on WordPress but heavily customized with additional programming languages and frameworks.
Changes in Technology
Website builders and technologies are constantly updating and evolving. What was a recognizable feature or code snippet yesterday might be completely different today.
Privacy and Security
Some websites use security measures to obfuscate their code or hide their technology stack for security reasons. This can prevent browser extensions and online tools from accurately detecting the website builder.
Overlapping Features Among Different Builders
Different website builders can offer similar features, templates, and design elements. This makes it difficult to distinguish one from another based solely on appearance or code structure.
There are more advanced techniques for tech-savvy readers or those who love a challenge.
Checking HTTP Headers
HTTP headers can sometimes reveal information about the server and the software used to run the website. Use tools like ‘curl’ or online HTTP header checker tools in the command line.
Look for headers like “X-Powered-By” or “Server,” which might contain the name of the CMS or website builder.