How To Tell What Platform A Website Is Built On

How To Tell What Platform A Website Is Built On

In today's digital landscape, websites are the heart and soul of businesses. They define the online presence of a brand, offering users a first glimpse into what a company is all about. As a web developer, marketer, or tech enthusiast, you may have wondered, "how to tell what platform a website is built on?" This question can be critical when you're trying to replicate a website's functionality or looking for inspiration for your projects.

Recognizing Website Platforms

The first step in deciphering how to tell what platform a website is built on involves understanding that websites can be built on various platforms. These platforms could be content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Magento. Some sites may also be built from scratch using programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or Ruby.

Browser Inspection Tools

Browser inspection tools provide a handy method to identify the platform on which a website is built. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Right-Click and Inspect: On any webpage, right-click and select "Inspect" or "Inspect Element." This will open the browser's Developer Tools pane, usually at the bottom or right side of your screen.

  2. Check the HTML Code: The 'Elements' tab displays the page's HTML code. Look for platform-specific code, such as wp-content for WordPress, or sites/all for Drupal.

Remember, this method requires some level of familiarity with HTML and CSS and may not always provide accurate results.

Online Tools

If you want to save time, online tools such as BuiltWith, Wappalyzer, and WhatCMS can do the job for you. Just enter the website URL and these tools will provide comprehensive details about the website's underlying technology, including the platform it's built on.

Examining The URL Structure

Sometimes, a website's URL structure can offer clues about the platform. For instance, if you see a URL with ?p= (a question mark followed by p and equal sign), it's likely a WordPress website. On the other hand, if you find /node/ in the URL, it suggests that the website is built on Drupal.

Checking Website Footer

Many websites mention their platform in the footer. You'll often see "Powered by WordPress," "Proudly powered by Joomla," or similar statements. However, this isn't a surefire method as many websites choose not to disclose this information.

How To Tell What Platform A Website Is Built On: FAQs

Can all websites be identified through these methods? 

While these methods can identify many platforms, some custom-built websites or those that use less common platforms may not be identifiable.

Is it legal to identify a website's platform? 

Yes, it's legal and ethical, provided you're not using the information for malicious purposes.

Can I identify the hosting provider using these methods? 

Online tools like BuiltWith can often provide information about a website's hosting provider.

The Takeaway

Understanding how to tell what platform a website is built on can give you a competitive edge, whether you're a web developer, digital marketer, or business owner. It helps you understand your competition better, improves your web development skills, and can even influence your platform choice for future projects.

Wanting to find out what eCommerce platform a site is using? Check out this Bliss Drive blog.

Richard Fong is a highly experienced and successful internet marketer, known for founding Bliss Drive. With over 20 years of online experience, he has earned a prestigious black belt in internet marketing. Richard leads a dedicated team of professionals and prioritizes personalized service, delivering on his promises and providing efficient and affordable solutions to his clients.
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