WordPress is the world's most popular content management system (CMS). You basically can't browse the internet without stumbling across a WordPress site. TechCrunch, Wired, People.com, the Yelp Blog, and millions of other sites use WordPress.
One of the reasons why WordPress is so popular is because, with all its themes and plugins, there are countless ways to customize your site. If you happen to see a theme or plugin you like, you might want to find out the name of the theme/plugin so that you can use it yourself.
Here's how to determine which theme or plugin a WordPress site is using:
How To Tell If A Site Was Made With WordPress
First, you need to know if the site you're on has been created with WordPress. Sometimes, you can find this information in the footer. If you don't see any mention of WordPress there, open the source code of the page (press CTRL + U) and search the text (CTRL + F) for "wp-content".
The page you're looking at right now is on a WordPress site. Follow the instructions above, and you'll find instances of "wp-content" in the source code that confirms this fact.
The Best Tools For Detecting Templates and Plugins
1. Built With
Individual site reports are always free. Built With offers more comprehensive web analysis plans that start at $295/month.
Kinsta’s free WordPress Theme Detector allows you to quickly find key information about the theme being used on any WordPress site, including the theme name and version number, the theme URL and the version of WordPress that’s being used to run it.
W3Techs is similar to Built With because it gives you a lot of data about a site. Its design is less flashy than Built With, but its reports are packed with information. W3Techs even gives you a "Technology Score" that measures the popularity (how many sites use the same technologies) and traffic (how much traffic other sites have received with the same technologies) for all the technologies used on the site. The term "technologies" is referring to content management service, social widgets, web servers, etc.
This tool also teaches you more about the CMS market as a whole. For example, a look at the W3Techs homepage will show you that, as of October 2017, WordPress has a CMS market share of 59.7%, while Joomla is at second-place with a 6.7% share and Drupal takes third with 4.7%.
WhatCMS will tell you which CMS the website uses. If this is the only information you're looking for, this plugin will work great for you.
4. CMS Detector
At first, the CMS Detector will only show you which CMS the website is using. When you select "Click here to analyze fully", you'll get an in-depth report about the website. It gives you more information than WhatCMS, but less than BuiltWith or W3Techs.
The WordPress Theme Detector shows you the name of the site's theme, along with the official page of the theme and its version, license, and authors. It also shows you which plugins the site is using.
What WordPress Theme Is That? is more involved than the rest of the entries on this list - it sends you directly to the WordPress plugin repository, so you can download the plugins for your own site immediately.
Unlike the above six entries, which are all accessible online, this tool needs to be installed on your browser. It's a Google Chrome extension that shows you the theme used by a particular web page.
Wappalyzer needs to be installed on your browser as well. It works with both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
WordPress Themes Sniffer and Wappalyzer are a little less helpful than the other theme/plugin detectors, but they're good for doing some quick research.
Manual Theme And Plugin Detection
You don't necessarily need tools to detect themes and plugins. Instead, you can look at the source code of a page (remember, CTRL + U) and find out yourself.
Each WordPress theme needs two files to work: index.php and style.css. The style.css file will show you the name of the theme.
Search for "wp-content/plugins" to discover the plugins used on a WordPress site.
It's always easier to use a tool, but poking around the source code will help you better understand the WordPress platform.
Originally published Jan 1, 2020 7:58:00 PM, updated August 20 2021