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How to tell what platform a website is built on

Posted by Sajeel Qureshi

Website Development

Do you ever wonder what your competition is building their websites on? Or when you come across a really mind-blowing website aren't you curious about the technology stack used to build it? It's always beneficial to be able to get some insight into what others are doing and why.

 

There are a few ways and tricks that you can use to determine what platform a website is built on or with. We'll explore them below. 

 

What is a Technology Stack? 

 

A technology stack in the digital ecosystem is the name given to the set of tools and technologies used to construct a websiterun digital marketing campaign implement features and functionalities for smooth operations. The platform on which the website is built, frameworks, programming languages, software applications, front-tech elements, back-end elements all things together create a stack. 

 

Use a Tool 

 

There are several websites that you can go to, type in the website's address and then they will break down the technology stack for you. 

 

For instance, go to builtwith.com and put in a website URL you want to check. Once you click on ‘Lookup’, BuiltWith breaks down the technologies by categoryView the web server, email services, SSL certificate and the platform or content management system of the website you entered. 

 

Some good tools to check website details 

 

BuiltWithWebsite tech information profiling tool. Tells you what a website is built with 

NetCraft- Cybercrime Disruption, Internet Research, and PCI Security Services 

DomainTools - investigate, profile and map attacker infrastructure 

W3Techs - the usage of various types of technologies on the web. 

Stackshare - for the developer tools and the companies that use them 

 

Chrome Extensions:

 

SimilarTech - Technologies from across millions of sites 

WappalyzerUncover the technologies used on website 

WhatRuns - Frameworks, Analytics Tools, WordPress Plugins, Fonts among other things 

PageXray - One-click access to know the technologies used on the current page you are on. 

 

Firefox Addons:

 

Domain Details - IP, webserver details, and country 

Wappalyzer - CMS, frameworks/libraries, message boards, e-commerce, etc. 

Library Detector - Javascript Libraries used 

 

Bookmarklets: 

 

WTFramework - Shows Javascript framework used 

 

Look at the Source Code

 

The source code of a website is easily accessible from your browser. In Chrome, look for Developer Tools, in Firefox look for Web Developer in your menu. The source code's file extensions and URLs can tell you what type of platform the website is built on. For instance, if you search the code and find wp-content, you can be confident that the website was built on WordPress. Some platforms are even more telling, if a website is built on a platform like HubSpot, the source code will include information about the HubSpot template builder. 

 

How to Use Developer Tools in Chrome 

Method 1: You can simply right click on any website and choose the inspect option from the menu. Click on it.

 

chrome step 1

 

You will see the screen like the following image. You can see the details of the page. You can navigate to the other options by opening the Console tab, Sources tab, and network tab.

 

chrome step 2

 

Method 2: Go to top right section in the menu bar, then to ‘more tools’, then to Developer Tools 

 

chrome method 2

 

It will take you to the same page

 

chrome step 2

 

Read the developer docs by Google to know what else you can do with them.

 

How to Use Developer Tools in Mozilla Firefox 

 

When you right click in a blank space on any website, the following mini menu will appear. 

 

firefox step 1

 

When you click on inspect element, the column on the page will appear, you can explore different developer options from there.

 

firefox step 2

 

The other method to access developer tools in Firefox is via the ‘options’ on the top right side of the screen.

 

Firefox Method 2

 

Once you click on the options icon on top right side of the browser, scroll to ‘Web Developer’ option and click on it. 

 

Firefox method 2-2

 

Click on any of the options listed to see the website details. 

It takes you to the same console

 

firefox step 2

 

You can also make your way to the bottom of the website, often in the footer you will find the design agencies website, click through and browse what technology stacks they work with, you'll likely find an answer with a bit of digging. 

 

We hope this gives a little insight to see what others are using on the internet to accomplish their goals. If you're regularly building and designing websites, check out our free guide below. We put it together to help agencies deliver more successful websites on time and on budget. 

Sajeel Qureshi

Written by Sajeel Qureshi

Sajeel Qureshi is the Vice President of Operations at Computan, a digital-marketing and software company. Computan serves as the digital department for numerous businesses throughout the globe, ranging from start-ups to multinationals.