How to Know What Powers that Website

Over on W3Techs they do great work analyzing which platforms power the top 1 million sites.

It’s a fascinating bunch of stats and insights into what is going on, and WordPress as a platform has the top spot with 16.6% overall, and over 54% of the content management systems:

It’s hard to visualize that 16.6% number which is nearly 6 times larger than the next platform. It’s also very hard to know when you are on a WordPress powered site.

Unlike Twitter or Facebook which always have “twitter.com” or “facebook.com” in the address bar, tens of millions of WordPress sites are either self-hosted running their own domain, or on WordPress.com and running a mapped domain (as I do on this blog). So just because a site doesn’t live on “example.wordpress.com”, doesn’t mean it’s not using WordPress.

So how do you know when you are visiting a WordPress powered site ? You can view-source and look for some specifics, or check the http headers — but most of us won’t be doing that on a typical basis.

But there is an easier way. If you are running the Chrome browser, an extension called Chrome Sniffer will show you what is powering the site you are visiting by placing a small logo of that platform/service in the address bar:

The code for the extension itself is GPL and the project lives at nqbao.com/chrome-sniffer.

Here is what my address bar looks like when I visit my own blog after installed the Chrome Sniffer extension:

For Firefox users, a similar extension is available at wappalyzer.com. And if you don’t want to install anything, you can manually paste in web addresses into ismyblogworking.com and it will provide similar info plus a bunch of other useful bits.

So give it a shot, you’ll be surprised to see what powers the sites you visit each day.

3 thoughts on “How to Know What Powers that Website

  1. Interesting post, Raanan. A big congrats to the progress of WordPress. This type of information is becoming increasingly more interesting and useful.

    For web companies interested in not only gaining insight into which technologies the top 1 million websites are using, but also actionable data regarding this information – i.e. Who dropped my competitors within the last week? Who is stopped using our technology this month? – Datanyze is a great option.

  2. Ross Wintle (Oikos) says:

    Wappalyzer works on Chrome too. You can get more detail out of BuiltWith.com though, which also has browser extensions should you want them.

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