Technology driven lead generation

Sell and market more effectively with technographic insights. We track over a thousand technologies accross websites of millions of companies to help you to identify new prospects and increase your addressable market.

Find out what CMS or framework a website is using

Whether you're a developer, online marketer, security researcher or SEO consultant, you've likely looked at a website and wondered 'what CMS is this website using'? There are several ways to check the technology of a website, which we'll explore in detail.

The easy way

To instantly find out what CMS, framework or ecommerce platform a website is using, install the Wappalyzer browser extension. The extension automatically checks pages you visit and reveals the technologies the website is built with. Click on any category or technology for more insights, such as market share and the top websites using a specific CMS.

Alternatively, you can use the online technology lookup, which requires no installation. Results are usually instant and more in-depth information is displayed alongside the list of identified technologies. If you're performing market research for a software product, the technology lookup is a great way to identify potential customers.

The hard way

Wappalyzer identifies technologies by inspecting websites' source code, HTTP headers, cookies, JavaScript variables and several other methods. Although not as straight-forward, it's possible to do this by hand. We'll go through a few examples below.

Find out if a website is using WordPress

WordPress sites can usually be identified by looking at the website's source code. Out of the box, the CMS conveniently adds a meta tag explicitly mentioning the name and version of the CMS. All you need to do is right-click the page, click 'view page source' and search the HTML for the generator meta tag.

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.9.8" />

The tag is used by other platforms as well, making it a good first thing to look for when trying to determine which CMS is being used.

Find out if a website is using Shopify

Shopify is a popular ecommerce solution that makes it easy to set up an online store. Websites using Shopify often use a shopify.io subdomain, making the platform easy to identify. However, professional websites will often use a custom domain.

The easiest and most reliable method to check if a website is using Shopify is to check the presence of the global 'Shopify' JavaScript variable on the page. To do this, open the developer tools (Option + ⌘ + I on macOS, or Shift + CTRL + I on Windows/Linux) and type 'Shopify' in the console, followed by return. If Shopify is in use, you will see a JavaScript object in the output. If not, you will see an error saying 'Shopify is not defined'.

Find out what web server or CDN a website is using

Web servers and CDNs can often be identified by inspecting HTTP headers. When you navigate to a web page, both the request and response include headers containing additional information such as content type or cookies.

To see the headers of a page, open the developer tools and click on the 'Network' tab. Now refresh the page to see all the network requests. In this case we only care about the very first request, which is the page itself. The requests that follow are to load resources such as images and scripts. When you click the first request, you'll see a section with response headers. Often there will be a header called 'server', exposing the name of the web server (e.g. Apache or Nginx) or CDN (e.g. CloudFlare, Akamai or CloudFront).

Conclusion

There are many different ways to find out what CMS or framework is used on a given website. By far the easiest way is to use a technology checker like Wappalyzer but it's possible to do it by hand.

You can use the Wappalyzer APIs to add technology lookups to your own project or website. Or, if you want to create a list of websites using a certain technology, have a look at Wappalyzer's lead lists.

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