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How-to 10 min read

How to detect what CMS a website is using: 9 easy ways

The website СMS is the platform where a web resource is hosted. Monitoring website content management systems will help in choosing a CMS for your own Internet project at the startup stage. How to detect what CMS is this website using? Check out the ways to do this.
A CMS system is software that works with website content. Its official name is CMS or Content Management System. The content management system makes easier the process of editing information on the website as well as the administrator's interaction with databases, without requiring special technical skills.

Website CMS systems have their own characteristics, affordable tools, and options for the admin panel, and also provide the opportunity to implement a particular design. Popular CMSs include WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, Drupal, and others.

When to choose a CMS for your website

Let's say you want to create your website. If you don't want to do it from scratch and prefer to use third-party resources to design it, we recommend checking the Content Management Systems of other websites, and you will find the perfect CMS with its design, structure, and features for yourself.
Before finding out the ways to identify website CMS, let's have a look at the main plugins that can be used for it.

How to detect what CMS is this website using

It is not rocket science, and you surely can do this yourself pretty easily. In some cases, it is mentioned on the website, specifically in the page code. Special services can also be of use, they will help you detect CMS used with a link to the CMS official website. Let's check out the main ways how to do this.
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The name of the CMS is specified in the source code of the page

Examining the html code of the page and the generator meta tag is a reliable and simple approach to determine the platform utilized on a website. This is how you can go about doing it:
Go to the website you want to examine.
Press Ctrl + U to display the page code.
Find the tag with the prefix meta name="generator"content= on the html page.
The name of the engine will be indicated in quotation marks after the word "content".
meta name generator with CMS name in the code of the page

File paths

It's not always obvious from the source code what Content Management System it's based on. It could be removed throughout the development stage or if the website is self-developed. The CMS, on the other hand, can be identified by the code's typical folders and their structure. Particularly in the lines indicating the path to the js files. Wp-includes and wp-content, for example, show that the website is powered by Wordpress.
How to detect CMS of a site using file paths

Indication in the website footer

The CMS name can sometimes be found in the footer, in small font at the very bottom, under contact information or extra corporate information. When a web developer employs a template website design, the name of the CMS system is not always removed from the footer. It's an unusual scenario, though, that you can figure out the CMS's name this way.

Link structure analysis

If the URLs of the website pages are formed without the use of CNC generators, you can notice sections in the page texts that are specific to a particular CMS. The links with specific information for WordPress and Joomla can be seen in the example below.


Admin login URL

The CMS used on a website can be determined by looking at the URL that leads to the website's admin panel. This is WordPress, for example, if adding /wp-admin/ to a domain name in the URL bar brought you to a page with a login and password entry window.

Other options how to go to admin panel:

  • site_name/wp-admin/ - WordPress;
  • site_name/administrator/ - Joomla;
  • site_name/admin/ - OpenCart;
  • SiteName/user/ - Drupal.
How to find out site's CMS by login address

Service pages in robots.txt file

In the root folder of most websites, there is a robots.txt file. Webmasters use this file to prevent service pages and internal directories from being indexed. The CMS utilized can be determined by looking at the titles of internal files connected to the technical aspects of the site.

For example, a fragment of a robots.txt file for WordPress looks like this:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
To find out the CMS of a site in this way, you need to go to the robots.txt file by specifying the URL in the browser address bar: site_name/robots.txt:
How to know site's CMS with robots.txt

HTTP headers and browser extensions

HTTP Headers can sometimes be used to detect a website's CMS. The browser receives an HTTP Headers response from the server. Using the online resource or the HTTP Headers addon for Google Chrome, you can obtain a list of headers with CMS data.
Additionally, this extension allows you to examine the cookie and recognize the CMS by the file's characteristic characteristics. For example, wp-settings for WordPress.

Installing extensions in the browser will help to find out the CMS used and get other useful information about the site.

Plugins for Google Chrome: Chrome Sniffer, Wappalyzer.
Plugins for Firefox: RDS Bar, Wappalyzer.

Free online services

In only a few seconds, analytics services can tell you what CMS is this site using. Entering the website URL in the field is usually the quickest and most effective approach to determine the CMS utilized. Let's have a look at what Content Management Sytems can be used.
Whatcms. This service gives a response to "what CMS is this site using"; it specifies its name and version.
Checking CMS of the site online using Whatcms
Built With. Among the detailed information about the resource, you can detect CMS, as well as the plugins installed on it.
How to find out system of a site using Built With service


Both the business owner and the webmaster can benefit from knowing about the CMS system implemented for a third-party website. There are numerous methods for determining which CMS is being used by a web resource.

Online services are the most popular, simple, and efficient method to find out what Content Management System the website uses.

Alternative options will help you find markers that identify a particular CMS system: through the HTML code of the page, internal website files, and via browser extensions.

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