How to Find out if a Website Is Running on WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most used Content Management Systems on the Internet. Over 30% of all websites are powered by it; this means that more than 60 million people chose this software over the time.
You might find out if a website is running or WordPress and you can have several reasons to it. If you know that one of your competitors chose this CMS, then you can be sure that for a similar business WordPress is also going to be good. Or if you find a technical solution on a stranger’s website, it is much easier to copy it once you know it is WordPress-powered.
But how can you find out if a website is running on WordPress? We will cover few very simple and more advanced tools in this document, so, just keep reading!
The 1 Second Method
The easiest way to find out if a website is WP-powered is scrolling down to the bottom and checking the footer area. In many cases you will see there a “Proudly powered by WordPress” or a „Powered by WordPress” label which means a WordPress site.
This only requires a second, so it is worth to start with it. If you don’t see the label there, move to next step.
Trying the Well-known Files
All WordPress sites are built up by using the same files, most of them are hidden from you and you can’t reach them because of server security measurements. But the default WordPress login page is a real file, wp-login.php and it is used to log in to the users.
The easiest way to reach the login page is to open your web browser and type the file name after the site URL. For example: SampleSite.url/wp-login.php or just SampleSite.url/wp-admin. Both of them mean the same and if the links work, then you successfully found a WordPress site.
This trick is known on the Internet too, so spam robot owners often use the same method to hack the WordPress sites. To avoid them, the site owners might move the login page to a secret location, thus the above mentioned trick won’t work.
So you can try another 2 pages in the browser address line, they are license.txt and readme.html. When you install a new WP instance, these files are also installed into the root folder so you can reach them. Try again SampleSite.url/license.txt or SampleSite.url/readme.html and see what happens. The first file shows the license of the software while the second one is a “What’s new” page. If you find any of them then it is a WP site.
Viewing the Page Source Code
You can always check the website’s HTML code, which can never be hidden; however in some cases it is decoded. But 99.99% of the site owners do not use encoding so you just need to click on the website and select View Source or View Page Source.
It will be opened on a new tab and you will see many HTML tags, links and other website elements there. A default meta element used by WP looks like this:
The version number can vary, so we recommend you to copy over only the first part of code, like this: <meta name=”generator” content=”Wordpress
and search for it in the HTML code. If you find it then it is again a WP site.
Often the pro site owners remove this line of code, then you should observer the code and find WordPress related signs. Few examples:
This code piece shows that Yoast SEO plugin is installed, so we found WordPress:
Here’s another code piece, this time an image. It clearly shows that the site uses WordPress and also SitePress Multilingual CMS plugin:
We could continue the samples till the infinity but now you know that finding a sign of WP is not that difficult.
Using Browser Add-ons
Browsers are a great tool to display websites but they know much more! Literally there is no limit to use a browser for any special task; you just need an add-on to it.
There are many add-ons that can help you in identifying if a website is running on WordPress. BuiltWith Technology Profiler is a great tool for Chrome to get info about a visited website. Just add it and open any website to find the signs of WordPress. It is available here.
Of course, there are websites that offer the same solution to you; most probably the 2 best ones are isitwp and BuiltWith.
In isitwp you should enter the website URL and push the Analyze Website button. After a few seconds, you will see if the site uses WP and many more things. You can get information about the site’s WHOIS record and storage provider, the active theme and the most important WordPress themes. If any of them is available on the market, you will be provided with a link to download them.
The BuiltWith website also uses a search bar where you need to enter the website URL, technology name or keyword and then press the Lookup button. After a few seconds you will also get the details, but in this case you will have a more detailed overview of the selected website. This is especially useful if you are a provider or looking for great tips from your competitor.
How to Hide that Your Website is Running on WordPress
If you are a website owner and want to hide the fact that your website is running on WordPress, you can do various measurements. Many of them can be done manually but not sure they’re worth the efforts, since as we covered above, there are many way to find out the site CMS.
The easiest way is to use a special plugin for this task; Hide My WP is available on Envato Market.
It is a top seller plugin on the market, having over 25,000 sales so far with 4.51 stars rating, based on over 1600 reviews. Since it was created in 2013, the plugin got many updates and is fully compatible with the latest WordPress, BuddyPress and WooCommerce versions.
Why we recommend this plugin to you:
- it costs only $29 so it is cheaper than a few hours of your work
- extended support can be purchased for a year, for only $9
- it is continuously updated and it is the best seller item of an Elite Author of Envato Market
- it has super detailed documentation and video tutorials
Hide My WP is more than a tool to hide the WP core behind your site; it is also a strong security solution. After installation, you will be protected against hacks and attacks, including SQL injections and brutal force, plus you will get a log with attackers’ username, IP address, date and other details.
It hides your WordPress templates and plugins’ name, the WP login, hides or renames the wp-admin interface and changes the well-known permalinks of authors, feeds and others. Hide My WP is also able to remove or replace any strings in the source code of your site, so no one will find WordPress related signs in your site code.
Here are some samples where you can see how advantageous this plugin is:
- original URL: yoursite.com/wp-login.php
- changed URL: yoursite.com/wp-login.php?hide_my_wp=101010,
Changing the WordPress backend URL:
- original URL: yoursite.com/wp-admin
- changed URL: yoursite.com/special-admin
Changing the theme directory:
- original URL: yoursite.com/wp-content/themes/twentyeightteen/style.css
- changed URL: yoursite.com/skin/mycss.css
In this case not only the theme URL and style name was changed, but Hide My WP removed the theme info from the CS file, replaced the original WordPress classes and minified the code. All of the changes were done behind the roof, so you should not handle any of these tasks.
Changing the plugin directory and denying the access of the files for not authorized users:
- original URL: yoursite.com/wp-content/plugins/seo-plugin/main.css
- changed URL: yoursite.com/wp-content/8328fd7231/main.css
Changing the URL of default WordPress folders and files to new ones:
- original URL of upload directory: yoursite.com/wp-content/uploads/
- changed URL of upload directory: yoursite.com/myuploads/
- original URL of AJAX: yoursite.com/ajax.php
- changed URL of AJAX: yoursite.com/myajax.php
Changing or disabling feeds:
- original feed URL: yoursite.com/feed
- changed feed URL: yoursite.com/feedsforpartners/main.xml
Hiding and disabling the above mentioned WordPress files and archives:
- html URL: yoursite.com/readme.html – not found (hidden)
- txt URL: yoursite.com/license.txt – not found (hidden)
- monthly archives URL: yoursite.com/2018/10 – not found (hidden)
- yearly archives URL: yoursite.com/2018 – not found (hidden)
As you can see there is literally no limit to what you can set as alternative URL. Just use your imaginations, since you won’t have to remind the new URLs, Hide My WP will save them and automatically uses them when displaying your website.
As we already mentioned, there is an extra service in this plugin. The CSS and code pieces can be minified with this tool, so these files will be smaller and your site will be displayed faster. The default email sender also can be changed with Hide My WP.
The full list of plugin features can be read on the market profile and counting the fact that Hide My WP is continuously updated in every 3-6 months, there will be new features for sure. Check the plugin profile here.
You got different kind of tools to investigate if a website is powered by WordPress or not. If you prefer the convenient methods, it is worth to use the covered websites. If you like to see the code and enjoy making some field work, then use the code inspecting or manual link exploring methods. Anyways, there are no more secrets for you when it comes to finding a WordPress site!
If you want to build your website on WordPress and looking for a reliable hosting provider, I suggest checking out our article, where we review the best WordPress hosting companies.