Best WordPress Theme Detectors plus Plugins- BuiltWith to WhatTheme
Why Use a Theme Detector
Ever see a website whose design you love. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what WordPress theme they are using? Are competitors’ offers converting better, maybe their theme has a better layout for your target audience?
Developing your own theme from scratch but like some features of a few themes? There are lots of reasons to see what theme another website is using. I am often just curious as much as anything. And of course I don’t have access to a competitor’s WordPress dashboard!
This is what a WordPress theme detector will uncover for you. There are also tools that will analyze a WordPress website and tell you what WordPress plugins are in use. They will work with all of the themes out there premium themes or a free theme.
This is a separate exercise form finding the fastest or best WordPress theme. They are not going to detect theme features. But it can help you see what WordPress theme your competition is using.
Detecting WordPress themes being used on a WP site, or better still themes and plugins, can be a real time saver and also some good intelligence .
Let’s take a look …
Top WordPressTheme Detectors
We looked at all of the sites that had a WordPress theme detector tool and those that found WordPress plugins and came up with our list of ten detectors. They generally come in two forms.
The first set are online applications. A software as a service (SaaS) offering. These WordPress theme detectors are typically free but a few have some premium features you can subscribe to.
The second type of theme detectors are browser extensions. Just turn them on in your browser and visit the site in question. Click on the icon in your extension bar and voila – theme and CMS info.
The final area we looked at was CMS detector. Sometimes we get so involved with WordPress we forget there are many other CMS options. Not all sites are WordPress websites. If your target site does not have any WordPress information available try these tools to check for other CMS platforms. If you still have no results, a completely custom theme or flat html site is likely.
The online WordPress theme detectors all generally operate the same way. Put in the domain name of a WordPress website you are curious about and the tool will go off and retrieve the site information and try to de-code what theme a site is using. Some variables include: does it recognize child themes, does it get the plugins being used. If a child theme does it report the parent theme.
wp Theme Detector is a web-based WordPress theme detector and plugin detector. It works exclusively with WordPress websites and WordPress themes. It provides some additional information including beyond the WordPress theme name.
- The theme’s description
- statistics about the provider
- additional information about the site you searched for
- child theme
WhatTheme claims to be the most advanced CMS and theme detection tool. It is more than just a theme detector. It is a free online tool. It is one of the more popular WordPress theme detectors.
They work with more than just WordPress themes and can detect many CMS frameworks including WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Shopify, Ghost, Blogger, Tumblr, Big Cartel, Magento.
For a WordPress site it shows theme details including:
- Theme URL
- Author – Theme developer
What WordPress Theme Is That
Another WordPress theme detector it will scan a WordPress site and report the site’s theme. It works with both parent and child themes.
It is only a WordPress theme detector with no plugin or information about other content management systems. It reports:
- Theme provider
- Name of the theme
- Main Theme
Satori is online tool to detect what theme a WordPress website uses. It works with both parent and child themes. It reports:
- Main WordPress Theme
- Child Theme
IsItWP is one of our favorite WordPress theme detectors. It will tell you what theme a WordPress site is using and works with both parent and child themes. It is also a plugin detector. IsitWP was the only tool to get past hide-wp. It reports:
- Main Theme
- Child WordPress Theme
BuiltWith is an entire marketing and sales platform for finding information about a websites technology platform. There is a lot more information than just what theme a WordPress site is using. The WordPress detection is a free service. The premium services from BuiltWith can be used for lead generation and sales intelligence. Build lists of websites based on web technologies. Sort prospects by shopping carts, a particular CMS, location, traffic, industry and more.
Chrome and Firefox Theme Detector Extensions
These extensions are added to your browser. When you visit a site you can click on the logo and you will get WordPress theme information. A Chrome Chrome extension or Firefox browser extensions is great when you are doing some research and want to check a number of sites quickly. Just install the extension and enable it. When you go to any site it will now tell you the theme being used.
WPSniffer is a browser extension providing information about the WordPress configuration a site is using. The icon turns orange when it identifies a WordPress site. Press the icon and presto. It also links to a Google results page with information about the theme.
Detects themes and plugins used in a WordPress installation. Like most of these tools, the detection takes place on a remote server with results routed to your browser.
ScanWP has an online free detector service and a browser extension. When activated, an orange WordPress logo will be added to your browser. When visiting a site that was built with WordPress you press the logo to get information about the WordPress install.
If WordPress is not recognized by the theme and plugin detector try these tools to see what CMS they may be using.
- What CMS – detects 393 CMS platforms
- CMS Detect – detects CMS and frameworks
WhatCMS.org can detect 393 different CMS frameworks. It will also allow you to enter a specific url to see if a different CMS is used in a subdomain etc.
They have a Firefox addon and Chrome extension.
CMS Detect is able to detect websites built with the 46 CMS’ and frameworks.
There is also a CMS Detect Chrome extension that you can use as you browse.
Can you Hide from Theme Detectors
Now that you see the data available to your competitors, maybe you want to hide some of it. You can easily hide your theme information on your own website by editing the css for the child theme.
Hide-WP will fool the simplest of users. There are plugins available to do completely hide your WordPress install on a sitewide basis. We found hide-wp the easiest to use and free. wp-hide will be editing your .htaccess file. Always do a keyfile and full backup before setting up these types of plugins. Your WordPress default directories will change as will your login. They will also be using rewrite rules and could have an impact on the performance of your site. This may be more administrative trouble than the value of hiding your WordPress information.
Why use a theme detector?
A them detector is great to find out how a site you like is designed.
What kind of theme detectors are there?
You can find both SaaS-based online services and browser extensions.
Are these just for WordPress?
In addition to WordPress there are detectors available that identify Drupal and other CMS's themes.
What about plugins?
Many of the SaaS-based theme detectors will also identify the plugins being used.
The WordPress theme detector tools run the full gambit. Some are very simple, report just the WordPress theme, and appear to simply extract the theme info from the default CSS file. Just the theme that WordPress sites are using.
Others like BuiltWith are so thorough as to be a bit scary. They not only detect themes, but plugins, domain registration services and hosts, etc. I am not sure I want that much information about my site available. I am sure in a corporate setting I would not. There is little reason to use the simplest tools.
Some are not just for WordPress users but can detect many different CMS architectures. This is particularly useful in e-commerce and other application focused websites.
If you are looking for ideas, “how did they do that” answers, or just plain curious then IsitWP did a nice job and was the only tool to get best the default settings on hide-wp. Scan Wp also was a reliable tool and has both online and Chrome extension versions.
The browser extensions all seem to support Google Chrome some have additional browser support. These Google chrome extensions were very handy when I was in research mode and looking simple for the site’s theme. Just head over to the website url and the info is presented as I browse. Though the information is less complete and it is easy to just have a window open to an online tool and drop in the site to examine and sometimes I just want the name of the theme.
If I were selling IT services and products I would use Built With before every sales call.