How to determine the CMS of the site

How to determine the CMS of the site

Sometimes situations arise when you just need to find out on which engine a particular site is made. In this case, there are two ways of determining: manual, through the site code or service pages, and automatic – using various online services or browser extensions. Let’s consider them in order.

Manual way of determining the CMS of the site

This method is a little more complicated than online services, and may require some technical knowledge of the structure of the CMS and sites in general from you.

First of all, we go to the page of the selected site and press the key combination CTRL + U. On the new tab that opens, we are presented with the html code of this particular page.

It is important to note: Many CMSs allow you to use unique templates for individual pages, so the html code in this case may differ dramatically.

Further, in the presented code, you need to find the places where various files of styles, scripts, images, etc. are connected.

In this case, we see: style files are connected, and the address is associated with the well-known website builder – Insales.

Another example by which it is easy to determine that this is Bitrix:

Definition of CMS Bitrix through html-code

Almost all popular CMS are “guessed” in the same way.

Defining a CMS site through the address of the admin panel

But what if there is no obvious mention of CMS in the code? This is true for some popular CMS and frameworks. In this case, you can use the service login pages and the robots.txt file.

If the site owner did not specifically hide the main page for entering the admin panel, then it is quite easy to determine the CMS by simply substituting the desired address after the name of the site, for example:

  • site.ru/wp-admin/ for WordPress;
  • site.ru/administrator/ for Joomla;
  • site.ru/manager/ for MODX;
  • site.ru/user/ for Drupal (looks like a regular user login page);
  • site.ru/admin/ for Ucoz and Opencart;
  • site.ru/bitrix/ for Bitrix.

Just iterate over one by one until the control panel login opens instead of 404:

Login to CMS OpenCart

In this case, we have OpenCart.

The site.ru/admin address is quite universal and is used very often, including in most frameworks (Laravel, Yii2, etc.), start your selection with it.

The address that eventually opens will show what kind of CMS we have in front of us: the CMS logo is present at the entrance to the admin panel for the vast majority of site management systems.

Determining the site engine through robots.txt

CMS detection via robots.txt

In the robots.txt file, which is always located at site.ru/robots.txt, we can see that in this case, the ASP.NET framework was used to create the site.

Here we can get additional information about the site or its structure, about which sections or folders the owner decided to hide from search engines.

This is where the manual options for determining most often end, and if it was not possible to independently understand what kind of CMS the site has, then you should use automatic services.

Automatic way of determining the CMS of the site

For automatic detection, we will use online services and browser extensions.

While conducting tests for this article, I noticed that most of such services, to my great regret, cannot detect even the simplest engines, with minimal edits. Therefore, I highlighted a few pieces that I liked specifically due to their effectiveness even after making the changes.

Overseas service https://builtwith.com/:

Defining a CMS site using an online service

A great tool that has detected the engines for all of my sites. Shows additional useful information about scripts and libraries used on the site. Indicates an SSL certificate, server information.

Russian-language service https://be1.ru/:

Defining a CMS site using an online service

It does not show as much data as its foreign counterpart, but it copes with its task perfectly. Small advantage: you can check several sites at a time and download all the information in a .CSV file, which can be useful.

The rest of the services I tested define CMS much worse.

And the last option is the popular browser extensions: Wappalyzer and RDS bar.

Defining a CMS site using browser extensions

Unfortunately, they cannot boast of rich functionality, and the RDS bar generally detects CMS only with the help of paid functions. However, both have a fairly large selection of site analysis tools and can help or guide you on the right path:

Defining a CMS site using browser extensions

In conclusion, I want to say that the use of all this arsenal of tools and a careful study of the site, will easily allow you to understand which engine is used in a particular case.

This knowledge will help:

  • understand on which CMS the competitors’ sites are made;
  • restore accesses from your site if you forgot or lost them;
  • and solve some other problems.

And if you liked some incredibly beautiful site on the Internet, and you certainly want to do something like this for yourself, then contact us, we will definitely help you to implement any ideas.

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