How to determine the CMS of the site or framework, on which it is developed

Seeing a modern site with a user-friendly interface, you want to borrow its features to promote your own web resource. Perhaps the first question that arises is the choice of its software, which is also called the CMS, or engine.

Surely you will need to know the CMS of the site and when developing a site from scratch.  Despite the first thought that you can not cope with this without knowledge of the servers, this is completely different. Today, we’ll talk about how to understand, on which engine or framework developed the site you came across. But first let’s understand what the difference between them.

1. Engines and frameworks: on which the site is made

CMS (Content Management System) – a content management system. Without going into the technical features of the web resource, the administrator can use it to manage the information. For example, to add, edit and delete text, audio and video. It is also possible to create new web pages, edit product catalogs in online stores and do many other things online. Today the option to customize seo-parameters is also particularly relevant.

Each engine has its own administrative panel tools, its own features and design implementation. The most popular CMS are considered WordPress, Joomla and 1C Bitrix, a little less – Drupal and OpenCart.

The advantages of developing a website with CMS:

  • no special knowledge and programming skills are required;
  • if you need instructions, it is easy to find related documentation on the web;
  • site capabilities can easily be expanded by using plug-ins;
  • development is already there, you will need the design, content and configuration options.

As for frameworks, they are a set of certain blanks for the software platform. It is a kind of template with built-in tools that you can make additional changes to, but you don’t have to write all the code from scratch. A framework is an intermediate software product between a CMS, where the user doesn’t have to invent anything, and the written program code, which you really need to be able to do. It gives ease of development and reduces the cost of creating web services, but the openness of the code requires a separate security solution.

In addition, frameworks solve problems such as working with the file system and error handling. Applications created with their help are much easier to refine, because the structure is automated. Filling, on the other hand, largely depends on the tasks at hand. Frameworks are tied to programming languages or specific technologies – the final quality of the product and the accompanying technical support is highly dependent on the qualifications of the original performer.

The advantages of developing a website with the help of a framework:

  • the ability to actively modify the web resource (less restrictions on functionality);
  • higher performance, there are ready-made packages to complement the software product;
  • error testing increases security.

2. Methods for determining the CMS: trying manually

So, what methods can be used to check the CMS, to understand how the resource looks good to you.

1.  The engine in the footer of the site

The easiest place to start is to see if this information is written in the footer of the site, if it is supposedly created based on a template. The name of the CMS may be written in fine print at the bottom, but as a rule, modern, visited sites disable this option.

How to determine the CMS of the site, an example based on Joomla

Fig. 1 – Example of a site based on Joomla

2.  View of raw links

The visual appearance of links to the site can also tell a lot. The only point is that they must not be processed by the URL generator. Accordingly, WordPress will show the link as, Joomla – as, the other engines will also show a different kind of links, they can be googled.

Raw link

Fig. 2 – Example of raw link on the site of Kiev planetarium

3.  Login to admin panel

To find out the CMS, you can try to enter a link to log in to the admin panel of the site. Me attachments of different engines, pick up the right combination. Guessing is not difficult, since there are not many common engines:

  1. WordPress –
  2. Joomla –
  3. 1C Bitrix –
  4. Drupal –
  5. OpenCart –
Link to login to PPCSEO admin area

Fig. 3 – Example of logging into the admin area, the site of PPCSEO

If the combination does not fit, then either the resource is not in the CMS, or use another way to determine the platform.

4. The source html code

Pressing the key combination Ctrl + U in the browser you can open a tab with the source html code of the site. The meta tag “generator” helps to determine the type of CMS more accurately: as a rule it is specified in the structure. For example, <meta name=”generator” content=”WordPress 3.5″ />.

In our case, however, the option of writing looks different, but still can be defined CMS:

Site code with CMS

Fig. 4 – Example of site code specifying a CMS

On many sites meta tag “generator” is removed, so it is easier to use other options.

5. Path to design files

On the page of the site code need to find links to css and js design files. They will be different for each CMS. In WordPress root you will see wp-content or wp-includes. And, for example, in Drupal it will look like /sites/default/files.

Path to design files

Fig. 5 – Example of the path to the design files

6. Robots and service pages

Regardless of what engine the site is on, it has a file robots.txt, which is responsible for indexing, as well as a ban on the display and duplication of technical pages. So, let’s open the site and complete the address bar “/robots.txt”. Learning the names of directories, we will understand what CMS is used in this case.

By analogy with the previous example, take WordPress and Drupal engines: they can be distinguished by the lines “Disallow: /wp-admin/” and “Disallow: /?q=admin/”.

7. Headers http:/

To understand whether the content is accessible to search engine robots, you must sometimes check the response of the server. How do I know the CMS of the site – information about engines contained in the http-headers response. To check them, it is easy to use a service like Checkmy . You enter the address and send a request.

How to find out the CMS of the site, Checkmy service

Fig. 6 – Interface of Checkmy service

String X-Powered-CMS or option Set-Cookie can help in search. It is worth to specify a URL with the main protocol, to avoid overloading the information.

3. Automatic check of CMS site – connect online services, extensions and parsers

If the result is not impressive, you can use special programs. Their principle of operation is generally similar: you only need to enter the URL you want and get the result.

Among the best programs that the online world is ready to offer users were these:

  • ITrack – the leader in prevalence, it has more than 60 management systems;
  • ITrack service

    Fig. 7 – The interface of the service ITrack

    • WhatCMS – convenient, defines 400 different engines and programming language;
    Service WhatCMS

    Fig. 8 – Interface of WhatCMS service

    • 2ip – simple and clear interface, detects up to 70 CMS, but sometimes gives false results;
    Service 2ip

    Fig. 9 – The interface of the service 2ip

  • Built With – can show not only the engine or framework, but also the analytics of the web resource, so the data you need is located in the “Content Management System” at the bottom of the page.
  • Built With Service

    Fig. 10 – Interface of the Built With service

    There are also browser extensions that automatically detect the engine or framework, either as a subset of the desktop programs listed above, or as an independent development. They work through Chrome and other browsers. These are even more convenient tools, which almost in one click answer the question of how to find out what platform the site is made on. In their ranking are Wappalyzer , supported by most browsers, and WhatRuns , which is slightly inferior.

    Wappalyzer service

    Fig. 11 – The interface of the Wappalyzer service

    Service WhatRuns

    Fig. 12 – Interface of WhatRuns service

    We cannot avoid mentioning parsers, which can be desktop or server based. They gather information based on the parameters you set and define the data you need. For example, they help to solve SEO problems regarding indexing or backlinks. They will also determine the CMS. The most common among these tools is A-Parser : it gives the necessary information quickly, but only has a paid version.

    A-Parser Service

    Fig. 13 – A-Parser interface

    Thus, there are a lot of options on how to find out the engine of the site you like. Whether you are going to use the most convenient program on a permanent basis or resort to manual methods of determination several times depends only on your further intentions. Making a quality web resource is difficult, so you’ll need to look closely, not only to the interface and the admin panel, but also to study the parameters of analytics in depth, and in addition, to communicate with experienced webmasters. But the result is worth it. Good luck in this hard work!

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