Keeping an eye on your competitors is an important part of any business strategy.
If you notice that a competitor’s website is loading faster or their design is more modern, it could be because they’re using a different website builder than you. But how do you figure out which website builder was used by a competitor?
If you recently launched a website or are thinking about changing your website builder, this guide will show you how to figure out which website builder was used by a competitor.
Read on to learn how to investigate a website and find out which website builder is powering it.
How to Figure Out What Website Builder Was Used
There is more to knowing a website’s platform than just being able to boast that you are familiar with its functionality.
In fact, it can be helpful if you are searching for web developers to hire or if you are interested in freelancing.
Having said that, you must know the particular features or signs that you should search for.
Here are five ways that you can use to figure out what website builder was used by a competitor, a client, or anyone else:
Check The Source Code
You are probably familiar with source code if you are an experienced user or a web developer.
But if you feel like checking the source code is too technical, you can always use the other methods on this list.
Every website has a source code, which is the code that powers the site. You can directly check a website’s source code by using the shortcut CMD + Option + U on a Mac or CTRL + U on a Windows computer.
Alternatively, you can right-click on any element of the website and select “Inspect” or “Inspect Element.”
When you check the source code, look for any references to specific website builders.
For example, if you see “WP Content,” this is a good indication that the site was built with WordPress.
Use A Browser Extension
If you don’t want to check the source code yourself, you can use a browser extension. Browser extensions are tools that extend the functionality of your web browser.
One extension that can help find out which website builder was used is Wappalyzer.
This neat little Chrome extension provides a nicely presented list of website technologies that are running on a site.
Most websites use multiple technologies (e.g., a content management system, an eCommerce platform, etc.), but the website builder will usually be listed first.
You must be using chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome or Brave in order to use Wappalyzer. Once your browser is open, go to the Chrome store and download Wappazler for free.
Wappalyzer won’t be visible by default in your browser since Chrome hides all installed browser extensions with a little puzzle-piece icon.
To keep Wappalyzer displayed in your browser, click the button followed by the pin icon next to it.
Other browser extensions that can be helpful for this task include BuiltWith and WhatRuns.
Check For Platform Branding On The Front-End
In some cases, you may be able to tell which website builder was used just by looking at the front end of the site.
This is because some website builders include branding in the footer or header of sites that they power.
For example, Wix includes a small “Powered by Wix.com” logo in the footer of websites that are built with their platform.
Similarly, WordPress.com includes a “Powered By WordPress.com” badge in the footer of websites that are built with their platform.
If you see branding from a particular website builder, it’s a good indication that the site was built with that platform.
Note that this method isn’t foolproof since some website builders do not include branding on sites.
Ask The Website Owner
If you can’t figure out which website builder was used by looking at the source code or front end of the site, your best bet is to ask the website owner.
You can do this by sending an email to the website owner or by filling out a contact form on the site.
In some cases, you may be able to find the website owner’s information by using a WHOIS lookup tool.
When you contact the website owner, simply ask which platform was used to build their website.
They should be able to tell you which website builder they used, and they may even be able to provide you with a link to the platform.
Try Looking For Meta Tags
When you open a website in your web browser, you will see some hidden text which is called meta tags.
They collect details about the site’s creator, the content of the site, as well as other metadata, and they are often located at the very top of the source code.
One of the most common meta tags is the “generator” tag. This tag is used to specify which content management system (CMS) or website builder was used to create the site.
For example, if you see a generator tag that says “WordPress,” this is a good indication that WordPress was used to build the site.
If you can’t find a generator tag, you can also try looking for meta tags that specify the “build” or “created” date.
This can be helpful because it can give you an idea of how old the website is and whether or not it was built with a newer website builder.
As you can see, there are a few different ways that you can figure out which website builder was used to build a particular site.
And even if you can’t figure it out yourself, you can always contact the website owner and ask them which platform they used.
Now that you know how to figure out which website builder was used, you can use this knowledge to choose the right platform for your own website.
Amit Gupta is the founder of Website-Builder.Guide.
Amit has spent over half a decade learning about website design and using multiple website builders. He has previously worked on designing websites for multiple clients and loves helping people with their website needs.