BuiltWith - What Platform a Site is Running

The Insider’s Guide to What Platform a Site is Running

Imagine this, you’re browsing websites to choose a layout you like best. And you come across one that really captures your eye.

You may wonder, What platform is a site on anyway? You might like to take parts of the site to incorporate them into your own.

While some people are able to get away with finding out what the platform is by looking at the source code of the site, that’s not always possible. Some source codes won’t always give you the hints to the platform. That’s when you need to use specialized tools that will analyze the site to give you the information on the content management system it’s using.

About a Content Management System

The content management system or CMS is the platform a site runs on. It holds the text, images, and video. For many sites, it holds the coding the entire site is designed with. The CMS is what you need to figure out when you want to borrow some ideas from sites you admire.

For the website owner, using a great CMS is crucial for their site success it. Currently, the largest CMS in use is WordPress and there are many reasons why you should use WordPress.

How to Discover What Platform a Site Is Using

You have a few choices when it comes to analytical tools for CMS discovery. The most popular ones are WAPPALYZER, SimilarTech, and Builtwith. Each of these are successful for most websites; however, they do have some differences. These are great resources for figuring out what platform is a site on.


Wappalyzer - What Platform a Site is Running

You can use this tool right from your web browser. It’s an extension that will tell you the content management system, eCommerce platform, web server, JavaScript framework, and analytical tools a site is using. It’s simple in its reporting, but if you just want to know the general idea of how a site has been created, it will do the job.


Similartech - What Platform a Site is Running

SimilarTech is a little different. You can browse their list of platforms and then see sites that are built on them in addition to the search bar at the top. The search bar is a the top left of the page and is a little hidden.

When you see a site you like, you will already know what the platform it’s using. SimilarTech also offers market research and other types of services to help you identify some of your competitors’ tactics in Internet marketing.


BuiltWith - What Platform a Site is Running

Builtwith is easy to use. Put in the website address and receive information such as:

  • Web server
  • SSL certificate
  • Framework
  • eCommerce
  • Advertising
  • Analytics and tracking
  • Javascript libraries
  • Widgets
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Document information
  • Encoding
  • CSS media queries

Some people report it’s not as reliable as other tools. This might be due to the sites they were trying to analyze. Not all tools will return all the results that people need. The best thing you can do is check a site with more than one tool. That way you can compare and better answer the question, “What platform is a site on?”

Caution: Some Tools Shouldn’t Be Used

When using tools for identifying the platform sites are running on, be careful which one you’re using.

While the ones mentioned above have a good reputation, there are many other out there that don’t deliver reliable results. For example, Netcraft is a simple tool to use that may seem perfect for you; however, it’s not reliable. It can also return SQL errors to the client, which isn’t good.

With these tools, you can design a site you want. Give them a try today to see how well they work for you.

In the comments, let us know what your experience is with these tools. Did you like them? Are they accurate?


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