It used to be easy to look at a website and know right away that it was using WordPress.
That’s because themes were very similar looking with the standard header and navigation, the two-column layout with blog and other links in the sidebar, and other standard WordPress things.
Now there are thousands of themes and styles that don’t all mimic the regular WordPress look and feel, especially since there are tons of plugins to customize the site’s look.
So what are some quick and easy ways to check if a website is actually using WordPress now?
Check the Site’s Source Code
What is source code?
“a text listing of commands to be compiled or assembled into an executable computer program.”– from dictionary
Source Code is also the name of a 2011 Sci-fi/action movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
But in simple terms on a website, the source code is the code that shows how a website displays on your screen. And you can easily check it yourself to see if a site is using WordPress.
This is also probably the most reliable way to check.
Right click on a page, like the homepage, and click “View Page Source” or something similar, depending on your browser.
If you can’t right-click with your mouse, check the top navigation in your browser. This might be a little different depending on your browser, but should be similar to these ways to get there.
For Chrome, it could like this path of clicking View > Developer > View Source:
In Firefox, it could be like this path of clicking Tools > Web Developer > Page Source:
Other browsers should be a similar path to click.
Then once your source code page opens in a new tab, simply look for file paths such as wp-includes or wp-content. Like this:
Those are standard file paths that are needed for a website to run WordPress.
Don’t see those file paths?
You could also control or command + F and search the source code page for the word: wordpress
That is probably the most sure way to check if a site is using WordPress because it’s directly in the code of the website.
Other ways to tell.
Add wp-admin to the End of the Homepage URL
Go to the website’s homepage and add a slash and “wp-admin” (without the quotes) to the end of the URL.
That should redirect to a WordPress login page if the site is using WordPress.
You could also add wp-login.php to the end of the homepage URL, too.
In most modern versions of WordPress, adding /wp-admin redirects to /wp-login.php for the login page. It’s just slightly faster to type and easier to remember “wp-admin” instead of “wp-login.php”.
Then you can tell if a site is using WordPress.
Check the Site’s Footer
Scroll all the way down the site and look for text in the footer that says: Powered by WordPress
That is a very common thing that is on the default versions of most WordPress theme installs.
Some people or developers remove it because maybe it doesn’t look professional to keep on the website or they don’t want to be linking out to WordPress on all their site’s pages, but many website owners don’t bother removing it.
Which means that’s another easy way to tell if a site is using WordPress.
Hopefully you are able to use one or all of the methods here to check if a website is using WordPress. Please comment on or share this post if you liked it.