How to check what WordPress theme a website is using
You may have various reasons for wanting to know what theme a WordPress site is using. This may not be obvious, unless the site is run by a beginner who uses one of the default WordPress themes or they have not removed the footer link that identifies the theme. More sophisticated sites can be trickier, and you may have to do a little detective work.
The main reason you might want to identify a theme is if you like it and want to use it yourself. If you are running a business, you may be doing thorough research on your competition and want to know as much about their strategies as possible. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can find out this piece of information and some additional things as well. For example, some of the tools that enable you to identify a theme also allow you to identify WordPress plugins as well.
Is It a WordPress site?
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if a website is even using WordPress. This is particularly true for well designed sites that are using premium themes. If you want to find out if someone is using WordPress, there are ways you can do this.
If you’re using the Firebox web browser, you can get the Wappalyzer add-on, which provides lots of useful information about what type of software a site is using. This will let you know if WordPress is being used, as well as many other things about the site.
Manually identify WordPress themes
If you are willing to do a little research, you can manually find out what theme a site is using.
You can, for example, look up the for the theme directory information in the HTML source of the WordPress site’s pages. In Mozilla Firefox for example, you can access the HTML source by right-clicking on the page and select “View Page Source. You then search for “wp-content/themes/”.
You can also search for the style.css file. This will provide you with information such as the name of the theme, its URL, license and other information.
Alternatively, you may also type in: site URL/wp-content/themes/theme-name/screenshot.png, which should bring up the theme’s image.
Most themes can be found using these methods. The only exceptions are when the site owner has taken the trouble to change the directory name of the theme and the style.css file. This is not usually done for free themes, but in some cases site owners using premium themes don’t want visitors to know what theme is being used. In fact, some advanced WordPress users don’t even want visitors to know that they are using WordPress at all.
Tools to identify WordPress themes
If none of the above easier methods work, or if you don’t want to bother to do this kind of work, there are some convenient automated tools to identify themes as well as plugins. Below are 3 of them.
What WordPress Theme Is That?
The simplest tool for identifying a WordPress theme is called, appropriately enough, “What WordPress Theme Is That?”. This is a free online tool, so there’s nothing to download and install. You simply go to the site and type in the URL of the WordPress site you’re curious about. Not only will this tool tell you the theme, but also give you a list of plugins installed on the site.
WordPress Theme Detector
A similar tool is WPTD or WordPress Theme Detector. This is another site where you can simply type in the site’s URL and get information about the theme the site is using.
Theme Sniffer add-on
Google Chrome users can install the Theme Sniffer add-on, which detects themes and templates not only for WordPress but also for Joomla sites. This is a pretty good add-on if you are a programmer or web developer.
There are, as we’ve seen, a few different ways to identify what WordPress theme is being used on a website. In some cases, you may have to first figure out if it’s a WordPress site at all. Even if it’s not, however, there’s nothing lost by typing an URL into one of the above tools. If it turns out to be a static website, you will find that out soon enough!
When you come upon a website that has appealing features you might want to borrow, identifying the theme can allow you to track it down quickly. Naturally, you will want to customize it for your own purposes, as there’s no point in creating a copycat site.
When it comes to plugins, which some of the automated tools also identify, this can help you do research on competitors. For example, if a certain website is ranking very well in the search engines and you can’t figure out why, the answer may be found in a certain SEO plugin found on the site. Some sites also use innovative plugins to create mailing lists, membership sites and for many other purposes. You may come upon useful themes and plugins you never knew existed in this manner!
While tech savvy internet users can manually lookup information about WordPress sites, it’s easier for most people to use an automated tool. You can simply bookmark one of these tools we have discussed above and get the information you want in seconds.
Being able to identify WordPress themes and plugins is one more piece of information that can help you in your research, whether you’re searching for features you can use yourself or you simply want to know what the competition is up to.