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How to determine the CMS (engine) of the site

An important part of SEO – promotion is the definition of cms of competing web resources. Knowing what others use, after analyzing their work, it is easier to make an informed decision and correctly determine the platform of the site for further work on it.

Every business owner wants his products and services on the Internet to be a unique resource with the most user-friendly interface. It should be better than its competitors: more beautiful, more convenient, more functional, and easy to develop and manage. Ideally, working with it should be similar to playing with Lego blocks: they built it here, took it away, added it, and everything works fine.

Today, web resource creators have plenty to choose from. However, before deciding which engine to work with, it is necessary to articulate what is required and what functions it should perform. Let us consider in more depth the very concept of CMS, its main functions, and types of control systems. After that, we will begin to feel the most popular ways to find out on which platform a competitor’s website or your own is made, if over time such information was forgotten or initially it was not given importance.

The site engine is a “content management system”

To begin with, let’s figure out what a web resource cms is and what tasks it should perform. The site cms are the operating system of a web resource, the main task of which is to perform the same functions that the OS of a desktop computer or laptop performs. Content Management System or abbreviated CMS in English means “content management system”. Among programmers, it is customary to call it simply and beautifully – “engine”. This script is used exclusively for creating dynamic sites and is necessary for them to ensure normal operation. The very name of the script says that thanks to it, pages are generated for viewing, users are provided with access to resource files, the mailing is performed, videos are scrolled, etc. Simply put, the site engine is the very set of Lego bricks from which you can create the product of your dreams.

Typically, a control system consists of two components:

  • an application that allows you to manage content for adding, changing and deleting content from resource pages;
  • content delivery application for compiling content and updating resource pages.

The role of such a script is to perform the following functions:

  • publishing content;
  • managing a large amount of documentation;
  • managing everything that contains a resource through storage, compliance with access modes;
  • content work.

The engine can store completely different data: phone numbers, medical data of private clinic clients, photos, videos, etc.

Why you may need to find out what cms your competitors’ website is built on

Why know cms, which we are trying to define in different ways? Let’s say you are a business owner who needs your own web resource. Through it, it is planned to sell goods or services, and provide advice to users. Perhaps the idea of ​​​​creating your own blog or news platform arose. For the service of creating such a resource, they usually turn to special agencies or freelance web developers. Before starting work, the contractor will ask you to indicate 3-5 sites that the customer likes in order to understand your tastes and preferences. In order for the contractor to fulfill the order as accurately as possible, it is advisable not only to give a list of links but to indicate which platform was used to create resources that were attractive to the customer. It is necessary to take into account that each CMS has its own set of functions inherent to it, the capabilities of the administrative panel. In addition, each engine has a different cost of post-revision of the resource and differs in the complexity of publishing content.

The issue of determining the platform engine is being pondered by people responsible for updating and refining web products. In addition, the need for such information may arise when new contractors start working on an existing site.

The ability to define a resource management system can be useful to anyone whose work is somehow connected with Internet resources. In a word, information about CMS can be useful not only for webmasters but also for business owners.

Find out on which engine the site is: what are the types of CMS

Before proceeding with the consideration of different ways of obtaining data, it is necessary to know what types of cms exist, which we need to determine for further work. All existing website engines can be divided into 4 types:

  • boxed. The most popular because they are, in fact, ready-made solutions. Working with them is quite simple: download, install, open and work. Examples of boxed scripts are well-known Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, OpenCart;
  • self-written ones are made to order by developers for each specific project. It is almost impossible to identify them, since they are unique and not in the public domain;
  • CMS from resource builders is given as a gift to everyone who registers in Tilda or Wix. The engine is usually included in the functionality of the service, among the most famous and popular ones you can also name Shopify, Jimdo, Weebly, Google Sites;
  • studio control systems are similar to self-written ones. They are created by specialized companies either for sale or for other commercial use. For example, to write web resources for customers with their help.

It is easiest to define scripts from boxed or from automatic services. It is most likely that you will get information about self-written and studio ones only in one case – if you ask the developers directly.

When determining the resource engine, remember that different scripts can be used on different sections of the site. Therefore, it makes sense to check specific pages, and not the site as a whole.

Two ways to define website cms

No matter how much time an SEO specialist devotes to external and internal promotion methods, the success and speed of promotion depend on the quality of the promoted resource itself. If the product is well designed and contains creative ideas that attract the attention of the user, then it will be interesting to people. The development of a web resource promotion strategy begins with the collection of information about the market niche and competitors. Of course, seeing the successful sites of others, there is a natural desire to create something even better. But before that, you need to find out on what platform the competitor’s website is made, what underlies it, how it is administered, and what opportunities it provides cms. The easiest way to determine the platform of the site is to enter into the search string a query that matches your future project and find out the engine of other resources from the first positions of the issue. It is these scripts that you should be guided by when choosing a platform for yourself since search engine algorithms assign the status of leaders only to well-assembled web structures.

All possible ways to find out the cms of a web resource can be divided into two groups:

  • manual takes a lot of time. In addition, not every creak can be recognized with the naked eye;
  • automatic methods allow you to more accurately determine the site engine, but even they cannot recognize all existing web resource management scripts.

Whatever option you choose to determine the site platform, it will be easier to do this if its creators used one of the most common scripts. In case of failure, there is only one option left – to ask the developers.

How to determine the site engine manually by viewing the source code of the page

To date, determining the cms of the site manually by viewing the HTML markup or page code can be considered the easiest and fastest way. This can be done through browsers such as Chrome or Mozilla. What should be done? The step-by-step instructions is quite simple.

  1. We open the URL of the resource of interest in one of the mentioned browsers.
  2. We go to the main or any other page (remember that different pages may have different engines) and press the key combination “Ctrl + U” in the Windows operating system or “Option + Command + U” in MacOS. An alternative way is to right-click on the page and select View Page Source from the menu.
  3. A page with HTML code will open in front of your eyes. Even if the user is not a developer and does not understand programming languages, it is quite easy to see the <meta name=”generator” content==”CMS name” /> tag if you activate the search bar by pressing the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + F” and type in the name of each engine known to you in turn.

The most popular CMSs name themselves in the <head> tag, which specifies the path to the most important files.

It should be noted that the use of this method does not always give the expected result. Mostly, in this way you can check the old-style site engine. When creating modern web resources, developers can specifically remove the name of the script from the code. This is done to make it difficult for the collection of data about the resource by programs and bots specially created for this.

Determine the platform of the site by the content of the robots.txt file

To ensure that the technical part of the resource is not involved in the process of SEO promotion, programmers create a robots.txt file and place it in the root folder of the site. A careful study of the folders contained in the file can provide information of interest to us. For example, you can find out on which cms the site was created. You can open the document by typing “website name/robots.txt/” into the page URL. The content consists of a list of files and folders closed from indexing, in the name of which you can see familiar prefixes. For example, the WordPress engine uses the “wp-” prefix. Experienced SEO specialists can determine the cms of the site by a set of standard rules that are specific only to certain engines. For example, Bitrix can be calculated by the presence of the word “bitrix” in the names of the file components, and Drupal contains the line Disallow:/?q=admin/.

The main thing when working with this method is not to rush, but in a calm environment to consistently study the robots.txt file.

Check site engine through footer and HTTP headers

If the user wants to know the cms of the site, it is not necessary to understand what HTTP headers are. However, a few words are worth saying for those who are interested. The abbreviation HTTP defines the order in which data is exchanged between users and the network. Therefore, such headers may contain information that helps to identify the site’s engine. In order to search for such data, it is advisable to use the Chrome Sniffer, iTrack, Wappalyzer, RDS Bar, Headers browser extensions.

A good option to find out which engine the site is on manually is to view cookies, which may also contain a mention of the platforms.

Considering different options to find out the site engine, one cannot fail to mention, perhaps, the most obvious option. This goes down to the so-called footer of the page, or footer. This is the name of the additional information block containing information about current vacancies, a location map, contact details, etc. At the very bottom, next to the mentioned information, the name cms can be indicated in small print. Of course, if the developers did not choose to hide it.

Define cms through site theme files

If the admin has hidden the information and there is no way to determine the site engine by viewing the HTML markup and the “generator” meta tag, then you can try to determine the engine script through links to design files. Usually such information is indicated at the top of the page source code. Each engine has its own specific folder structure. For instance:

  • WordPress – /wp-content/themes/;
  • Drupal – /sites/default/files/.

In addition, you can start the search through the script type tag. It looks like this: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”engine name” ></script>. The mentioned option to find out the site’s tsms works only with boxed versions.

How to find cms through the admin panel

A good option to find out on which cms website of competitors experts consider the selection of the entry address to the administrative panel of the resource. To do this, use the addition to the exact site address (url) of a special particle that is peculiar only to a specific script. In the case of the Bitrix script, this is /auth. This combination looks like this: url/auth. If the prefix is ​​chosen correctly, then the admin panel window will open, requiring you to enter a password and login. If this does not happen, we select another prefix and so far it will not be possible to check the site’s CMS. There is no guarantee that this method will work. However, it’s worth a try. To find out the most common cms, use the addresses given in the table.

Script admin address
WordPress site.com/wp-admin/ или site.ru/wp-logn.php
Bitrix site.com/auth/
OpenCart site.com/admin/
MODX site.ru/manager
Drupal site.com/user/
Danneo site.ru/apanel
Joomla site.com/administrator/
WebAsyst, Magento site.com/login

If the addresses of the admins are the same, then you can recognize cms by the appearance of the page that opens. Even if you fail to determine the script in this way, do not despair, there are many other ways that you can use to get the necessary information for further SEO promotion.

How else can you find out the site engine manually

Before we begin to consider automatic ways to find out the cms of competing sites on the Internet, we will tell you a few more options for obtaining the necessary information manually.

Defining the Structure of URL Links Perhaps only advanced users who know how to understand the code and will be able to notice the signs characteristic of a particular script can cope with this method of determining the cms of a site. For example, the appearance of links with an underlined /?p sign is typical for the WordPress management system. In the case of Joomla, an external link will have its own unique features that are specific only to this management system.
Find out the CMS of the site from its creators If all of the above methods did not work, ask the developers directly. You can even start with this method, saving yourself a lot of time this way.

In the event that it is not possible to talk with the creators of the resource, and there is no time to manually find out on which engine the site is running, online services, server, and desktop parsers, as well as special extensions for browsers, come to the rescue.

How to find out the cms of a competitor’s web resource using automatic services

There are a large number of tools and methods designed to check the site engine. Listing everything in one article is quite difficult and pointless. Therefore, we will consider the most popular and effective ways to determine the cms of competitors’ web resources. There are three types of them:

  • free online services. With their help, you can find out on which platform the site is made in a few minutes. To get the desired result, you must do this: enter the URL of the resource of interest in the search bar. Today among experts, What Cms, Built with, Itrack are popular;
  • extensions for browsers Sniffer, Wappalyzer, RDS Bar are great for those who are engaged in SEO – promotion and they need to find out on which cms the competitor’s site is made regularly;
  • server and desktop parsers are paid programs that can be used after purchase from the product developers and installation. The most popular is A-Parser, with which you can define over 550 types of control systems.

Which way to use – each specialist chooses independently, depending on the goals, functionality of the resource and ease of use. Let’s take a closer look at each of the options for checking the site’s CMS.

The most popular online services that allow you to find out the CMS of a site

The advantage of this method is that you can find out the site engine in a couple of seconds online. This is very convenient if you are professionally engaged in SEO promotion of client resources and do not have time to manually recognize the cms of competing resources. especially if such work is to be done not for one web site, but for several. Today, there are many different services, with the development of digital marketing, new ones regularly appear. It makes no sense to consider everything, so we will pay attention only to those that have won the trust of users and are best able to cope with the task assigned to them. To date, there are three such online services.

  • What Cms is extremely easy to use, does not require registration, which is why SEOs love it. To check the site engine, you need to enter the name of the site in the search bar, click “Detect CMS ” and in a few seconds the answer will appear on the screen. The developers of the service claim that the resource is able to identify more than 500 of the most popular content management systems.
  • BuiltWith is a large-scale service that provides a lot of different information about a resource of interest to a specialist. Thanks to it, you can not only determine cms, but also find out which trackers and widgets are installed, which language versions, and provide analytics. All this can be useful to know when developing a marketing promotion strategy.
  • iTrack can work as an online service, as a plugin, and as a browser extension. The service makes it possible to determine the cms of competitor sites in just two clicks. It distinguishes over 80 control systems.
  • Be1 is useful when you need to check multiple resources and determine their management system. To do this, on the main page, you must insert the addresses of interest into a special field and click the “Check” button. The link with the test results can be copied.

The listed tools need to be known to everyone involved in website promotion, because without researching a market niche and analyzing competitors, it is very difficult to build a competent and effective promotion strategy.

What kind of cms site to determine will help special extensions for browsers

In addition to online services, browser extensions are popular among SEO specialists. To some extent, this is more convenient to work with, since the necessary tool is always at hand – you can check the CMS of a competitor’s website at any time without going into special programs. Most often, specialists use:

  • itrack for google chrome. To use the extension, you need to go to the resource of interest, press the right mouse button and select the appropriate action in the menu that opens. The extension can be installed on Chrome, Firefox and Opera;
  • Wappalyzer can be installed on Chrome and Firefox. After installation, the corresponding icon will appear among the extension icons. Using the extension is very easy. Go to the main page or any other page of the resource, click on the Wappalyzer icon and in a few seconds you will receive the necessary data;
  • Chrome Sniffer is a product for Google Chrome, it allows you to find out the cms of a resource and determine which JavaScript libraries it uses. You can download the extension on the official extension page in the Google Chrome web store. you can work with the tool in the same way as with Wappalyzer;

RDS Bar is designed to determine SEO-indicators, but can also be used to find out what cms the competitor’s site builds its work on. Among other things, the tool can provide information about the provider that issued the IP address. Registration is required for full use of the service. The extension works with Firefox.

You can find out on which platform the site is made through parsing

Another way to find out the CMS of a site is to use parsers. The parsing process itself involves the automated collection and analysis of information from web resources. Thanks to it, you can solve a variety of tasks for various activities: marketing, SEO, analysis of trends and user sentiment, content, and promotion of web resources. The parser makes it possible to quickly and efficiently process a huge number of records, saving the specialist from tedious and long manual work. Parsers, as a rule, are not used only to find out the engine of the site, this is just one of the details that can be obtained as a result of working with such programs. Therefore, for one-time use, there is no need to purchase and install this product.

The most popular among developers, SEO specialists, and marketers is the A-parser Enterprise product. It gives you the opportunity to get information about more than 600 CMS. The program is paid, to use its functionality, you will have to pay $199. The product has a lot of possibilities. Among them:

  • analysis of search results in different search engines;
  • determining the position of the site in the ranking of search engines for keywords;
  • collection of keywords;
  • analysis of search hints;
  • determining the number of backlinks;
  • calculation of impression statistics;
  • the ability to check the resource for its presence in the black lists;
  • captcha recognition, etc.

Parsers work quickly, can process a large amount of information and make it possible to automate processes. However, it makes no sense to use them for a one-time definition of a web resource management system. For digital marketing specialists and SEOs, such products are a must have as a working tool.

Cheat sheet: how to check the site’s cms

We have considered all the popular ways to find out on which engine the website or competitor resource you like is made. Which one to use depends on the goals and how often you need to perform such actions. In order not to get confused, we have prepared a small cheat sheet for those who are just starting to learn tools for determining page management systems for websites.

Step 1 Installing a plugin for automatic engine detection. Thanks to this, you will not need to use third-party services every time you need to receive such information.
Step 2 View the HTML source of the page. To do this, use the hotkey combination for Windows - Ctrl + U and for macOS - Option + Command + U. In the window that opens, find the meta tags "generator", "head". As a rule, they contain information about the CMS. To quickly search the page, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F.
Step 3 Find the robots.txt file through the domain name search bar. Use this entry format: site name/robots.txt. you can determine the resource management system by the directives contained in the file
Step 4 Look in the "footer" or footer of the main page. Often this is enough to find out which engine the developers used when creating the resource.
Step 5 If there is no time for an independent search for data, and automatic systems have not yielded results, or in any other case, there is always another option: contact the creators directly. Their contacts can be found in the footer.

Acting according to this instruction, even a person who has nothing to do with digital technologies, who does not know programming languages and has no experience in creating sites will be able to determine the management system of the resource of interest.

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