Our previous post covered how to find out which WordPress theme or template a website uses and how to find out if a website is using WordPress CMS. Today we would like to learn how to find out which plugins are installed in a WordPress-powered website.
Perhaps you have checked out the website and like some features and functionalities and you would like to use/replicate them on your own website only if you could tell which plugins are running the backend. However you must also know that not all such functionalities will be produced by plugins, sometimes it could be custom code or built in theme tools.
So here is the guide to tell which WordPress Plugins a website uses
Automated detection tools
This is by far the easiest way to tell or find out which plugins a website uses is by using automated online detection tools. These will give you a clue list as to what the theme uses, unfortunately however, they have their own limitations as they may not be able to detect and generate a list of all installed plugins, most of these tools can only detect and list four plugins, this is a great place to start however.
Some of the most popular of these tools capable of detecting WordPress plugins in no particular order of preference include: WPThemeDetector (whose primary service is detecting what WordPress themes run in a website, you can read our previous post here), Built With, WordPress Plugin Checker, Scan WP , What Theme Is That and lastly WP Theme and Plugins Detector Chrome Extension. Feel free to check the out.
Geek Mode ways to check
Checking the source code
Websites all use HTML to display their content. This is what the browser sees and then displays or prints it for users in a human viewable way in paragraphs, colors and images, etc.
If you can try you might be able to view and understand the code itself; here are three ways to get a rough idea of what plugins a website uses. Here we use the Chrome browser, the same applies to other browsers like Firefox and Opera.
View Page Source to looking for plugin directories:
To “View Page Source”, just right click somewhere on the website in question ensure that it is not above an image and select ‘View Page Source’ from the resulting drop-down menu. Now search for “wp-content/plugins/” in the resulting code. You will have to find out all the multimple solutions where this word is located. Whatever comes after this term in the code (note: there will likely be multiple instances because the website could be running more than one plugin.
Some plugins developers ensure that their plugins leave their own code on the page wrapped within HTML comments to help other developers and users understand the output of their plugins lets use Yoast’s SEO Plugin as an excellent example of this. Use the ‘View Page Source’ method once again and scroll through the code while looking out for lines in green text: these are the HTML comments! Here you will easily tell what plugin in the comments are meant for then count and list them separately.
Split view of specific web elements:
This is another method that will use the Chrome browser but can also apply to others. Here, hover directly over a feature on the page that impresses you, could be a box or the footer and just right click on it. Then select “Inspect Element” from the resulting drop-down menu, here you’ll get a split view of the page and its underlying code. Scroll through the code and check out for specifically ‘ID’ or ‘Class’ names, they will often look like ‘class=”‘ or ‘ID=”‘. Everything that comes directly after either of these code attributes could very well indicate the name of the plugin responsible for the feature! So there you have it.
Using forums or a direct email to the site owner.
Ask and you shall receive, therefore if all else fails, you could always run to the WordPress member forums who could be in groups like Quora or Reddit, and even the WordPress forums on Facebook or twitter.
Lastly, why not just drop a sincere email and ask the website owne. Be wary however because some site owners may not like this question, it could be from some hacker who is looking for back ends to their site, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get an answer.
You might also be pleasantly surprised that a site owner will be impressed by your query and interest for their WordPress site and help you out. You never know, just try.
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