If you ever crossed the chasm of being a website platform’s user to being inquisitive to find which tech stack a website is built on, you are in for the perfect solution in today’s article.
We’ve covered the following three tools we found regularly using when we too got into that ‘curious cat’ mode!
These tools work from the platform level up so we get to see the stack at all levels, with a CMS detector, core programming languages used, analytics tools they bank on, and everything a website gets built with.
Website built with these tools are enough to get a head start, even if you are just dabbling in to creating your own web apps because these set you on the right path. Yes, and you’re welcome!
Without further ado, here is the list of website platform checkers:
At the time of this writing, BuiltWith is free to use for individual site lookups forever. This gives us enough freedom to get started with our curiousity. Every website gives off “signals” that they are using a particular technology. And BuiltWith claims it can track these signals and determine if a site is using a particular web technology from it.
Here’s how to use it:
Just go to https://builtwith.com and type in the website name you want to lookup:
You could search at either places marked as 1 and 2 in the above screenshot.
Here’s what I got when I searched for Gumroad using BuiltWith’s website platform checker:
There are various categories of lookups available that are separated in to different tabs.
The Technology Profile gives us:
- Analytics and Tracking tools used by (Gumroad, here) the website looked up.
- Widgets used (e.g. Google Tag Manager, reCAPTCHA, etc.)
- Frameworks (whether they used Ruby on Rails, PHP, or both)
- Mobile viewport data
- Payment processors that they use or embed
- Audio/Video Media
- Advertising platforms
- Email hosting providers
- Web hosting providers
- SSL Certificates
- Name Server
- Web Server
- Operating Systems and Servers
The Detailed Technology Profile gives the above list of findings with more details. We could see their ‘First detected’ and ‘Last detected’ dates, whether these are premium or free ones, and if they use any sub-domains and what technology profiles are being used to build those sub-domains, etc.
I admit, I made a mistake of looking up Gumroad for this article. The reason being Gumroad allows its users to create their own pages which are stored as sub-domains. Due to this, my lookup almost crashed my Chrome browser.
Next comes the ‘Meta Data’ profile. The previous two profiles can be looked up without any account creation at BuiltWith.com but we need to create an (free) account to see meta profiles. This ‘wall’ is in fact in the site’s best interest because given that these publicly available data could be scraped, a login wall could help mitigate at least some miscreants from misusing this data. The meta profiles gives contact information, sitemap URLs, social links, and other crucial Website meta information.
Next is the Relationship Profile. This gives tracking tag details and connected websites – something like backlinks (if I assume it correctly).
Redirect Profile. This section gives the TLD redirection information, if any.
Company Profile. Finally, this section provides details such as the company’s technology spend over time, their Global Footprint, addresses, telephone numbers, social information and other associated domains.
Next on our list is the Wappalyzer.
Not as robust as BuiltWith but it serves our purpose to find a website built with certain technologies.
I think the first lookup is free and any subsequent lookup will ask us to sign up.
A free account can be created which offers 50 credits every month to spend on any product.
There is also an expiry date for these credits – (60 days approximately).
The free account also shows only specific information while masking the company information, their social media handles, and other information
3. Awesome Tech Stack
From our checks, this tool is pretty simple as others. The uniqueness of this tool is it shows the version being used and its corresponding latest available version.
AwesomeTechStack also offers improvement suggestions. Although, as just a curious user, I don’t care of what improvements are pending, this proves to be a free boon to web developers creating their tech sites. We could come here and run a quick test to see which versions need an upgrade.