Plugins can make a site look more attractive, inviting, and interactive. You may come across blogs or websites that inspire you and would like to borrow some ideas from them. This tutorial shows how to find which plugins a WordPress site has installed.
First, let’s quickly go over what plugins are and why WP websites need them.
What Is a WordPress (WP) Plugin?
Plugins are small programs that add features and functions to websites. These can be invisible (back-end) or visible on the live site (front-end). If a website impresses you with its interactive features, there’s probably a plugin behind it. Some examples are sliders, quizzes, polls, and forms. You can even transform your site into an e-store using a plugin like WooCommerce.
All successful WP websites use plugins, and you can easily find out what they are. Sometimes, though, it’s the theme that makes the site stand out rather than a plugin. Don’t worry; it’s also easy to identify templates using WordPress theme detector.
WordPress Plugin Detection
Some automated plugin detectors are better at finding products than others. The 4 methods here are free to use, easy to search, and can uncover more than just plugins.
- Scan WP
- Built With
- WordPress Plugin Checker
- Check the Source Code
There are others, so feel free to check those out if you want to explore more options.
#1 Scan WP Plugin Detection
Scan WP is primarily a WordPress themes detector, but it also shows any plugins used in its results. Enter the site URL into the Scan WP search box and click the Detect button. At the top of the results is the name of the theme—if it found one—and the site’s hosting provider. Further down the page is a list the Scanned Plugins results and a few SEO metrics.
#2 Built with
Built With—as the name suggests—tells you what themes and plugins a WordPress website uses. You type or paste the site’s URL into the search box and click the Lookup button. The results offer a snapshot across 4 areas. They are, Technology Profile (default), Detailed Technology Profile, Meta Data Profile, Relationship Profile, and Redirect Profile.
#3 WordPress Plugin Checker
WordPress Plugin Checker is a no-nonsense tool that scans WordPress-powered sites. Enter the URL into the search box and click the Check Site button. It first checks to make sure the website is WordPress. Once verified, the tool shows a progress status as it looks for plugins.
The search results name the plugin’s and link to their download pages in the product titles. Unfortunately, there’s a downside to this otherwise smart tool. That is, it only looks for the 50 most popular WP plugins and those made by the site creator, Earth People.
#4 Check the publicly viewable source code
The last way to check for WordPress plugins is to search the website’s source code.
Right-click somewhere on the webpage (not on an image).
From the popup menu, click View Page Source.
The site’s HTML source code opens in a new browser tab.
Hold CTRL on the keyboard, then tap the F key to bring up the find box.
Copy and paste wp-content/plugins/ into the search box and hit enter.
You should now see highlights of all the installed plugins detected by your search.
No plugins found
If your search doesn’t find anything, the website may not be WordPress. Either that or the site owner has removed all reference to WP themes and plugins from the viewable source code. The only “potential” solution in these cases is to contact the site owner and ask them.