Find out what kind of theme and which plugins a blog uses
Find and ask for features
Most bloggers will be familiar with the following. You’re surfing the Internet when you suddenly discover a great blog with ingenious functions, widgets, or a really successful design. You then write the webmaster a friendly email and ask how he implemented this or that function, but most of the time there is no answer. Don’t be angry, but as a successful webmaster you get about 100 spam mails per day and 50 requests for any kind of cooperation and more, so you simply cannot answer each mail individually. For you, that means you have to answer your own questions, and today I wanted to show you how to do that. Because that’s a recurring question.
Find used plugins and themes
Basically, it’s very simple, especially because WordPress itself reveals it almost automatically and makes no attempt to camouflage or hide the plugins or themes used. So you can find out the same very simply via the source code of the page, which usually reveals all the secrets. So open the source code in your browser (right-click -> view page source code) and then press CTRL + F or CMD + F on Mac to open the browser’s search function. There you are now looking for “wp-content/themes” or “wp-content/plugins” and with Enter you automatically jump to the corresponding places. You will then be shown URLs such as can be seen here at Blogprojekt.de.
Basically, it’s really easy to find out what plugins and themes are in use because the directories directly follow the search phrase. With themes this is almost always possible, with plugins only if they integrate scripts etc. into the theme. If the names are not entirely clear, simply enter the folder name in Google and you will quickly find information about the extension. This also works with divs, for example, which you can find in the source code but cannot clearly assign. Simply find the div container used and enter it in Google, and you will often find questions and answers about the corresponding extension. In the example above, however, it is easy because the Shariff plugin is used there, as the folder clearly reveals. If you don’t see that at first glance, you could google “shariff” and you would immediately find references to the extension.
Pretty much all the extensions and themes for a WordPress blog can be found this way, without any additional tools or extensions. Fast, reliable and with minimal effort. I’ve walked this path myself a few times and I’ll probably walk it more often, because good extensions don’t get in your way, they actually want to be found. The embedded URLs allow all the themes and plugins used to be displayed directly, at least if you know what to do with the values.
Online tool does the work for you
If you are lazy or if the above method is really too complicated, you can also use ScanWP. For me, the search via source text is usually faster and more effective because I can rely on my own eyes, but of course an online tool does the work for you. For example, let’s just scan my esteemed colleague’s blog Peer Wandiger (in which I also write articles, by the way), we find out the following with ScanWP.
The blog uses the Eleven40 theme, which is for the Genesis framework, and all sorts of plugins. While some of the extensions aren’t directly recognized by the tool, a quick Google search will take us straight to them. For example “wpshowdown”. The term hides the ShowDown plugin, which I already knew myself, but which you can find very quickly if you enter the displayed term “wpshowdon” in Google. In this way, everything that can be found can be found relatively quickly.
As I said, I’m not the biggest fan of such tools. A quick look at the source text usually tells me more or basically the same thing, and I can also discover other plugins and additions such as scripts that the tool may not show me. Either way, both ways are hardly complex and if you discover a great function and want to know which plugin is responsible for it, you can find out this way. At least in 90 percent of all cases, because sometimes these are in-house developments, which of course are not freely available.
My name is Christian and I am a co-founder of the fastWP platform. Here in the magazine I am responsible for the more “technical” topics, but I like to write about SEO, which has been my passion for over 10 years now.