How to Find out What Plugins your WordPress Site is Using

How to Find out What Plugins your WordPress Site is Using- The Best Methods

You visit a website, surf around, and suddenly, you see a design or a template you like. You want to use it on your website as well. Or you are looking for inspiration, and you are browsing other sites. You find a feature you like, and you want to add that feature to your website. So how to find out what plugins your WordPress site is using? — if only you could work out which plugin is responsible. 

The first thing you need to remember is that not all of the features are inherited by the plugins. Some features come from the themes as well. So, to get that feature, you may have to alter the whole design of your website. But we are here to find out how to find what plugins the websites are using. 

Starting with the easiest and finishing with some more involved methods, let’s take a look at the various means at our disposal and see how far we can get!

Best Ways to Find Out What Plugins You Are Using!

Here are the best ways to find out what plugins you are using,

1. Using Automated Tools

Use automated tools

The simplest method to find out what plugins your WordPress site uses is by using automated online detecting tools. Sadly, such tools are far from being ready to distinguish all plugins. In addition, many of these devices aren’t especially impending, frequently prompting individuals to surrender their analyst exercises too early. In any case, these kinds of web-based identification devices are So speedy and simple to utilize that they are an extraordinary spot to begin.

In no particular order, the most popular of these tools capable of detecting WordPress plugins are perhaps: WordPress Plugin Checker, WPThemeDetector, and What Theme Is That and Built With.

To give you a quick idea of their accuracy, try using one or two to do a quick scan of this site, plugin on steroids

It’s also worth mentioning that each tool works slightly differently. That means some can detect plugins that others can’t. So it’s always worth using more than one tool to yield a more comprehensive results list. 

 Note: Even combined, these tools can only detect about five or six of the plugins used on this website.

2. Looking for Tell-tale Signs Within the Source Code

All websites use HTML to display their content. And all the browsers see this code and display it to us so we can recognize it, like in paragraphs and images. 

But if you have a little technical knowledge, you can understand the code itself, and when it comes to looking for WordPress plugins, this is often exactly where you’ll find traces of them.

Let’s take a look at three ways to find the tell-tale signs some plugins leave behind using Chrome:

a. Looking for Plugin Directories

Right-click on the website and select ‘View Page Source from the resulting drop-down menu. Now you have to do a quick search* in the resulting code for “wp-content/plugins/.” 

Whatever comes after this term in the code, there will likely be multiple instances of this term on the page if more than one plugin is being used, so you’ll need to search more than once to cover them all; it could very well be the name of a plugin.

WP-Content-Plugins Search Example  How to Find out What Plugins your WordPress Site is Using

Note: Similarly, it can also be worth watching out for either any stylesheet or JavaScript file names (look for anything that comes immediately before either “.css” or “.js” within the code) as these can also occasionally indicate plugin names.

Simply Google anything you find and hope for the best!

b. Looking for Html Comments

You will see that some plugins will leave their code on the page wrapped in HTML comments to help developers understand their output. Yoast is an excellent example of this if you use the SEO plugin. So, using the ‘View Page Source’ method outlined above, scroll through the code looking for lines of green text: these green lines are the HTML comments!

HTML Comments Search Example -How to Find out What Plugins your WordPress Site is Using

Assuming such comments exist, they will often lead you directly to more info on a particular plugin being used — easy!

c. Looking at Specific Web Elements

This last option is an absolute winner. When you are trying to find which plugin is responsible for generating a particular feature on the page, you can use this method. It can often succeed when all else fails!

Using Chrome, hover directly over whatever feature on the page you’re interested in and right-click. Then choose “Inspect Element” from the resulting drop-down menu, and you’ll be presented with a split view of the page and the underlying code. 

Now take a good look at the code and try to find ‘ID’ or ‘Class’ names, which will often look something like ‘class=”‘ or ‘ID=.” ‘ What comes directly after either of these code attributes could very well be the name of the plugin responsible for the feature!

Inspect Element Example - Screenshot

In the above screenshot, for example, you’ll see ‘div class=”jp-relatedposts-posts…’, which is an abbreviation of the plugin we’re using to generate the related post images shown under each of the posts on this blog. Googling ‘jp-relatedposts will lead you to the exact plugin we’re using to achieve this: Jetpack.

Read More: How to Use Your Plugin Management Buddy

3 Ideas for Website Plugin Detector

1. Using Your Common Sense!

Is it possible to guess which plugin produces a specific part of a site’s functionality? Yes, sometimes it is.

Let’s assume you’ve noticed a cool-looking fly-out feature animate in from the bottom right of a web page, and none of the above-mentioned methods are yielding anything to work with — for example. 

If you can find a way to pronounce, categorize or describe this functionality, you may then be able to find a list via Google of plugins that might be responsible for producing this particular feature. 

It looks like a bit of a long shot, but it is worth a try. What’s more, if you can find just one plugin that does something similar, there’s then the option of Googling the name of that plugin followed by the word “alternatives” to try to find more/similar plugins. And then, with any luck, you’ll be able to pinpoint the one you want from the candidates that appear by looking through each piece of documentation.

2. Asking in a Forum

I know this one may seem like a hopeless idea, but showing the site with the functionality you’re interested into the members of a forum like Reddit, Quora, or even a WordPress-focused Facebook group. If you’re fortunate, result in someone recognizing the feature. What’s more (and this is way more likely), even if no one can tell you which plugin is being used, it’s often the case that someone will know of a plugin that does something similar or even better!

3. Emailing/ Asking the Site Owner Directly

Yes, you can always just ask! Some website owners won’t have the time or inclination to respond to an email asking them for details about their website/s, but some will, and some may even be genuinely pleased you’ve taken such an interest in their site!

Conclusion on How to Find Out What Plugins Your WordPress Site is Using

There it is. This is how to find out what plugins your WordPress site is using. We have mentioned the top ways to find out a website’s plugins.

So, whenever you are curious about any feature, use our methods to find out what plugins have them. Then you can use them on your site. 

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