How can I tell is someone's website is a CMS?

Question

How can I tell if a site has a CMS (Content Managed Site) installed? I have a client that has a site and wants me to add a page to it. I have the login info, but I can’t tell if they use a CMS for changes. It doesn’t look like it is, but how can I be sure?

Answer

You can’t always tell, because there are a lot of different CMSs. And, where many of them have specific default installations, it doesn’t mean they can’t be changed.

Here are some hints.

  • Look at the source code for words like drupal, wp-content in the metatags.

WordPress Sites: Try the links below. If you get a login, you have a winner. If you get a 404 error, you don’t:

  • http://www.example.com/wp-admin or
  • http://www.example.com/blog/wp-admin
  • http://www.example.com/wp-login.php or
  • http://www.example.com/blog/wp-login.php

Joomla

  • http://www.example.com/administrator
  • http://www.example.com/store/administrator

Mambo

  • http://www.example.com/administrator
  • http://www.example.com/store/administrator

Drupal

  • http://www.example.com/?q=user or
  • http://www.example.com/?q=admin
  • http://www.example.com/user or
  • http://www.example.com/admin

Magento

  • http://www.example.com/skin/frontend/

Finally, here is a neat little tool that will run some tests to see if it can identify a website’s framework.

Lena Shore

4 Comments

  1. Jake on November 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Actually you can tell, if you download Mozilla Firefox and download an add-on called Wappalyzer it will display in the browser an icon of the CMS system that the website is using when you visit the website.

    That way you don’t have to go to each of those links as mentioned above. I can easily tell that this is a WP website just by looking at my wappalyzer bar.

    Heres the link – http://wappalyzer.com/

    Hope this helps,

    Jake.



    • Lena Shore on December 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Jake – what a cool little tool!! Thank you! I assume that the favicon is overridden if there is a different one existing?



  2. Jake on December 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hey Lena, nope the favicon isn’t overridden the icons are displayed where you type the URL in your browser. Its great, you should try it.



    • Lena Shore on December 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      I just installed it. HOW AWESOME! What a great tip. Thank you! It shows all kinds of great information. I will definitely use this. WOOT!



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