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

October 22, 2012 / Updated: October 22, 2012 / Lena Shore

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.

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