In my last post, I discussed how you can find out if a website is running on WordPress or some other content management system. The reasons for wanting to find out if a website is running WordPress or not, can be varied. But generally, people are curious or are learning to become web developers or web entrepreneurs. This time we want to show how to find out what WordPress theme a website is using.
I’m currently looking for the right theme for a portfolio website. Although I’ve seen previews of hundreds of themes in the past, I always try to identify the themes of a personal portfolio websites of other freelance professionals. It is a very good technique to see what type of website you can create with different themes and a bit of customization.
If you are scouting for a theme for any type of website, you’ll certainly be interested in themes used by websites in the same niche. Personally, that alone is sufficient motivation to write this article.
Generally speaking, discovering this sort of information requires either using third party websites or browser extensions. The alternate option is to view the source code and Google the stuff you find in the code. I’ll look at each method individually and point you in the direction of a few helpful tools.
Using Third Party Websites
WordPress Theme Search allows the user to enter the URL of any website that employs a WordPress theme and it presents the details of the same. The information not only identifies the theme but also the attempts to identify the author of the theme.
If it finds, that a website uses a proprietary theme or a customized theme, it also reports that. This is a nice choice for identifying WordPress themes, especially if you intend to purchase one based on what you’ve seen on different websites. The theme details the websites reports will let you know if the theme is free for download or whether it requires a purchase.
WP Theme Detector is another website that helps you find the themes that different WordPress sites employ. It comes with a great deal of information and helps you find the theme and theme’s author.
It also seems to keep data on sites tracked for long time. For example, when I entered colorlib.com to try out the application, among the results it says “Theme has changed at least once since this site was first tracked by WPTD on 2013-10-19”. So it provides information about the changes that have taken place on a website, provided the website in question has been checked in the past by WPTD.
I tried WordPress Theme Search and attempted to find details about colorlib.com and the result displayed was rather limited. – “WordPress detected, but the specific theme details could not be determined. It is probably using a customized or proprietary theme.” Although this is accurate, WPTD provides more information including the author name. The results can vary with both applications for different websites, but it seems the case that WPTD might have the edge.
I retried both applications with WpExplorer.com, I was definitely able to discern the author and license status for the custom theme their website employs. But again WPTD has the edge, because in addition to the normal stuff they also pointed out that they are a Top 100 WordPress Theme Provider and their themes account for 0.17% of WPTD previous searches.
There is another website WhatTheme, which attempts to perform the same function but it doesn’t seem to be as good as either of the aforementioned two websites. It only points out that a custom theme has been used and identifies them by name, no linked references are provided to the authors of said theme.
Although, the WhatTheme project seems like a great idea, it doesn’t look as though it has been fully developed. The idea behind the algorithm of WhatTheme is to recommend themes with similar design elements found in the website being analysed.
Using Browser Extensions
After websites, browser extensions are the next easiest alternative to find out WordPress themes and templates of the websites you visit. Of course, they come with the added benefit of not having to visit another website to view theme details.
For Chrome, you can try WordPress Theme Detective an browser extension created purely for the purpose of identifying a WordPress website’s theme and to provide a link to the theme’s author.
I must say the extension seems to function well on websites with well known themes, but if you were to visit a website with a customized theme, it is unlikely that the extension will provide any hint to help you find the theme’s publisher or author.
I also subsequently tried WPSniffer and WordPress Theme & Plugin Detector, I found the latter extension far more effective. I experienced the same problem with WPSniffer, no information provided when used for WordPress websites with customized themes.
Among the three extensions, I definitely think WordPress Theme & Plugin Detector has the edge because it provides some information about the author for customized theme and templates. It is very similar to WPTD in that sense.
I looked up the same type of extension for Firefox, I wasn’t able to find an extension worthy of note. If you use Firefox and find an extension for the same to detect WP themes, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
View The Page Source
This is for those of you who are tech savvy and have accessed the source code of websites for different purposes. We can glean from the Source Code the names of the templates and themes that WordPress websites employ. This is true of all Content Management Systems.
There are always clues that point towards the theme or the template that a website is running regardless of the Content Management System. On a different note, if you do not know whether a website is running on WordPress, you can read my previous post which explains how to find out if a website is running on WordPress.
Open the source code, right click and select View Page Source.
Find the file style.css, which resides in wp-content under the sub directory themes. Finding it manually is takes far too long, just open your browser’s search bar with “Ctrl+F” and type in “style.css”.
You will find style.css as part of a hyperlink, open the link.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the theme name, version, description and author have been provided with details including links and licensing information. You will almost always find this file for every WordPress website and opening the link that accompanies it should open up theme information to you.
Another way you can easily figure out the name of theme you are dealing with, is through the link that contains the style.css file.
Go back up to the screenshot and you’ll notice it reads:
This may be modified a bit for different websites but generally the theme’s name precedes the style.css in the link. You could also say the theme name appears after
wp/wp-content/themes/, either way you can figure out the name based on the link in and of itself, without accessing the style.css file which provides specific theme information. A simple Google search of the theme name will yield the theme’s author and licensing information.
I hope the post was helpful and you can now easily find out which theme your favorite WordPress websites are using 🙂
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