WordLog

A weblog authored by Carthik about the latest in the WordPress world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Figure Out What Runs a Site

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:33 am

BuiltWith.com is a service that tells you what runs a site, the statistics packages used, the blogging software used in case the site is a blog, whether the site uses RSS, Javascript, the works. I found BuiltWith via Mashable, one of my occasional reads.

Interestingly, BuiltWith.com also provides the percentage of profiles sites that use a particular technology, and I LOVE stats. Back in the day I had a pet project going that sought to keep track of all the WordPress powered blogs in the world, and map them on a world map. Yes, I know, I had no idea how popular WordPress would turn out to be. That application of mine soon started grounding servers, but we are getting off track here.

When I checked wordlog.com at BuiltWith I noticed that 8.27% of all profiled sites use WordPress to power the blog. So I got to thinking, “What about MT, Typepad, and Blogger?” Turns out BuiltWith cannot identify MT powered sites, like Boing Boing, so we’ll never know what percentage of the profiled sites run on MT. Maybe MT sites don’t put out that they’re powered by MT (they don’t have a “generator” meta field) so conspicuously, maybe BuiltWith never thought MT important enough – we don’t know. But only 0.52% of all profiled sites use Typepad, and only 1.55% of the sites use Blogger. In the process, I also realized how, by looking at a site, I am generally able to figure out what runs the site. If a site is WordPress or MT powered, I can usually tell just by browsing the site and looking for some signs.

I am not saying WordPress blogs outnumber Blogger blogs by a factor of 5 or more, the results might just as well indicate that WordPress users are among the more inquisitive, wanting to try out new tools, such as BuiltWith, which might explain why more profiled blogs are powered by WordPress. In any case, BuiltWith.com owes me around 15 minutes of my precious time. I suspect I will check back later, when, hopefully, a more representative cross-section of website owners have checked their sites at builtwith. I can think of some cool things those guys could add to the details – such as what resolution the site was designed for, or whether the layout for a site is fluid or fixed-width – all details that can be gleaned from the css stylesheets. Then again, it looks like only 87.6% of the sites profiled use CSS – I wonder what the rest of the 12.4% are thinking, really.

10 Comments

  1. 1. Typo in your link.

    2. The best way to identify a CMS, and it works just as well for MT or Typepad, is to auto-discover its RSS feed and look for the generator there. It works for everybody.

    Comment by Matt — 8/14/2007 @ 1:48 am

  2. Thanks for pointing out the typo, Matt.
    Yes, feeds, and the “generator” tag in them are great ways to figure out what runs a blog, which I remember now. However, feedburner might get in the way sometimes.

    Comment by Carthik — 8/14/2007 @ 2:07 am

  3. Man I use too many commas in my posts!!

    Comment by Carthik — 8/14/2007 @ 2:08 am

  4. I enjoyed the tool and have bookmarked it for further use. As a relative newbie to this kind of sleuthing can you recommend other tools?

    Gene

    Comment by Gene — 8/14/2007 @ 4:29 am

  5. RE: FeedBurner — view source the feed. It keeps the generator tag and such.

    Comment by Viper007Bond — 8/14/2007 @ 5:26 am

  6. and I thought I was the only geek who played “spot the wordpress”… took about 3 seconds to realise the infamous Perezhilton.com now runs wordpress. handy tool, ta.

    Comment by aLUKEonLIFE — 8/14/2007 @ 6:10 am

  7. [...] at WordLog.com says, “BuiltWith.com is a service that tells you what runs a site, the statistics packages [...]

    Pingback by OpinionBug.com » Curious About What Runs A Website? — 8/14/2007 @ 7:39 am

  8. Out of curiosity, I tried to use builtwith.com to access several of my sites (they are mostly Wordpress sites) but I got 403′d- I have Bad Behavior running I wonder if it doesnt like builtwith?

    Comment by R. Richard Hobbs — 8/14/2007 @ 6:49 pm

  9. Tried it on my wordpress – it came up with a server error. Tried it with 2 corporate sites where I knew the CMS. Buildit came up twice with a drupal guess which was not the correct one.
    I do like the idea and all the additional information buildit provides. However how can I be sure about the trustworthiness are these information?
    The tool still needs some tweeking.

    Comment by suzeric — 8/16/2007 @ 6:33 pm

  10. Yes, the tool’s far from perfect. Hope it gets better :)

    Comment by Carthik — 8/20/2007 @ 12:18 am

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