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How to tell what WordPress theme a site is using?

html code over a black screen

Have you ever seen a WordPress site and wondered what theme it uses? If you have, this article teaches you how to tell what WordPress theme a site is using with two methods. 

How to tell what WordPress theme a site is using?

There are two main methods to determine what WordPress theme a site uses: online theme detector tools or manually. If you use theme detector tools, you only need to copy and paste your favorite site’s URL on the tool, and they’ll detect the website’s theme.

However, in some cases, these tools cannot detect custom themes. In other cases, they’ll provide a theme name that doesn’t correspond to any theme in the WordPress.org theme library, meaning it’s custom-made for this website. Custom themes are very common on professional websites.

Using theme detector tools or manually inspecting generally yields the same results, so let’s explore each process.

Use a theme detector tool

Use WP Beginner’s tool

The website WP Beginner has a tool to detect WordPress themes. All you have to do is paste the website’s URL (both the root URL and subdirectories work) and click on Analyze Website.

You’ll get one of three results depending on the website’s theme and whether developers modified it. The first result is the successful theme detection:

WP Beginner theme detector

On the second possible result, the detector will identify the base theme but will still return a “No Theme Found” result because developers modified it significantly:

WP Beginner theme detector

Finally, when the website has a custom theme that’s not part of WP Beginner’s theme database, it’ll return the following result:

WP Beginner theme detector

Use IsItWP’s tool

IsItWP is a website that detects whether other websites are built with WordPress and, if so, what theme the site uses. Again, you simply paste the website’s URL and click on Analyze Website.

First, it’ll tell you whether the site is built on WordPress:

IsItWP theme detector

And a little further down, it’ll tell you which theme the site currently uses:

IsItWP theme detector

Use “What WordPress Theme Is That?”

To use the What WordPress Theme Is That tool, paste the website’s URL and click on the search icon to the right. You’ll get a result like the following:

What WordPress Theme Is That? theme detector

Below the information about the theme, What WordPress Theme Is That also provides data about detected plugins.

Use Satori Web Academy’s WP Theme Detector

This tool is like the others. Browse to the tool and click on What WordPress theme is that? You’ll see a result like this:

Satori Web Academy theme detector

Use Scan WP’s WordPress Theme Detector

ScanWP is a website that detects themes and other data from WordPress sites. Paste the URL and click Detect. You should get a result like the following:

 Scan WP theme detector

Do it manually with browser tools

Your browser has all the tools you need to determine your favorite WordPress site’s theme. To detect the theme, we’ll need to inspect the website’s style.css file, which contains the theme’s CSS styles, theme header, and more. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you should find the process easy to follow.

First, right-click anywhere on the page and select View page source. We use the Harvard Graduate School of Design website for this example.

screenshot right before clicking view page source

Now you’ll be reading the page’s source code. Use CTRL + F or Command + F and type “stylesheet” on the search box. You’ll likely get several results. 

html code showing stylesheets

Look for the result that includes /wp-content/themes/, like this one:

<link rel='stylesheet' id='gsd-theme-css' href='https://www.gsd.harvard.edu/wp-content/themes/gsd-wp-theme/style.css?ver=1.12.3' type='text/css' media='screen' />

Click on the link and, on the following page, check the top section for text that looks like this:

 * Theme Name: Harvard GSD Theme
 * Description: Harvard Graduate School of Design WordPress Theme
 * Author: Upstatement
 * Version: 1.12.3

The “Theme Name” section identifies the theme, which in this case is a custom one specially made for this Harvard school. Remember that most big websites have their own custom theme that is not publicly available. As a result, you’ll likely find that you can’t use that theme for your site.

Some websites don’t use the style.css file

Keep in mind that for some themes (and, therefore, websites), this process won’t work since developers may not place all the theme’s styles on style.css, as it can lead to degraded website performance in some instances.

There are various ways to detect WordPress themes

As you can see, there are multiple ways to detect what theme a WordPress website uses. The easiest is to paste the website’s URL into one of the detection tools we provided, but you can also inspect the website’s source code to see for yourself.

Hopefully, this helped you, and you can now easily find out what theme your favorite WordPress site is using, but always remember that professional websites almost always use heavily customized or unique themes, so even if you find out what their theme is, you will likely not be able to use it yourself.

On the other hand, you may find that your favorite site uses a popular free or premium theme you can download or buy for yours. Try it out and see what happens!

If you found this article helpful, consider reading our blog for more WordPress tips and tricks.