WordPress Theme Detection

What are the difficulties in detecting a WordPress theme?

Having used and played with WordPress for about 10 years one of the most common questions I get asked is. How do I find out what theme a particular WordPress site is using?

This sounds like it should be something a person who has been using WordPress for a long time should find easy to accomplish. I can tell you now it is not.

There are literally 100’s of thousands of themes and and that is not including the modified variants of themes and child themes. WordPress is by far the most commonly used CMS on the web and its popularity does not look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.  WordPress owns about 33% of the total website market and considering there are about 180 million websites on the internet, WordPress CMS makes up about 59 million of those sites.

So yes while you would think I would be able to easily view the source of a site and find what theme a site is using, the reality is not that simple. Generally when viewing the source of a WordPress Site, you only need to look for the string wp-content/themes/ and the next bit of text (the directory name) that falls between the next “/” is the theme. Sometimes these directory name are very descriptive and reasonably unique and you can search google for this and will find the Theme name. A good example of this is the site shove.com.au, viewing the source we find that after the directory structure wp-content/themes/ we find the directory “the-fox”. A quick search of google finds the theme is listed at themeforest.net and it is called TheFox | Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme.

However that is just one example and we are lucky that in this case the theme has a relatively unique name. This is not always the case. A good example is the word “Responsive” while lots of themes are responsive in nature, many theme makers have named their themes responsive. A google search of this name will give you many results and usually not the result you are looking for. So to find a unique theme name we have to dig deeper into the source code of the theme. This is an article for a later date.

For now a good way to find what theme is being used by the website you are interested in is to plug the url into http://wordpressthemedetector.org/