5 Ways to Tell if a Site is Built in Drupal

5 Ways to Tell if a Site is Built in Drupal

One of the most common questions we get at Drupal beginner classes is, “How can I tell if a site is built in Drupal?”

We get that question because it’s just not possible to know the answer without a few tips and tricks.

If you look at a website such as WhiteHouse.gov, there is no way of telling if it’s built Drupal. The design of a site is completely independent from the platform it uses.

We’re going to give you 5 ways to tell if a site is built in Drupal. Not all of these suggestions will work on all Drupal sites, but taken together they should give you a clear answer.

Option #1. Check the Source Code

One of the most reliable ways to show if a site is using Drupal is to check the source code.

Checking the Drupal source code

In the source code, check to see if important files are being loaded from the /sites/ folder. This identifies all Drupal sites, except for Drupal 8. This example is taken from WhiteHouse.gov:

Checking the Drupal source code

If you find a Drupal 8 site, you will see files loading from the /core/ folder. This screenshot is taken from Dries’ site at http://buytaert.net:

Source code on Dries website

You can also search the source code for the words “Drupal”, which will identify any version of Drupal:

Searching the Drupal source code for the word Drupal

You can also search the source code for the names of key modules such as “Views”, “Panels” or “CCK”:

Searching the Drupal source code for keywords

Option #2. Try to access certain files

Some sites may remove this file or block access to it, but if you CHANGELOG.txt to a site’s URL, you can often find useful information about the site. For example, view https://drupal.org/CHANGELOG.txt and you can tell that Drupal.org is still running Drupal 7.

Drupal 7 changelog

Other files that you can do this with include:

  • /misc/drupal.js
  • /misc/druplicon.png

For example:

Option #3. Visit the User URLs

One common identifier of Drupal sites are the URLs for user pages.

The URLs /user/ and /user/password and /user/register/ are commonly used to allow people to login, recover their password or register.

For example, here’s https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/user


Option #4. Check websites

There are websites that can try and identify the technology behind websites. http://builtwith.com is one of the most popular sites that does this:

Checking Builtwith for Drupal

It correctly identifies WhiteHouse.gov as using Drupal:

Checking Builtwith for whitehouse.gov

There’s also the very logically named http://isthissitebuiltwithdrupal.com:

Checking isthissitebuiltwithdrupal.com

That site gives very logical and clear answer

isthissitebuiltwithdrupal.com results

Option #5. Check the Expires header

An expires header is the most geeky way to check for Drupal sites. Web servers use an expires header to tell the client how long a component can be cached. Use a site such as http://web-sniffer.net to check your site:

Using a websniffer on a Drupal site

And in the results, look for the Expires date. You’re looking for Sun, 19 Nov 1978 05:00:00 GMT. What is special about 19 Nov 1978? It’s the birthday of Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal.

websniffer results a Drupal site


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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One tool that I prefer to figure out what a site is running is [url=http://wappalyzer.com/]http://wappalyzer.com/[/url]

It is an addon for both chrome and firefox and it will tell you if a site is made with Drupal and pretty much everything else (server stack, anayltics, js, mapping library etc…)> It will even tell you if the site is running commerce or ubercart.


Chrome Sniffer is another tool that operates similarly to wappalyzer as previously posted.


lol so this is a great list but the irony is killing me. You used the White House site for most of the examples except the last one. Well the Expires value for [url=http://WH.gov]WH.gov[/url] is actually July 6, 2013.
Not important though since it’s just an HTTP response from the server that was probably changed.


Hi Diego. True, it’s a funny example, although partly reflects the point of the article … most of the ways you can identify a Drupal site won’t work on all sites.


Can’t believe you suggested people kill a kitten in the very last sentence oft his post.


The way I generally tell is with a Chrome plugin called Sniffer: [url=https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chrome-sniffer/homgcnaoacgigpkkljjjekpignblkeae?hl=en]https://chrome.google.com/w…[/url]

It detects various elements and displays an icon in the url bar (works for WP as well)


It seems like the [url=http://isthissitebuiltwithdrupal.com]http://isthissitebuiltwithd…[/url] tool gives YES answer to any site, even if it wasn’t built with Drupal.


It seems it works OK now. I don’t know what the issue was. I’m sorry for any confusion.




Sure thing. We just gave this guide a quick update, BTW

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