Why You Should Keep an Eye on Your Competitor’s WordPress Plugins and Themes

In today’s competitive environment, it is imperative that you look at your competitor’s website.  This will help you gain a competitive edge! So why should you know all about your competitor’s WordPress plugins and themes? 

 

Before we start, keep this in mind that “spying” on your competitor is for the purpose of improving our own website. This is the research that will keep your website up-to-date with current trends and ensure that you increase your site’s traffic.

While you don’t want to outright copy your competitor, it’s always good to get inspiration from others and be knowledgeable about what features you can add to make your own website better. If you keep an eye on plugins and themes used by your competitor and incorporate them smartly into your site, you can achieve more website traffic and more lead conversions.

If you plan to make some big improvements to your WordPress site, it’s best to start by using some of the methods and tools discussed in this article.

Are you just beginning to develop a WordPress site? Simplify everything!

As a novice, there are a lot of ways you can learn about WordPress development. You listen to podcasts, read blogs, and subscribe to various newsletters. But sometimes, the availability of so much information makes getting started an overwhelming task.

You may get confused with all those suggestions and recommendations made by experts. For instance, you will not be able to decide which security plugin is best for your site. One way to avoid this confusion is to check the plugins used on other websites. By doing this, you can rest assured that you are using the plugin or theme that works best on similar websites. This takes a lot of worry out of the decision-making process.

Find Your Source of Inspiration

The development of a website is sometimes frustrating. For instance, you may like to add a particular type of functionality to your site but may struggle with its coding it exactly right.

Sometimes you visit a website, and you find it extremely inspiring. But you want to how was it developed? But before you directly start digging into CSS or JavaScript tutorials, there are a lot of instances when you don’t even have to code to make your website look awesome. You might want to find out if there is a plugin that will do the same job.

Always Discover the Latest Tech

Even though most WordPress themes and plugin are fine to use, sometimes you just wonder if a new theme or plugin will really benefit your site. Oftentimes, there aren’t enough customer ratings to give you an idea of the quality of a theme or plugin.

On the other hand, if the theme or plugin is developed by a well-known developer, you might consider giving it a try. But what would you do if the developer is unknown? One way to determine this is to see if any trusted websites use that new theme or plugin. If the answer is yes, this should be enough of a reason for you to try it out on your own site.

Learn from the Other’s Mistakes

The practice of spying on other websites can also be done to learn what should not be done on your site. When you come across a site that has something wrong with it, you can make a note to avoid that in your work.

If you know how a WordPress plugin or theme works, you can use that information/data for your own benefit. For instance, if one of your competitors uses a free version of WordPress theme (3.8 rating) along with Jetpack functionality, you can use this information to design a better website with a better version of the same theme or plugin.

While there is nothing wrong with using a free tool like Jetpack, you can improve your site more by using a lightweight or high-quality theme, incorporating a CDN, or installing a well-known caching plugin.

Ways to Size Up Your Competition

The best way to know the WordPress plugins and themes being used on a website is by reviewing the wp-content folder. Also, you may get this information from your site’s developer. Your competitor may go to great lengths in order to keep this information confidential. That is why this information is sometimes not easily accessible.

Nevertheless, there are some tricks that you can use to get a sense of the theme or plugin they are using. Here are some tools that can help you.

Confirm the Source Code

Most often, you won’t find info about the WordPress theme in the website’s footer, but you can figure it out by using a function called inspect browser.

To do this, open a competitor’s website, right-click anywhere on the screen and click “inspect”. Then, in the console appearing at your browser’s right side, click on the ‘Sources’ tab.

If the site is made with WordPress and some of its folder files or wp-content is available to the general public, you can easily find information here about themes and plugins.

Use BuiltWith

BuiltWith is a tool which does a little digging for you. You can even find out whether a site is using WordPress or not. It also reveals information about a site’s themes or plugins. You may be able to find the server and hosting information, libraries, and frameworks used, along with information on analytics and advertising.

Use WPThemeDetector

Despite the name, WPThemeDetector enables you to dig deeper into the plugins of a website. In comparison to BuiltWith, you can skip the extraneous technical details with this tool and get a lot more insight than you would obtain from the source code.

The tool offers a feature that compiles a list of all the plugins on a site. From this list, you can go directly to the download/purchase page of every plugin.

 

 

How Can You Hide Your Site Info from Competitors?

While all of these tips about seeing info on a competitor’s site is beneficial to you, you’re probably worried that your competitors are doing the same thing to your site. One way to avoid this is to protect your site from hackers, ensuring that they can’t detect that your site is WordPress-based.

The truth is that you can’t hide all the information available on your site. This means that, unless you rewrite countless lines of codes by spending hours and hours like a pro developer, you cannot ensure 100% security. However, there are various premium plugins, browser extensions, and add-ons that can hide your site’s information in a more efficient manner.

Conclusion

Keeping an eye on the competition is not just important for salespeople, marketers, or UX researchers. As a WordPress developer, you also must do the proper research on your competition so that you can know what it takes to be the best.

Staying up-to-date with a competitor’s website is actually pretty easy to do if you use the tips and tricks listed in this article.

Once you are able to get crucial information about your competitors’ themes and plugins,  you can stay one step ahead of them and improve your conversion rates.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let us know in the comment section!

February 16, 2018

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