Identify website technologies with WhatWeb

WhatWeb identifies websites. Its goal is to answer the question, “What is that Website?”. WhatWeb recognises web technologies including content management systems (CMS), blogging platforms, statistic/analytics packages, JavaScript libraries, web servers, and embedded devices. WhatWeb has over 1700 plugins, each to recognise something different. WhatWeb also identifies version numbers, email addresses, account IDs, web framework modules, SQL errors, and more.
WhatWeb can be stealthy and fast, or thorough but slow. WhatWeb supports an aggression level to control the trade off between speed and reliability. When you visit a website in your browser, the transaction includes many hints of what web technologies are powering that website. Sometimes a single webpage visit contains enough information to identify a website but when it does not, WhatWeb can interrogate the website further. The default level of aggression, called ‘stealthy’, is the fastest and requires only one HTTP request of a website. This is suitable for scanning public websites. More aggressive modes were developed for use in penetration tests.

Most WhatWeb plugins are thorough and recognise a range of cues from subtle to obvious. For example, most WordPress websites can be identified by the meta HTML tag, e.g. “, but a minority of WordPress websites remove this identifying tag but this does not thwart WhatWeb. The WordPress WhatWeb plugin has over 15 tests, which include checking the favicon, default installation files, login pages, and checking for “/wp-content/” within relative links.


  • Over 1700 plugins
  • Control the trade off between speed/stealth and reliability
  • Plugins include example URLs
  • Performance tuning. Control how many websites to scan concurrently.
  • Multiple log formats: Brief (greppable), Verbose (human readable), XML, JSON, MagicTree, RubyObject, MongoDB, SQL, and ElasticSearch.
  • Proxy support including TOR
  • Custom HTTP headers
  • Basic HTTP authentication
  • Control over webpage redirection
  • Nmap-style IP ranges
  • Fuzzy matching
  • Result certainty awareness
  • Custom plugins defined on the command line

WhatWeb Help

root@kali:~# whatweb  -h

.$$$     $.                                   .$$$     $.
$$$$     $$. .$$$  $$$ .$$$$$$.  .$$$$$$$$$$. $$$$     $$. .$$$$$$$. .$$$$$$.
$ $$     $$$ $ $$  $$$ $ $$$$$$. $$$$$ $$$$$$ $ $$     $$$ $ $$   $$ $ $$$$$$.
$ `$     $$$ $ `$  $$$ $ `$  $$$ $$' $ `$ `$$ $ `$     $$$ $ `$      $ `$  $$$'
$. $     $$$ $. $$$$$$ $. $$$$$$ `$  $. $  :' $. $     $$$ $. $$$$   $. $$$$$.
$::$  .  $$$ $::$  $$$ $::$  $$$     $::$     $::$  .  $$$ $::$      $::$  $$$$
$;;$ $$$ $$$ $;;$  $$$ $;;$  $$$     $;;$     $;;$ $$$ $$$ $;;$      $;;$  $$$$
$$$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$  $$$ $$$$  $$$     $$$$     $$$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$'

WhatWeb - Next generation web scanner version 0.4.9.
Developed by Andrew Horton aka urbanadventurer and Brendan Coles.

Usage: whatweb [options] 

     Enter URLs, hostnames, IP adddresses,
filenames, or nmap-format IP address ranges.
--input-file=FILE, -i   Read targets from a file. You can pipe
hostnames or URLs directly with -i /dev/stdin.

--url-prefix      Add a prefix to target URLs.
--url-suffix      Add a suffix to target URLs.
--url-pattern     Insert the targets into a URL.

The aggression level controls the trade-off between speed/stealth and
--aggression, -a=LEVEL  Set the aggression level. Default: 1.
1. Stealthy     Makes one HTTP request per target and also
follows redirects.
3. Aggressive     If a level 1 plugin is matched, additional
requests will be made.
4. Heavy      Makes a lot of HTTP requests per target. URLs
from all plugins are attempted.

--user-agent, -U=AGENT  Identify as AGENT instead of WhatWeb/0.4.9.
--header, -H      Add an HTTP header. eg "Foo:Bar". Specifying a
default header will replace it. Specifying an
empty value, e.g. "User-Agent:" will remove it.
--follow-redirect=WHEN  Control when to follow redirects. WHEN may be
`never', `http-only', `meta-only', `same-site',
`same-domain' or `always'. Default: always.
--max-redirects=NUM   Maximum number of redirects. Default: 10.

--user, -u=  HTTP basic authentication.
--cookie, -c=COOKIES    Use cookies, e.g. 'name=value; name2=value2'.

--proxy     <hostname[:port]> Set proxy hostname and port.
Default: 8080.
--proxy-user       Set proxy user and password.

--list-plugins, -l    List all plugins.
--info-plugins, -I=[SEARCH] List all plugins with detailed information.
Optionally search with keywords in a comma
delimited list.
--search-plugins=STRING Search plugins for a keyword.
--plugins, -p=LIST    Select plugins. LIST is a comma delimited set
of selected plugins. Default is all.
Each element can be a directory, file or plugin
name and can optionally have a modifier, +/-.
Examples: +/tmp/moo.rb,+/tmp/foo.rb
-p + is a shortcut for -p +plugins-disabled.

--grep, -g=STRING   Search for STRING in HTTP responses. Reports
with a plugin named Grep.
--custom-plugin=DEFINITION  Define a custom plugin named Custom-Plugin,
Examples: ":text=>'powered by abc'"
":version=>/powered[ ]?by ab[0-9]/"
":ghdb=>'intitle:abc "powered by abc"'"
"{:text=>'powered by abc'}"
--dorks=PLUGIN    List Google dorks for the selected plugin.

--verbose, -v     Verbose output includes plugin descriptions.
Use twice for debugging.
--colour,--color=WHEN   control whether colour is used. WHEN may be
`never', `always', or `auto'.
--quiet, -q     Do not display brief logging to STDOUT.
--no-errors     Suppress error messages.

--log-brief=FILE    Log brief, one-line output.
--log-verbose=FILE    Log verbose output.
--log-errors=FILE   Log errors.
--log-xml=FILE    Log XML format.
--log-json=FILE   Log JSON format.
--log-sql=FILE    Log SQL INSERT statements.
--log-sql-create=FILE   Create SQL database tables.
--log-json-verbose=FILE Log JSON Verbose format.
--log-magictree=FILE    Log MagicTree XML format.
--log-object=FILE   Log Ruby object inspection format.
--log-mongo-database    Name of the MongoDB database.
--log-mongo-collection  Name of the MongoDB collection.
Default: whatweb.
--log-mongo-host    MongoDB hostname or IP address.
--log-mongo-username    MongoDB username. Default: nil.
--log-mongo-password    MongoDB password. Default: nil.
--log-elastic-index   Name of the index to store results. Default: whatweb
--log-elastic-host    Host:port of the elastic http interface. Default:

--max-threads, -t   Number of simultaneous threads. Default: 25.
--open-timeout    Time in seconds. Default: 15.
--read-timeout    Time in seconds. Default: 30.
--wait=SECONDS    Wait SECONDS between connections.
This is useful when using a single thread.

--short-help      Short usage help.
--help, -h      Complete usage help.
--debug     Raise errors in plugins.
--version     Display version information.

* Scan
* Scan with verbose plugin descriptions.
./whatweb -v
* An aggressive scan of detects the exact version of WordPress.
./whatweb -a 3
* Scan the local network quickly and suppress errors.
whatweb --no-errors
* Scan the local network for https websites.
whatweb --no-errors --url-prefix https://
* Scan for crossdomain policies in the Alexa Top 1000.
./whatweb -i plugin-development/alexa-top-100.txt
--url-suffix /crossdomain.xml -p crossdomain_xml

To enable MongoDB logging install the mongo gem.


WhatWeb Usage Example

root@kali:~# whatweb -v -a 3
WhatWeb report for
Status    : 200 OK
Title     : Toolz TestBed
IP        :
Country   : RESERVED, ZZ

Summary   : JQuery, Script, X-UA-Compatible[IE=edge], HTML5, Apache[2.2,2.2.22], HTTPServer[Ubuntu Linux][Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu)]

Detected Plugins:
[ Apache ]
The Apache HTTP Server Project is an effort to develop and
maintain an open-source HTTP server for modern operating
systems including UNIX and Windows NT. The goal of this
project is to provide a secure, efficient and extensible
server that provides HTTP services in sync with the current
HTTP standards.

Version      : 2.2.22 (from HTTP Server Header)
Version      : 2.2
Version      : 2.2
Google Dorks: (3)
Website     :

[ HTML5 ]
HTML version 5, detected by the doctype declaration

[ HTTPServer ]
HTTP server header string. This plugin also attempts to
identify the operating system from the server header.

OS           : Ubuntu Linux
String       : Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu) (from server string)

[ JQuery ]
A fast, concise, JavaScript that simplifies how to traverse
HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add

Website     :

[ Script ]
This plugin detects instances of script HTML elements and
returns the script language/type.

[ X-UA-Compatible ]
This plugin retrieves the X-UA-Compatible value from the
HTTP header and meta http-equiv tag. - More Info:

String       : IE=edge

HTTP Headers:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:58:48 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu)
Last-Modified: Fri, 02 Feb 2018 15:27:56 GMT
ETag: "11f-2e38-5643c5b56a8d3"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 3541
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html



Author: Andrew Horton & Brendan Colese

License: GPLv2

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