How Can I Tell What Scripting Language I Have?


Angela Bailey

How Can I Tell What Scripting Language I Have?

Scripting languages have become an integral part of web development, allowing developers to create dynamic and interactive websites. There are several scripting languages available, such as JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, and many more.

If you’re working with a codebase or trying to understand someone else’s website, it can be helpful to determine which scripting language is being used. In this article, we will explore various methods to identify the scripting language used in a web page.

Detecting Scripting Language from File Extensions

One of the simplest ways to identify the scripting language is by looking at the file extension. Most scripting languages have specific file extensions associated with them. For example:

  • .js for JavaScript files
  • .php for PHP files
  • .py for Python files
  • .rb for Ruby files

If you have access to the file system or can view the source code of a webpage, checking the file extension can give you a clue about the scripting language used.

Examining HTML Comments and Meta Tags

In some cases, you might not have access to the file system or source code. However, you can still gather information from HTML comments or meta tags within the webpage.

Sometimes developers leave comments in their code indicating which scripting language they are using. These comments can provide valuable insights into the technology stack being used.

You can also look at meta tags within the head section of an HTML document. Some frameworks and content management systems (CMS) include meta tags that mention the scripting language being used. For example, WordPress websites often include a meta tag like this:

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 5.8" />

This meta tag indicates that the website is powered by WordPress, which primarily uses PHP as its scripting language.

Inspecting Functionality and Syntax

If you’re unable to determine the scripting language using the previous methods, you can examine the functionality and syntax of the code itself.

Each scripting language has unique features, functions, and syntax patterns. By analyzing these characteristics, you can make an educated guess about the scripting language being used.

For example, JavaScript is primarily used for client-side web development and provides built-in methods for manipulating HTML elements and interacting with user events. PHP, on the other hand, is a server-side scripting language commonly used for backend development and database interactions.

By examining the code’s structure, syntax, and available functionality, you can narrow down the possibilities and identify the scripting language being used.

Using Developer Tools

If all else fails, modern web browsers offer developer tools that can assist in identifying the scripting language of a webpage.

Open your browser’s developer tools (usually accessible through right-clicking on a webpage) and navigate to the “Sources” or “Network” tab. Here you can inspect individual files loaded by the webpage and identify their content type or file extension. This method is particularly useful when dealing with minified or obfuscated code where file extensions might not be apparent.


Determining what scripting language a webpage uses can help you make informed decisions when working with existing codebases or troubleshooting issues. By considering file extensions, HTML comments, meta tags, code structure, and utilizing developer tools, you can successfully identify the scripting language being used in a web page.

Remember, while these methods can provide valuable insights, they are not foolproof. Sometimes websites use multiple scripting languages or employ complex setups that require additional investigation.

Happy coding!

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