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How to Discover the Technology Stack of Any Website Using Clay

Clay is a versatile tool that can help you do a lot of things, including determining a website's tech stack. Learn how this is easily done through this guide.
Updated September 20, 2023
Difficulty: Easy. Might help to know the basics of this tool/topic
Time Required: ~10 minutes

Understanding the technology stack used by a website can give you insights about a business’s strategy and operational strengths.

With Clay, you can easily access this information without the need of technical knowledge. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process on how to use Clay to effectively determine a website’s tech stack. We’ll also cover the two methods used, Lookup Technology Stack and Find Tech Stack by Domain, and how they differ in their approach.

Clay Find Tech Stack by Domain output

Sp, let’s get started!

Why Should You Care About a Website’s Technology Stack?

Technology is rapidly evolving. To stay on top of the game, it’s essential for marketers to stay updated on what's new in today's marketplace. One way is to understand the technology stack used by their target businesses’ websites.

A technology stack simply refers to a combination of software or tools used to build and run a website. This includes plugins, website builders, e-commerce platforms, and email marketing apps.

By knowing the technology stack of a website, you can:

  • tailor a more effective sales approach if you’re selling a technology solution 
  • collaborate with potential clients
  • make informed recommendations of which technologies to use to boost your company’s marketing strategies
  • understand the strategies used by a competitor’s websites

Lookup Technology Stack vs. Find Tech Stack by Domain

In Clay, there are two methods you can use to find the technology stack used by any website. First is through the use of Lookup Technology Stack. The second method is through Find Tech Stack by Domain.

While both enrichments can help you determine the technology stack of a website, they do differ in terms of the methods used.

Lookup Technology Stack discerns the technology stack of a website by analyzing its source code. This includes the site’s programming languages, frameworks, CMS, server software, and many others. It’s the best method to use if you’re interested to know a business’s tech strategy in real-time.

Find Tech Stack by Domain, on the other hand, uses a company’s historical job descriptions and collates all the technologies mentioned in those postings. Through this method, you can gain insights about how a company has changed their tech strategies over time. This also allows you to understand what their future technological directions might look like in the future.

Now, let’s dig in to find out how these plugins work.

Steps to Find the Technology Stack of Any Website Using Clay

1) Lookup Technology Stack

First, let’s assume that you have already created a list of websites you want to investigate. So, go ahead and copy these websites to your Clay table.

Clay table website URLs

The next thing that you need to do is add an enrichment.

add enrichment in Clay

Here, you’ll find a variety of options to display to your new column. Since we are interested in knowing the technology stack of our chosen websites, let’s tap ‘Tech Stack’ on the left side menu.

Clay tech stack options

Within the ‘Actions’ tab, choose ‘Lookup Technology Stack.’

Clay Lookup Technology Stack

You should now see a new window containing the options on how you want to set up your inputs. 

setup input data in Clay

First, let’s tap the ‘Use Clay’s BuiltWith API Key’ checkbox. You won’t need the second option, unless you have your own API key.

Under the ‘Setup Inputs’ section, we’ll need to enter the column containing the website URLs. 

Next, let’s add a column to display all the technologies found on a website in question. Then, save and run.

Clay Lookup Technology Stack column

Your table should now be populated with results. 

Clay output table

Notice that some rows might  not display an output because of the size limit. Sometimes, it doesn’t really make sense to know all the hundreds of technologies a website is using. Often, you would be more interested to know if a particular technology or app is used within a website.

Let’s say we want to investigate what email marketing apps are commonly used in websites. We can simply enter a category name like ‘email marketing’ to the ‘Keyword or Category Filter’ field.

Clay Lookup Technology Stack set category

And your result would look like this.

Lookup technology stack result

2) Find Tech Stack by Domain

The second enrichment we’ll try is the Find Tech Stack by Domain.

Again, let’s add an enrichment and choose ‘Find Tech Stack by Domain’ within the actions tab. 

Clay Find Tech Stack by Domain

Next, enter the column that contains the website URLs. For now, let’s just have the app display all the results. So, you can leave the other fields blank. 

Find Tech Stack by Domain add URLs

And that’s it. You should now see a list of technologies that each website uses. 

Find Tech Stack by Domain output

Just like the first method, you can also narrow down your search by choosing a category. For instance, let’s try to choose ‘Email Marketing’ on the ‘Technology Category’ dropdown menu.

Find Tech Stack by Domain add category

You should now see the results displayed on your table, as shown here.

Find Tech Stack by Domain output

So, Which is Better?

I personally find both of these tools helpful in understanding the tech strategies used by businesses. But they do have their own strengths and weaknesses due to their differing approaches.

For instance, when we tested Lookup Technology Stack, we noticed hundreds of results for each website. This is very helpful if you want to know a website’s tech strategy in real-time. But these hundreds of results might not tell you anything about how their tech stack has evolved over time.

On the other hand, we noticed that Find Tech Stack By Domain provides fewer results. And that’s because the plugin only investigates a company’s historical job descriptions to determine its tech stack. This gives you an edge in understanding how the company’s technological strategies have evolved over time. 

However, it also misses some technologies that a company might be using but did not mention in its postings. There’s also a chance that the technologies mentioned in job postings are outdated.

So, knowing which one is the best might actually depend on your specific needs. But personally, I would prefer the Lookup Technology Stack because it gives me a complete picture of what a company’s current tech strategies look like.

Wrapping it Up

Knowing a website’s tech stack can open you up to a lot of opportunities.

First, you can gain deeper insights about your competitor’s tech strategies. Next, you can make better decisions about which technologies will help your business stay on top of the market. And finally, leverage this understanding to refine your business strategies.

Remember, Clay has other awesome features you can use to drive growth in your business. So, continue experimenting and see how this app can help your business grow.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about Clay and the methods mentioned in this guide. Feel free to share them below!

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Written by Christy Cañete
Christy Cañete is a software engineer who's passionate about front-end web design. Not only can she code, but she writes too! She loves breaking down technical topics into super easy tutorials. If you're looking to learn without the jargon, she's your go-to.
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