Have you ever stumbled on a website that drew you in instantly and you wished you could find about more about how it works? The need to strip websites to their bare bones is regular in the life of a Computer Science grad like me, and BuiltWith seemed to be the solution for it.
BuiltWith is a profiling tool that tells you the tech stack used in a given website. It seemed incredible when not only the technology used, but also programming languages, widgets, advertisements, and documentation analytics were listed immediately in a click. However, I soon began to run into some shortcomings.
For starters, BuiltWith is a website profiler at core. As my use case broadened outside the engineering college curriculum and took a more diverse, industry-oriented form, I found that the tool doesn't quite match my business needs. The second factor was costs. As of October 2023, BuiltWith charges a whopping $295 a month for its Basic plan which is more restricted than their "fully featured most popular" Pro plan which costs $495 a month. The Free plan is obviously unsuitable for professional use. Personally, that was too steep a cost for technology information, especially if it only partly met my technographic needs.
I started to hunt for BuiltWith alternatives oriented towards sales and marketing. I wanted tools that not just profile the technology stack like BuiltWith, but also help the marketing workflow consciously. I wasn't disappointed in the options I found. Let's explore some of these technology profilers to see what sets them apart from the rest.
Wappalyzer is a similar technology lookup tool. It's a great alternative to BuiltWith if you're looking for slightly cheaper options. Wappalyzer is a competent data provider and it's functionally similar to Builtwith. It lets users perform limited technology lookups for free, beyond which a free account is needed to continue. If user needs exceed 50 lookups a month, then Wappalyzer has paid options starting from $250 a month.
Wappalyzer offers a dedicated option for lead generation that works in tandem with the technology profiling tool. It lets the user create and export custom reports for any web technology or keyword based on industry, website traffic and location. It's also diverse in integration, offering an extension that helps with integrating Wappalyzer in daily workflow.
SimilarTech is a sales intelligence and insights platform that works fine for just profiling web technologies. The results have sufficient depth and SimilarTech also classifies the technologies by category such as Marketing, Information Technology, and Business Solutions.
An edge SimilarTech has is the version tracking it offers. Recent technology changes are presented in a git-like timeline and you can even track them yourself by signing up for website alerts. It also has a neat tool that lets you compare two technologies and generates an easy-to-follow technographic for the result.
All the perks can be availed at a decent range of plans starting from $199 a month, billed annually. Enterprises can book a demo via the official site.
Hunter.io has technology lookup as a secondary venture. It's primarily an email outreach platform specializing in email search and verification. It's powerful for use cases involving lead generation, or verification from existing lead lists.
An important fact to know is that Hunter TechLookup maps technologies to companies, and not the other way around. For example it's easy to find a list of websites using Apache, but Hunter TechLookup can't list the technologies any venture (eg. Amazon) is using.
The tech stack information can be found online at their official site. They also have affordable and diverse pricing, and even a free plan. The Starter Plan is priced at just $34 which might get small businesses up and running to solve their profiling needs in no time.
WhatRuns is a free service which is also the most minimalist of the options; both in usage and the options provided. The website doesn't provide a search option for technology lookup. The only way to use it is via browser extensions available for Firefox and Google Chrome. The analytic report provided is more concise than other available tools and does not include content management system information either.
While WhatRuns falls a little short for sales tasks such as lead generation, it's an excellent lightweight, free tool for someone who's not interested in websites' sales aspects, and just in the technologies they use. But if your priority is a BuiltWith alternative for sales,you may want to use other tools mentioned in this blog. It provides all insights for free and doesn't have any paid options.
It wouldn't be wrong to say I saved the best for the last.
Ful.io brings the best of all worlds by doing anything BuiltWith can and more. It is a crossover between technographics and sales, where it offers live analytics using a browser extension. They even offer an API at the best price I've seen. The analytics cover everything from technology lookup to company profiles. The best part is that it simply works.
Ful.io makes it clear from the get go that it is not just a profiling tool. Instead, it expands to be a well-rounded business intelligence tool. Instead of being a BuiltWith alternative, Ful.io is a much broader tool which is also capable of doing anything that BuiltWith does. Customer feedback is also valued in development decisions, ensuring a great user experience.
A list of what Ful.io helps me with in my day-to-day workflow:
Out of every tool I tried, Ful.io has the most detailed profile report, and offers the most comprehensive list of technologies. It's also lightning fast and offers an API for pretty much any use case I can face at work. Lead generation and competitor analysis no longer feel as daunting as they did before using Ful.io.
There isn't a shortage of tech lookup tools like these at all! The best practice is to pick one based on your specific need. At the end of the day the best BuiltWith alternative is the one that fits your requirements Analytics tools enable a data-driven approach that almost always works better than plain intuition. Lead generation strategies developed around real-time data and industry trends have proven to have a higher success rate than cold outreaches with shallow planning.
When choosing marketing tools, it's not necessary to stick to one. Carefully curating your inventory ensures the best decisions for your business by harnessing the best features of individual tools.
In my case, Ful.io turned out to be the most productive, easy-to-use, one-stop option. It is not just an alternative to BuiltWith, it's a complete sales solution jam packed with competitive intelligence. Personally, I'll continue to use Ful.io to gain insights and stay on top of the competition.