Server Spy

Server Spy tells you what type of HTTP server is running on the site you're visiting. Make educated assumptions about a sites integrated technology.

Server Spy - Firefox Addon

Server Spy - Firefox Addon

Competitors & Feature Assumptions

Apart from being nosy in general you can use Server Spy to see what kind of technologies your competitor is using. Maybe you’re doing something the hard way that they found an easy way around? It could explain a shinny new feature that you’re currently unable to find a solution for in your own setup. Narrow down the services that you passed up before because of implementation difficulty on your platform. Its easy to miss new tech features if they’re incompatible with server software you’re running. For example, if a site has a 8000 Alexa rank and its running “Nginx” as stated by Server Spy then you might speculate a caching system like Memcached is in place. Combine that with a DNS lookup and domain whois and this information builds on itself.

You can equally assume some limitations and rule out how some features might have been created or managed. IIS for instance instantly tells me there is probably a lack of URL friendly search engine optimizations because its not free or as east to implement like it is in Apache (we use mod_rewrite for it there).

Client Work and Advice

More commonly, it helps me to see what a friend, college, or client is running on their own servers before I get involved with any code. This could effect advice that I give them or how I’d approach a situation concerning SEO, caching, or what CMS they’re using/what to use.


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