Have you spent hours trying to locate a line of code on your WordPress site? It can be frustrating if after extensive manual searches you are not successful. Try some of the freely available tools that make the task simpler and accurate.


At times, it happens that you added some customization code and are now not able to trace it. Another possibility is that you made lots of changes on your website. This might include a buggy piece of code that is not erroneous but might give undesired output. After days of adding this code, when you realise that the outcome is not as expected, you may want to change it. You will then need to trace the source and fix it. Now you cannot locate the line of code on your website. Manual searches may or may not work all the time. In this article, here at Templatetoaster WordPress website builder, we will look at some easy to use methods to automate the process to find a line of code in a website.


Manual Methods to Search Lines of Code

1. Search Line of Code in a Website using a PHP/text editor

You can use any of the text editors like Notepad++ to use advanced search features. The Notepad++ is the best and most popular editor for PHP files and works for both Windows and Mac. Once you have downloaded the WordPress PHP files, you can use Notepad++ to find a line of code in a website file.

If you know the file that is showing the error, then you can just download that file and search for code in that file. You can also search for lines of code in your WordPress directory using the editor’s advanced search functionality.


2. Search Line of Code in Website on Unix/Linux/MacOS systems

The grep command allows you to search for text patterns in a file. Use a variant of the below command usage to locate a line of code in your website files for Linux/Unix server. First of all, you need to login to the server via terminal using Putty or Bitvise. Navigate to your WordPress Install Directory and then run below command:

grep $search-term file.php

Note: You might need to get ssh access to the web server if you are not the administrator. 


3. Search Line of Code in Website on Windows Desktops

On Windows, you can install Cygwin and then use grep to search for specific text or text matching regular expressions. You can also use the findstr command to find files that contain lines of code that exactly match the specified string or match a regular expression.


Automatic Tools to Search Lines of Code

Utilities and tools like Agent Ransack allow you to find a line of code in the website files. You first need to download the website code files to your local machine and then run the tool on the downloaded files.


Agent Ransack

Agent Ransack is a tool for finding files, with specific text, fast and efficiently. It allows searching the contents of files for code or text. Agent Ransack displays the text results and you can browse the results without opening each file. Agent Ransack also provides a wizard for constructing regular expressions that create more complex searches.

With Agent Ransack you can specify a file name expression to search for, a line of code to search, and the directory to search. You can also search binary files, but not .zip files or other archives.

Agent Ransack or FileLocator Lite (for corporate environments) is a ‘lite’ version of the FileLocator Pro tool and works well for beginners. For experienced programmers who need advanced search for a larger number of files, the FileLocator Pro provides extra features.


Alternatives to Agent Ransack

Let us now look some other popular and free Alternatives to Agent Ransack for Windows, Linux, Mac, BSD, Self-Hosted and other environments. You can try these utilities to search lines of code in your website files.

1. DocFetcher

A portable Open Source desktop search application. You can use the tool to search the contents of files to find a line of code in a website you are looking for.

2. FileSearchy

It is a file search utility that provides powerful search by file content. It highlights the found text in the file content.

3. Regain

Lets you search the contents of your files like a search engine. You can quickly search large portions of data by using a search index. Regain silently crawls through the files or web pages, extracting all text and adding to a smart search index. You can get the search results for your untraceable line of code immediately.

4. AstroGrep 

A Microsoft Windows GUI File Searching Utility that can be used to search for regular expression match in the source code. You can use this to locate matching lines of code in your website files.

5. SearchMonkey

It is a real-time search engine for showing regular expression matches in file content and across multiple directories.

6. SearchMyFiles

It is an accurate option to Windows search that allows you to easily search files by file content which may be text or binary.


Search Lines of Code in HTML Websites

Find a line of code in a Website or File screenshot

A website may contain HTML, Javascript, and CSS code. You may want to find a line of code in your website source code. Every browser allows you to view the source of the website that you are viewing. You can select right-click “View page source” to open the page source. You can locate a line of code in the source code using the tools provided by the browser.

You can also search all the resources of the website like the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, etc. In the case of the Chrome browser, you can use the developer tools to perform the search. From any panel open the search panel (Win: Ctrl+Shift+f, Mac: Cmd+Opt+f). Enter the line of code or class name to search within the current HTML page. All the search results with line numbers will be displayed in the panel.


WordPress Plugins to find a line of code in a Website

At times when building a website, you may get stuck trying to figure out what template a specific page is using. You may want to search for lines of code in your website pages. There might be pieces of untraceable text for which you cannot source code. There are some WordPress plugins available that help you with these issues.


1. What The File

What The File wordpress plugin to find a line of code in a website

The “What The File” plugin lets you add an option to the toolbar displaying the file and templates used to display the currently viewed page. You can directly view, find a line of code in a website and edit the file through the theme editor. You can then search lines of code inside these files.

what the file


2. String Locator

String locator wordpress plugin to find a line of code in a website

When working with themes and plugins you may see a piece of text that looks as if it is hardcoded into the files.You may need to modify it but cannot locate the line of code in the theme files. With the “String Locator” plugin you can search through the themes, plugins or the WordPress core files. The plugin presents the results as a list of files, the matched text and the line of the file that matched the search.

string locator



Searching, manual or automatic, may not always give you the best results. You may try endlessly to find a line of code in a website manually, but it will only lead to frustration if the search content is big. The automatic tools, utilities, and WordPress plugins will help in reducing the effort considerably while being more accurate. The TemplateToaster tool for creating websites is also easy to use option. TemplateToaster, a web design software supports all WordPress plugins and helps you design advanced themes and page templates. It requires no coding and automatically generates the code. With TemplateToaster website builder  and WordPress theme builder you would no longer need to create, search and troubleshoot any customization code yourself.