How to View Website Source Code: A Beginner’s Guide

Whether you’re a budding web developer, a curious tech enthusiast, or simply someone looking to understand more about how websites work, viewing the source code of a website can be an enlightening experience. Source code is the underlying code that tells a browser how to display a website. It includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other elements that work together to create the web experience we interact with daily. In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the steps to view website source code, explain why you might want to do so, and discuss what you can learn from it.

Why View Website Source Code?

  • Learning and Inspiration: For those learning web development, examining the source code of well-designed websites can offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Seeing how other developers solve common problems can accelerate your learning process.
  • Debugging and Analysis: If you’re a developer, viewing the source code can help you debug issues with your own website or analyze how certain features are implemented.
  • Competitive Research: Understanding how competitors structure their websites and what technologies they use can provide valuable insights for strategists and marketers.

How to View Website Source Code

For Desktop Browsers

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge:

  • Right-Click Method: Navigate to the website whose source code you want to view. Right-click anywhere on the page (avoid images if possible, as this will bring up a different context menu). Select “View Page Source” from the context menu. This will open a new tab displaying the HTML source code of the page.
  • Keyboard Shortcut: Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+U (on Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Option+U (on macOS) to open the source code view directly.


  • Safari requires a bit more setup to view source code. First, enable the “Develop” menu by going to Safari’s preferences (Safari > Preferences), clicking on the “Advanced” tab, and checking the box at the bottom that says “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
  • Once the Develop menu is enabled, you can click on it and select “Show Page Source,” or use the shortcut Option+Cmd+U.
For Mobile Browsers

Viewing source code on mobile devices is not as straightforward as on desktops, mainly because mobile browsers typically do not include this feature. However, there are third-party apps and browsers designed for developers that can enable this functionality.


  • You can use an app like “Inspect Browser,” which is designed for viewing and editing HTML and CSS directly on your iOS device.


  • Apps like “View Web Source” can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and allow you to view the source code of any website.

What to Look For in the Source Code

  • HTML Structure: Analyze how the webpage is structured using HTML tags.
  • CSS Styling: Look for links to CSS files or inline styles that determine how elements are visually represented.
  • JavaScript: Check for scripts that add interactivity to the site. Sometimes, these scripts can include frameworks or libraries, giving you insight into the tools used by the developers.

Tips for Analyzing Source Code

  • Use Browser Developer Tools: In addition to viewing source code, you can use built-in developer tools (usually accessed by pressing F12 or right-clicking and selecting “Inspect”) to see how CSS styles are applied and to interact with JavaScript.
  • Look for Comments: Developers often leave comments in the code, which can provide insights or context about various sections or decisions.
  • Follow the File Paths: If the website links to external CSS or JavaScript files, note the file paths and structure. This can help you understand how the website is organized.

Viewing and understanding the source code of a website can be a valuable skill. It allows you to learn from others, diagnose your own web development issues, and gain insights into the competitive landscape. With the basic steps outlined above, you can start exploring the hidden world behind the web pages you visit every day. Happy coding!