Viewing your website's headers

Overview

HTTP headers are information passed between a web browser and a website when it's visited. These headers contain information you can use to add or confirm if a service is active on your website such as CORS, Security headers, or Cloudflare.

This article explains the different ways you can view your website's HTTP Headers.

Online tools

The easiest way to view your website's headers is to use a 3rd party website. Just visit the site and enter your website URL. You most often are looking for the Response headers.

Browser tools

You can also use the tools built into your browser to view the headers. The steps are the same in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari as shown below.

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari

  1. Open the Developer Tools menu in your browser.
    Windows: Hold down CTRL + SHIFT and press the letter i. You could also right-click the page and select Inspect from the menu.
    Mac: Hold down Option (Apple Option) + Command (Apple Option) and press the letter i. You could also right-click (Ctrl (Apple Control)+ click) the page and select Inspect from the menu.
    Apple Network Tab
  2. Click the Network tab in the Dev Tools menu.
  3. Reload the page you're currently on by clicking the refresh button in your browser, or by pressing F5. A list of all files loaded on the current page displays.
    Apple Network Tab
  4. Click any file under the Name column.
  5. Select the Headers tab in the right pane.
  6. The HTTP Headers display in the right pane.

    They are separated into Response Headers and Request Headers. You most often want to view the Response Headers.

Command line

The final option is to run a command in a shell terminal. You will need access to a terminal in order to run the following commands.

Mac and Linux

Mac and Linux computers already have a Shell terminal built-in.

Windows

Windows users can download PowerShell.

DreamHost server

You could also run the command by logging into your DreamHost server via SSH.

Display the response headers of a website

Run the curl command with the -I flag to display the response headers of a website.

[server]$ curl -I https://example.com
HTTP/2 200
accept-ranges: bytes
age: 416502
cache-control: max-age=604800
content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
date: Tue, 11 May 2021 15:05:33 GMT
etag: "3147526947"
expires: Tue, 18 May 2021 15:05:33 GMT
last-modified: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:18:26 GMT
server: ECS (sec/9795)
x-cache: HIT
content-length: 1256

Windows PowerShell

Download PowerShell to your Windows computer. You can then run the following command to view a website's headers.

PS C:\Users\username> Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://example.com -UseBasicParsing | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Headers

Key            Value
---            -----
Age            357194
Vary           Accept-Encoding
X-Cache        HIT
Content-Length 1256
Cache-Control  max-age=604800
Content-Type   text/html; charset=UTF-8
Date           Mon, 10 May 2021 23:26:34 GMT
Expires        Mon, 17 May 2021 23:26:34 GMT
ETag           "3147526947+ident"
Last-Modified  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:18:26 GMT
Server         ECS (dcb/7EEA)

Analysis of header output

The header information you retrieve can often be difficult to understand. View the following links for explanations of the different fields you may see.

Reference links

See also

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