8 plugins for improving WordPress’ internal search function

WordPress comes with an internal search function by default, but it’s pretty basic and could be better. Especially if your blog has a large number of posts, it is worth offering blog visitors an intuitive and improved search.

With the following plugins you can do this in different ways.

1) Search Everything

I use this search plugin on Geld-online-Blog, because it has some attractive functions, e.g. B. that Highlighting of search terms (colour highlighting of the searched term).

By selecting the appropriate settings

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  • every side
  • any comment
  • every post
  • every day
  • each category
  • each attachment
  • every author and
  • any taxonomy

be searched.

If you want to exclude certain pages, posts and categories from the search, simply enter the respective ID in the field provided.

The highlighting can be freely designed with CSS, ie you can define how the word you are looking for should be highlighted in the blog, for example in bold, red font color with a yellow background.

Search Everything

Search Everything: Basic Settings

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​s​e​a​r​c​h​-​e​ v​e​r​y​t​h​i​ng/

2) Ajax Search Lite

Ajax Search LiteWith Ajax Search Lite, the search experience on your blog or website will visually improve significantly.

The plugin offers a lot:

  • Ajax live search (results are displayed directly when entering a few letters)
  • Search in title
  • Search in content
  • Search in text excerpts
  • Search permalinks
  • Search in custom fields
  • various search box templates (the image above is the red theme)
  • Search results list by relevance
  • Displaying images in search results
  • Autocomplete search
  • Google search keyword suggestions
  • Integration of Google Analytics

Ajax Search Lite

Ajax Search Lite: General Options

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​a​j​a​x​-​s​e​a​ r​c​h​-​l​i​te/

3) Search in place

The Search in Place plugin adds the feature to the WordPress search to display the search results in real time. You don’t have to use an extra widget for this, Search in Place works via the normal WordPress search field.

In the pro version you can customize the color of the search box theme, this and other options are not available in the free version.

Search in place

Link to plugin: https://​wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​s​e​a​r​c​h​-​i​n​- ​pl​a​ce/

4) Highlight search terms

This plugin is lightweight and only has one function, which is to highlight the terms you are looking for in the search results.

There are no setting options for the plugin. It didn’t work for me on Avada themes, but the highlighting worked on WordPress themes.

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​h​i​g​h​l​i​g​h​ t​-​s​e​a​r​c​h​-​t​e​r​ms/

5) Search meters

I find the main function of Search Meter exciting and I would be happy if this were offered by other search plugins.

With Search Meter you can record the search terms entered by your blog or website visitors. It provides detailed statistics for the most recent searches as well as for the searches of the past days, weeks and months.

You can use the search filter in the settings to exclude search terms from the “Frequent Searches” search widget (supplied with the plugin) (see below).

Search Meter accesses the WordPress database during installation and creates two tables.

Search meter

Search Meter: Few settings available

Link to plugin: https://​wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​s​e​a​r​c​h​-​m​e​t ​he/

6) WP Extended Search

With Extended Search, you can extend the standard WordPress search: you can add taxonomies such as categories, FAQs, portfolios, etc., as well as different post types.

Under Miscellaneous Settings you can, among other things, set the search term relationship from standard and to or . For example, if a user enters the terms WordPress plugins, WordPress or Plugins searched (one of the two terms must appear in the results) instead of WordPress and Plugins (both words must appear in the results).

WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search: Settings

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​w​p​-​e​x​t​e​n​ d​e​d​-​s​e​a​r​ch/

7) Relevanssi (free version)

The search plugin Relevanssi is a heavyweight compared to the plugins presented here, because it goes deeper into the WordPress installation by creating three tables during the plugin installation.

In order for Relevanssi to work properly, you must create or build an index after activating the plugin. To do this, click Build Index on the Indexing tab. Depending on the size of the blog (number of static pages and blog articles), this can take some time.

You can extend the indexing settings by including new post types and taxonomies in the index, you can index comments, custom fields, author names and excerpts.

The Synonyms tab is useful. There you can enter synonyms and misspellings, so that the search hit quality increases for the user.

If e.g. If, for example, a word is entered incorrectly in the search field, the user would normally not receive any search results. If you enter the word with its frequent spelling mistakes in the Synonyms area, then the user will still receive search hits with which they can probably do something can.

With Relevanssi, the search terms can be visually highlighted in the results, whether in bold or in a different color. These settings can be found on the Excerpts and highlights tab.

The plugin developers state on the plugin page that Relevanssi requires a sufficient amount of database storage capacity (hundreds of megabytes).

If you only have limited memory resources available for your database, you should not use or upgrade the plugin.

The premium version provides other interesting features such as u.

  • PDF indexing
  • Improved spelling feature with “Did you mean…?” suggestions
  • Indexing of user profiles
  • Choice between AND and OR searches

relevant

Relevanssi: Indexing tab of settings

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​r​e​l​e​v​a​n​s​ she/

8) Advanced Woo Search

Advanced Woo Search A better search plugin is also worthwhile for a WooCommerce shop.

A recommended one is e.g. B. the Advanced Woo Search, which already returns product hits including a product image after entering at least two letters (see example on the right).

The plugin provides its own search widget that can be integrated into the sidebar. In order for the products to be found in the search, you must first click on Reindex table in the plugin settings so that the products can be indexed. Depending on the number of products in the shop, this process can take a while.

In the settings in the General tab, you can use Google Analytics for tracking searches, display out-of-stock products and determine which element in the search has priority, whether it is title, article number (SKU), text snippet or Contents.

In the other two tabs Search Form and Search Results you can make further individual settings.

Advance Woo Search

Advanced Woo Search: General settings

Link to plugin: https://​de​.wor​d​press​.org/​p​l​u​g​i​n​s​/​a​d​v​a​n​c​e​d​ -​w​o​o​-​s​e​a​r​ch/

Conclusion

The search plugins presented here improve the search function on WordPress/​WooCommerce more or less significantly.

Most tell me Search Everything, Ajax Search Lite and relevant to. However, the latter requires corresponding database resources.

Anyone who owns a WooCommerce shop can join Advanced Woo Search enable the shop visitor to have a highly optimized search experience.

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