5 Plugins to Pumped-up the Search Function on Your WordPress Site

If you’ve got a WordPress site with hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of articles that date back for years, one of the best things you can do for your regular visitors is to provide a powerful search feature that enables them to find specific posts. It’s not always easy for people who visit your site to find what they’re looking for based on the default WordPress search feature. It’s best to provide a state-of-the-art solution, especially if you’re pushing out several posts per day. Fortunately, there are numerous plugins available that provide enhanced search functionality.

List of five Plugins which enhance your Search Are:-

Better Search

better search

Better Search will give your visitors search results that are relevant to both the title and the content of the post. According to the plugin author, they’ll also find what they’re looking for faster than with the default search feature.

The plugin also enables you to customize the output. For example, you can add greater weight to the title or the content. Better Search also tracks searches and will show you a “search heat map” that will display the most popular searches at your site. That heat map can be displayed to your theme’s footer or sidebar.

Additionally, Better Search offers the following features:

  • Automatic replacement of your default WordPress search feature with seamless integration, so that you don’t have to do anything except install and activate the plugin.
  • Search results based on relevancy or date.
  • Support for boolean or natural language search.
  • Highlighted search terms in the results list.
  • Integration with cache plugins, such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.
  • A profanity filter.

Also, you can’t beat the price: It’s free. If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a lightweight but superior search function for your WordPress website, Better Search might just be your best option.

Relevanssi

relevanssi

One of the most widely used plugins for an improved WordPress search experience is the cleverly named Relevanssi. It replaces the standard WordPress search feature with a superior engine that also offers an improved display of the search results. Relevanssi enables your visitors to search based on partial results. For example, this “fuzzy search” feature will show results for “appendicitis” when the user simply searches on “append”. Don’t ask me why that particular example came to mind…

Also, Relevanssi will sort search results based on relevance instead of date. That’s useful for people looking for an evergreen post based on a specific keyword. Furthermore, the plugin enables visitors to search using boolean expressions. For example, a visitor can search for “albatross AND neck” and see results that only include both words. Alternatively, a visitor can search for “albatross OR neck” and see results that include either word.

Relevanssi also enables “phrase” searches with the use of quotation marks. For example, a visitor can search for “albatross around the neck” and see results that include only that exact phrase. (Seriously – I have no idea where these examples are coming from.)

Relevanssi also offers the following benefits:

  • Excerpt displays, showing where the search result occurred.
  • Highlighted search words when the visitor reads the entire post.
  • Search results that include keywords found in comments, categories, tags, and even custom fields.
  • A query log, so that you can see which queries are the most popular.
  • Administrative control to adjust weighting for words in titles, comments, and tags.
  • Search restriction based on categories and tags, if that’s what you want.
  • A Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestion based on popular searches in the event that the visitor puts a typo in the search box.
  • Multi-language support.

But wait, there’s more. All of the features described above are available in the free version of the plugin. If you opt to go for the premium version (available in three pricing models), you’ll enjoy the following additional features:

  • Improved typo correction for the “Did you mean?” feature.
  • Multi-site support.
  • Search results based on user profiles, taxonomy term pages, and arbitrary columns in the WP_POSTS MySQL table.
  • Increased weight to recent posts, if that’s what you want.
  • Support for + and – (AND and NOT) in the search bar.
  • Highlighted search expressions for visitors arriving from external search engines.
  • Import and export functionality.

Ajax Search Pro for WordPress

ajax

The word “Ajax” in the title might be a bit confusing to people who aren’t software developers. It’s an acronym that stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript And XML”. In this case, it’s a fancy way of saying that the plugin will perform the search without refreshing the page. In other words, it’s a live search, just like the previous option. Search results are presented with featured images, if any are found. Results can include posts of any type, including WooCommerce products that might be advertised on the site.

As for the display of the search bar, the plugin offers four built-in layouts (vertical, horizontal, polaroid, and isotopic) with more than 60 predefined themes for each layout.

The plugin also comes with widgets that enable you to display the latest searches, most popular searches, and the search box itself in the sidebar of your website. Shortcodes are also available.

Ajax Search for WordPress also provides a configurable relevance panel so that you can fine-tune your plugin. If you’re a sophisticated database expert who uses MyISAM, you can opt for a full-text search and create indices with even more relevant search results.

The plugin also offers the following features:

  • Multisite support.
  • Keyword suggestions and autocomplete.
  • Keyword highlighting in search results.
  • Search statistics.
  • Integration with Google Analytics.
  • Export and import functionality.
  • Performance tracking.

One thing that seems a bit user-hostile about the plugin is that, once the search is completed, the search field is no longer in focus. This means that the visitor will have to click on it again to perform another search.

Consider this plugin if you’re looking for a professional live search offering.

Dave’s WordPress Live Search

dave

If you’re looking for something that will give your visitors instantaneous results as they’re typing in search expressions in the search field, then you should consider Dave’s WordPress Live Search.

The plugin – surprisingly written by somebody named Dave – queries the WordPress database while visitors are typing search words. It displays a sorted list of posts that match the results of the words as they’re being typed. This means that the search results are continually refined as the visitor continues typing. That’s why it’s called a “live search”. It’s Google-tactic. The functionality requires JavaScript, which is almost universally available to all visitors, no matter what browser they’re using. However, in the event that JavaScript isn’t available, the search functionality will work as it did prior to the installation of the plugin.

Another selling point: The plugin integrates with the aforementioned Relevanssi for improved live search results.

Custom Google Search

google

This plugin enables you to replace the standard WordPress search with a search powered by Google itself.

Features include:

  • Custom styles making the search look more attractive.
  • The ability to limit the search to one site or multiple sites – great for Multisite!
  • A built-in widget adds a search box to your sidebar.
  • Different ways to display search results – on a search page, in a pop-up or in your sidebar.

With lots of styles and themes to choose from, you can really make your search box and results match the style of your page. As the results are powered by Google, your users are guaranteed to get far more accurate search results.

Custom Google Search is compatible with Multisite and BuddyPress, and is currently being translated into seven other languages, including Korean and Dutch.

 

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