05 Nov 12 WordPress Search Plugins to improve Your Site Search
Do you want to improve your WordPress site search? We all know that the default WordPress search feature is fairly limiting. However, there are several WordPress search plugins that can help you improve the default search experience. In this article, we will highlight 12 WordPress Search Plugins to improve Your Site Search.
SearchWP: SearchWP is a powerful custom search plugin for WordPress. It is very easy to use and the search results are relatively more accurate. It allows searches for your keyword in post/page title, content, slug, categories, tags, taxonomies, excerpt and even comments. You can control the algorithm by assigning weight to each content type from 1 to 10 where 10 being the highest. Upon activation, the plugin automatically indexes your content and replaces the default search feature in WordPress.
Adding Taximony Filter to WordPress Site: If you are using categories, tags, or any other custom taxonomy to sort content, then adding a taxonomy filter to search can greatly help users narrow down the results. Ajax WP Query Search Filter allows you to create custom WordPress search forms with checkboxes for taxonomies, post types and custom fields. It uses Ajax to load results, so it works really fast and provides a better experience for users.
Swiftype Search: Switype is a site search service that comes with a free and paid version. Their WordPress plugin replaces your default WordPress search with Swiftype. Swiftype will index your documents, and it works way faster than default WordPress search. Results are extremely relevant. Swiftype will also store user searches and will show you what users searched for, what they clicked on, and other cool analytics.
Google Custom Search for WordPress: When it comes to search, Google is undoubtedly the king. The good thing is that you can create a custom Google search engine for your site and integrate it into WordPress. The downside is that it comes with Google’s personal branding, which may not be so bad because users already trust this brand.
Search by Category: Category Wise Search plugin allows you to add a category drop down to WordPress search. Users can limit their search to a specific category to narrow down the results. The plugin also allows you to exclude categories from the search, and you can easily add it using a widget for your sidebar.
Highlight Search Terms: Highlighting search terms in the results page can help improve the user experience. It also increases the chances of them finding what they are looking. If you are using the default WordPress search, then you can easily implement this by editing the search results template in your child theme.
Display Search Term and Result Count in WordPress: There are several things you can do by editing your theme or child theme’s search.php template. One of these things is to show users the search term and the number of results. Simply add this code to your search.php template.
|1||<h1 class=”page-title”>Search Result for <?php /* Search Count */ $allsearch = &new WP_Query(“s=$s&showposts=-1″); $key = wp_specialchars($s, 1); $count = $allsearch->post_count; _e(”); _e(‘<span class=”search-terms”>’); echo $key; _e(‘</span>’); _e(‘ — ‘); echo $count . ‘ ‘; _e(‘articles’); wp_reset_query(); ?></h1>|
This code will simply display search term and the number of results found. You can use .search-terms CSS class to highlight the search terms using CSS.
Create an advanced Search Form for Custom Post: Custom Post Types allow you to add different content types to your WordPress site. For example, at WPBeginner we use custom post types for Glossary and Deals sections. Many WordPress sites have custom post types for products, reviews, recipes, etc. However, the default WordPress search is not very good at handling post types. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a search form where users can just check what post type they want to search and narrow down their results?
Simply Exclude: Sometimes you may want to exclude specific content from search results. Simply Exclude is a WordPress plugin that allows you to exclude content based on your selected criteria. For example, you can exclude all posts tagged featured, or all posts in category showcase, etc.
Using Multiple Search Forms in WordPress: The default WordPress search may be useless, but with little tweaks it can be improved quite a lot. Earlier we mentioned creating a search form for custom post types. But what if you wanted to show different search forms on different pages? How about showing more than one search form in WordPress? This can be easily achieved by creating different search forms and search results templates with different queries.
Adding Search Form in a WordPress Post: Sometimes you may want to add a search form inside a post or page to encourage users to search for content on your site. The default WordPress search form is a plain HTML form. However, if you wanted to add the search form inside your posts or pages, the HTML will be stripped by WordPress.
This can be resolved by creating a simple shortcode that displays the search form and then using the shortcode inside your post or page. Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.
Use shortcode [wpbsearch] to display search form inside your post/pages.
Add Voicesearch in WordPress: If you have a smartphone, then you are probably familiar with voice search using Siri, Google Now, or Cortana. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can bring voice search functionality to your WordPress site? Well now you can. WordPress Voice Search plugin allows you to add voice search capabilities to your WordPress search form.