Understanding WordPress Search and How It Can Be Improved

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WordPress is undoubtedly a great platform for bloggers and individuals seeking for an easy way to setup and manage their website. In fact, it is touted as the most dominating content management systems in the world. But, WordPress comes with a set of limitations as well. One of the limitations of a WP site is that the search capabilities aren’t as good as it should be.

Understanding How WordPress Internal Search Works

Ever wondered what will happen if you can’t use Google or any other search engine for finding information of your preference? It will certainly leave you surprised and dismayed. After all, everything in our lives hinges on search. In fact, the search is an indispensable component of a site, especially when you run a site having hundreds of thousands of pages or posts.

When you’ll search for something in your WP blog, you will see that the search results are listed in a chronological manner and not in the form of “most popular” phrase, or alphabetically. The search results that are being displayed in chronological order appear from most recent to oldest. And so, when your post provides users with old information, they’ll have to scroll down till the bottom of that post to find the newest information. Scrolling the page to obtain the right information can oftentimes cause frustration among users.

Another problem with a WordPress site’s search is that only search for post content. You can, however, search for pages and comments. In a nutshell, you can help your users find exactly what they’ve been looking for via the default WordPress search functionality. But, if you publish several articles on a daily basis, then it’s imperative your site contains an enhanced search feature – that enables the users to easily find some posts.

Fortunately, there are tools available as search plugins that add an effective internal search feature to a WordPress site.

Best WordPress Search Plugins Worth Exploring


1. Search Everything

With over 80,000 installs, the Search Everything WordPress plugin tops the list of search plugins. As the name implies, the plugin once installed on your site will visitors search for everything on the site. Basically, it helps in improving the default search functionality of a WordPress site – without having to manipulate any of your website pages.

The plugin can be configured to give your users the ability to search for pages, custom fields, data, excerpts, and much more. It comes with a helper called “Research Everything” that allows to search for posts and even help in linking to those posts while you’re writing. The only issue with this plugin is that it doesn’t allow searching for the password-protected content.

2. Relevanssi

Another great search plugin for a WordPress site worth exploring is Relevanssi with more than 80,000 downloads. What’s best about this plugin is that it replaces the default WordPress search functionality with a better search engine – that comes bundled with plenty of features and configurable options. Most importantly, it helps in searching for results that are sorted out based on relevance, rather than by date.

It even allows matching partial words in case the complete words fail to match. Plus, it highlights the search terms within the document whenever a visitor click-through search results. This plugin enables to search for things like comments, custom fields, tags, etc.

3. Search and Filter

This is just a simple search and filter plugin that comes with advanced search, as well as, filtering capability to help refine your search results. It has been downloaded at least 10,000 times and helps to search in a WordPress website based on category, post type, custom taxonomy, and many more.

The best aspect about this plugin is that it makes use of AJAX functionality, which helps display search results without reloading a page. Additionally, it can even help in creating several fields and distinct type of search forms as you deem perfect.

4. Google Custom Search

Well, if you want the flexibility of Google search engine giant for searching the contents present on your WordPress site, then Google Custom Search plugin is a worth a try. Though WordPress features somewhat good search functionality, but it is likely to become slow and unresponsive if it doesn’t match keywords in the correct manner. Besides, the WordPress search functionality showcases the results that are ordered by date, instead of their relevance to the keywords.

But, thanks to the Google Custom Search Engine you can not only search for things within your site but can also search for multiple websites or domains.

This plugin helps to display search results in 3 different formats such as resizable pop-up dialog, as a part of the widget and anywhere in your website code. It has been downloaded by 10,000+ users.

Summing Up!

Probably you may want your users to browse your website, by using the navigational menu. But, the majority of visitors usually wants access to any particular content only. And, implementing search functionality can help improving your overall user experience since it will give your visitors the freedom to search for anything, instead of having to use navigation menus.

Thanks to Samuel Dawson for this great article. Samuel is presently working in PSD to WordPress service department in Designs2html. Samuel also likes to learn the innovative technology of website development. He has shared above the important points on WordPress internal search.

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