Site search is a very important feature that helps your visitor find the content they are in need of. Whether your site is for blogging, eCommerce, or any informational website allowing users to search the database, it will help to improve the usability. If you have a good site search then it helps you to reduce your dependency on Google which will directly increase the time spent on your site. Though you are in the initial phase of setting your website, to improve the WordPress site search is a good idea as it will be very helpful in future too.
As in the older version of WordPress, search result was sorted by date where many people find it a little bit annoying for the website for lots of posts. Hence, WordPress has introduced a new version which will change the way of search results are sorted.
First, the result that has a match for the full sentence of your search term in the title of the post is listed. Secondly, the result that has a match for your full search term are listed. Then the result that has a match some of your search terms are listed. After this, the result that has a match for the full sentence of your search terms in the content of the post is shown. And the remaining search results are shown in chronological order.
Tips for an Effective Blog Search:
1. Choose a powerful search algorithm
If your site contains many contents then it is very beneficial from an improved search algorithm. This is the same case if your site focuses mainly on blog posts, review pages or articles. An algorithm is a procedure that is specially designed to locate the specific information based on set parameters. An advanced algorithm will help you refine the parameters which determine the search results by improving their relevancy.
To implement Google Custom Search is an easy way to add a powerful algorithm to your website.
This will add a Google search bar to your site that implements the fundamentals of Google search technology. Suppose, when a user searches for anything by using Google custom search bar then you can easily configure it to provide the following elements:
- Autocomplete-This expects what the user will type in by saving the time.
- Synonyms-There are variants of search terms. For example, if the user will type Mt. Everest then, Mount Everest will also be shown.
- Refinements-To filter the search results, labels can be implemented that ensures the greater relevancy.
- Promotions-If you like to display for the particular keyword then you can choose the specific Url. This is also possible if the Url is not included in the search results.
This will let you adjust the size and color scheme of the search bar. In this way, it ensures that it matches the aesthetics of your site. And if you would like to implement this solution then you can use a guide to add Google Custom Search to your WordPress website.
2. Implement Faceted Search Functionality
As an advanced algorithm is useful for anticipating user searches and sorting the written content, faceted searches are suited to the sites which use lots of categories. This most likely to the eCommerce sites where categories, subcategories, and option buttons are needed so that the users can filter down what they are searching.
For example- A user who is looking to purchase a phone will use the faceted search bar to look up for phones.
After that, they will select the various options to know more about the capabilities, the price of an item from the menu. But the default WordPress search function will not be conducive to these kinds of quick and relevant search.
You can find a number of plugins which will help you to add the faceted search functionality to your WordPress sites. For example, Facet WP helps you to add the drop-down menus, and date ranges to the search results. Also, it includes a function that adds geolocation to searches, telling the proximity of the goods users that they like to buy. Facet WP is integrated with the WooCommerce that offers demos to help you out with the envision how the faceted search elements look like.
Another faceted WordPress plugin is Search and Filter
This plugin will help you to add different types of checkboxes and drop drop-downs like Facet WP and also lets you include custom taxonomies. Though the free version is flexible, the pro version comes with many additional features to refine the searches.
3. Track Your searches
Above we have discussed the benefits that will help your website’s users on the front end of your site. But the tracking searches take place in the back end that will help you to understand the behaviour of the users.
Search tracking helps to analyze the ways how the visitors are making the use of search function on your site. It provides the insight into the kinds of terms what they are searching for and how effectively the users are finding that they are in need of.
With the help of Google analytics, you can track the visitors and know how they are using search on your site.
For example, You can easily adjust the tracking parameters of users on how the users are searching after the category choices have been refined. To set up a site search with the help of Google analytics and to view the data that is acquired from it, you need to follow some of the steps. Also, you need to note that the Google Analytics account is needed to complete to complete this whole procedure.
4. Setup Elasticsearch and Elasticpress
If you want to have a control over on how the search results are delivered to the users then you can use WordPress.search plugin to speed up the search process. Like Elasticsearch is a scalable, fast and open source search server that helps to analyze the data in real time.
This tool is very helpful for those who are running a large scale eCommerce business that includes varieties of products. It is also one of the importance of Elasticpress WordPress search plugin that integrates the WordPress with Elasticsearch to make the search procedure faster for their users.
Let’s have a look on how to setup the Elasticsearch and how to install and activate the Elasticpress in order to implement it. You need to know that the editing WordPress core files are included while installing and configuring the Elasticsearch. So, it’s very important to have a backup while using this technique.
Installing and Activating
Firstly, you need to download the Elasticsearch, then you can find a zip file after you unzipped the file, you can install it on your system. After this process, you need to edit your wp-config.php that helps to contain the location of your Elasticsearch server. You will need File Transfer Protocol to edit it. This will help you to access the files easily and make modifications to secure them. Filezilla is the user-friendly and best solution to work with FTP.
Once you have installed and opened this Filezilla, you will have to enter the credentials of your web like host username and password to the respective fields.
Before installing and activating the Elasticpress plugin, you need to set up WP Local Docker. This tool is very advanced that helps you to create and manage the local development environment to your site. It is an open source which lets you to test the efficiency of Elasticsearch effectively on your WordPress site.
After you are ready to add the Elasticpress plugin to your site then you need to navigate to the plugins menu in your dashboard and select add new. After that type Elasticpress in the search bar where it should be the first option to be displayed. Then click install after the installation is completed click on activate button.
When you will click the Elasticpress on the side menu then you will be directed to the welcome screen.
Before saving your changes, you need to set up and enter http://elasticsearch:9200 into the Elasticsearch Host text box.
After this completion, a dashboard notification will be displayed where you will be asked to run a sync. Then you have to click the run the sync button after that the Elasticpress installation will be set up locally with Elasticsearch.
5 Best popular WordPress Search Plugin
It’s really difficult to choose the best plugin for your site so here we have tried to list down some of the best WordPress Search Plugin which will help your work easier.
So let’s have a look at some of the best WordPress search plugin:
1. Search WP
Search WP is a premium WordPress search plugin that comes with a great support for custom post types, custom fields and taxonomies. This plugin uses your existing search forms and results template which will improve your site search without writing a line of code. It is integrated with the product search for popular eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce, WP eCommerce and Easy digital downloads and many more. You can show better results by using keywords stems instead of exact term matches.
With the help of this plugin, you can easily exclude content from search results or attribute findings for better results. This plugin includes an easy digital download integration feature that will make sure that your customers are finding your products easily. You can customize perfectly on how the results are being ranked by using SearchWP intuitive interface and weighting system.
- Multiple search engines
- Keyword Stemming
- Search statistics and Insights
- Advanced custom fields support
- Easy digital downloads integration
- PDF and Office document indexing
2. Search and Filter
Search and Filter is a clean and simple WordPress search and filter plugin which is one of the advanced plugins of WordPress search box. You can easily search Post Meta/Custom fields with the help of search boxes, multi select, dropdowns, radio buttons, or combo boxes. This plugin lets you lets you create as many fields and different search forms as much as you like. As it is compatible with WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, Easy digital downloads that can be used for your online shop.
This plugin perfectly works with WPML and Advanced Custom Fields. You can use admin UI easily that is fully integrated with WP 3.8+. It gives you a full dedicated support for their users if there will be any difficulties while using this plugin. The Ajax can be used to display results where page reloading problem is not found. It can be used for review sites, blogs, property sites, news sites and more.
- Drag and drop editor
- Use custom templates
- Works with advanced custom fields
- Use custom templates
- Easy to use admin UI
- Awesome support
3. Live Search and Smart Autocomplete for WordPress
Live Search and Smart Autocomplete for WordPress is a plugin that will enrich your WordPress search function. This plugin doesn’t need any coding skills that is extremely beginner and user friendly. It gives you a full support that will help you to adjust CSS for live search UI. There are two options for suggestion data: i) Keywords built on post titles, post tags, and post content. ii) post names.
This plugin works easily when you activate and click the first installation button. It works perfectly with WooCommerce and native WordPress themes. The plugin includes many useful and powerful features for your website search result page. You will get a quick response from the support team if there will be any difficulties while using the plugin.
- Works with JS
- Coding skills not required
- Adjust CSS for live search UI
- Individual support and quick response
- Two option for suggestion data
- Compatible with WooCommerce
4. Ajax search Pro
Ajax search Pro is a beautifully designed WordPress search plugin that boosts up the user search experience. This plugin is highly customizable that comes with awesome features and options that give you the best results to your site. You can easily install this plugin with just a click of a button. Additionally, it includes hundreds of options in the backend where you can customize easily as you prefer.
This plugin supports Visual Composer and is updated on a regular basis that is based on customer feedback and bug reports. It features an easy to use drag and drop style taxonomy custom field filter builder. The plugin includes multiple search options on one page that you can configure separately.
- Frontend search settings
- Widgets and shortcodes
- Adjustable search logic
- Custom field filters
- Visual composer support
- Google analytics integration
Searchford is an outstanding WordPress search plugin that improves your website in-site search results immediately. This plugin supports advanced functions such as auto or manual indexing. You can easily activate the plugin boost your search engine results immediately without any configuration. Furthermore, it comes with an awesome looking live search which is easily customizable.
This plugin is fully responsive that supports all the screen sizes from small to large. It is compatible with advanced custom fields that support easily Repeater Fields with custom meta key wildcard indexing. Multiple custom searches is included in this plugin where all the search options and live search settings can be customized easily for many custom searches as required.
- Supports search operators
- Coding skills not required
- Multiple customized searches
- Plugin compatibility
- List/Masonry live search style
- Custom post type supported
Search is a very important tool for many WordPress websites, therefore, you need to improve the WordPress search function built-in to the core.
The large sites include lots of content so it is very important to offer your users a solid search engine. In this article, we have tried to give you some information on how to improve WordPress search. Thus, if you apply the above way then you can definitely improve the WordPress search of your site.
Luckily there are powerful plugins too which provides excellent and fast search results for your sites.
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