The default WordPress search function is not functional enough if you compare it to all your favorite Google. In addition to simplicity, which sometimes does not lead to relevant results, a WordPress search may also not include all the necessary information, especially if you use WordPress more as a CMS than as a blogging platform.
For example, if you want the search function to return results from custom fields that are used in the custom type of records, you can not do this from the WordPress toolbar.
If you need more control over the search on the WordPress site, or you are looking for a way to improve the search function, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the WordPress search plug-ins.
In this list you will find free and paid search plug-ins. With them you can do useful things:
- Manually assign certain weights to different criteria to customize the search algorithm.
- Include in the search results custom fields, customizable record types and short codes.
- Add a live AJAX search (for visitors to see the results as they are entered).
- Perform some other small settings that can make your WordPress search more convenient.
SearchWP is the most complete WordPress search plugin (or one of them!). Unfortunately, it is not free.
SearchWP gives you detailed control over how WordPress search functions work. Using the plug-in you can:
- Assign custom weights to control important parts of your content.
- Add a more complete search, also search for custom fields (including information about the product WooCommerce), output short code and PDF / Office documents, etc.
- Exclude specific content from search results.
- View search statistics to find out what people are looking for (and can they find it).
You can also create multiple search configurations , using different types of searches in different areas of your site, but for this you will need additional configuration .
The plugin uses the default search style as indicated in your theme – so everything will look in accordance with the theme style. Therefore, there is no need to bother with custom styles.
And if you want even more functionality, there are also modular add-ons that will provide:
- Fuzzy coincidences.
- Highlight search query.
- The terms synonyms.
Prices start at $ 79 for using the plug-in on one site.
Relevanssi is another great option to revisit your WordPress search and make the results more accurate. Unlike SearchWP, Relevanssi has a free version.
With the free version you can:
- Include custom fields, comments, short code output, taxonomies, and custom record types in the search result.
- Search with the “quotes” exact match (SearchWP does not allow you to do this).
- Use OR and AND queries.
- Highlight keywords in search results.
- Adjust weighting for headings, tags and comments.
- Show search suggestions.
And with a premium version you will be able to:
- Index PDF-content.
- Organize search across multiple sites for WordPress Multisite.
- Index any column in the wp_posts table.
- Assign custom weights for publication types, taxonomy, or new records.
- Use some other useful features.
The price is from 99 US dollars depending on the selected package.
Search Everything is a simple plug-in that extends the default WordPress search area.
With it, you can enable or disable the search by:
- Custom fields,
- The names of the categories / their descriptions,
And you can also highlight the search conditions in the results.
This is much simpler than the previous two plug-ins, but if you are satisfied with the default search algorithm and you just want to expand your reach, then Search All does an excellent job.
The plugin is free.
Ajax Search is a popular plug-in with free and premium versions that adds live AJAX search to your WordPress site. That is, visitors will immediately see the results as they are entered – there is no need to reload the page.And it works on both desktop and mobile devices.
In addition to the main real-time search function, you can also:
- Organize search in custom fields and customizable types of records.
- Exclude certain categories.
- Include images in search results.
If you go to the paid version, you will also receive:
- Search WooCommerce, bbPress, BuddyPress and some others.
- Group by category or by type of record.
- Other themes / layouts.
- Search statistic.
- Some other useful functions.
The Pro version costs $ 36.
SearchWP Live Ajax Search
SearchWP Live Ajax Search is another live search plug-in for AJAX from the same developer as SearchWP. Despite the name, you do not need SearchWP to use this plugin. This plugin will use SearchWP if it is installed, but this is not a mandatory requirement.
The plugin has a search widget that you can use to easily add live search to any widget area. But if you want to use it in other areas, you will need at least some basic familiarity with the code to implement the plugin.
The plugin is free.
Those search plugins WordPress, which are presented above, focused on adding additional information to the search results.
What if you want to go the other way around?
Search Exclude is a free plug-in that allows you to use the checkbox on the editing screen to exclude any publication or page from the search results of your site.
The plugin is simple, free and does what it promises.
ACF: Better Search
The plugin offers a more limited approach to expanding your site’s search. It adds to the search engine WordPress by default the ability to search by content from the selected fields of the Advanced Custom Fields PRO plug-in.
Extended user fields are a popular option for managing custom fields. Therefore, if you use it on your site, you can install this plugin as a lightweight option to make these fields searchable.
The plugin is free.
WooCommerce Search Plugins
There are many popular plugins that are specially designed to improve the search for WooCommerce. But since most people probably do not work with WooCommerce stores, we’ll point them out in one section:
- Ajax Search WooCommerce – adds direct AJAX search for your WooCommerce products. Free.
- Advanced Woo Search – search in real time, as well as the ability to search in user fields, including images / price of the product in the search and much more. Free.
- WooCommerce Search Engine – adds a live search, including images / price of the product, as well as other useful functions. 49 US dollars.
If you are looking for an all-in-one plug-in for making large changes to the search for a WordPress site, we recommend SearchWP or Relevanssi as a good initial option. Other plug-ins are great for small settings, but these two offer a comprehensive approach.
And if you use the WooCommerce store, we recommend you read the plugins listed in item 8, because they are great at enabling the inclusion of relevant product information, for example, prices and images, which makes the search in your store more user-friendly.