WordPress may be one of the complete content management systems available today, but that does not imply it’s perfect. There are still some areas where the software could be fixed, and one area in such is the search functionality.

And to put it politely, the search isn’t a part where WordPress outshines as when a user types in the search input box, the default WordPress search engine will frequently return irrelevant content or out of date.

While visitors can’t narrow the search down to particular categories or keywords, neither can they view highlighted terms in search results, as there’s no built-in support for taxonomies, custom post types or custom fields. Thankfully, some WordPress search plugins can address these limitations.

These WordPress Search plugins improve or replace the default search engine for WordPress, which give visitors more relevant search results and a give the user a better experience. Which helps visitors to find the content they want quickly, which helps to reduce website bounce rates and increase traffic.

In this WordPress Wednesday, I’ll look at six WordPress plugins for improving search on your site, so you can decide the one that’s right for you.

1. Relevanssi


Relevanssi is one of the well known search plugin for WordPress. The plugin name originates from the goal to help WordPress users display search results by relevance. There’s a free version of this plugin that been crammed with feature that allows you to highlight search terms, use fuzzy matching for incomplete words, and search for phrases and quotes.

Users of the plugin can also explore through comments, tags, categories, custom fields, taxonomies and custom post types. Additionaly it supports multi-site and it’s supports other plugins like bbPress.

Relevanssi has a premium version of this plugin that enhance in other ways such as like; it adds attachment and PDF content indexing and it allows for searching across sub-sites, plus it lets you to adjust the weight on each post type and taxonomy, and adds the ability to index and search in your wp_posts database.

Please note that this Relevanssi requires more additional storage, and large businesses including other high-traffic websites should test it fully before deploying it live and also this plugin uses around 3 times as much storage as you’ve find in your wp_posts database table.

Price: Free and Premium starting at $99.00

2. Ajax Search Lite

Ajax Search Lite

Ajax Search is a customisable plugin that adds a live-search engine to your site. The Ajax-powered search form displays search results with thumbnails as the visitor types their keyword or key phrase.

The core of this plugin, can be downloaded for free which has a user-friendly back-end, and the features can be switched on or off simply at the click of a button, you can customise the sizes of the thumbnail and the source of thumbnails, and use one of eight built-in form templates and the i mages can also be cached to help improve site performance.

The default search functionality you find in WordPress is extended considerably, as visitors now be able to search within custom post types, categories, custom fields and more. Also you can intergrate Google Analytics into it, and the plugin can be translated too.

You find in the premium version the plugin adds support for searching custom fields, keyword highlighting and you can adds filters for categories, custom post types, taxonomies etc.

Also in the premium version it allows users to search within attachments, and there’s also added integration for some plugins such as BuddyPress, Google keyword suggestions and autocomplete are available in the premium version also.

Additionally you’ll find styling options that are also provided plus there are editable themes, four layouts and other additional admin options.

Price: Free and Premium at $36.00

3. Ivory Search

Ivory Search

Ivory Search is a feature-rich search plugin that allows you to create an unlimited number of search forms for your site. It features a user-friendly interface where there a number of options that can be enabled or disabled with just a click.

With the free version of Ivory Search you find many different features that you probably won’t even find in other search plugins for WordPress, features such as the ability to only search within password protected pages or posts created within a range of specific dates.

You can also search within posts, pages, categories, taxonomies, custom post types. This plugin will gives you great control over on what content can be excluded from searches, and it integrates with many other WordPress plugins such as bbPress and WooComerce.

In the premium version of this plugin unlocks additional functionality such as searching specific author posts and excluding posts that has a specific post status. With the premium version it will lets visitors search within the WooCommerce SKU and search images, attachments including other media.

Price: Free and Premium starting at 1 site at $19.99 per year

4. SearchWP


SearchWP is a wonderfull search solution for WordPress that integrates with numerous popular WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Advanced Custom Fields and many more.

SearchWP gives you more control on users can search your site, also it can gives you a specific weight for post type attributes, taxonomies and custom fields. Also you can define search rules, exclude particular pieces of content furthermore you can use keyword stemming for exact term matches.

This plugin natively supports eCommerce plugins and can integrates it with custom meta data and documents such as PDFs, text and documents also you can create multiple search engines for different parts of your site as well.

The SearchWP developers allows for customers to shape what functionality is needed by the use of an extension system and present time, there around 30 extensions that includes pro extensions, free third-party extensions. You can also use the free Live Ajax Search extension that can be downloaded from WordPress.org with or without SearchWP.

There’s a few paid options that comes with SearchWP the first one costs $99.00, the second one is at $149.00 both are for a year and the $99.00 option provides access to all standard extensions, and gives support and updates for one website for a year. Standard extensions include an option to highlight search terms, term synonyms for grouping similar words and terms, and shortcodes for displaying search forms in posts and pages.

And the $149 option arguably offers better value as it increases usage to five websites and gives access to all pro extensions. Agencies may want to opt in for the pro plus license at $299.00 per year, which removes usage restrictions.

Price: $99.00 / $149.00 or $299.00 per year

5. FacetWP

Facet Wp

FacetWP is a unique search plugin for WordPres that uses a faceted search system, searches use information from eithercustom fields, taxonomies and post data to ensure all results are relevant.

There’s twelve facet types that can be choosed from, such as checkboxes, dropdowns, sliders and more. Hooks and shortcodes can also be used to customise search forms. This plugin also works with WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields and Beaver Builder, and also it can integrate with other WordPress search plugins/solutions such as SearchWP and Relevanssi.

There’s a basic license for FacetWP and it gives support and updates for one year for up to three websites. This basic version supports all filter post types, and comes with all add-ons and the other one is the professional license that costs a bit extra and stepping upto this package increases website usage to 20 sites and gives access to user post type feature.

This plugin certainly one of the most interesting search solutions for WordPress and has a lot of features; such as conditional logic, that you won’t see in other WordPress search plugins.

Price: $99.00 or $249.00 per year

6. WP Solr

Wp Solr

WP Solr is a versatile search solution for WordPress that is popular with store owners as its can be supported with popular plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, WooCommerce and the very well known SEO plugin Yoast SEO.

This search solution can use one of two powerful search platforms the first one is Elasticsearch and the other is Apache Solr. Most of the add-ons included with this plugin help to integrate WP Solr with other services also as well with other WordPress plugins and themes, where you can find add-ons functionality such as a PDF embedder that allows for searches within the documents.

This solution also support all custom post types, taxonomies, custom fields and attached files. Ajax search allows visitors to see live search , and there is also a option for cross-domain search that lets users search across multiple WordPress sites.

WP Solr is a premium solution which comes with lifetime updates and support and as this solution is an price-per-website it reduces as you purchase the software for more sites. There’s an option for you to download this solution and test it before buying. Which is great option also if you run into problems you can ask in their help forum for support.

Price: $222.00 (converted from 199 Euro at the time of writing this post)


WordPress Wednesday – 6 WordPress Search Plugins to Improve Search Results