WordPress is one of the most complete content management systems today, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Theres still some parts where the software could be fixed and done better. One of those areas is the search functionality.
To put it politely, the search isn’t a part where WordPress excels in. For example when a visitor types in the search input box, the default search function will frequently return irrelevant content or out of date.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 is no built-in support for taxonomies, custom post types or custom fields. Thankfully, there are a few WordPress search plugins that can address these limitations.
These WordPress Search plugins below can improve or replace the default search engine for WordPress, which can give visitors more relevant search results and give the user a better site 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, We’ll look at five WordPress plugins for improving search on your site.
1. Ivory Search
Ivory Search is a feature-rich search plugin for WordPress that allows you to create an unlimited number of search forms for your site. It has an user-friendly interface where there a number of options that can be enabled or disabled with just a click.
Within the free version this search plugin you find many different features that you probably won’t find in other search plugins, 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
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, the plugin has an 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
FacetWP is a unique search plugin for WordPres that uses a faceted search system, searches use information from either custom fields, taxonomies and post data to ensure all results are relevant.
There’s twelve facet types that can be choose 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
4. 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: From €199 per year for 1 Site
The plugin gives you more control on what users can search on your site. It can gives you a specific weight for post type attributes, taxonomies and custom fields. Also you can define search rules, exclude particular 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. You can create multiple search engines for different parts of your site as well.
SearchWP allows for customers to shape what functionality is needed by the use of an extension system. There’s 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. These options provides access to all standard extensions, and gives support /updates for one site for a year.
Standard extensions includes an option to highlight search terms, term synonyms for similar words and terms, and shortcodes for displaying search forms in posts and pages.
While the $149 option offers better value as it increases usage to five websites. And additonal to the price it gives access to all pro extensions. Agencies may want to purchase the pro plus license at $299.00 per year, which removes usage restrictions.
Price: from $99.00 per year