WordPress comes with a very basic site search feature. You can add it to your site by using the search widget. This search feature is very basic and it does not always show the relevant results. Luckily, there are some cool alternatives available. In this blog post, we will show you some better search tools that you can use to replace the default WordPress search feature.
Why Replace Default WordPress Search?
When you run a WordPress site with lots of content, it becomes difficult for your users to find older and less popular content on your website. You can rely on Google for search traffic. But what about users who are already on your site? Most of the time these users go back to Google, search for content that you already have, and land on another site.
Without proper search you are losing visitors, conversions, and money.
The default WordPress search is not good at all. It is slow, shows irrelevant results, and cannot search through your entire website.
This is why you need to replace it with a search tool that can quickly show users what they are looking for. It will decrease your bounce rate, improve your page views and will result in more conversions.
1. Google Custom Search
When it comes to search, Google is undoubtedly the most well known tool in the world. It is easy to use, super fast, and shows the best results. Google allows website owners to easily create their own site search engines and add them to their websites.
All you need to do is visit Google Custom Search website and create a new search engine for your site. After that click on the get code button and copy the code and paste it in your WordPress theme’s search.php file.
You can also use WP Google Search plugin to easily add Google search in your WordPress site.
SearchWP is a premium WordPress search plugin. It is a great improvement on default WordPress search and shows highly relevant results. It indexes all your WordPress content so that it could be searched quickly. Not only it searches for keywords in posts, it can be configure to search everywhere including attachments, pages, terms, categories, custom post types, etc.
It integrates beautifully with most WordPress eCommerce plugins allowing your users to search for products on your website. It has a growing library of extensions which add even more features to your site.
Pricing starts from $79 for a single site license and $149 for 5 sites license or $299 for unlimited licensing. Each license comes with one year of updates and support with access to all official extensions.
3. Relevanssi – A Better Search
Relevanssi is a very popular search plugin for WordPress. It shows search results ordered by relevancy instead of date. As for the quality of search results, Relevanssi greatly improves the search experience by partial matches, tags, categories, custom fields, and comment search. It shows custom excerpts highlighting the lines where a keyword match was found.
The plugin comes with many advance features such as keyword suggestions feature which adds a Google like ‘Did you mean’ when no results are found. You can also define weight the plugin should give to matches in post titles, tags, comments, etc. Relevanssi supports WPML plugin, which means it can be used with any language.
The basic plugin is free and does not come with any support. The premium version starts from $60.
Download: Relevanssi Free
4. Swiftype Search
Swfitype is a site search service provider. Unlike WordPress plugins that use your server’s resources for search, Swiftype performs all the search action on the cloud. Quality of results is also many times better than default WordPress search.
Apart from that, Swiftype offers really cool search analytics which you can use to create new content. Users can filter search results by date, author, post types, etc. You can also see the searches in your Swiftype dashboard and manually edit search results by simply dragging results up and down.
The basic Swiftype plugin is free. You will need to create an account on Swiftype website. Paid search service starts from $79/month (Free trial provided).
Download Swiftype Search
5. Ajax Search Pro
Ajax Search Pro is a premium live search plugin for WordPress. It displays live search results as user types their keywords in the search box. It is amazingly fast and ridiculously good looking.
Ajax Search Pro is quick and easy to setup and comes with shortcodes and a search widget. You can add the search form anywhere in your WordPress theme. You can also create a dedicated search page using the shortcode.
Ajax Search Pro searches all your posts including post types, categories, tags, custom fields, comments, etc. The results are highly relevant and beautifully displayed with thumbnails.
Pricing starts from $36 for a single site license with 6 months included item support.
Download: Ajax Search Pro
6. Search & Filter
This powerful search plugin for WordPress allows your users to customize their search by using filters. Users can choose to restrict their search to specific post type, category, tag, custom taxonomy, author, date, etc.
It uses jQuery for search controls and Ajax for displaying results. This creates a much better and faster experience for your users. It is compatible with most eCommerce plugins and works well with WPML.
Download: Search & Filter
WordPress is a CMS not a search engine. It does the job of a CMS very well but lacks a decent site search tool. But as you can see there are plenty of much better options available. You can choose any one of them and have a fully functional site search in minutes.
Do you think WordPress should improve the default search functionality? Let us know in your comments below! Or let us know if you have questions about using Avada with WordPress.