Looking for the best WordPress search plugins?
The native WordPress search function used by most beginners is pretty limited. This is because it’s search algorithm is pretty weak and doesn’t search all of your content. In simple terms, it doesn’t generate good results so outsourcing should be your immediate option.
If using the native WordPress search function on high traffic site with lots of content, you must have experienced issues with performance due to it’s database queries.
WordPress search plugins are a game changer. You have the ability to include massive content in your search algorithm.
In this post, we’ll take a look at top WordPress search plugins both free and paid but mostly in free.
Top WordPress search plugins
This is a premium WordPress search plugin that integrates with the native WordPress search widget to improve your search results.
As compared to the native WordPress search, searchWP will search through out your:
Content generated by shortcodes
The premium version comes at $149.00 for pro version(most popular), $99.00 for standard version.
A free version of search-WP is also available at WordPress.org that specifically adds live search to your site. This means,results will start appearing the moment a site visitor starts typing.
The most amazing part that I love about searchWP is the weighting of all different contents and that it adds fuzzy matching for better results.
This paid search service from automatic. The team behind WordPress.com jetpack plugin and woo-commerce.
On the up-side, jetpack search does all the the processing and search indexing on Automattic’s servers thereby reducing load time.
- Real-time search suggestions
- Search query highlighting in results
- Sort/filter options in the search results
Moreover, it’s search is based on Elasticsearch with improvements like:
- Spelling corrections
- Fuzzy matching
- Prioritized search results based on site stats – that is, it can rank more popular content higher
This is the most popular free WordPress search plugins on WordPress.org.
It’s main focus is on improving WordPress search algorithm.
For example, it lets you include different types of content in your search index including:
- Custom post types (e.g. events, products, jobs, etc)
- Custom fields
- Categories, tags, and custom taxonomies
- User comments
- Attachments such as PDFs, Docs, etc. (with the paid version)
- User profiles (with the paid version)
- The front-end output of shortcodes
On the front-end, Relevanssi automatically integrates with the native WordPress search widget, so you don’t need to change anything.
However, it does still add a few front-end changes:
- Sort results by relevance, not by date
- Create custom excerpts that show the content where the search phrase appears
- Highlight search terms when a user clicks through to the content
- Add Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions
This is not just a WordPress search plugins,it’s an open source search engine that you can integrate with any website.
There are multiple plugins that help you integrate Elasticsearch into WordPress to power your WordPress search.
Elasticsearch also helps you generate better, more accurate search results. It lets you include more content in your search results and also customize the algorithm. You’ll also get other useful features such as fuzzy matching, faceted search, and real-time automatic suggestions.
The WordPress search feature is pretty limited by default. If you want to make it easier for people to search and discover content on your site, you need to use a WordPress search plugins.
So,which is your best go for plugin?
If you just want an easy way to make your WordPress search more “complete”, I’d recommend starting with Relevanssi (freemium), SearchWP (paid), or Ivory Search (freemium).
On the other hand, if you want to enhance your front-end search with real-time Ajax search suggestions, you might want to start with Ajax Search Lite/Pro.