The best and most advanced WordPress Search Plugins that will take your website’s user experience to a whole new level. One thing we can all readily agree with is that WordPress is one of the most comprehensive and convenient content management platforms on the Internet. Yet, another fact that all WordPress users can concur with is that the default search engine is not to the best of its capabilities. It lacks in efficiency and tends to return irrelevant or outdated results most of the time. Users can’t modify their search to match specific categories or keywords. The search engine doesn’t search custom post types, custom fields or taxonomies.
This means, if the user is looking for a certain type of content which your WordPress site/blog may very well include, your default search engine may fail to reveal that in the search results. This may cause inconvenience to your readers and may even lead to a cutback of visitors.
But here’s the good news – there is a myriad of search plugins with awesome functionalities that you can readily implement into your WordPress. They are designed to show more relevant results, with custom search options and ultimately improves user experience. Read on for a list of the 10 best WordPress plugins to help you choose the right one for your site/blog.
The Best WordPress Search Plugins
SearchWP is one of the top-notch plugins with a ton of functionalities. It scans all your content including posts, pages and media and indexes all it which is then updated periodically. This lets your users to search through PDFs also! This plugin also gives you complete control over your content and how it should be displayed in the results. It offers you the option to assign specific weights to your posts, pages and post attributes individually to be shown in results accordingly.
Users can search for custom fields, post types, metadata and taxonomies. SearchWP also offers ecommerce integration to enable users to search for products based on product reviews and descriptions. Another brilliant feature of SearchWP is that of “fuzzy match”. This matches even partial keywords from the search query to display relevant results. In case you don’t remember the exact name. you can simply type a part of the word and get matching results!
This plugin also offers search statistics and insights on what your viewers search for and what they can’t find. This data will help streamline future content to your users. SearchWP is a premium WordPress plugin starting at $99 for a year.
Relevanssi WP Plugin
Relevanssi is a freemium WordPress plugin which comes with a standard free version and an extended premium version with advanced features. It is one of the most commonly used search plugins. This plugin simply ranks the search results by relevance rather than by date, owing to its name ‘Relevanssi’.
With the free version, you get a multitude of features like:
o Fuzzy matching where you can search with partial words
o Exact matches to search quotes and phrases and
o Search terms highlight
It also enables users to search throughout comments, tags, categories custom fields and post types and taxonomies. It also maintains log queries that shows most popular searches and ones with no result. It assigns weights to your posts similar to SearchWP. The premium version comes with a whole set of advanced features. This searches through attachments and PDFs and across sub-sites. An upgrade to the premium version starts at $99.
Swiftype Search WP Plugin
Swiftype is another freemium WordPress search plugin that is most suitable for high-traffic websites. It has the functionality of autocomplete suggestions shown in a drop-down menu. It also offers a refined search terms by adding more attributes like date, location, price and content type. Swiftype also shows pop-up promotions of relevant content in the pages that your users visit.
It includes a convenient drag and drop interface to adjust search results ranks and this is in addition to its advanced search algorithm that automatically ranks search results. Swiftype also provides statistical insights about the searches and user behaviour which you can use to improve user experience in future site content. You can avail the Swiftype premium version starting from $79 per month.
Ajax Search Plugin for WordPress
Users can search through product titles, descriptions or excerpts. It is a highly customizable plugin that displays elegant search results with thumbnails as the users enter their keyword or phrase. One might think such a plugin would come with a complicated backend. This couldn’t be far more from the truth. It offers a simple backend for the admin and most features can be enabled with the click of a button. It offers options to customise thumbnail sizes and sources, nearly 60 customizable themes, multiple result layouts. Users can search through custom post types and taxonomies.
It is compatible with multilingual plugins and can be integrated with Google Analytics too. The best part about Ajax Search is that the premium version starts at only $36. This WordPress plugin is a great option if you’re looking to improve your site’s user experience.
The WPSolr comes with a whole different variety of functionalities that would simply rock your site’s search engine. It is a versatile plugin that is most suited for ecommerce sites. It is compatible with plugins like WooCommerce, Advanced Fields, WPML and Yoast SEO. The main focus of WPSolr is to optimize the search query speed.
The plugin supports custom post types, custom fields, taxonomies and attached files such as PDFs. It comes with Ajax functionality to display live results. Users can also perform cross-site searches across various WordPress websites. It comes with a user-friendly interface similar to that of Amazon or eBay thus increasing convenience.
WPSolr plugin also comes with SEO friendly functionalities that indexes your search results to grab a good positioning in Google searches ad more! If you are a big business with a website with a number of pages and products then look no further, WPSolr is the perfect premium plugin for you priced at $249 per year.
Site Search 360
This is a WordPress plugin that is entirely focused on improving your site’s customer experience. It makes your site’s search experience fast and seamless while also offering a stunning interface.
It offers a range of customization options while also being easy to configure. There is an additional CSS customization to help you further your interface. The free version comes with functionalities to index 150 pages and 1000 queries per month. Other functionalities include instant autocomplete suggestions, cross-domain searching and compatible with 19 languages.
Site Search 360 also offers powerful analytics and insights to help you improve your business and offer the best content to your customers. Simplify your customer’s search experience by offering just what they are looking for in a beautiful design with clever functionalities.
Ivory Search Plugin for WordPress
Ivory Search is another search plugin for WordPress with over 10000 users. It is a user-friendly plugin packed with tons of features that can be enabled with one click. It has a free version that can be upgraded to premium starting at $19.99 per year for advanced features.
Users can search through posts, pages, categories, taxonomies, custom post types and fields. It can be integrated with other WordPress plugins like bbPress and WooCommerce for better functionalities. This plugin offers you the option to create unlimited search forms with the ability to display them anywhere on your page. You can even exclude specific content from the search results thus entirely controlling your site’s search function!
Dave’s WordPress Live Search Plugin
This is a plugin that is an alternative to Ajax Search as it also offers ‘live search’ functionality to your website. The plugin lets you control the number of live search results that appear and also define when the results should appear, whether after the user enters one, two, three or four characters into the search box. The live results also display metadata, thumbnails, post excerpts/ product descriptions and ‘View More’ link.
The plugin comes with three default colour schemes and you can further customise it using CSS. Although it offers functionalities similar to Ajax Search, it doesn’t come packed with as many features. Yet, it is a great live search plugin at absolutely free of cost.
FacetWP Search Plugin
This is a one of a kind WordPress search plugin that utilizes a faceted search system. It offers relevant results by sifting through information from custom post types, custom fields and taxonomies. It employs methods like condition logic to show relevant search results.
Users can choose from 12 facet styles including checkboxes, drop-downs, sliders and many more. You can also employ hooks and shortcodes to customise the search forms. The plugin is compatible with other plugins such as WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields and Beaver Builder. FacetWP can also be integrated with other plugins like SearchWP and Relevannsi.
If you would like to offer your visitors more custom filters while performing a search, FacetWP offers just that. The basic license costs $99 for one year and up to three websites.
WP Google Search
Among the free WordPress search plugins out there, WP Google Search is surely one worth mentioning. It offers a simplified way of integrating the Google Custom Search into your WordPress site through a widget.
You simply need a Google Search Engine ID, which you can get by registering at https://cse.google.com/cse/. Compared to the premium and freemium plugins we have seen so far, the options here are limited. You have the option to display a search bar at the top of search results, allows users to open links in a new tab and a few CSS customisations.
You can also enable features such as autocomplete suggestions for your search engine. This is a cheap but effective way to integrate Google search results into your WordPress site.