Have you noticed that the WordPress search can be extremely irrelevant?
You can be sure that your visitors have. Test it out and you can review the results your visitors are seeing . Since you know your content better than anyone, I am betting you will notice that much of your relevant content doesn’t show up, or is not at the top, all thanks to the default WordPress search.
You will also realize that some obviously irrelevant content shows up…annoyingly, at the top. If your user clicks on this content expecting the results to be related to their search terms, they are going to be sorely disappointed. This can cause users to leave your site and not come back.
If using the default WordPress search feature was the only option available, I would argue that it would be better to remove the search box altogether. It’s really that crappy (sorry, I can’t think of a better way to describe it). Fortunately, there are plugins that function as you would expect a site search to work.
I highly recommend Relevanssi
Relevanssi works, is well-documented, updated regularly and highly rated. It is very easy to install and the improvement in search results make it so worth it!
The free version is robust
It can be added to your site using the Plugins auto-install feature. You can also download the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository and install directly using FTP.
There is also a premium version
The premium version adds functionality such as “Did you mean?” suggestions, exclude posts, pages, tags or categories from results and adjusting results based on weights that you set.
Installing is simple
Once you install Relevanssi (free or premium version), and you try a search, you will get zero results. Don’t panic. It isn’t broken. You have to actually “tell” the plugin to create a search index for your site. Depending on how many posts you have it can take a few moments to a few minutes. After you have your index ready, you can do a test search and you should immediately see much more relevant search results. By the way, after you do the initial search index, you won’t need to re-index. Relevanssi will automatically do this for you each time you save a post.
Make your visitors happy so they stay on your site longer
Download Relevanssi from the WordPress repository site: Download Relevanssi from the WordPress Plugin Repository
How about you? Do you have a favorite search plugin? Please comment!