With more than 60 million websites, WordPress is the world’s most popular open source content management system and blogging tool in the world. It is Search Engine Friendly, neat in its architecture and simple to use. No wonder then web developers and users alike both love websites created by WordPress.However, the search function of WordPress leaves much to be desired. It is slow, difficult to use and often does not provide relevant search results. As a result users are often frustrated and some may even choose to leave the site because of this.The solution therefore is to replace the WordPress search function with something better. In fact most web developers prefer to do this. Thankfully WordPress being an open source tool, it makes it easy for coders and developers to create plugins which replace the default WordPress search. Some of them like WordPress are also absolutely free.But which of these countless plugins is the one for you? Which is easy to use and yet provides more relevant search results? Let us have a look at some of the best Free WordPress Search Plugins.
Downloads: 616,076 Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars
This is one of the most popular WordPress Search Plugin. Relevanssi provides you with a much superior alternative to WordPress Search. It has many special features and options that can be configured. Also, as the name suggests, the search results produced by this are highly relevant and presented in an easier to read format.The key features of Relevanssi are as follows:
- Fuzzy matching: Relevanssi matches partial words. So an user can get a result even when complete words do not match.
- When an user keys in his search, the results are displayed according to relevance and not by date. This way the most likely and relevant result is displayed first.
- Relevanssi offers the use the option of finding results that match just one search item (also called OR query) or all the search words (known as AND query).
- While using Relevanssi, it is possible to search for particular phrases with quotes. So, if for instance, you wish to search for Best WordPress Search Plugins you can put it within quotation marks, “Best WordPress Search Plugins”.
- When a visitor to your site clicks on a particular search result and a document opens, the search terms are clearly highlighted. This way the user can quickly scan the document and come to the part which he is most interested in.
- Relevanssi allows you to create custom excerpts. This display where the hit was actually made and highlights the particular search terms.
- This plugin gives you the ability to search comments, categories, tags and even custom fields.
Downloads: 34,490 Ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Custom Search Plugin is perfect for those who do not wish to spend a lot of effort on customizing but still want a better search function than the one provided by WordPress. It is extremely easy to use but still very useful. It allows you to include a custom post type. This plugin is therefore preferred by WordPress novices as well as advanced professional users.
Downloads: 52,073 Ratings: 4.7 out of 5 stars
This is a far better and more useful search engine than the standard WordPress search Function. The Swiftype Search Plugin gives you extremely valuable and thorough insights into the keywords the users are searching with. This way you can fine tune your keywords to get better Search Engine Results.This plugin is approved by WordPress and is extremely popular with the big sites. It is complemented with extremely insightful analytics, a full featured developer API and a dashboard. It also gives you the freedom to sort through the search results by using drag and drop. The changes in the results are reflected right away.The base ranking algorithm of Swiftype is one of the best possible and can easily produce more relevant and accurate results than the standard WordPress Plugin. It also lets you customize any search result set by the drag and drop feature. This ensures that you can choose the order in which the results are displayed.And how do you customize results? It is quite simple. You need to create a Swiftype account, after which you can install the Swiftype Search Plugin. Now all you will need to do is login to the dashboard. Once you are logged in, you can also check the detailed search analytics.
Downloads: 114,149 Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This Plugin adds the power of Live Search to your website. What is Live Search? Well, when a user starts typing a query into the search box of your WordPress site, it continuously seeks out and searches the site and getting matching search results. As a result sometimes even before the visitor has finished typing the search query, he has got the search result he was looking for. This not only makes search terrifically fast but also saves the user the hassle of clicking on the submit button.
Downloads: 12,747 Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars
The amazing WP Search Suggest plugin allows you yo to “suggest” search results to the vistor depending on the information he has typed in the search field. And what’s more, every search form is added with an AJAX call.Also, you do not have to make any change in your website template. It hooks seamlessly into the WordPress Interface while improving the search function.
Downloads: 12,349 Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Custom Fields Search plugin gives you the ability to add custom website search field to the post of your choice. In fact, it has a list of Custom Fields that you can choose from. This is such an easy and effective way of making your website more effective and useful.
Downloads: 15,241 Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
This plugin can go a long way in enhancing the default internal link search of WordPress sites. Searching content that you wish to link up to becomes so much swifter and simpler.At its most basic level, the Better Internal Link Search plugin limits the search results to those pages and posts which have your search query in the headline. This means that instead of an almost unlimited number of results that you would need to sift through, you get a relatively limited number of extremely accurate and relevant results.Add to this are some amazing features that can be specially modified according to your website. You can in fact create short cuts for links and search external sites even when still in WordPress.Some of the features of the Better Internal Link Search are:
- You can either by page or post when you are in the process of adding links to the editor or the pages to the navigation menu.
- This plugin incorporates terms from any taxonomy. You can link to term archives.
- You can include even schedule posts into your search results.
- To quickly link to the homepage, all you need to do is type in ’home’.
- The Better Internal Link Search Plugin allows you to create custom shortcuts with little coding.
- Better Internal Link Search Plugin makes it incredibly easy to add additional data sources like iTunes, GitHub, Wikipedia etc.
- This plugin is developer friendly. So that you can add your own sources.
Choose the Best WordPress Search Plugin for yourself
Which is the best WordPress Search Plugin? Actually there is no best plugin. However you can choose the one that is best for you. While choosing just remember your own particular requirements and what you need from the Plugin.